C.H. Spurgeon is known as ‘the Prince of Preachers’. It is worthwhile, then, enquiring about his attitude towards, and practice of, expository preaching.
Peter Masters considers this in an article entitled ‘Expository Preaching – Benefits and Pitfalls.’
Masters begins defines expository preaching as ‘preaching that draws the message from the biblical text, clearly and methodically, honouring the sense of the text, and the style of communication employed.’
He outlines some of the benefits of expository preaching:
It demonstrates that the Bible is the supreme authority for all that is taught.
What! he who guides the stars, and keeps them revolving in their orbits by the motions of his fingers, does he need an insignificant atom like one of ourselves to serve him?
What! he whom all the hosts of angels do worship, and before whose throne the cherubim do veil their faces with their wings, does he need a tiny creature like man to give him homage and reverence?
If he did need men, he could soon create as many mighty kings and princes as he pleased to wait upon him, and he could have crowned heads to bow before his footstool, and emperors to conduct him through the world in triumph.…
How can preachers secure the attention of their hearers?
What follows is based on the sage thoughts of that master-preacher, C.H. Spurgeon.
To be able to command attention is no trivial matter. Sin cannot be taken out of people, as Eve was taken out of Adam, while they are fast asleep. And yet some preachers seem not to care very much about it: some of them stare up at the ceiling, as if they sought the attention of the angels, while others have their heads buried in their notes, as if they were talking only to themselves.…
It is interesting that the great Baptist preacher C.H. Spurgeon placed a chapter entitled, ‘An Defence of Calvinism’ near the beginning, and not near the end, of his autobiography. For the ‘doctrines of grace’ were not, for him, some distant climax of his faith, but, rather, its heart-beat and its foundation.
Listen to Spurgeon:-
That God predestines, and yet that man is responsible, are two facts few can see clearly. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory, but they are not.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is widely regarded as the ‘Prince of Preachers’. Converted at the age of 15, he began preaching soon afterwards. In 1854, at the age of just 19, he was called to the pastorate at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, London. Throughout his life – and well beyond – a weekly sermon was published. These were bound up in annual volumes – The New Park Street Pulpit, and then (following a move to purpose-built premises) the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.…
This was the subject of one of C.H. Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students. All of Spurgeon’s utterances on preaching are wise, but we must remember that he was a genius, and other preachers should not try to imitate him, even though they can always learn from him. Accordingly, what follows comes with a ‘Government Health Warning’.
By ‘impromptu speech’ Spurgeon meant speech ‘without special preparation, without notes or immediate forethought.’
Here are some choice extracts:-
‘We would not recommend any man to attempt preaching in this style as a general rule.…