On 18 October 1966, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, minister of Westminster Chapel and probably the greatest preacher of the 20th century, addressed a densely packed meeting in London and made an impassioned appeal for evangelicals who were divided up among the denominations to come together ‘as a fellowship or association of evangelical churches’ and to stand together for the gospel. The chairman, John Stott, feared that many people would be stirred into action and, although he had already given his own views earlier in the meeting, he arose at the end of the address, not to close the gathering, but to contradict what had just been said. His words were ‘I believe history is against what Dr Lloyd-Jones has said … Scripture is against him.’
Basil Howlett was there that night.
In this fascinating account he tells the story of what led to his presence at Central Hall and the resulting outcome for his life and ministry. It is a story that characterises a generation of evangelical thinking in Britain. The events of that night and the division that followed are a guide to understanding the evangelical world as we know it today.
We are indebted to Basil Howlett for this engaging and informative account of the kind of pressures and trials that led to a number of evangelical ministers leaving their theologically mixed denominations in the 1960s and early 70s. It is in that context that the book includes the events and aftermath of the ‘explosive’ address that Lloyd-Jones gave fifty years ago at the National Assembly of Evangelicals in October 1966 at which the author was present.
Philip H Eveson, former Principal, London Theological Seminary
Like Basil Howlett and many others I witnessed the events of 18th October 1966 and had my life changed for ever. What exactly happened on that date? What led up to it? What have been the long- term consequences? Why does every Christian need to know about it? In his book, the author answers all these questions. He does so in a style which is autobiographical, engaging, moving, perceptive, instructive and accurate. For anyone who wants to understand Evangelicalism today, reading this book is a ‘must’.
Stuart Olyott, Pastor, missionary and author
This book is autobiographical, providing valuable insights into the UK religious situation in 1966 and Dr Lloyd-Jones’s call for evangelical unity in the Gospel outside traditional ‘mixed’ denominations. Now, fifty years later, the context, nature and aftermath of that 1966 call demand the serious attention of Christians. Here is a readable, accurate and challenging narrative which needs to be read widely, discussed honestly but lovingly and prayed over. I commend the book to you.
Eryl Davies, former Principal, Bryntirion College