What Is Logic on Fire?

Ben Bailie | May 1, 2015

Editors’ note: A new documentary on the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones debuted at The Gospel Coalition 2015 National Conference: Logic on Fire: The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones from Media Gratiae. TGC continues to feature a series of articles on Lloyd-Jones. Ben Bailie appeared in the film and has studied and written extensively about the life and ministry of Lloyd-Jones. 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones thought that preaching is practically impossible to define. Yet his definition is famous: “Logic on fire! Eloquent reason!” This simple phrase is powerful and poignant. But taken alone it oversimplifies Lloyd-Jones’s definition of preaching. In Preaching and Preachers, he began his attempt at defining it on page 52. The quest for a definition continued until page 99. He applied his sharp analytical mind to defining preaching, and the famous quote serves as a useful summary of his conception of it.

But if you want an accurate understanding of how he conceived of preaching, then you must be clear on exactly what Lloyd-Jones meant by “logic” and by “fire.”


By “logic” he did not mean simply any valid mode of reasoning, but a specific and definite set of theological propositions, what he called a theo-logic. The logic of preaching is the logic of the gospel. According…

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