One commenter wrote: “Spurgeon wasn’t exactly an expository preacher; therefore, probably not the first source to turn to when it comes to preaching. That is if you want to be an expositor.”
I asked Dr. Eswine to respond, which he was kind enough to do:
Regarding Daniel’s comment: Many of us recognize Daniel’s point. We are not always sure that Spurgeon is expounding the text in front of him. But I do not think this fact lessens the potential mentoring that Spurgeon has for us as expository preachers. I think we can still learn from one who was less than perfect as a preacher. Significantly, Spurgeon thought of himself an expositor. He felt that the Bible ought to form the content of our sermons. The preacher’s task is to expound the Bible’s words. Like the Puritans that Spurgeon valued, this meant that a sermon could expound one word in the text or multiple words. Those who heard him preach could also describe his sermons as expository. We do wish Spurgeon expounded more closely to the text in its context. But four strengths remain for our consideration. (1) In a climate in which preaching the Bible was being challenged, Spurgeon stood firmly. (2) Spurgeon felt that preaching the Bible should exalt Christ. His sermons offer a clinic in how to make much of our Savior. (3) Spurgeon’s theological understanding (along with his deep and wide biblical knowledge) provided a rich context for his sermons. This fact often salvages a sermon that has less-than-precise exegesis. (4) Spurgeon believed that expounding the Bible was God’s means for strengthening Christians and reaching non-Christian people. Bible preaching is the way to engage people and culture.