Talk English, not pulpit!
June 18, 2013
In a week where rumours abound that the price of high-end male grooming products, skinny jeans and heavy rimmed glasses has gone through the roof in Greenville, SC, of all places, it is good to hear from Mississippi Frank who hopes to escape from the clutches of the incorrigibly cool in the near future. He has brought my attention to the article written in The Spectator in honour of Charles Spurgeon's fiftieth birthday. A model of social commentary and clever snarkiness, it offers some fascinating glimpses into Spurgeon's reception and reputation in his own time, commending him for talking English, not pulpit. It also provides a good and helpful critique of congregationalism:
[W]e have no respect at all for his ecclesiastical polity, which is based, as we think, on the illogical position that while organisation is righteous up to the limit of audience that a building will contain, it is not righteous up to the limit that a kingdom might contain. We can see the argument for individualism in ecclesiastical arrangements, and the argument for catholicism in the old meaning of the word, but the argument for congregationalism strikes us as purely factitious. It is like a system of numeration which is to be operative only up to a hundred.Thankfully, video cameras, live-streaming and inexpensive hi-speed internet solved that particular ecclesiastical dilemma. Almost enough to make us most pessimistic of amills into postmills.