David Prince shares some excerpts from a C.H. Spurgeon sermon on the horror of preaching a sermon without Christ.
The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, No. 183 Isaiah 50:3. “I clothe the heavens with blackness” If there be sermons in stones, there must be a great sermon in the sun; and if there be books in
[The following is an excerpt, C.H. Spurgeon, The Sword and Trowel: 1873 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 45-48.] During last month it has been our lot to be abused both in public and by letter as few men have been, for having in a few sentences expressed our belief that Cæsar had better mind his own things, and let the things of God alone. Many of the letters we have received are of such a character that they would disgrace the cause of Beelzebub himself. Certainly, the alliance of Church and State will never come to an end from want of bullies to defend it. A few communications have been courteous, and even rational, but by far the larger proportion have been simply an amalgam of abusive epithets and foolish bombast. We are by no means fond of such things, and yet so far from being depressed by them they have even caused us a little extra mirth. Our experience as to the effect of furious attacks has been somewhat similar to that of Luther, of whom Michelet has the following note: “Being one day in very high spirits at table, ‘Be not scandalised,’ he said, ‘to see me so merry. I have just read a letter violently abusing me. Our affairs must be going on well, since the devil is storming so.’ ” From the remarks which follow we most emphatically exempt certain honourable clergymen who love a man none the less for being outspoken, and do not require silence as the price of their friendship. Some such we know and honor. They are men of a noble stamp; fair antagonists when they must oppose, and brethren in Christ even then. Would God there were more such, and then the exasperations which now embitter discussion would give place to mutual concessions, or at worst to courteous arguments.
In 2015, Be Where Your Feet Are is the banner we hung over the ministry year at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church. In other words, it was a call to be a fully engaged follower of
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892) was a British Baptist preacher who is still known as the "Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at
Andy Stanley, pastor of the large and influential North Point Community Church, went on a twitter rant last week about Southern Baptist Convention leaders praying for revival and calling on churches to do the same. I summed up his tweets as a call to stop praying for revival and get to work. In an interview with the Christian Post he admitted to causing confusion with his tweets and he offered a clarification of his earlier comments. I appreciate his clarification but still find his position troubling. The Christian Post article notes that Stanley “explained that he was talking about local revival rather than a Great Awakening-style revival.” Stanley is quoted as saying, “I realized about half way into what became an almost four hour discussion that many, maybe most, of the response was coming from people who were thinking more in terms of an awakening like America has experienced in the past.” Stanley still maintains that too many local church pastors use “revival basically as an excuse not to make changes.” Stanley also says that many Southern Baptist churches are doing an amazing job reaching their communities but asserts the common denominator in those churches is that “They are led well. They are organized around systems that free people to use their gifts. They are vision centered. And the preaching is practical and gospel centered.” He adds, “Applying what Paul taught can look a bit corporate. But what happens as a result goes way beyond what an organization can accomplish. People’s hearts are changed. Only the Spirit of God can do that.” Andy Stanley is amazingly gifted and I have learned much from his writings and sermons over the years but I still find his clarification deeply troubling.
Christ-centered expository preaching is more than pinning John 3:16 to the tail of the sermon. It is also more than a weekly theological treatise that speaks eloquently of the glories of Jesus Christ but lacks