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F.B. Meyer: If I had a Hundred Lives... (History Maker) Paperback – 20 Mar 2007
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"This biography of a most attractive Baptist leader who died in 1929 tells a convincing story of a pastor who combined evangelical zeal, Keswick holiness, social concern and advent preaching. There was no part of Baptist and Non-conformist life that he did not influence, and he had notable pastorates at Melbourne Hal, Leicester Regrent Park Chapel, London and Christ Church, Lambeth. He organised many mission and social institutions, and gave his last years to the RMBU. Bob Holman, a member of our Easterhouse Church has produced a lively, honest and inspiring little book about a great man. This too is highly recommended."(Connect, Baptist Union of Scotland Newsletter)
This biography of a most attractive Baptist leader who died in 1929 tells a convincing story of a pastor who combined evangelical zeal, Keswick holiness, social concern and advent preaching. There was no part of Baptist and Non-conformist life that he did not influence, and he had notable pastorates at Melbourne Hal, Leicester Regrent Park Chapel, London and Christ Church, Lambeth. He organised many mission and social institutions, and gave his last years to the RMBU. Bob Holman, a member of our Easterhouse Church has produced a lively, honest and inspiring little book about a great man. This too is highly recommended.(Connect, Baptist Union of Scotland)
"Bob Holman has put us in his debt by bringing Meyer to life for our day, for his is a deeply inspiring and absorbing story. Although from a well-to-do family ‘fb' devoted his life to social action, even giving up a pastorate in fashionable and prosperous part of London to minister to the great masses of the people elsewhere in the capital. Combining both a concern for both souls and the material well-being of people, Meyer stood out from many of his contemporaries in his vision, commitment and industry. He also recognized the political dimension of the gospel, and was in many ways close to the Christian socialists of his day."(Andrew Bradstock, The Common Good (The Magazine of The Christian Socialist Movement), Summer 2007)
"Holman's book is full of action...it is a great story of what God is able to do through a life submitted to him. If you read it you may never be the same again!"(Rev Dr Graham Pickhaver)
"For too long the figure of F. B. Meyer has been shrouded in obscurity. Yet here is a man who, in his day was committed to preaching the gospel in its fullness and expressing the gospel in all its beauty. One of the outstanding bible teachers of his day, his devotional books continue to bless the church, yet he had a great heart for the poor and marginalised. He was no pious mystic cut off from the realities of poverty or injustice. He was thoroughly biblical in his theology and radical in his actions. Bob Holman has done us a great service in bringing him to the attention of a new generation."(Liam Goligher, Senior Pastor, Duke Street Church, Richmond)
"This is an extremely well written biography of a lesser-known giant though he was internationally famous. Such was his skill as a Bible teacher and devotional writer that he could gather immense crowds and sell thousands of copies of his writings...Meyer is a model for those of us who wish to reunite what God always wanted joined together - the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social gospel of community transformation in Christ's name. He is a great guide and inspiration in the building of mega-churches that could transform whole cities."(Greg Haslam, Faithworks Magazine)
"A vivid picture: preacher and evangelist, happier with the poor than the rich; remarkable social entrepreneur; and political progressive.....Meyer has a lot to teach our churches today."(RT Hon Stephen Timms MP)
"F.B. Meyer was one of the great influences of the evangelical world in the latter 19th and early 20th century. Bob Holman has done a service in bringing this remarkable character to life again, and his story will encourage, challenge and stretch us in a day when we need to rediscover men and women of this caliber who left the world a better place."(Charles Price)
The remarkable ministry exercised by F. B. Meyer over nearly sixty years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is vividly portrayed in this "first chronological account of his life". Meyer was to become one of the foremost Baptist preachers and writers of his day. He held pastorates in York, Leicester and London which, under his hand, prospered, and was notably successful in his convention, at which he preached on many occasions, his influence was considerable, he undertook worldwide preaching tours from time to time. His written output extended to over 100 books, papers, pamplets, some of his devotional works continuing in print today. Though not without controversy, particularly over his political views and actions, Meyer was first and foremost a man with a consuming desire to reach out to the masses, and the author shows how his efforts were blessed by God.(The Gospel Magazine)
A contemporary of Alexander Boddy, F.B. Meyer would be better known as a result of his many devotional books. He became a famous Keswick speaker and an enormously popular spiritual leader and master of the pulpit in the years between C.H. Spurgeon and Campbell Morgan.
What this biography lacks in style it makes up for in its interesting detail of Meyer's life, including his personal search for holiness and his passion for helping the poor, which led to sustained sacrificial decisions.
Described as the Archbishop of the Free ChurchesSee all Product description
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He possessed a particularly fascinating (for me) strategy of ministry that included three priorities:
1. The consistent preaching of the gospel to the surrounding neighborhood of his church.
2. The use of his church building for both members and neighbors, to the extent that the building became a true part of the community, not just a place for Christians.
3. His preferences to keep all ministries of the church (local missions, relief, rescue mission, children, etc.) strictly in the very building of the church, or in its shadows, so that the middle-class members of his church would be encouraged to mixed with the lower, working classes that lived around it. He accomplished his goals--often at the cost of approval of his more doctrinaire peers in the faith. Those who criticized Meyer's spiritual-growth focus (he was a foundational Keswick speaker) cannot deny his unwavering, decades-long commitment to social justice and the improvement of urban decline. Those who would criticize his commitment to social issues and political advocacy cannot deny his classic, expositional approach to preaching, and his increasing attention to the Second Advent, which grew as the years went by. Pastoring a small congregation, comprised of many poor and marginalized people, in the heart of a large US city, in a 100-year old building, Meyer's challenges and concerns for his city resonated with the challenges that I find today in ministry.
As with all good biographies, the writer does not treat his subject as a sub-deity figure to be worshiped. Meyer seemed unable to remain long-term with one church, which may have hampered his overall impact. He seemed often to enjoy the lime-light, and he lived with some ambiguities and seeming absence of intimacy and health in his marriage relationship. It is unclear whether his own ambition is the cause of such suggested troubles, or his wife's lack of support for her husband's ministry, or perhaps a mixture of both. The fact that Meyer directed for all his diaries and journals to be destroyed at his death, and that he left NOTHING to his wife and daughter, and that his wife rarely, if ever, attended his church, leaves many unanswered questions, probably ones whose answers would be both familiar and tragic.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this little book to all who are engaged in urban ministry, particularly at the local church level.