Book Review: Following Christ by Charles Spurgeon

Book Review: Following Christ by Charles Spurgeon

Following Christ by Charles Spurgeon is a book centered on what it means to follow Christ. It starts with the basic principle, and then it moves on to more applicable things like evangelism and serving the body.

This cover image was taken from the book’s Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine.

I took three things from this book that I’d like to share with you:

Following Christ is, in one respect, honestly as simple as trying to imitate Christ. Do the things you think Christ would do. Don’t do the things you don’t think he’d do. This isn’t meant to imply people should walk around trying to heal the sick (unless they’re doctors) or raise the dead. Instead, it means the temperament and behavior of Christ. For non-fiction, I love it when authors are blunt, and Spurgeon leaves no room for interpretation. This portion of the book was every bit as convicting as it was inspiring. I think even the most devote Christian finds himself acting in ways that are contrary to Christ. The difference is that a Christian regrets his sins and works to return to the right path. This book simply states the obvious in a manner that doesn’t condone sinful behavior. It doesn’t lash out at sinners or sin. Instead, it simply shows that when you do sin, you’re not acting like Christ.

The tricker part for me (and a reason I intend to read this again in a while) is the parts talking about serving the body and evangelizing. On one hand, you have that fervor all evangelists should have. In this regard, I am currently a coward. This book convicts me to be bold. This blog allows me a degree of separation that makes me comfortable, but the idea is to make yourself uncomfortable. Yes, I’d love to see the whole world embrace Christianity. Other posts I’ve made offer my reasons, and you can read those thoughts if you wish. But in person, I’m not very bold, and I want to be. That doesn’t mean I’m going to run through my office at work shouting, “Christ is king!” But pray God grants me boldness in this respect.

This image was taken from the Christian Hall of Fame of Canton Baptist Temple website in an attempt to represent Spurgeon. This caption is a credit to where the image came from but does not necessarily endorse the site or its teaching as I haven’t studied their site much.

The final thing this talks about is something I’ve been pondering for a year now. How do I serve? In my wildest dreams (I do have them). I see myself building a school that runs from Pre-K to high school. I want to build a school where the graduates leave with a diploma and a scholarship for whatever occupational trade school or (state) college they prefer. Again, these are my wildest dreams. I dream of building churches based on Biblical expository teaching. I want to fully fund a missionary journey. I want to do all of these things, but I can’t have someone over for dinner and talk about scripture. Again, I pray for boldness. But in this case, I’m talking about serving the body. This part of the book was freeing in a way. One doesn’t need to head a ministry or be a deacon to serve. Instead, all one has to do is ask, “How can I help?” and mean it. All one needs to do is look for a person in need and help them. I think I’ve been so caught up in overt methods of service rather than just looking for ways to serve. This book speaks to that issue. I’m not saying I wanted to be a “shining star” in my church. I was just looking for, I guess the term would be, measurable ways to serve. Now, I feel a little easier just looking for ways to do so. I need that other COVID shot before I can do much of anything, but once I get vaccinated, I’m happy being that guy who just looks for a thing that needs doing.

Spurgeon is such a compelling, charismatic figure. Just reading his books makes me wish I could sit down and have a beverage with him. Reading his books gives me the same feeling as reading something from Lewis. So I’m looking forward to reading another book from him (which I’ve already downloaded).

Thanks for reading,

Matt