Book Review: The Downgrade Controversy – By Charles Spurgeon

Today, dear ones, is Friday and that means I’ll be going live for the MEGA list. As you know if you are a subscriber on Youtube or follow me on social media, this is the time when I answer any of the questions that have been sent in over the week, as well as giving recommendations, suggestions, shout outs, and prayer requests. When I was considering one of the questions sent in, my mind kept going back to The Downgrade Controversy, a painful time in the Prince of Preachers life back in 1887. I wanted to do more research, and was delighted to see that there was an entire book written by Spurgeon detailing the entire situation. The book has the articles that were written in The Sword and the Trowel, responses from opposition and those in agreement, the Baptist Union’s censor, and notes discussing all of the above.

Throughout the book Spurgeon has quoted multiple Scriptures, in which he not only refutes the twisting of God’s Word that was happening, but also shows the command believers are given to stand for truth. I’m incredibly shocked to see how close that controversy can be compared to the current push of Social Justice into the church. I can see the same struggle Spurgeon had happening to all those who stand boldly in the suggestion that “Social Justice is a Gospel issue”. I’m so thankful for men like Spurgeon who stood, who offer a great example for us today, as I also thank God for those who are standing right now against the current flood of falsehood. I recommend this book for everyone, especially for those who love church history and for all leaders/elders and most importantly, pastors. You can find this book in paperback, kindle, or in PDF. I’m going to delve pretty deeply into this topic this afternoon during the live event, which should happen (Lord willing) around 3:00 pm PST. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Merry Christmas! Excerpt from Spurgeon

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all having a very merry Christmas! Below is from today’s reading of Spurgeon’s daily devotion. It blessed me this morning as I rejoice in what the Lord has done. What love is this? While I was yet a sinner Christ died for me! Wretched, wicked, disobedient and ever wondering further and further, yet still in my hopeless state God the Son became man, bore the wrath saved up for me, died in my place, rose again, and ever lives to make intercession for His children. WOW! Praise God! Merry Christmas, beloved, as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

“Partakers of the divine nature.”

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”; we become love–“He that loveth is born of God.” God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this–in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus–so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

Throwback Thursday: A Book Review of The Soul Winner

Back in May of 2017 I reviewed this excellent book, you can read the original post here.

The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Savior by C. H. Spurgeon was published in 1895 shortly after the author’s death. This book, this book…how can I possibly describe it? It’s not taken out, it’s a five-star restaurant. It’s the type that you sit and eat slowly, enjoying every precious bite. Read this book with pen and paper, you’ll want to take notes. Rarely is there a book I enjoy to read so thoroughly that I immediately plan to read it again once I’m done. This is one of those books. It should be in the study of every church leader, parent, teacher, or human being. If you know anyone who is unsaved you should read this book. If you have children, you need this book.

It’s written for students, so it reads much like a lecture. Spurgeon has a way of explaining things that I haven’t heard or seen in our times. He doesn’t over complicate matters or reaches outside of Biblical boundaries. Like many of the old books I’ve reviewed, this book is available on the Kindle app and is very inexpensive on Amazon. I hope you’ll all enjoy this book as much as I did, and if you can, make sure your pastor finds himself with a copy.

Yesterday I showed Spurgeon’s testimony in his own words, it might be beneficial to read that here before you read his book. I’ve also reviewed several other Christian books if you would like to read more you can herehere, or here. I’m also always looking for great Christian books to read, so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below.

When Once I Mourned a Load of Sin by Charles Spurgeon

Hymns from the Past

I found another beautiful hymn written by the Prince of Preachers himself. I love hymns, and I adore Spurgeon’s writings, so naturally his hymns are some of my favorite to read. I’m surprised so few of them are still song today, but I’m thankful we have the ability to see them online. As you spend the morning live streaming, I hope that you are all safe, healthy, and growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

The-Biblical-Creative

When once I mourned a load of sin;

When conscience felt a wound within

When storms of sorrow toss my soul;

When waves of care a-round me roll;

When down the hill of life I go;

When over my feet death’s water flow;

When all my works were thrown away;

When on my knees I knelt to pray,

When comforts sink, when joys shall flee;

When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,

When in the deepening flood I sink;

When friends stand weeping on the brink,

Then blissful hour, remembered well,

I learned they love, Immanuel.

One word the tempests rage shall quell

That word, Thy name Immanuel.

I’ll mingle with my last farewell

Thy lovely name, Immanuel.

Then, blissful hour, remembered well,

I learned Thy love, Immanuel.

Charles-Spurgeon-Quote

The Holy Ghost is Here by Charles Spurgeon

Recently twitter has seen many twisting Spurgeons words to suggest he would support women preaching. Intellectual dishonesty is dangerous in any field of study, but I find it particularly distasteful when it comes from professing Christians. We ought to be the very group striving for excellency in this area, the ones leading the way as a shining example. That’s certainly not what we’re seeing on social media. So, to show my love for this brother who has long since gone on to glory, here is one of his own hymns. Now, more than ever, dear ones, we must be cautious as we communicate through social media. We’re not our own, and every vein word spoken or typed will be held to our account.

