Why You Should Not Be Dogmatic about All of Your Convictions: Lloyd-Jones on Silk Stockings, Baths, Radios, and More

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of the greatest English preachers of the twentieth century, and I esteem him highly.

But when he was 24 years old, he shared some convictions (i.e., firmly held opinions) in March 1924 in a way that I suspect he later regretted. This is instructive for the rest of us.

  • I cannot possibly understand a man who wears silk stockings or even gaudily coloured socks; rings, wrist-watches, spats, shoes instead of boots, or who carries a cane in his hand.
  • The modern method of installing a bath in each house is not only a tragedy but it has been a real curse to humanity. . . . If I had to spend a life-time with a companion who had one bath a day or with one who had one bath a year, I should unhesitatingly choose the latter, because a man’s soul is more important than his skin. [But what about their smell?!]
  • When I enter a house and find that they have a wireless apparatus [a radio] I know at once that there is something wrong. . . . Your five-valve sets may do wonders, they may enable you to hear the voice of America, but believe me, they will never transmit the only Voice that is worth listening to.

—Quoted in Iain H. Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years 1899–1939 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982), 65–66 (bullet points added).

(Peter Hubbard uses this quote in the first of his three sermons on how dogmatic we should be about some aspects of eschatology. Listen from about 3:20 to 5:15 in the MP3.)


  1. says

    Okay, I laughed when I read these things in the Murray biography (one of my all-time favorite books) and I laughed this morning when I read these quotes again. Andy, thanks for posting. However, I have to admit that behind the laughter there’s this little nagging voice saying, “What if he was on to something?” What if his comments are ludicrous to us not because they’re wrong but because we’ve drank so much of the kool-aid that what seems normal really is bad for our souls in ways that we can’t apprehend? Being who I am, I just can’t help but wonder.

    But in the name of full disclosure I should probably confess that I own a watch, wear a wedding ring, have a radio and take daily showers. Still, I haven’t compromised on the silk stockings! Grace to you Andy. You and your blog are a blessing!

  2. says

    I am not totally surprised at these strong opinions. He came across the same way in his book Preaching & Preachers. Very good book but there were some strong opinions he had that seem unnecessary. For instance, he was convinced every preacher should preach in a black robe. He may have changed the strong opinions he had but he still had them.

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