Subscribe now

R.B. Jones: Gospel Ministry in Turbulent Times

By Noel Gibbard
February 2010 | Review by Paul Williams
  • Publisher: Bryntirion Press
  • ISBN: 978-1-85049-231-3
  • Pages: 232
  • Price: £23.93
Buy this book »

Book Review

This is an excellent and much needed biography of Rhys Bevan Jones (1869-1933). ‘RB’ (as he was referred to) is popularly remembered in connection with the 1904-05 Welsh Revival; and his influence was much wider.

The author helpfully brings out RB’s commitment to training others for gospel work at home and overseas. In 1916 a number of young people expressed a desire to serve the Lord, wherever he might lead them.

RB responded by starting a weekly class for those wishing to enter full-time Christian service. By 1919, this led to the establishment of the Bible Training School and South Wales Bible Training Institute in Porth. RB was concerned to counter the influence of modernism in the other Welsh theological colleges at that time.

The Training School was certainly fruitful — about forty students went into service overseas and fourteen foreign students returned to serve the Lord in their home countries. Many other students worked within Wales and with city missions in London and Liverpool.

The author regards R. B. Jones as one of the most powerful preachers in Wales since the eighteenth century. He was certainly the most travelled Welsh preacher, making his first visit to the US in 1907.

He visited the US also in 1923, on behalf of the Thado-Kookie Mission, to raise funds to open a Bible School in Calcutta. Also he wanted to see how American Bible Colleges operated.

In 1927 RB was invited to take part in the opening of the Tabernacle Baptist Chapel in Riga, Latvia, where he met with Pastor William Fetler. Fetler was known as ‘the Spurgeon of Latvia’ and was connected with the founding of the European Missionary Fellowship. In 1928, RB spoke at the Canadian Keswick Convention in Toronto, meeting such preachers as T. T. Shields and Billy Sunday.

RB was not Calvinistic, but was concerned to preach the big themes of Scripture — the holiness of God, the second coming of Jesus Christ, heaven and hell, and especially the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ. Indeed, at times, he criticised Evan Roberts for mystical elements in his preaching.

The author highlights RB as a fearless defender of the faith, standing against the rise of modernism within the denominations, and seeking to teach and train others who would stand firm on the fundamentals of the faith.

The lasting impression of RB Jones from reading this book is of a holy, if sometimes severe, man — and yet a man whose dying words were, ‘I love Jesus Christ.’

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Jesus in Jerusalem: Prelude to the cross
Robert Bashford

This is a most helpful and informative book in which, from all four Gospels, Robert Bashford examines the last week of Jesus’s ministry in Jerusalem. In a useful introduction, he suggests a chronological timetable and deals convincingly with the alleged…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…