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Thursday, October 25, 2007

ML-J, Altar Calls & Regeneration

I'm reproducing the reasons from Preaching & Preachers that Martin Lloyd-Jones used to explain why he did 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, Reason 3, Reasons 4 & 5, Reason 6 and Reason 7 have already been addressed: (ML-J's thoughts in black, mine in blue).

8. There is no eight.
Preaching & Preachers is actually a transcript of some lectures. In this segment, he skips right from point 7 to point 9. There is no telling if an eighth point actually existed, or if ML-J simply miscounted.

9. Does it not raise the whole question of the doctrine of Regeneration? This, to me, is the most serious thing of all. What I mean is this, and it covers this point and the previous one, that as this work is the work of the Holy Spirit, and His work alone, no one else can do it. The true work of conviction o sin, and regeneration, and the giving of the gift of faith and new life is solely the work of the Holy Spirit. And as it is His work it is always a thorough work; and it is always a work that will show itself. It has always done so. You see it in a most dramatic form on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 2. Even while Peter was preaching, people cried out under conviction of sin. 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' Peter was preaching in the power of the Spirit. He was expounding the Scriptures and applying them. He did not employ any techniques and there was no interval between the sermon and the appeal. The mighty work of conviction was going on, and it showed itself, and it invariably does show itself.


  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Darby Livingston said…

    "Some misunderstand a lack of altar calls as an apathy for soul winning."

    That's spot on, Danny. It shows how firmly entrenched revivalism is in a whole generation of Christians. I think it's changing though. I've never been asked by a younger Christian why we don't have "altar calls." But I have had to explain it to several older ones. I find the entire practice almost useless. I suspect someone will fire away at that last sentence. I'm prepared for that so long as Scripture, rather than personal experience, is proving me wrong.


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