A few months ago, I accepted a challenge by Tim Challies to be part of an online book club. Tim is one of the foremost christian bloggers and if you have never checked out his blog, you should. From time to time, he asks people to read Christian Classics with him, but this time, he asked if people would read a biography with him. He proposed that we read a biography about Charles Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore. (And before I move on too far, details about how you can win this book will be below).
Charles Spurgeon was born in 1834 and died in 1892, and for the bulk of his life, he lived in England. He was reading from the time he was five years old and by the time he was nine or ten, he was consuming puritan writers like John Owen, Richard Sibbs, and Matthew Henry. His mind was extremely sharp from an early age. Even though he was consumed with theological truth, he did not give his life to Jesus until late in his teen years. You must read about his conversion, I will save you the details here, but it is one of those converstion stories that motivate you to share Jesus with others.
After giving his life to Jesus, Spurgeon began to preach. It seems to be what he was created to do. Immediately, people began to be saved under his ministry. Every place he preached, crowds gathered. "In February 1854, at the age of nineteen, Spurgeon entered his ministry in London. He came on a three months' trial, but his labor there was to l ast till his death nearly forty years later" (47).
His ministry grew so rapidly that the church he was at built a new church for him, the Metropolitan Tabernacle. It was from here that he would preach to thousands each week. In his first sermon, he said, "I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, 'It is Jesus Christ'" (99).
I tell that story because I have a framed picture in my office of Spurgeon that has this quote. It has meant so much to me that I should never forget what this is all about.His ministry grew so rapidly that the church he was at built a new church for him, the Metropolitan Tabernacle. It was from here that he would preach to thousands each week.
The rest of the story goes something like this: Spurgeon trained thousands of preachers, helped thousands of orphans, wrote thousands of letters, and printed thousands of sermons. It has been estimated that the number of sermons that he had in print during half a century would have been two and three hundred million. Wow! He wrote more than 140 books.
On June 7, 1891, he preached his last sermon at the Metropolitan Taberacle. It has been estimated he preached the gospel to over 20 million listeners during his lifetime. He was a man that was faithful to his calling and God used him greatly for the cause of Christ in this world.
With that, I highly recommend that you get to know this man of the faith. Not because you should worship him, but because he stands as an example of someone who was faithful to his gifts. Because of that, I want to give away one free copy of this book!
Here are the rules. You have two ways to be entered. (1) You can comment on the blog. All those who comment will be entered into the drawing. You have until 10am (CST) Friday to comment on the blog. When you comment, you MUST at least leave your first name, or I will not know who you are. (2) You can tweet about the book review (twitter). In your tweet, you must make mention of the blog as well as @thadbergmeier (not because I am stuck on myself, but I won't be able to track it otherwise). The winner will be announced on Friday's blog post.
This is a really good book, you will enjoy it. So comment or tweet away!