The Holy Ghost is here,
Where saints in prayer agree,
As Jesus’ parting gift is near
Each pleading company.

Not far away is He,
To be by prayer brought nigh,
But here in present majesty,
As in His courts on high.

He dwells within our soul,
An ever welcome guest;
He reigns with absolute control,
As monarch in the breast.

Obedient to Thy will,
We wait to feel Thy power;
O Lord of life, our hopes fulfill,
And bless this hallowed hour.

If our goal is not to glorify God, and to make His name known, then why are we even on social media? How could it possibly glorify God to twist someones words, simply to prove a point which is actually unbiblical to start with? Of course, we know that it is not glorifying to God when professing believers behave in this way. If you haven’t seen this, it’s a quote of Spurgeon saying not to send the women home. Some have taken his and used it as a rebuke against MacArthur. Spurgeon was not discussing women preachers when he said that, so anyone who shared it to make a point did so dishonestly. I have learned from this, personally, as I continue to pray for sanctification. I must examine my own heart, how badly must would I want to win an argument to do so by sinning? I pray that the Lord uses this, as with all the other issues on Twitter, to grow His children in maturity. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Reformed shirts and clothesReformed-shirts

Friday’s MEGA List – Recommendations, Reviews, Suggestions: November 15th, 2019

Dear ones, welcome back to another MEGA list. There are only 6 Friday’s left in 2019, not including today. That’s almost impossible to believe, as another year comes to a close. Coming up on Tulips & Honey on Monday we will be addressing how, when, and why to rebuke one another as well as how we ought to be treating one another on social media. I know we’ve dealt with this already, however it’s come up yet again, only in a different way. On Thursday we’ll be dropping an absolutely fascinating interview with Professor Nancy Pearcey. That lady is truly one of the most interesting individuals we’ve had the pleasure of talking with. In fact, we talked for four hours! Don’t worry, we won’t be releasing a four hour long episode, the magic of the edit button!

Recommendations

I’ve recommended Librovox before, it’s a free website that offers audiobooks from the public domain. I recently learned that you can also listen to their audiobooks on iTunes! Isn’t that neat? Here’s a link to one that I’ll be listening to soon, Contra Gentes by Athanasius. They’ve also got the Institutes there, as well as a multitude of Charles Spurgeon works! Becca, my super sweet co-host, wanted to recommend this Spurgeon devotional, and this Primer her and her husband use as a family devotional.

Reviews

Today I’d like to review Ray Comforts newest movie Why Did the Dinosaurs Disappear. It follows the same pattern of his other movies, explaining a scientific, or moral, fact while sharing the Gospel with those he is speaking to. You know, beloved, that I have a love for dinosaur fossils. I was sad to leave our previous assignment where there was a fossil dealer who brought in new items weekly. I’m not sure is Bismarck has anything like that. For decades now the secular world has used dinosaurs as an excuse not to believe in the Biblical timeline. So far in this millennium we’ve found nothing but evidence refuting the evolutionary timeline within the fossil record. This movie is appropriate for all ages, and very fascinating.

Suggestions

My suggestion to you all, dear friends, is that you be uncommonly kind to your brothers and sisters-in-Christ this weekend. They will know us by our love, so give preference to one another, putting the other ahead of yourself. Do not esteem yourself above others, but rather, forgetting yourself, love each other with the love we have been given by the Father. In this way, we fulfill the law. I say this from a point of deep concern, what image are we showing our friends and family when we ignore this command? I also say this from a point of humility, as much reminding myself as I am admonishing you. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

AfterThought Podcast: Episode 8 – Interview with Ray Rhodes Author of Susie

Hello, dear ones, I hope this post has found you all doing exceptionally well! Today, on AfterThought, I dropped the interview I did with pastor and author Ray Rhodes. Ray wrote the biography of Susannah Spurgeon, the great Prince of Preachers wife. The book is titled Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, and I reviewed it here.

What a blessing it was to talk with the author of one of my favorite books. I want to thank Ray for joining me on the program, and Moody publishers for working with me to get the interview scheduled. I hope you’ll all be as encouraged and edified by this conversation as I was. You can listen to the podcast on my host site Podbean, iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

 

Wednesday Testimony – Susie Spurgeon

Last week I reviewed the new biography done on Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles Spurgeon. So I thought it only fitting that I share her testimony this week. In the biography her son wrote on her, he details how she was brought up in a Christian household but was soundly saved by Gods grace through the preaching of Romans 10:8. Here is an excerpt from Charles Ray Spurgeon’s Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon.

