Friday, January 21, 2011

The Books #11: Lectures To My Students by C. H. Spurgeon

This is the only book on my list from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I love this man. In many ways, he is a mentor to me in my theology and practice in church ministry. Lectures to My Students falls at #11 in my list and it starts a string of three straight books on teaching or preaching.

The book starts off very strong and bold. The first chapter is called "The Minister's Self-watch." It is a chapter on what the life of the man of God is to be. It is one chapter that every preacher or teacher of the Word of God should read and read often. He begins the book by saying that the man of God who is a preacher or pastor must ensure that he is a saved individual. As only Spurgeon can put it, he says, "A graceless pastor is a blind man elected to a professorship of optics, philosophising upon light and vision, discoursing upon and distinguishing to others the nice shades and delicate blendings of the prismatic colours, while he himself is absolutely in the dark" (9-10). This, of course, ways heavy upon me. As I have heard John Piper say before, I want to preach the gospel to myself every day. I know that I am a saved individual and I never want to lose that assurance in my life.

This book is like taking a homiletics class from Spurgeon himself. He deals with everything from the prayer life of the pastor to how he uses his voice in the pulpit. He discusses how to choose a text and how to stand in the pulpit. This is an unbelievable book and I have benefited greatly from what he has written in it.

Lastly, I have referred the second chapter of this book to many young men as they prepare for full-time ministry. It is a chapter on determining a calling to full-time ministry. I would agree with Spurgeon as he gives the advice to many men in ministry. If you can see yourself doing something else, then ministry is not for you. If you are in full-time pastoral ministry and handle the Word of God, this book is essential. This is why I love books. I have the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest men of God in the history of the church. I praise God for him.

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