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The Old Evangelicalism: Old Truths for a New Awakening Hardcover – September 1, 2005
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About the Author
Murray, born in Lancashire, England, was educated in the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham and entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones at Westminister Chapel (1956-59) and subsequently at Grove Chapel, London (1961-69) and St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Sydney (1984-84), Although remaining a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, he is founding trustee for Banner of Truth Trust.
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Top Customer Reviews
Murray addresses some of the central subjects of evangelism, including conversion, Christ's imputed righteousness, and the love of God for sinners, by turning to Scripture but also by citing people who have been used powerfully by God in the past, such as C.H. Spurgeon. It was Spurgeon himself who said that "a respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might save many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences."
To just say a few words on the chapter about conversion, Murray contends that this central doctrine of the Christian faith has been neglected, over-simplified, and pushed to the periphery in modern Christianity. Consequently, he says, our evangelistic efforts have suffered. A modern error is the belief that we can bypass the Law of God and go straight to the preaching of the gospel. But we are reminded that the law is the perfect expression of the character of God. It's purpose is not to save but to drive the sinner to Christ. The law is to be preached to lead to conviction of sin, a despairing of meeting God's requirements by oneself. In his own day, Spurgeon recognized the danger of "simplifying" conversion by removing from preaching any sense of awe and reverence before a holy God: "Today we have so many built up who were never pulled down; so many filled who were never emptied; so many exalted who were never humbled; that I the more earnestly remind you that the Holy Spirit must convince us of sin, or we cannot be saved" (page 67). Murray ends the chapter with the admonition that focus on evangelism and revival are all well and good, but following Spurgeon we must go back to first things with a renewed fear of God.
These addresses by Iain Murray challenge that mindset. He shows that biblical truths are never 'mere'. Where they have ceased to move and astonish it is because they have ceased to be rightly believed. Doctrinal recovery is the first need.
Murray, an outstanding historical and doctrinal writer has put together a number of addresses or sermons to develop his theme of the necessity of doctrinal recovery to preserve the truths of evangelicalism. Originally offered to pastors and theologians, Murray expanded these addresses for a wider audience. This is not an easy read because it is a collection of doctrinal studies of important biblical truth.
Murray uses persuasion to establish his point in each address (chapter). His purpose is to persuade the reader to reevaluate what made evangelicalism great. He outlines the benefits and then builds a case establishing the problems when the church abandons these points.
The strengths of Murray's book lies not only in the development of each address but also in his conclusions. Murray outlines his presentation and gives concluding truths and support. Murray also includes in his conclusion a section called 'Additional Notes.' Murray includes quotes and paragraphs from additional authors on the topic of his address.
Even though this was not light reading, it still held my attention and was extremely informative. This book is a very interesting book with great value to the church today. It is an extremely useful book for believers to understand how important biblical doctrine truly is.
Since it is not a 'book' but a collection of addresses it is impossible to summarize the book. One would have to summarize each and every address. However, I did not find anything that Murray did not substantiate with scripture and actual illustration. I recommend this book for every believer but especially every evangelical leader.