13 Minutes to Go

In 13 minutes from posting this I will (barring an accident in the corridor) be listening to Sinclair Ferguson give the 2019 Martyn Lloyd-Jones Memorial Lecture here at London Seminary. Which is a good point at which to point to the book he will be speaking about, Lloyd-Jones’s Preaching and Preachers. The great reason to read this book is not for the rejection of tape-recording sermons (from which there actually remains something to learn) but for the lofty and biblical vision of what preaching is. Here is an antidote to the preacher just ‘explaining the Bible’ and giving an exegesis lecture; here is a vision of the drama of preaching, of the risen Christ addressing his precious people from heaven. It is also a chance to point to Ferguson’s own book The Holy Spirit. Two things stand out about it for me: the big picture of the Spirit’s work, far greater than our default debates about a few passages and spiritual gifts, and the irenical way in which he handles the disagreements between conservatives and charismatics. He maintains a clear and (to my mind convincing) conservative position but with a charitable determination to read the language used by charismatic brothers and sisters to see if it might in fact describe a phenomenon on which there is actually less disagreement that the language itself might suggestThis is not always what is going on because there are substantive disagreements, but in my experience it does explain a lot and it helps us hear one another more accurately.