T. Austin-Sparks has been described as one of the greatest spiritual, Christ-centered figures of the twentieth century. He wrote over one hundred books. The golden cord that ran through all those works was the exaltation of his Lord. His writings speak little of the Christ of Galilee rather he has given us the resurrected and enthroned Lord.
Theodore Austin-Sparks (1888-1971) was born in London, but spent his school years in Glasgow, Scotland. In his early ministry he pastored Congregational and Baptist churches in the London area, during which he was associated with Oswald Chambers, F.B. Meyer, Jessie Penn-Lewis, A.J. Gordon and A.B. Simpson. Eventually coming to believe in the organic, rather than the institutional, nature of the ecclesia, in 1926 he stepped aside from traditional pastoral work.
Utilizing a former school hall and residence, along with like-minded colleagues, he established a fellowship community with a conference and training center in Forest Hill in southeast London, dedicated to the deepening of believers’walk. It became identified by the name of the road on which it was situated, Honor Oak. Believers came from near and far, many staying for extended periods of fellowship and instruction. Among them was Watchman Nee who stayed for eight months during his visit to England. He considered Austin-Sparks to be his spiritual mentor.
From Honor Oak he and his co-workers ran a publishing ministry which distributed his many books – which were transcriptions of his lectures, along with a bi-monthly magazine that he had begun while a Baptist pastor and for which he was the editor, A Witness and a Testimony (1923-1971).
One of his favorite hymns, by George Rawson (1807-1889), reflected his passion: “We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind, by notions of our day and sect, crude, partial and confined. No, let a new and better hope within our hearts be stirred,” and then the refrain drawn from John Robinson (1575-1625) sermon to the Pilgrim Fathers, “the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His word.”
|An Evening with T. Austin-Sparks (#5245) This is a collection of 34 short excerpts from the writings of T.A.S. designed to be enjoyed in an evening. 52pp. PB. $4.95
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