One of the many great benefits of living in the Information Age is the accessibility of materials from others who have sought to preach the Gospel of Christ. By this I mean there are many books available of the sermons and writings of men of earlier generations who were effective proclaimers of the Biblical message. Of course, for those who lived more recently or are contemporaneous with us, we also may also have audio or video recordings.
Being a teacher of Christian history, I always value reading after the Apostolic and Early Church Fathers. This is no endorsement of some of their teachings, but there is still much to be gained by listening to those who lived much closer in both time and culture to the New Testament period. Men such as Ignatius, Origin, Justin the Martyr, and others still speak today through writings which have survived for 1700+ years.
My recommendation today is of someone living much closer to my time than these early men. Specifically, I want to recommend the written sermons of Charles Haddon (C. H.) Spurgeon. Spurgeon began preaching in London, England at age 19 (1854) and continued until his death in 1892. He often preached to crowds in the thousands and was often criticized and controversial because he stood firmly against the liberal theology that was assaulting Christianity in the late 19th Century. Some 3,600 of his sermons have been published; in addition, a number of commentaries and other books of his are still in print.
At the website www.spurgeongems.org there is a tremendous amount of Spurgeon resources available free to access online or to download. Under the SERMONS tab are over 3,500 printed sermons; under BOOKS are more than 60 of his books; and under AUDIO are at least 200 audio recordings made later of his pulpit messages.
Known even while he was still alive as the “Prince of Preachers,” all of us who fill pulpits can learn from those like Spurgeon who were powerful, effective, and persuasive presenters of the gospel message… even if we disagree with them on some significant and particular doctrines.
The “colorized” photo of C. H. Spurgeon is from the www.spurgeongems.org website.