What would it have been like to sit in Spurgeon's classes?
I hope this book gives a sense of what a student would hear Spurgeon say about preaching if Spurgeon were to speak with them in the hall, from the pulpit, or on a walk down the streets of London.
Thus, the purpose of this book is to enable preachers to 'apprentice' with Spurgeon for a season in order to learn from him about preaching. It is hoped that such an internship will prove valuable for contributing to preachers as they mine resources for gospel relevance and power in the twenty-first century.
But how could Spurgeon help the twenty-first century preacher?
The preacher today in the West will recognize some profound similarities with Spurgeon and his times. It is true that postmodernism and Enlightenment Rationalism are very different philosophies. But their results are similar in that they promote wide spread scepticism and doubt regarding the authority of the Bible. The debates about the use of art and sermon length at the turn of the twenty-first century are no different in substance than those found in England at the turn of the twentieth. The effect of attention span and the need for story to accompany logic are not new topics of discussion for preachers. In addition, pressures that reduce time for sermon preparation and engender the temptation for shallow or borrowed sermons are nothing essentially new.