Archive for the ‘CH Spurgeon’ Category

Exemplary Theories of the Atonement

May 30, 2009

Spurgeon makes this apt comment on exemplary theories of the atonement. These were common in his day and are becoming common again in our own day.

‘Oh the number of books that have been written to prove that the Cross means an example of self-sacrifice, as if every martyrdom did not mean that! They cannot endure a real substitutionary Sacrifice for human guilt and an effectual purifying of sin by the death of the great Substitute. Yet the Cross means that or nothing!’

-From The Cross our Glory– preached 1882

Thoughts on ‘An All Round Ministry’

October 9, 2007

I’ve just finished reading CH Spurgeon ‘An All Round Ministry.’ Despite the fact that Spurgeon obtained almost mythical status amongst Irish Baptists because of his profound influence in shaping Irish Baptist life in the 19th century I’ve never been a great Spurgeon reader. Although I must admit I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve read. And this book was no exception. It is a collection of addresses which Spurgeon gave at the annual conference at his college. Most of them reflect the tumultuous times that he lived through as theological liberalism became rife in the latter part of the 19th century. It was  interesting how much it is a case of plus ca change. They are very encouraging addresses which reflect his own warm personality. I especially enjoyed, and was challenged by, his address on the preacher and power.

I started reading the book online and then discovered that I owned a copy that I had completely forgotten about! One part of me thought it would have been good to read these addresses earlier in ministry. But I also found these addresses were well directed to those who had endured some of the slings and arrows of ministry and so I probably profited from them more after ten years plus of ministry than if I had read them earlier.

Well worth a read. And if your pastor doesn’t own a copy buy him one- it will prove a helpful tonic.

Evaluating Ministry

September 10, 2007

Like all in Christian ministry I have that tendency to try to evaluate my work. It is in part the desire for sight rather than faith. It is also a pressure from the evangelical sub-culture to proclaim success based on numerical growth. When i think like that I am often reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians,

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.’

In similar vein CH Spurgeon offered these words to his students, ‘We are laboring for eternity, and we count not our work by each day’s advance, as men measure theirs; it is God’s work, and must be measured by His standard. Be ye well assured that, when time, and things created, and all that oppose themselves to the Lord’s truth, shall be gone, every earnest sermon preached, and every importunate prayer offered, and every form of Christian service honestly rendered, shall remain embedded in the mighty structure which God from all eternity has resolved to raise to His own honour.’

May all of us who labour for Christ’s kingdom be content with the epitaph George Whitefield wished for himself, ‘the day will declare it.’

Whatever happened to…?

May 21, 2007

Whatever happened to the ‘The Lost Tomb of Jesus'( or as it was more affectionately known Jesus in a Box). Or what happened to the ‘Da Vinci Code’? Or going back further into the mists of time ‘The Last Temptation of the Christ.’ We were told at the time that these various media events would rock Christianity to the core. Sadly it was the Christians who were telling us this. There is a timely warning here about the church being driven by the world’s agenda. CH Spurgeon once remarked we should not take our sermons from the newspaper. It’s a lesson that we need to learn in this age when the media is so powerful- but whose message is also so very transient.

We also need to be careful that we are not suckered by Christian industries to buying into their products which are utterly essential to refute these faith shattering attacks!

As Christians we are assured by Jesus promise, ‘I will build my church.’ We rest in that and therefore should realise that these great media driven events do nothing to drive the King’s agenda off course.

Sprurgeon, Mutiny and National Repentance

May 9, 2007

This year marks the 150 anniversary of the Indian Mutiny/Rising/First War of Independence- take your pick. It was to say the least an horrific affair with terrible atrocities carried out by both sides. One of the striking things about the event was at its height Queen Victoria called for a public day of fast, humiliation and prayer. On that date CH Spurgeon delivered a sermon to 24,000 people at Crystal Palace, that great monument to Victorian progress. There are of course a number of things striking about Spurgeon’s sermon. Notably his views of colonialism which are, as one would expect, very much of his time.
But perhaps the most striking thing is his idea of participating in a day of national repentance. For who could imagine such a thing happening today? Who could imagine 24,000 people gathering to hear a man preach on a call to national repentance as he highlights public vice in all parts of society? Yet only 150 years ago there was that widespread recognition that God does not deal with whole nations calling them to repentance. As Spurgeon declared, ‘there are such things as national judgements, national chastisements, for national sins- great blows form the rod of God which every wise man must acknowledge to be, either a punishment of sin committed, or a monition to warn us to the consequences of sin, leading us by God’s grace to humiliate ourselves, and repent of our sin.’
How often do we think of what God is saying to our nation today as He gives us over to the consequences of sin that is not only tolerated in our midst but celebrated?
There will undoubtedly be much talk about the events of the mutiny in the coming months. We may even go through the charade of offering a politically correct apology on behalf of our nation- for the sins our forefathers committed. But we will not take time to heed the lessons that national catastrophes ought to call us to examine our nation before God and to repent of our sin.
You can read Spurgeon’s sermon at