Dr. Christian George of the Spurgeon Center at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., joined Glenn in the Vault Tuesday night to tell the story of English Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon and his remarkable impact on the Christian faith.
Christian reveals that Spurgeon was active throughout the 19th century and published more words than any other preacher in history. Spurgeon was so successful his first biography and collection of sermons was published when he was only 20 years old and dubbed him “The Modern Whitefield,” referring to famed Anglican cleric and Methodism co-founder, George Whitefield.
Glenn and Christian examine some of Spurgeon’s personal effects, including a pen, a writing desk, and a hair brush. Despite living in a society that featured a life expectancy of only 40 years, Spurgeon worked tirelessly throughout his 57-year life to care for the world’s poor and downtrodden, end slavery, and preserve the Baptist faith.
He was also one of the world’s most widely-read and lucrative preachers, publishing his sermons the day after delivered them and selling them for a penny apiece. However, he died with modest wealth, having spent the bulk of his fortune on charitable causes.
Asked to provide a historical parallel for Spurgeon, Christian hesitated:
“You would have to make a Frankenstein’s monster. You’d have to pull in the love that Mother Teresa has with maybe some of the influence of a Billy Graham. Maybe a Rick Warren, maybe the passion of a John Piper. Of course it would still be a monster. But no one in Spurgeon’s day had, say, the photographic memory that he had. Glenn, he never forgot anything. He said once he could hold eight thoughts in his mind in a single moment and choose one from the shelf. I can barely one thought in my mind.”
“I know,” Glenn replied jokingly, “I’ve lost track of what we were even talking about.”