Old Evangelicalism

Old Truths for a New Awakening

Look Inside Price £14.00

Weight 0.40 kg
Dimensions 22.3 × 14.3 × 2.0 cm
ISBN 9780851519012






Original Pub Date


Banner Pub Date

Mar 1, 2005

EndorsementsRead More ↓

‘This is a good book, and the truths it proclaims are urgently needed for our day when Evangelicalism is in a state of theological free fall and utterly unsure of its identity. Here, we have for us what that identity looked like in the past so as to guide readers into biblical living in the present.’ — MICHAEL A. G. HAYKIN

‘It is always very profitable to read any book by Iain Murray. This one is no exception. Every minister or Christian worker should read everything he has ever written. Accordingly, I could wish that every preacher, pastor, missionary, and Christian worker could have [Old Evangelicalism] placed in their hands.’ — MACK TOMLINSON

‘The chief dangers that confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God and heaven without hell.’ — WILLIAM BOOTH

‘In 1901 the Salvation Army General, William Booth, was asked about the chief dangers for the 20th century, and he replied: “Religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.” According to Iain, the Arminian Booth got it tragically right.

Iain Murray tackles the issues of the need for conviction of sin in conversion, the imputed righteousness of Christ, the love of God seen in the cross, the general love of God for all, assurance of salvation, and Christian unity. The approach is more historical and pastoral than expositional, but the result is a balanced and fair treatment of each of the issues raised.

Murray has worked from a goldmine of quotations that should stimulate the reader’s thinking. Thomas Robinson wrote that “sin is nowhere seen so terrible, nor the law so inflexible, as in the cross of Christ”. God’s attitude to sin can be seen in the law, but even more graphically, in the cross. Yet the cross is also described by Augustine as “a pulpit in which Christ preached his love to the world”. Indeed, “Rabbi” Duncan speaks of God’s love for the lost in a most striking way: “Men evangelised cannot go to hell but over the bowels of God’s great mercies. They must wade to it through the blood of Christ.”

There is an interesting and helpful chapter on “What can we learn from John Wesley?” Such is the appreciation that Iain has come to of Wesley that he once exchanged a fine china figure of Wesley for a second-hand set of Daniel Neal’s History of the Puritans, and now regrets it. I rather think that he got the better of the deal, but it is true that Wesley deserves his due. This volume has much to commend it, and deserves to be widely read, digested, and re-read.’ — PETER BARNES

‘Orthodox Presbyterian pastors and people in the pew should read this book to sharpen their understanding of Calvinism compared with the approach of the new evangelicalism.’ — MARK R. BROWN in NEW HORIZONS

‘Iain Murray’s writings are always stimulating. He has an excellent, clear, English style, is well-read in the best of theology, has travelled the world interacting with the leading Reformed thinkers, is now an old man of mature thought and yet has a liveliness and excitement in his Christianity.’ — FREE CHURCH WITNESS

Book Description

Sin, regeneration, justification by Christ’s righteousness, the cross, and the love of God, assurance of salvation – these are the truths that once thrilled churches and changed nations. Yet, where evangelicalism continues to affirm these truths, without such results, it is often assumed that she must have needs that cannot be met without something new.

These addresses by Iain Murray challenge that mindset. While the Bible not history is the textbook in these pages, Murray draws on the best authors of the old evangelicalism to confirm what a glorious message the gospel is.

Table of Contents Expand ↓

Preface xi


No One Will Become Concerned about Himself until

He Learns about God

Under Conviction Individuals Commonly Endeavour a Change of Behaviour 9
By the Law Men Learn Their Helplessness 11
The Initial Need in Evangelism Is Not to Win an Acceptance for Christ 15
Regeneration and Conviction 18
Conclusions:  1. The Case Demonstrated by History 24
2. What Preachers Need 28
John Brown of Wamphray: What Preparation Is Not and What It Is 33
Thomas Scott: The Offence of the Cross Ceasing 35
Alexander Whyte: Preaching to the Conscience 36
D. M. Lloyd-Jones: The Law 37
Conversion, Profound and Mysterious 42
Where Conversion Has to Begin 46
How the Law Came to Be Put Aside 49
Why Law Preaching? 52
What is Regeneration? 54
Preaching for Conversion 60
Conclusions: 1. True gospel preaching is multi-faceted 64
2. When there is a wrong conversion model a sense of sin and the fear of God disappear 65
D. M. Lloyd-Jones: Evangelism and Conviction of Sin 69
A. W Tozer: ‘Conversion’ without Regeneration 70


The Importance of the Doctrine 73
All Mankind in Darkness 76
Why ‘the Righteousness of Christ’ is Good News 82
Imputation – the Old Testament Gospel 86
Conclusions: 1. The danger of modifying the doctrine 89
2. Justification not to be preached alone 90
3. The doctrine always in need of recovery 92
4. Justification opposes man’s root sin 94
5. The solution to contemporary weakness 95
George Herbert: Judgement 97
John Bunyan: My Righteousness in Heaven 97
Charles Simeon: Conversion Testimony 98
Martin Boos: Words He Never Forgot 99
Frances Ridley Havergal: Personal Testimony of 1864 99
Two Truths 106
At Calvary We Learn of Forgiveness Consistent with Holiness and Justice 108
By Christ Crucified the Love of God Is to Be Made Known to All People 110
Particular Love and General Love 115
Conclusions: 1. Not all truth is equally important 123
2. The unexplainable not to be ‘explained’ 124
3. The practical, not the theoretical, is


4. Care needed in controversy 127
5. The priority of love 127
John Calvin: Gospel Preaching 131
Thomas Chalmers: God Is Love 131
William Nevins: The Extent of the Atonement 132
John Bonar: The Universal Offer and the Compassion of God 132
Wesley Is a Necessary Reminder of How Upbringing and Education Prejudice Our Minds 139
Wesley Has Something to Teach Us on the Relationship between Zeal for the Gospel and Church Government, Procedures and Practices 143
In Wesley and Methodism We Are Taught that Persuasion of the Love of God for Men Makes Churches Truly Evangelistic 151
A Parallel Witness from Scotland 158
Wesley Challenges Us on the Focus of Our Doctrine of Sanctification 162
The Truth and Usefulness of Assurance 170
The Holy Spirit and Assurance 172
The Twofold Basis of Assurance 175
‘Legalism’ 179
A Third Way to Assurance? 181
Unbalanced Teaching 190
Conclusions: 1. Assurance and feelings 194
2. The non-Christian has no right to assurance 195
3. Assurance and service for Christ 196
4. The importance of assurance 198
Denominations and Unity 204
When Church and Denomination Are Confused 207
The Unity That Comes First 210
John Owen of Thrussington: Uniformity and Unity 215
William Gibson: Unity and the Holy Spirit 215
Index 217


1 testimonial for Old Evangelicalism

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  1. Matthew Connolly

    This was a helpful book. Through insights based on and excerpts from the teachings of the “Old Evangelicals,” Murray reminds us of God’s love for the world and our need to preach the gospel to it. Besides this, he writes that when we teach that the Lord is sovereign over all things, we must also proclaim that our hearers will be held responsible. What do we preach and teach? The cross is what these older brothers in the faith preached and taught. That is, they preached the gospel and focused on Christ’s substitution for us. Not only does Murray help us think about how we teach the gospel to others; he gives encouragement to us even as we read. I will revisit this book in the future and recommend it to others.

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