Sunday, 6 January 2013
Catch the Vision by John J. Murray
Roots of the Reformed Recovery
The Men and Movements of the mid-20th century
John J. Murray
Evangelical Press, Darlington, 2007
191pp; pbk; £7.99.
This is a look at the "rediscovery" of Reformed theology in Britain during the mid-twentieth century. It is very accessible and readable. It is however, rather a selective view. It is a hero view of history. There are a number of 'heroes' that are honoured. Most notably, Dr Martin Lloyd Jones, others that get honourable mentions are Jim Packer, Geoffrey Williams and the Evangelical Library, Iain Murray and the Banner of Truth and surprisingly, John Murray (not the author of the book), who was a Brit but who spent most of his time in the USA at Westminster Seminary. Others have bit parts: notably: E. J. Poole-Connor, A. W. Pink, W. J. Grier and J. Elwyn Davies.
The emphasis here is on the Calvinism that stems from the Puritans. No mention is made of Kuyperian Calvinism. Murray, the author (not the WTS Murray), held pastorates in Oban and Edinburgh, so one would have thought the Scottish influence would be to the fore, but that is not so. The part played by the Free Churches in Scotland seems to be minimised. Others absent are the Sovereign Grace Union and the Strict and Particular Baptists.
The roles of the English and the Welsh are well documented here and it provides a good overview of the roles played by Lloyd Jones, the Evangelical Library and the Banner of Truth. There is a useful timeline stretching from 1899 (the birth of DMLJ) to 1981 (the death of DMLJ) and a chronology of John Murray.