The Recipe for Good Pastoral Theology

An Underrated Theologian

Spurgeon isn’t always thought of as a theologian. He’s thought of as a popular preacher. In reality, he was a theologian. He read books of theology avidly. He was reading six books of theology a week. He was studying the Scriptures in the original languages. You can see that in his sermons. He doesn’t show it off, but it comes out. You can see that he has been reading.

He was an avid student of Scripture and theology but he’s not thought to be a theologian—especially, I think, because he’s so clear and so simple in what he says and therefore he’s thought not to be profound.

He was no gamesman in theology but used his knowledge of God for the service of the church.

But Spurgeon himself said that there are many so-called deep thinkers who are like dry wells
in which there is nothing but some mud, a few sticks, and a dead cat or two. Therefore it’s hard to see the bottom. But if at the bottom of a deep well, you have clear, living water, then
you can see clearly.

He’s saying if you preach the deep things of God with clarity and simplicity, that will serve the people. That’s good, pastorally minded theology.

Spurgeon on the Christian Life

Michael Reeves

This introduction to Spurgeon’s life and ministry—organized around themes such as the centrality of Christ and the empowerment of the Spirit—will encourage readers to live for God's glory.

Theology for the People

That’s Christly theology and that’s what being a theologian looked like for Spurgeon. He wanted to be both faithful to God and loving the people as he did his theology.

There’s a lesson there for theologians as we seek to stretch our minds, working hard to understand the truths of God. We should then work equally hard to enable people to understand these wonderful truths and never to play games or use that knowledge to show off how erudite or knowledgeable we are.

What Spurgeon did so wonderfully was that he was no gamesman in theology, but used his knowledge of God for the service of the church.

Related Articles

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at