“Anything for a Quiet Life”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on the spirit of his age (or was he talking about us?):

We are living in an age when definitions are at a discount, an age which dislikes thought and hates theology and doctrine and dogma. It is an age which is characterized by a love of ease and compromise – ‘anything for a quiet life’, as the expression goes. It is an age of appeasement. That term is not longer popular in a political and international sense, but the mentality that delights in it persists. It is an age that dislikes strong men because, it says, they always cause disturbance. It dislikes a man who knows what he believes and really believes it. It dismisses him as a difficult person who is ‘impossible to get on with’.

[…]

There have been ages in the history of the Church when men were praised because they stood for their principles at all costs. But that is not so today. Such men today are regarded as being difficult, self-assertive, non-cooperative and so on. The man who is now glorified is the man who can be described as being in ‘the middle of the road’, not at one extreme or the other, a pleasant man, who does not create difficulties and problems because of his views. Life, we are told, is sufficiently difficult and involved as it is, without our taking a stand on particular doctrines. That surely is the mentality today, and it is not unfair to say that it is the controlling mentality.

– MLJ, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, p. 427.

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