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Book Review – Spurgeon

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There are more biographies devoted to Charles Spurgeon than to just about any other Christian figure. The first were written before his death (including his own autobiography) and hundreds have been written since. In the two years following his death, new biographies were published at the rate of one per month! One would be justified in asking, then, why we need another one. Arnold Dallimore answers this question in the preface, saying that in his studies he discovered no definitive volume. He found, for example, that no other biography gave a satisfactory account of Spurgeon’s ability as a theologian or the methods he used in leading souls to Christ. Also, his character was often made to appear weaker than it really was. And so Dallimore sought to remedy these faults in his volume which was first published in 1984.

I quote again from the preface: “I trust that, at least to some extent, this book provides a more satisfactory account of the great Spurgeon…I have endeavored to understand and present something of the inner man – Spurgeon in his praying, his sufferings and depressions, his weaknesses and strengths, in his triumphs, his humor, his joys, and his incredible accomplishments.”

Dallimore succeeds admirably. He presents Spurgeon as more than a great and powerful preacher. He presents him as a man who was the product of a long line of believers, a man whose life was filled with struggles and a man who emerged victorious. Above all, we see a man who was specially gifted by God and used those gifts to the fullest. Spurgeon’s legacy is nearly immeasurable in souls won, in faith strengthened and in his influence over other preachers. He truly earned his title as the Prince of Preachers.

While not a definitive treatment of Spurgeon’s life (it weighs in at a mere 244 pages while other biographies have been many times that length), this book is a wonderful starting place to learn to appreciate one of God’s most humble servants. As with any good Christian biography, this book will serve to strengthen your faith and will turn your thoughts not to the man, but to the God to whom the man dedicated his life. I give it my wholehearted recommendation.


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