I think it’s fair to say that this book is different to any I’ve read before. It’s partly a biography of Spurgeon, partly a provocation to the Church to get back her passion for the gospel, and partly an educational book about Calvinism and preaching styles.
It’s also true that, on the whole, I really enjoyed this book, for three main reasons. Firstly, Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a legend. His life and ministry story is extraordinary, and although it only takes up 18 pages, I’d love the book even if it ended there! Secondly, Spurgeon is extremely quotable, meaning that this book is full to the brim of inspiring and challenging extracts from his sermons and books. I think it would be tough to read this book and come away unchanged. Thirdly, the book is very clear in its breakdown of Spurgeon’s theology – the five aspects could easily be memorised and applied to every area of life.
I do feel obliged to point out my minor gripe with this book, and that’s the fact that although it’s presented as a book on Spurgeon’s gospel focus, it’s actually far more an apologetic for Calvinism. Now, I’m a Calvinist, so I didn’t necessarily disagree with anything that was written, but there’s a difference between saying ‘Spurgeon said…’ and ‘Spurgeon was right when he said…’ Because of this, the tone at times felt a bit arrogant, as if the author were saying, ‘Come on, Arminians! Think you’re right? Well, I’ve got Spurgeon on my side!’ So, if you’re an Arminian and are unwilling to have your mind changed by Spurgeon, I think you’d be more upset than inspired by this book.
Overall, I’d thoroughly recommend this book to any Christian leader, particularly in the UK where the secular atmosphere really needs slapping up by someone like Spurgeon again. Indeed, ‘We Want Again Spurgeons’!
I got this book for free from Reformation Trust Publishers. I’m not required to give a positive review.