Jesus Christ, the 'Prince of pilgrims' : a critical analysis of the ontological, functional, and exegetical christologies in the sermons, writings, and lectures of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)
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This thesis centers on the doctrine of Christ in the theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon through the lens of Spurgeon’s highly developed metaphor, that of Jesus Christ, the “Prince of pilgrims.” That no scholarly work has thus analyzed or surveyed Spurgeon’s ontological, functional, and exegetical Christologies warrants continued contribution to the field of scholarship. Though not a systematician, Spurgeon stood in direct theological continuity with his Nonconformist Puritan predecessors and transmitted a highly developed Christology that was Chalcedonian in creed and Alexandrian in style. This thesis positions Spurgeon’s Christology against the backdrop of a complex Victorian religious context that, through the use of scientific enquiry, sought to recover the full humanity of Christ. Though reacting against modern conclusions concerning the person, natures, and work of Christ, Spurgeon also sought to recover Christ’s humanity, though his theological presuppositions stood in marked contradistinction to the spirit of the age. Particular attention is given to Spurgeon’s utilization of an allegorical hermeneutic to the end that his vernacular, at times, potentially deviates from traditional, orthodox Christological teachings. The scope of this research is a survey of Spurgeon’s Christology by way of his sermons, published writings, lectures, and letters. The purpose of this study is to analyze Spurgeon’s doctrine of Christ in the context of the wider theological tradition through an investigation of his allegorical and innovative rhetoric.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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