An address given at the Christian Medical Fellowship Conference in 1974. Due to its length; this address covers 2 CDs.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones begins by discussing how some attempt to give "postmortem diagnoses" of historical figures to explain their beliefs and actions. He warns against the danger of these kinds of speculative explanations.
- He then discusses Thomas Szasz's view that mental illness does not exist. While Lloyd-Jones agrees there is some truth to Szasz's arguments, he believes Szasz takes his position too far. Lloyd-Jones argues that mental illness is real and provides several reasons why, including:
- The familial element: Mental illness seems to run in families.
- Periodicity: There are clear "lucid intervals" where the illness seems to disappear, then recur.
- Lack of response to spiritual treatment: Some cases do not respond to spiritual or scriptural counsel and may even become worse.
- Natural psychological variations: There are natural variations in human psychology and temperament, so why couldn't these be taken to an extreme in some cases?
- The chemical view: Mental illnesses seem to be connected to the chemistry of the brain, just as other illnesses are connected to the chemistry of other organs.
- Clear historical examples: There are clear examples of mental illness in history, such as the case of William Cowper.
- Lloyd-Jones divides cases into four categories: mental, spiritual, psychosomatic, and demonic. He focuses most on discussing the demonic category.
- He divides demonic cases into two types: oppression and possession. Oppression is more common and characterized by sudden onset, weakness, and opposition to God's work. Possession is characterized by the presence of another personality, altered states of consciousness, abnormal powers, and reaction to the name of Jesus.
- For treatment, Lloyd-Jones recommends:
- Scripture and reasoning for spiritual and oppressed cases.
- Exorcism for possessed cases.
- Proof and evidence for psychosomatic cases.
- Patience, Scripture, and drugs as needed for mental cases. Drugs do not undermine faith or salvation.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.