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Spurgeon: A New Biography Paperback – September 1, 1985

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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About the Author

Arnold A. Dallimore, a retired Baptist preacher, now devotes his time to writing. He is well-known for his biographies of George Whitefield, C. H. Spurgeon, and Charles Wesley.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth (September 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851514510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851514512
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 22, 2004
There are more biographies devoted to Charles Spurgeon than to just about any other Christian figure. The first were written before his death (including his own autobiography) and hundreds have been written since. In the two years following his death, new biographies were published at the rate of one per month! One would be justified in asking, then, why we need another one. Arnold Dallimore answers this question in the preface, saying that in his studies he discovered no definitive volume. He found, for example, that no other biography gave a satisfactory account of Spurgeon's ability as a theologian or the methods he used in leading souls to Christ. Also, his character was often made to appear weaker than it really was. And so Dallimore sought to remedy these faults in his volume which was first published in 1984.

I quote again from the preface: "I trust that, at least to some extent, this book provides a more satisfactory account of the great Spurgeon...I have endeavored to understand and present something of the inner man - Spurgeon in his praying, his sufferings and depressions, his weaknesses and strengths, in his triumphs, his humor, his joys, and his incredible accomplishments."

Dallimore succeeds admirably. He presents Spurgeon as more than a great and powerful preacher. He presents him as a man who was the product of a long line of believers, a man whose life was filled with struggles and a man who emerged victorious. Above all, we see a man who was specially gifted by God and used those gifts to the fullest. Spurgeon's legacy is nearly immeasurable in souls won, in faith strengthened and in his influence over other preachers. He truly earned his title as the Prince of Preachers.
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Arnold Dallimore (1911-1998), a Baptist clergyman who pastored three Ontario churches, also wrote biographies of Whitefield, Wesley, and Edward Irving. Like those biographies, this one of Spurgeon is intended to be both inspirational and historically accurate. The difficulties of simultaneously attempting to promote the faith while providing a "warts-and-all" biography are obvious, but Dallimore handles the challenge well.

Dallimore, the Baptist pastor, emphasizes a Spurgeon who was a whirlwind of pastoral commitments, a hearty Calvinist who supervised a magnificent range of church-oriented social service activities. (To an agnostic he once retorted, "The God who answereth by Orphanages, Let Him Be God.") No wonder that after spending nearly forty years in the pulpit, Spurgeon died before he was sixty.

Dallimore also properly stresses Spurgeon's principled withdrawal from the Baptist Union, with all the hurtful criticism that that decision engendered--as well as its prophetic anticipation of religious decline in the twentieth century. Yet it is also heartening to read of Spurgeon's warm relationship with those other evangelical giants of the late nineteenth century, D. L. Moody and Hudson Taylor, who didn't always cross their "t's" the same way as the London Baptist.

I would have preferred a bit more on Spurgeon's theology, the historic setting in which his ministry developed, and the contrast between his periods of deep depression and his reputation as a "bubbling fountain of humor." Nevertheless, for the modern general reader, this life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon is perhaps the best introduction to the greatest of all nineteenth-century evangelical preachers .
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I've read portions of almost all the biographies written on Spurgeon. This one seems to take the some of the best bits and pieces and combine them into one book. This book used much of the quotes left by Spurgeon's wife, and this gave it a first person kind of feel.
If you really want to dive into Spurgeon's life and see the trials and victories that this man faced, this is a wonderful book. Enjoy it.
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As a pastor, I have an incredibly high admiration for the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon. His preaching, writing, and leadership stand out among the all-time greats of Christian history. Were I to be granted a "double portion" of any one man's spirit, as Elisha sought from Elijah, I might just choose C.H. Spurgeon.

This biography by Arnold Dallimore is an excellent introduction to the life and ministry of the "Prince of Preachers." Reading through this brief work will give the reader a swift but sufficient introduction to the primary life events, theological moorings, and major accomplishments of this stalwart Christian hero.

As Dallimore traces the incomparable Spurgeon from his progenic childhood, beyond his meteoric rise as a young Baptist pastor, and through his grueling sufferings of both body and soul (the Downgrade Controversy was especially wearing on the London Calvinist), the reader gets the impression that Spurgeon was nearly apostolic.

In fact, the reason that I gave this work four stars instead of five is that it verges on hagiography. Throughout, nearly the only "weakness" that Dallimore can detect in the life of C.H. Spurgeon is that he smoked cigars and had an alcoholic beverage from time to time! Certainly, this work is an attempt, however admirable, to cast Spurgeon in the purest of lights and to give him his due among the venerable men of Christian history.

I too love much about Spurgeon: his pleading for souls, his resistance to the creeping influence of liberal theology, and his ardent defense of Calvinism and the doctrines of our Puritan forefathers.
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