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The Editorial

Driving with the Doctor

In the car, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones has become my companion.

John Benton, Editor

Figure Image
image: iStock

Through someone’s kindness I have come into possession of the recordings of his messages on Romans. What a thrill it is to listen! And unsurprisingly, he has brought me great encouragement recently.

Contend for the faith

In September I am due to speak at a conference for the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. The title is ‘Complementarity and Contending for the Faith’ and the blurb for the day is spot on: ‘The early church contended for truth over Christology. The Reformers contended for truth over soteriology. Today we contend for truth over anthropology – what it is to be human.’

This quotation, often attributed to Martin Luther, springs to mind: ‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing him. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle fronts besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’ (Luther didn’t precisely say this, but it is an excellent sentiment.)

The attack on what it is to be human is coming from various directions. There is the abortionist’s denial of humanity to unborn children (see Dave Brennan’s excellent article on page 14). There is the whole question of robotic technology which mimics humanity. But constantly hitting the headlines is the denigrating of the distinctions between male and female, made in the image of God. The Scriptures teach the equality and dignity of women (how terrible it is sometimes to hear foolish preachers making jokes at their wife’s expense!) but we are living in a culture that is increasingly anti-men. Have you watched Peppa Pig or Brave? Men and women have been set against one another and that is partly why secular society is proposing that we abandon the idea of gender altogether. We are now beginning to witness a new culture war. It is between those who value their homosexual culture and those who believe this is a denial of the rights of transgender people.

Human identity

Writing in the Telegraph recently, the former editor, Charles Moore, commented: ‘At a time when women have fought to define the rights of their sex and to be prouder of themselves as women, is it right that men are allowed to become women just by saying that they are? This is not just a question of who is allowed into which public lavatory, but how human identity itself is defined. It is highly unlikely that the distinction between male and female – basic to all societies and to the perpetuation of humanity – can be dissolved by the language of personal preference.’ Indeed! The Bible teaches that male and female are God’s creation and to deny the objective science of our chromosomes is for those who, thinking themselves to be wise, have become fools. The mess gets ever deeper.

How did Dr Lloyd-Jones encourage me? He did so by reminding me that it was in just such a society as ours – that of ancient Rome – that God saved many people. In that corrupt city where men and women abandoned natural relations for unnatural ones, God grew the vibrant church to which Paul wrote. He has done it once. He can do it again!