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(Editor's note: Martyn Lloyd-Jones is recognized as one of the great preachers of the 20th century. What sets his work apart may be that his message of faith—not his prose or exegesis or logic—but his faith was tested in the crucible of war. Lloyd-Jones pastored Westminster Chapel in London from 1938 to 1968. He spent many dark nights during World War Two in bomb shelters, preaching to his war-ravaged countrymen, comforting them in their losses, and confronting their hard questions: "Why does God allow war?" and "Why must the innocent suffer?"

His answer here, excerpted from a larger work first published in 1939, may at first seem harsh. The venerable preacher pulls no punches. But set in the larger context of the goodness and sovereignty of God, Lloyd-Jones's answers were sure to alert his hearers to deeper realities. His honesty, instructive to our ministries, may help as we confront these issues again in our time. Beyond the political debate or ...

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