Book Review | Tethered to the Cross

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is probably the most famous Evangelical Christian in the recent history of Christianity. Known today as the “Prince of Preachers,” Spurgeon is not only cherished in the Reformed circle but also across all Christian denominations. His quotes, sermons, and plethora of books are still being used and republished up to this day. In Tethered to the Cross, Thomas Breimaier walks us through the life and preaching ministry of the Prince of Preachers.

Knowing the gravity and immensity of Spurgeon’s legacy, this is probably one of the shortest books about the preacher. But in doing so, Breimaier was able to give us a brief overview of Spurgeon’s life and ministry, and the development of his thought and theology in just six chapters and over 200 pages.

Breimaier began with Spurgeon’s early life, noting that his father and grandfather’s weekly sermons are instrumental in the development of his hermeneutics. It was also highlighted Spurgeon’s Puritan influences through his grandfather’s library, and his early encounter with the Bible which ultimately formed the basis for his “crucicentric,” “conversionistic” biblical interpretation.

The succeeding chapters detail the life of Spurgeon in the pastorate and the turning point in New Testament interpretation in the nineteenth century where Spurgeon further affirmed his crucicentric-conversionictic approach in his sermons and written materials.

In the latter chapters, Breimaier highlighted Spurgeon’s later years which he spent supporting and maintaining the ministries he had established earlier in life; his diseases that restricted his physical mobility; and finally his work as an educator—passionate in training up new ministers at the Pastors’ College.

“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ, and him crucified.’”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Final thoughts

“Tethered to the cross” is how Spurgeon described the task of ministry and his approach to preaching, and Breimaier did an excellent job in presenting us the “crucicentric” life of Spurgeon. I particularly like that each chapter of this book ends with a conclusion that gives readers a nice picture of the periods in Spurgeon’s life—which ultimately paints a beautiful canvass of his life, works, ministry, and theology. This is an absolutely inspiring and challenging book on Prince of Preacher.

Disclosure: A review copy of Tethered to the Cross (ISBN 9780830853304) was provided for review by InterVarsity Press, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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