cover image Tethered to the Cross: The Life and Preaching of Charles H. Spurgeon

Tethered to the Cross: The Life and Preaching of Charles H. Spurgeon

Thomas Breimaier. IVP Academic, $33.25 (282) ISBN 978-0-8308-5330-4

Breimaier, a theology lecturer at Spurgeon’s College in London, examines in this thorough but dry debut the biblical hermeneutics of 19th-century English evangelical preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). The author begins by covering Spurgeon’s theological education (which was not formal or lengthy) and the early years of his ministry before diving into a close reading of Spurgeon’s engagement with the Old Testament, the New Testament, his development of preaching techniques, and his work establishing institutions for the training of evangelical preachers. Breimaier shows how themes of conversion and crucicentrism formed the pillars of his preaching and were the driving concerns of his life. Preaching against contemporaries who rejected literalist readings of scripture, Spurgeon became dedicated, Breimaier argues, to the conversion of his listeners or readers through an emphasis on the truth of the Holy Spirit and the substitutionary atonement which had taken place at the crucifixion: Christ having taken on the sins of all mankind in order to expiate them through his own death. While very little of Spurgeon’s personal life can be gleaned from Breimaier’s narrow focus, those interested in 19th-century evangelical theology will find this illuminating. [em](Nov.) [/em]