In compiling How God Used R.A. Torrey Fred Sanders has given us insight into one of the most important evangelical leaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the lens of his own sermons.
I was not familiar with Torrey beyond his serving as dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles now known as BIOLA. In his sermons and the illustrations in them you can trace the life and development of Torrey. Torrey in his sermons addresses areas of key importance as Christian which demonstrate his importance for his time. None in Torrey’s day could accuse him of holding his beliefs due to ignorance, Torrey had been exposed to and had almost been won over by the liberal view of Scripture but through God’s grace came to a settled conviction of the truth. This insight into Torrey helps shed light onto how he had such a great impact in his day, his day was one in which church leaders were becoming enamored with higher critical theories which cast doubt on the truthfulness of Scripture.
Torrey was as revealed in his sermons an evangelist in the truest sense of the word. His goal and focus was to win the lost, and as evidenced in his illustrations he had a passion for reaching those who appeared furthest from grace. He also had a great desire to see ordinary Christians become involved in the work of personal evangelism which was evidenced clearly in how he spent his final years.
This biographical look through the sermons preached by R.A. Torrey provides an encouraging insight to an evangelical leader who is often forgotten.
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