Brought up in a godly family’ and having earnest Christian friends, Susannah Thompson was not indifferent to the importance of religion in the individual life, but it was by means of a sermon from Romans 10:8, “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart,” preached at the old Poultry Chapel, by the Rev. S. B. Bergne, that the girl was first aroused to a sense of her own personal need of a Savior. “From that service,” she says, “I date the dawning of the true light in my soul. The lord said to me, through His servant, ‘Give Me thy heart, and, constrained by His love, that night witnessed my solemn resolution of entire surrender to Himself.”

It wasn’t much longer after this that she would meet the love of her earthly life in that same pulpit as where she heard that sermon. Susie struggled with assurance, a fact that would later be pointed out to Charles. His answer was to send her a gift, John Bunyan’s Pilgrims Progress. It’s no wonder that later she would start a ministry of sending Godly books to hurting pastors. It was a book given in love and prayer that helped her to grow in her confidence in Christ’s saving work. Susies testimony is a simple, pure, and honest one. It reminds us that Gods chosen method is the preaching of His Word, which is an important reminder in a day when some would like to ‘unhitch’ from it. I hope this blesses you all, my beloved brethren, and as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review: Susie

Have you ever awoken in the middle of the night so thirsty that you dragged yourself out of the comfort and warmth of your bed to get a glass of ice water? This book is as refreshing as that first drink! Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Wife of Charles Spurgeon was written by Author and Pastor Ray Rhodes. This biography of Susie Spurgeon was published in September of last year by Moody Publishers.

Rhodes uses letters, autobiographies, journals, and books written by Charles, Susie, their children, friends, and family members to piece together this masterful work. It is, at the heart, a love story. Unlike the vomit worthy love stories of today, with sickly sweet, unrealistic characters filled with lust and obsession, Susie is a story of genuine, Godly love. The book begins with the end of their marriage, when Charles passes from death to life, leaving behind his adoring wife and twin sons. This first part alone is worth the price of the book, I had to set it aside and cry while explaining to my husband through the tears what was wrong. After this Rhodes gives a more clear picture of Susie’s childhood and young adulthood, contrasting it with Charles’. You can see the sovereign hand of God bringing the two together.

If you’ve read about, or watched a documentary on, Spurgeon’s ministry I promise you’ve not heard it with the level of detail brought out in this book. Rhodes takes you through their meeting, courtship, wedding, and marriage showing how Charles’ work effected each aspect. This is certainly Susie’s story, but no telling of her life would be right without giving the full picture of the difficulties and blessing unique to being a Pastors wife. You read their triumphs and their trials, their sickness and health, and their unwavering devotion to God and one another. Eventually, Rhodes takes you to Charles’ last days on earth, through Susie’s eyes. It will make you hug your spouse a little lot tighter! 36 years of marriage, that doesn’t seem nearly long enough for me. None of us are promised tomorrow, not even our spouses.

Lastly, Rhodes shows you the work Susie continued in her husbands absence. You’ll see her faithfulness, and cry alongside her as she struggles to honor the love of her life. You see her sons go on, becoming pastors as well. You see her final days, and the legacy she left behind her. This book is replete with the Gospel, with Biblical truth, with edification for pastors, husbands, wives, children, and friends. How do we help our Pastor, bless his wife, his children? How can we encourage one another when trials come, when pain comes? How can we share the Gospel with our children? This biography edifies in all these areas. I finished reading it, and immediately started it over again. Much like Pilgrims Progress, which it references many times, this book is a joy and a pleasure to read! I recommend it to all ages, all people, and particularly to ALL pastors wives. To all wives. To all husbands. Everyone should read this book, it’s that good. You can find the Kindle, Paperback, Hardback, and Audible copies all on Amazon here. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Hymns of the Past – Why Should I Sorrow More?

Yesterday, dear ones, I was listening to Ray Comforts Hell’s Best Kept Secret yet again. If you’ve listened you know he uses the example of a passenger on a plane who will eventually have to jump. Something that struck me as oh, so true and sweetly so, was how he described the born again believer. He explained that, though the parachute is heavy and other passengers make fun of you for wearing it, though the flight be bumpy, or difficult, you can rest in the knowledge that you’re safe come time to jump. It’s so true that we have no need to sorrow more, we have this great hope for when we step into eternity. What a beautiful truth! This hymn fit so perfectly with that, I pray it blesses you as it blessed me.

Why should I sorrow more?

I trust a Saviour slain,

And safe beneath His sheltering cross

Unmoved I shall remain.

Let Satan and the world,

Ever my heart allure;

The promises in Christ are made

Unchangeable and sure.

The oath infallible

Is now my spirits trust;

I know that He Who spoke the word,

Is faithful, true, and just.

He’ll bring me on my way

Unto my journeys end;

He’ll be my Father and my God,

My Saviour and my Friend.

So all my doubts and fears

Shall wholly flee away,

And every mournful night of tears

Be turned to joyous day.

All that remains for me

Is but to love and sing,

And wait until the angels come

To bear me to the King.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon