The Doctor: Justifying Justification in Translation

“Take the argument about the terms that the modern man does not understand, the words ‘justification’, ‘sanctification’, and so on. I want to ask a question: When did the ordinary man ever understand those terms? I am told the modern Teddy boy does not understand them. But consider the colliers to whom John Wesley and George Whitfield used to preach in the eighteenth century. Did they understand them? They had not even been to a day school, an elementary school. They could not read, they could not write…

Yet we are told, It must be put in such simple terms and language that anybody taking it up and reading it is going to understand all about it. My friends, this is nothing but sheer nonsense! What we must do is to educate the masses of the people up to the Bible, not bring the Bible down to their level. One of the greatest troubles in life today is that everything is being brought down to the same level; everything is being cheapened. The common man is made the standard and the authority; he decides everything, and everything has got to be brought down to him. You are getting it on your wireless, your television, in your newspapers; everywhere standards are coming down and down. Are we to do this with the Word of God? I say, No! What has always happened in the past has been this: an ignorant, illiterate people in this country and in foreign countries, coming into salvation, have been educated up to the Book and have begun to understand it, and to glory in it, and to praise God for it. I am here to say that we need to do the same at this present time.” —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Knowing the Times

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