“The new standard for a long time”—that’s how John Piper recently described Tom Nettles’s new biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892). Just released in the past week, Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon has already been greeted with praise by a wide variety of readers.
Although Nettles certainly provides an account of Spurgeon’s life, his main goal is to present Spurgeon’s pastoral theology. In light of this aim, the majority of the book is devoted to the pastoral ministry of the famous Baptist preacher. The table of contents reveals a volume that is more topical than chronological in nature. Several of the more intriguing chapter titles include “Use of Evangelists,” “Theological Foundations for Benevolent Ministry,” and “Personal Theory and Preferences in the Production of Godly Literature.” The book also includes several chapters on major controversies connected to Spurgeon’s ministry and a chapter on his relationship to Baptists in America.
I’ve only just started reading this volume, and at 665 oversized pages of two-column print it isn’t a particularly quick read. But I suspect John Piper’s evaluation is correct. Among the many biographies of Spurgeon, this work will likely be “the new standard for a long time.”
Note: For an interesting interview with Nettles in which he answers some questions about his new book, see the following post.