The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon. By Steven J. Lawson. Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2012.
I have been reading everything I can get my hands on by Spurgeon or about Spurgeon for a number of years now. I consider Spurgeon to be my spiritual mentor, preaching mentor, and he is first among my heroes who have already departed this life and entered into eternal bliss.
Lawson’s work is a tremendous contribution to the already voluminous amount of books by Spurgeon and about him. It is succinct. It is an accessible introduction to a new generation of readers who may be unaware of “The Prince of Preachers.” Mostly, it is a faithful account of who this giant of the faith, Spurgeon, really was, what he believed, what he practiced, and how God used him mightily.
To sum up Lawson’s account, Spurgeon was well-balanced and as a result, very blessed. Spurgeon held firmly to two major biblical themes, both in doctrine and practice. He deeply believed in the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. To put it another way, Spurgeon believed that Calvinism was not invented by Calvin or his followers, but was a faithful interpretation of Scripture. He also believed man must hear the Gospel and must repent of his sins and have faith in Christ in order to be saved. Therefore, his ministry and preaching was marked by proclaiming the 5 points of Calvinism while passionately and persuasively urging his listeners to come to Christ. In doing so, Spurgeon maintained a very balanced ministry. He avoided the error of hyper-Calvinism that resists preaching the Gospel to unbelievers, and he avoided the error of Arminianism that rests man’s salvation in the will and/or decision of man.
The result of his ministry was God’s rich blessings. Even though he faced much opposition from all sides and endured many personal struggles, Spurgeon won more people to Christ than any other local pastor in history. He stands as a phenomenal figure in church history for this reason, and many others.
This book, and any book by or about Spurgeon, is encouraging to ministers and all believers alike. No doubt, he was unusually gifted and led a revival that few of us will experience, and yet, it is his faithfulness to truth and the proclamation of it that is so reassuring.
You will really enjoy getting to know Spurgeon through Lawson’s work.