Book Review: The Essential Andrew Murray Collection

The Essential Andrew Murray Collection, by Andrew Murray

[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

In terms of its contents, this book is a sizable work of more than 450 pages that is made up of three of the author’s shorter books: Humility, Abiding In Christ, and Living A Prayerful Life. All of these books have a certain Calvinistic approach to them, but are all focused on very specific and often practical aspects of life for believers. The first book focuses as one might expect, on the issue of humility, discussing humility as both a glory and a secret, looking at the life, teaching, and disciples of Jesus Christ, and then discussing humility as it relates to daily life, holiness, sin, faith, death to help, happiness, and exaltation. This is followed by the second book, on abiding in Christ, that starts with John 15:1-2 and contains 31 chapters that serve as a sort of devotional on the subject, urging the reader to focus on Christ through thick and thin. The third book, on living a prayerful life, begins by discussing the prayer life, emphasizing, as one might expect, the sins and cause and fights against prayerlessness, and then moving on to look at the example of Jesus Christ. The second part of the book discusses a somewhat mystical approach to the inner room of prayer that involves a discussion of the nature of God and then a discussion of the deepest secret of Pentecost in the author’s mindset. These materials are framed by an introduction and epilogue.

Are these books enough to be considered the essential works of Andrew Murray? Andrew Murray not only wrote a lot of books, but a lot of people after his death have written many more compilations of his work relating to various subjects. It is to his credit, I suppose, that his work remains relevant and popular if you appreciate his mix of a Calvinistic approach to holiness and a certain degree of mysticism in his discussion of Jesus Christ and especially the Holy Spirit, which was a particular focus of his writing. I found the books enjoyable to read and certainly thought-provoking, but I do not know if these books give the full flavor of a man who considered missions to be of vital importance and who likely had a lot that was worth reading on a great deal more subjects than are included here. This book may be an appropriate beginning to reading about Andrew Murray, but they hardly strike me as being sufficient to understand what he was about as a whole, as they invite far more questions than they provide biblical answers as to where he was coming from and why he approached his subject matter as he did.

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2 Responses to Book Review: The Essential Andrew Murray Collection

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    Yes, it would be difficult to call a three-book collection of a profligate writer his “essential” works. Perhaps these books summed up his core beliefs particularly well but, as you state, someone like him, has much to say and his belif system covers many bases. For example, the subjects of grace, apostolic gifts and faith healing–his legacies–aren’t even mentioned.

    According to Wikipedia, he and his older brother were greatly influenced by Scottish revival meetings while they were earning their master’s degrees there. They both traveled to the Netherlands to study theology at the University of Utrecht and were ordained into the Dutch Reformed Church, which was at odds with the rationalism in vogue at the time. He is viewed as an evangelical and “his theology of faith healing and belief in the continuation of the apostolic gifts made him a significant forerunner of the Pentecostal movement.” [3]

    [3] Ross, Thomas D. (2014), “Andrew Murray, Keswick / Higher Life Leader: a Biographical Sketch”, The Doctrine of Sanctification: An Exegetical Examination, with Application, in Historic Baptist Perspective, to which is Appended a Historical, Exegetical, and Elenctic Evaluation of Influential Errors, Particularly the Keswick Theology, Great Plains Baptist Divinity School

    • Right, I think that this book was an introduction into his thinking and certainly not addressing his core belief system and distinctive thinking. I suppose I’ll have to see if I can find something he wrote on healing.

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