Is sovereign grace in conflict with the free offer of the gospel?
Not according to renowned 19th-century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, who clung to the doctrines of grace while passionately imploring sinners to embrace salvation. Steven Lawson observes:
In one hand, Charles Spurgeon firmly held the sovereignty of God in man's salvation. With the other hand, he extended the free offer of the gospel to all. He preached straightforward Calvinistic doctrine, then, in the same sermon, fervently urged lost sinners to call on the name of the Lord... There was no cold, clinical Calvinism here—no dead orthodoxy, no “frozen chosen” religion, no empty rehearsing of Reformed doctrine for people to take or leave as they might choose. Neither was there any shallow evangelism that portrayed God as pacing in heaven, wringing His hands, desperate for someone to accept Him. Instead, here was what the Puritans described as a fire in the pulpit, yielding both the light of Calvinistic truth and the heat of evangelistic passion.
In The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon, the latest addition to our A Long Line of Godly Men Profile series, Steven Lawson explores Spurgeon's life and ministry, showing how "the prince of preachers" clung to the gospel, teaching it constantly even amid controversy and personal suffering. This biography is a passionate call for all Christians to follow Spurgeon in maintaining the proper balance between divine sovereignty in salvation and fiery passion in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"I own at least three dozen different biographies of the prince of preachers, but Steve Lawson's new book on Charles Spurgeon will from now on have a key place of prominence in my short list of favorites. Dr. Lawson understands what made the great preacher’s heart beat: it was the gospel, charged with a passion for the souls of lost people and kept steady by the doctrines of grace."
Executive director, Grace to You,
Curator, The Spurgeon Archive (www.spurgeon.org)
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