Baptist pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) is an example of what “evangelical” meant in generations past. Spurgeon’s ministry was characterized by unhesitating exposure of error. He stood uncompromisingly against Roman Catholicism, for example. Consider this excerpt from one of Spurgeon’s sermons, which demonstrates just how much he was NOT a New Evangelical: “It is impossible but that the Church of Rome must spread, WHEN WE WHO ARE THE WATCHDOGS OF THE FOLD ARE SILENT, AND OTHERS ARE GENTLY AND SMOOTHLY TURFING THE ROAD, and making it as soft and smooth as possible, that converts may travel down to the nethermost hell of Popery. We want John Knox back again. DO NOT TALK TO ME OF MILD AND GENTLE MEN, OF SOFT MANNERS AND SQUEAMISH WORDS, we want the fiery Knox, and even though his vehemence should ‘ding our pulpits into blads,’ it were well if he did but rouse our hearts to action” (C.H. Spurgeon, Sermons, Vol. 10, pp. 322-3). Spurgeon’s description of the soft-mannered men and silent watchdogs of his day fits today’s New Evangelicals and “fundamentalist” wanna-be evangelicals exactly.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 6, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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