When I was on the long and winding road that ended up with Anglican ordination, at one point I was interviewed by the then Bishop of Derby. He asked me what kind of books I liked to read, especially in terms of theology and I mentioned I was a big fan of Spurgeon.
I’ll never forget the Bishop’s reply as he lifted his reading glasses, ‘Oh really? Do you really think we have anything to learn these days from a 19th Century baptist?’
I could see he was serious. I replied, ‘Well people from all levels of society used to flood into every place he preached, up to 10,000 at a time, so yes, I think so.’
This morning I read one of Spurgeon’s sermons. Wow. The title of it is enough to rattle a lot of cages, but its subject matter and content shows that in terms of competing agendas, liberalism vs literalism etc., there really is nothing new under the sun.
Go and get yourself a cup of coffee then read the talk and ask yourself if there’s anything the church these days could learn from Spurgeon about how to call people to be doers of the Word and not just deceived hearers.
If you haven’t got time to read the whole thing – at least look at this, how does it compare with the response at the end of even the strongest evangelistic preaching; there’s no easy A, B, C, (Admit, Believe, Confess) here – but he outlines a call to soul wrenching personal examination.
‘if it should be laid to your heart to endeavour to seek after repentance, I will tell you the best way to find it. Spend an hour first in endeavouring to remember thy sins; and when conviction has gotten a firm hold on thee, then spend another hour—where? At Calvary, my hearer. Sit down and read that chapter which contains the history and mystery of the God that loved and died; sit down and think thou seest that glorious Man, with blood dropping from his hands, and his feet gushing rivers of gore; and if that does not make thee repent, with the help of God’s Spirit, then I know of nothing that can.’