Monday, July 16, 2012

Graham Harrison on Engaging with Lloyd-Jones: Round Two

Here Harrison gets to grips with "1966 And All That". A taster:
[Jim] Packer was to complain that Lloyd-Jones’ 1966 call was a ‘campaign of words without plans.’ (p.272). This position was elaborated years later by Carl Trueman who complained that Lloyd-Jones’ vague alternative to Anglicanism was ‘a non-ecclesiastical, non-confessional disaster.’ (p.272). Presumably he means that the Doctor had not produced a Presbyterian blueprint on which the forthcoming seceders could structure their theology. This is interesting as it betrays either an ignorance or, more likely, a rejection of Lloyd-Jones’ often argued distinction between the primaries and secondaries in the pecking order of evangelical doctrinal priorities. It is well known that into the latter category he was willing to place matters of church government, Independency, Presbyterianism and even Episcopacy. Important as they were they simply did not compare with the fundamental issues that were and still are at stake in a situation which calls into question the very nature of the gospel.
I think Harrison hits the nail on the head. Simply because Lloyd-Jones did not propose the post-succession restructuring of Evangelicalism along Episcopal or Presbyterian lines does not mean that he he had no concern for ecclesiology. On the contrary, what he wanted was a union of Evangelical churches, although those churches might have had differing patterns of church government. 

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