Friday, August 12, 2011

Charles Spurgeon: The Great Orator

I'm slowly getting around to reading books I've had in my bookcase for years.  I've had Charles Spurgeon: The Great Orator by J.C. Carlile since my 21st birthday (shame, shame).

Charles Spurgeon is one of those Christian figures in history I'd been curious about for a while.  I'd heard he was famous for his preaching but nothing much else.

While the book was hard going at times, I finished it feeling inspired and encouraged by Spurgeon's life and the impact he had for God's kingdom.  Part of the Heroes of the Faith series, the biography kind of lags in the opening chapters, but gets more interesting and readable as Spurgeon's life and ministry progresses.  I think this is due to the way it's written more than the content.  It doesn't have the fresh, bouncy language of many other books I like.

One thing the book did was make me acknowledge the importance of the gift of preaching to God's church.  Today the value of preaching is becoming diminished.  People are quick to point out that they don't find someone standing up and speaking to a group to be the most effective way to learn from God's Word.  I agree that we all have different learning styles, but often in our busyness, we have lost the ability to just be still and listen.  Yet in Spurgeon's day churches were slowly emptying as well.  His preaching combined with the work of the Spirit impacted many, many lives for eternity.

The Word of God is powerful!

Overall, I found the man more inspiring than the book.  I'm sure there are better biographies out there, but unfortunately I don't know of any to recommend.  I'm now looking forward to reading some of his sermons one day.

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