Home > C. H. Spurgeon, Christian Authors, church life > Spurgeon (and Other Classic Preachers) As Guest Preachers

Spurgeon (and Other Classic Preachers) As Guest Preachers

June 11, 2013

Last week at the Pyromaniacs blog, Dan Phillips described his recent “guest preaching” in which he delivered a Spurgeon sermon (Dan’s sermon here).

Dan’s “guest preaching” included an introduction to Spurgeon: a brief bio as well as explanation of some of Spurgeon’s word phrases.  For instance, Spurgeon’s expression “hearing the voice of Christ” came before the modern Pentecostal and charismatic movement.  Spurgeon understood that as hearing Christ in scripture.  Interestingly, Dan learned the idea from a book he read in Seminary: as a pastor’s break from other series, a great way to introduce the congregation to the great sermons and great preachers from Church History.

Lest anyone should be confused, this is not the equivalent of (unfortunate incidents) modern day preachers plagiarizing another preacher’s sermons as their own. The sermons from the 19th century and earlier are in the public domain, freely distributed; and full recognition is given along with introduction to the “guest preacher.”  Mark Dever has also featured “guest preacher” Jonathan Edwards, on one occasion when he preached Jonathan Edwards’ classic sermon “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.”

I have enjoyed reading Spurgeon sermons, sequentially through the volumes (nearing the end of volume VII now), and, like Dan Phillips, have come to appreciate Spurgeon, and for similar reasons.  Guest preaching of Spurgeon is a real treat, suitable and edifying to modern day listeners.

Beyond this one sermon from Dan Phillips, though, many Spurgeon sermons have been recorded in audio format and freely available, as here (Sermon Audio), also another collection at Spurgeon Gems.  Googling reveals a few other audio selections online, even a handful available on Youtube.

CCEL also has text and audio recordings from other classic preachers, such as this audio collection of Jonathan Edwards sermons.

  1. June 11, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Spurgeon, Edwards, and other, though dead, yet speak! It is a great way, as you noted, to introduce folks to these gifted preachers of past centuries. However, one “fly in the ointment” for me when listening to some of these on Sermon Audio and CCEL, is the fact that those reading lack passion or any sort of preaching dynamic. A mere dispassionate reading (as is often also the sad case in the public reading of Scripture!) of such sermons is almost “fingernails on the blackboard” to me. These sermons still preach! And they need to be preached, not just read. End of rant. 🙂

    • June 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

      Thanks, and yes, a good point about the quality of the audio readings. Dan’s reading of his guest preacher sermon was much better than the usual, but then he worked on his delivery, actually practicing it through. Others who record audio readings of sermons should do likewise.

      Then again, perhaps the trend is further away even to computer-generated audio voices, such as Fred considered in this review a while back, regarding text to speech software for audio version academic book reading…. (Lol, not how I would choose to listen to any sermon or academic book.)

  2. June 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I should have added that, of course, Dan Phillips rendition is exempt from that criticism as an exception! But, then again, Dan can’t help being himself, as it would be impossible for him to read Spurgeon without preaching!

  3. June 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    What a neat idea. I don’t know if I could ever pull that since I have a hard time preaching from a manuscript since I am so use to outlines.

    • June 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Yes, only for certain occasions (as with Dan’s study break). He did write down the outline from the actual Spurgeon sermon, and provided it as a hand-out to the congregation — but still, a different style of preaching, from a manuscript instead of the outline.

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