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Sunday, October 21, 2007

ML-J, Altar Calls & Implications

I'm reproducing from the reasons Preaching & Preachers that Martin Lloyd-Jones uses to explain why he does not regularly practice altar calls. As I've stated earlier, some misunderstand a lack of altar calls as an apathy for soul winning. It's important to understand reasons why ML-J resisted this newer (relatively) practice. Reasons 1 & 2 and Reason 3 have already been addressed: (ML-J's thoughts in black, mine in blue).

4. This method surely carries in it the implication that sinners have an inherent power of decision and of self-conversion.
MLJ reminds us that a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God. Not every preacher who uses altar calls denies this truth, but MLJ reminds us: That is the history of the origin of this practice [altar calls], and it is important that we should know it. It is not an accident that it came in with Finney, because ultimately this is a matter of theology. At the same time it is not only a theological question; and we must never forget that an Arminian like John Wesley and others did not use this method.

I recently heard John MacArthur sharing another statement from Martin Lloyd-Jones. The Doctor was reminding his congregation that you can choose to become a buddist. You can choose to become a Muslim. You do not choose to be a Christian. You become born again.

5. I suggest that there is an implication here that the evangelist somehow is in a position to manipulate the Holy Spirit and His work.
Have big name preachers who make such an appeal ever seen a low response? It seems the formula is Big Preacher + Big Appeal = Big results. Does the Spirit really work that mathematically? We can claim the Spirit must work for conversion to take place, but if we think for one second that we can manipulate (or control) the Spirit...it is no longer the Spirit we submit to, but He who submits to us.


  • At 6:01 AM, Blogger brother_barabbas said…

    The most compelling arguments against the practice yet enumerated. And quite true, too, I might add!


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