Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spiritual Depression: book review

I want to introduce you to a physician of the soul. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a medical doctor before switching to spiritual surgery. He became perhaps the most famous British preacher of the 20th century.

His great passion was to diagnose and treat the illnesses of the soul, to help unhappy Christians rediscover their joy in God.

I've been (very) slowly reading MLJ's sermons Spiritual Depression: Its causes and cures, and have recently listened to his talks Standing Fast (aren't we privileged to be able to hear great preachers speak to us?)

It's been wonderful to hear his wise words echo across a century, addressing problems which still feel contemporary:
- will God ever be able to forgive me for the terrible things I've done?
- can I be sure I wouldn't deny Jesus if someone threatened my family?
- why don't I feel more deeply about my faith?
- how do I deal with the fear caused by the uncertain state of the world? (MLJ lived through two world wars.)

He treats spiritual depression with a good dose of common sense (people who are morbidly introspective should pray less!); a familiarity with what he calls "the wiles of the devil" (said with a wonderful Welsh burr); and a bracing application of God's word to unbelief ("You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself!")

Get hold of his book, or if you're not a reader, some of his sermons on CD - he's even better in audio - and allow this great spiritual physician to probe your soul.

No comments: