This God Our God
Archibald G Brown
Banner of Truth Trust
Star Rating: 4
Archibald Brown was a late nineteenth-century Baptist, whose ministry rivalled that of his mentor C. H. Spurgeon for fruitfulness. Iain Murray’s 2011 biography rescued Brown from undeserved obscurity and, following a previous volume of sermons, the Banner of Truth has now produced this second collection.
Some may be reluctant to invest money and time in a book of old sermons. However, this fresh compilation, spanning 40 years of ministry, has enduring value. As the title suggests, there is a loose theme of the person and character of God running through the series.
The sermons are based on a mix of familiar and more unusual texts, and also include several thematic messages. Some are devotional, some evangelistic; a couple on the doctrine of eternal punishment are apologetic. All are emphatically doctrinal and God-centred.
Compared with Spurgeon, Brown’s style is less anecdotal and more carefully grounded in scriptural exegesis. He comments that ‘however beautiful a passage may seem to be isolated, it always gains when you take it in connection with its context’ (p.175).
He demonstrates this principle by tracing the main themes and background circumstances of the chapter surrounding his chosen text, as he proceeds with his exposition. Without being overly technical, he delights to draw out the precise meaning of individual words and phrases.
Inevitably, there is a tinge of Victorian verbosity in places. On the whole, this is tempered by the scriptural focus of the sermons, as Brown seeks to anchor his teaching scrupulously and evidently in the Word.
It is sobering to realise that these sermons were preached to thousands in the East End of London, many converted from desperately poor backgrounds; and yet they would probably stretch the most privileged twenty-first-century congregation.
This thought-provoking book will enrich your knowledge of Scripture and the God of Scripture, his purposes and grace in Christ. The sermon format makes it more accessible and practical than a more abstract theological work. The publishers are to be commended for putting together this well chosen selection.