Leslie Land: His Life and Ministry

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Leslie Land: His Life and Ministry

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By Ian Shaw

In this book we encounter a man whose twentieth-century life and ministry mirrored a concern for faithful preaching, pastoral care, and the mission field. Leslie Land avoided labels, but his gentle, impeccably courteous, yet penetrating expositions laid the foundations of a Reformed evangelicalism which was to influence many in the United Kingdom from his church in Leicester. He would say, “I have sought to emphasise none other loyalty than Christ and His Word.” The second half of the book gives a selection of extended outlines of his biblical, doctrinal, and experiential preaching, grouped according to declaring the gospel to those who were not Christians, the relation between faith and life, the life of the church, and the necessary defence of the gospel.

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“The Christian Church is full of unsung heroes. The last great day, the Bible assures us, will be a day of revelation, not least when those unsung heroes are revealed to be the great ones in God’s kingdom. The name Leslie Land is possibly a name you have never heard. Until Ian Shaw wrote an article on Pastor Land’s life in a recent Banner of Truth Magazine, I had never heard his name. And yet, Land exercised a fruitful and richly blessed ministry, was a much prized friend of Martyn Lloyd Jones, and held fast to the gospel of grace at a time when liberalism and ecumenism were infecting the life of the church in England. Ian Shaw’s engaging biography will hold your attention, remind you of the gospel faithfulness that God honours, and impress on you the godly virtue of being an unsung hero. I am delighted to commend this brief but richly instructive biography.”

Ian Hamilton
President,
Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary

 

“This is my kind of biography. Rich, instructive, edifying—and of a saint of God, who was tremendously used in his day, but who, for various reasons, has been forgotten, even though he passed from the scene of history only recently.

I first came across the name of Leslie Land through Ian Shaw’s fine study of his friendship with the Reformed colossus of the twentieth century, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Obviously long familiar with Dr. Lloyd-Jones, I was intrigued by an area of the Doctor’s life I knew nothing about and also because of the topic of friendship. That study has now blossomed into this really tremendous biography, which I heartily commend to all who love the encouragement that can be derived especially from Christian biography.”

Michael A.G. Haykin
Chair & Professor of Church History,
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

“Ian Shaw has lovingly recovered the memory of a life that was in danger of being forgotten: that of the mid-20th century minister W. Leslie Land. Dr. Shaw has woven together from scattered historical sources a record of Land’s life and, in particular, his ministry at Melbourne Hall in Leicester. The notes of Land’s sermons in the second half of the book provide a stimulating insight into the biblical, doctrinal and experiential content of his preaching. The result is an account of this man of God which is both instructive in the context of church life in Britain in the middle years of the last century and an inspiring example to ministers, preachers and Christians today.”

Robert Strivens
Pastor,
Bradford on Avon Baptist Church

 

“Leslie Land is one of those gems in church history that are easy to ignore, especially because, as a self-effacing pastor, he was quick to draw the attention away from himself and onto Christ. Yet, in a society (and often a church) that gravitates towards celebrities, Land is someone we need to know in order to balance our lives and expectations. I am grateful to Ian Shaw for bringing Land’s life to light. In this well-written and carefully-researched book, readers will discover a man who quietly influenced his generation—including his good friend Martyn Lloyd-Jones—in profound, lasting, and often unexpected ways.”

Simonetta Carr
Author of the series
Christian Biographies for Young Readers

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed Ian Shaw’s warm and engaging biography of Leslie Land, and applaud his decision to bring Land’s life out of the shadows to share with the wider evangelical community. I was naturally particularly touched by Shaw’s chapter on Land’s friendship with my grandfather, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, for whom Christian friendships were a bedrock of support during his time in the ministry. I do hope that everyone who has an interest in the lives of Godly men in the last century will avail themselves of the opportunity to get to know Leslie Land better in Ian’s masterful biography.”

Jonathan F. Catherwood
Former President,
the MLJ Trust

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