Fifty years ago this week, the great British evangelical independent preacher, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, clashed with Anglican, John R.W. Stott, another great British pastor, over the future of the evangelical movement in the United Kingdom. Jones was urging evangelicals to leave corrupt institutions, whereas Stott pushed back, reminding fellow evangelicals of the importance of maintaining a Christian witness. Stott’s argument won the day, yet Puritan historian, Iain H. Murray, believes that the acceptance of Stott’s efforts led to evangelical compromise. However, the following blog post, by British blogger Alastair Roberts, offers a different perspective, that I find helpful to think about.
A couple of days ago, Justin Taylor published an interview with the Rev Dr Andrew Atherstone, upon the fiftieth anniversary of a pivotal event in English evangelical history. At the National Assembly of Evangelicals on October 18, 1966, two of the biggest figures among British evangelicals in the day, the Welsh minister of Westminster Chapel in London, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and John Stott, rector of All Souls Church, had an important dispute about the future of evangelicals within the Church of England.
Lloyd-Jones gave an address calling for evangelicals to pursue visible unity with other evangelicals, accusing Anglican evangelicals of schism for their failure to unite with evangelicals outside of the Church of England, and of serious compromise for their continued involvement in a mixed denomination alongside doctrinally and spiritually unfaithful persons. Although he was the chairman, Stott publicly responded to Lloyd-Jones’ remarks, resisting his claims and appeal to Anglican evangelicals.
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