Just after I became a Christian as a graduation gift from my brother-in-law I received a box full of books – just a box full of books, no fancy graduation wrapping or anything – just a box of books. As an 18-year-old kid this was, well to be honest, it was a little underwhelming. The names on the spines of the books read, “Spurgeon,” and it was a name I was hardly familiar with.
There were three sets of books some brown ones, green ones, and some that looked like they’d been printed in the sixties because of the cheesy cover art on the front. But there was something that kept drawing my mind and eye to these books among all the other gifts.
Little did I know that my world and view of the Christian tradition was about to be moved and transformed in such a way so as to never be the same and never to want look back. John Piper talks of Lewis as coming over the horizon of his life, and this is how I speak of Spurgeon, he walked over the horizon of my life and brought me into many green pastures of growth, guided me in long walks among quiet rivers and taught me the meaning of silence, prayer, words, and true eloquence. This under-shepherd of the true Shepherd herded my life along even though it was more than one hundred years after his final breath.
A shift happened for me here, I began to wonder about all these other names I’d heard about and the depth of insight they too might offer to a kid wanting to be a pastor. Names like Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Lewis, Stott, Packer, Augustine and many others became my teachers in those early days. And all of them echoed the glorious truth of the authority, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture – that it is, “Divine Writ.”
Spurgeon taught me what it is to be a pastor, more than any other man I’ve worked for or with he has taught me what it is to be a man in the Word. Discipleing me to follow God and no other, to let the times change and the Scripture remain unassailably the same; to preach incessantly and unapologetically the gospel; to speak with heart-burning conviction; to not let up, or back off, or give in until Christ himself welcomes me with, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Therefore the title of the blog, “Aspiring Spurgeon,” might be simple to decode now. By the mercy and grace of God almighty I hope that words I write will someday impact the heart of one person in such a way that Spurgeon has impacted me. It’s a tall order to be sure, to desire to impact someone’s life for all eternity, but God has used men throughout all of history to impact and grow other men – that’s why we’re called ‘ambassadors’ – so I believe he can use the wretch that I am to impact one other person.