Tag Archives: Christian George

The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, Volume 2 Edited by Christian George

The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 2. His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854. Edited by Christian George. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Academic, 2016. 560 pp. $59.99. Purchase at Amazon or for Kindle for less.

Introduction

I reviewed the first volume back in February 2017 and have been eagerly anticipating the second volume ever since. George is a renowned Spurgeon scholar and serves as the curator of The Spurgeon Library as well as assistant professor of historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. You can read more at Spurgeon.org.

Summary

Again, divided into two parts with an introduction and then sermons 78-134, this time from “Notebook 2.” These sermons are arranged in the order in which they are found in the notebook and contain sermons with titles like “Self-Deception” (Galatians 6:3), “Final Perseverance Certain” (Philippians 1:6), “Wise Men and Fools” (Proverbs 3:35).

Review

As these volumes continue to be published, the modern reader is learning much about how the Prince of Preachers prepared his sermons. In the introduction, George offers keen insight into Spurgeon’s thinking and shows how Spurgeon evolved in his sermon prep.

The breakdown of the sermon selections and books, especially since C.H.S. did not preach verse by verse is fascinating and could very well be telling of what he himself, or his congregation was dealing with at the time of this particular notebook. For example, of the 57 sermons in this notebook, he preached 6 from Isaiah and Luke and 26 of the 66 books of the Bible were used over the course of these 57 messages.

As a pastor, I love seeing how another man thinks and organizes his material. We have long had the finished sermons, but to be able to see how he organized and changed his thoughts is a treasure. Comparing this what he writes in Lectures to My Students, one begins to see the master craftsman in action.

Recommendation

Not everyone is going to want to read these Lost Sermon collections of Charles Spurgeon, but everyone should read at least one volume. Doing so will show many modern Christians and pastors what a solid sermon looks like from start to finish. For those who have gleaned much from Spurgeon over the years, do yourself a favor and get a copy of this volume of his lost sermons as we get to watch (almost first hand) the evolution of a pastor in his craft.

The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, Volume 1 edited by Christian T. George

The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume 1. His Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854. Edited by Christian George. Nashville: Broadman and Holman Academic, 2016. 560 pp. $59.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed one other book, way back in 2009, by Christian George entitled GodologySince that time, George has become a renowned Spurgeon scholar and serves as the curator of The Spurgeon Library as well as assistant professor of historical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. You can read more at Spurgeon.org.

Summary

Divided into 2 parts over 560 pages, the first part offers an introduction to the book as well as the larger proposed 10-volume series. Here, the reader learns that though the sermons were never lost to history, they were lost to publishing history. In essence, George has set out to see the completion of what Spurgeon himself desired to accomplish though he had to abandon that attempt for reasons explained in his autobiography.

The second part which comprises the overwhelming majority of the text shares the sermons from notebook 1. This notebook contained some 77 sermons ranging from 85 words to 571 words. These were not the complete sermons as much as they were the outlines for the sermons preached between 1851-1854.

Review

These notes and outlines are heavily annotated with remarks by Christian George that offer insight and explanations into what he was saying or why he corrected a text. Each sermon shows a facsimile on the facing page that shows precisely what Spurgeon wrote in his own hand with his own dip pen. George has done the reader the service of transcribing (and in some cases translating!) what Spurgeon wrote.

A definite modern adaptation to this resource is found on pages 34-45 offering pie charts and graphs and word clouds that break down all of the information found within the 77 sermons. From word counts to percentages of sermons found in various testaments and books of the Bible to the distances Spurgeon would travel in order to preach.

All of this adds another layer to those interested in the Prince of Preachers. My one contention is the use of the glossy paper as it makes writing your own notes nearly impossible (and certainly impossible with a dip or a fountain pen of which Spurgeon would be appalled 🙂 ).

Recommendation

My hope is this new publication, and the yet to be published remaining 9 volumes will introduce a new generation to the power of the preached word through one of the greatest pastors of any generation. This first volume deserves a wide readership and a prominent place in any pastor’s library. My prayer is that the Lord would use this series to raise up a new generation of preachers passionate for God’s glory as revealed in His Word specifically through the proclamation of it in the local pulpit.

Godology by Christian George

George, Christian. Godology: Because Knowing God Changes Everything. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2009. 176 pp. $13.99. Purchase at Amazon.com for $11.19 .

Review

Christian George is a PhD student at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and has written a previous book entitled Sex, Sushi, & Salvation: Thoughts on Intimacy, Community, and Eternity. In Godology, Christian brings his quirky writing style to a new level. Godology is much like a systematic theology for the practical thinker. With chapter titles like Mardi Gras and Icicles and Feng Shui Faith, Christian delves into subjects like God’s unity and God’s mystery (these two topics being the respective subtitles to the aforementioned chapter titles).

With a writing style that borders on emergent, Christian looks at real world experiences to bring to light deep, theological knowledge. His look at God’s creativity, vulnerability, jealousy, love, patience, etc. is refreshing. I have not found another biblically sound, theological discussion on God’s unity that begins with a quote from the television sitcom, The Office.

I can agree with Tom Nettles who says in a blurb on the back cover that “Godology is rock-solid theology penetrated with the urgency and joy of spiritual discipline.” However, I do take some issue with Christian George in his chapter on God’s mystery where he recommends labyrinth walking. I realize that walking labyrinth’s has become a recent craze again, but this is mostly related to the New Age mysticism movement today. I would be very cautious in recommending people begin walking labyrinths given the cultural context in which we find ourselves today.

Nonetheless, I found Godology to be a very enjoyable read and would recommend this book to anyone. More importantly, I can see Godology becoming a “go-to” book for young believers wanting to learn more about this great God who sent His Son to die in our place so that we may be reconciled to Him. I heartily recommend this book with the caveat that the reader be discerning when reading about labyrinth walking.

Giveaway

Thanks to Moody Publishers and the author himself, we are giving away two copies of Godology. There are three ways to enter to win a copy. First, simply Tweet this review using @ChristBookNotes in your Tweet (sign up for Twitter). Second, link to this review in a blog post (please email me if you do this). Third, leave a comment below about how knowing God has changed everything for you. The contest will end on Wednesday, September 30 at noon.

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