New Weekly Feature: Soul Care with Spurgeon

"Reason, thy place is to stand and find out what this volume means, not to tell what this book ought to say." Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Sermon II, The Bible, March 18, 1855, Exeter hall

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is one of modern church history's most beloved preachers of God's word. An English Particular Baptist, Spurgeon was born into mid-nineteenth century England, the son of a common family. Saved as a young teenager on a snowy day in a Methodist church service he had no previous intention of attending, Charles would move to London at the age of nineteen, and go on to a prolific preaching, writing, and ministerial career in the church. 

Without the aid of formal theological education, or modern luxuries such as the internet, Spurgeon is estimated to have reached tens of millions of people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Theologian Carl F. H. Henry would later call Spurgeon, "One of evangelical Christianity's immortals." Fortunately, Spurgeon still speaks to us today through his written and spoken word thanks to book publishing, and incredible efforts to preserve his legacy in places such as The Spurgeon Center for Biblical Preaching at MidWestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

While many Christians today have heard something of this Charles Spurgeon, known in some circles as the "Prince of Preachers," too few have taken the opportunity to read his work beyond what is captured in memes via social media. There are many difficulties with this approach to maintaining an awareness of church history, not the least of which is that sometimes, what we find attributed to Spurgeon on social media he in fact never actually said. Spurgeon-ologist, Dr. Christian George, wrote about this issue here.

Soul Care with Spurgeon

As Charles Spurgeon so greatly influenced the church, particularly through his preaching ministry, and as we at Baylight Counseling hold to the sufficiency of Scripture, the importance of theology and sound doctrine, and the high value of the preaching of God's word, we are undertaking a new and exciting effort to relate fifty-two of Spurgeon's sermons, one per week, to biblical soul care in 2017.

Three motivations we have in view for this weekly blog post, to be published every Friday, are: 1) To admire the work of Spurgeon, and how it relates to biblical counseling, 2) To place a historical church figure before others in order to encourage them to read outside of contemporary work for life change, and 3) To highlight the way in which sound doctrine, the bedrock of true Christian care, arises out of God's word, which never changes, even with the passage of time.

Some may ask, "Why Spurgeon?" We think that's a good and fair question, given the hall of faith we have to choose from in church history. We've chosen Spurgeon in part because of his documented struggle with depression and sadness. Spurgeon was not only (or even firstly) a theologian. He was a man, a person like the rest of us who knew the sufferings of life. Dr. Zack Eswine has reflected well on this in his recent book "Spurgeon's Sorrows." Spurgeon didn't live in an ivory tower, but was a pastor-theologian for us all.

We hope you'll join us each week for "Soul Care with Spurgeon," a look at how the theology and preaching ministry of Charles Spurgeon encourage us to this day in our quest to apply Scripture to life's dominating circumstances. Sometimes, the answers will be obvious, other times, it may take a little extra effort to make application and connect the dots. Whichever the case, we expect it will be worth the investment!

Special Previews

While "Soul Care with Spurgeon" officially kicks off in 2017, we're going to preview this new feature the next two Fridays, December 23 and 30. Our two sermon reviews will include "Good Cheer for Christmas" (1868), followed by "Good Cheer for the New Year" (1867).

In addition, we'll largely be pulling from the Hendrickson Publisher's five-volume work "Spurgeon's Sermons." We'll be starting with volume one, sermon one, so feel free to pick up this set, and follow along!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear from you. 

If you'd like to support this work or the work of providing biblical counsel to churches and people from throughout Tampa Bay, we'd be blessed to have you as a ministry partner. Click here to send your gift securely online, or for our mailing address. We are a donor-supported nonprofit ministry--your gifts matter to those we serve!

We pray you have a blessed Christmas season!

~ JW