Published by Moody Publishers on May 1, 2015
Genres: Non-Fiction, Biography
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"He will be the preacher." Whether this was just an offhand remark or the woman leaning over his crib was speaking under inspiration from the Holy Spirit, either way, her prediction came to pass.This is the story of a shy, wisecrack kid from rural Canada becoming a well-known American preacher. It’s a story of seemingly random events deciding one man’s destiny. But most of all, it’s a story of God leading one of His dear children along.
Join Erwin Lutzer on this tour of his life—from a Saskatchewan farm to a Dallas seminary to the historic Moody Church in Chicago. Hear his personal reflections and tales of pastoral hardship. Meet the people who have shaped him: his parents, professors, family, and even the great evangelist Billy Graham. And see how his many roles—author, speaker, evangelist, historian, and cultural critic—have carried his prophetic voice beyond Moody’s pulpit, even abroad.
Part story and part reflection, full of heart with a dose of wit, He Will Be the Preacher is a personal and engaging witness to the providence of God.
“He will be the preacher.” Whether this was just an offhand remark or the woman leaning over his crib was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, either way, her prediction cam e to pass.
I’ve always been fascinated by the lives of great pastors. What series of circumstances led to their success? How was the guiding hand of God behind them? What mentors and leaders and teachers did they have along the way? Success is driven by God, of course, something Erwin Lutzer acknowledges in his subtitle The Story of God’s Providence in My Life.
I am fascinated because, frankly, that’s where I want to be. Whether I get there is totally up to the grace of God, but I also firmly believe that God has called me to make the most of my calling, and that includes standing on the shoulders of giants and learning from their lives. Erwin Lutzer is one such giant.
Beginning with his school days in Saskatchewan and his family’s history, Lutzer weaves a story of unlikelihood—one controlled by the providence of God. The most prominent one comes on April 3, 1977, when with about ten minutes before the start of Sunday service, he was asked to preach at the historic Moody Church. Simply this: Dr. Warren Wiersbe, the pastor at the time, had gotten sick and was going home. A staff member was going to preach a message based off of Wiersbe’s notes. Lutzer had never attended Moody Church before but decided so this week because he had just resigned a pastorate in order to complete his Ph.D. dissertation . A “chance” meeting in the hallway. An off-the-wall request from Dr. Wiersbe. And a last-second sermon that built a relationship that led to his succession of Dr. Wiersbe some years later.
As the pages go by, there can be no doubt of the providence of God in Erwin Lutzer’s life. It would have been easy to call his success due to his own connections or own competence. But in everything Lutzer gives praise to the God that opened up those opportunities.
I especially connected with the stories about the influence of Dr. Elmer Towns on his life. It was a young Dr. Towns who recommended Erwin Lutzer to Dallas Theological Seminary and an older Dr. Towns that encouraged Lutzer to write books. Many years later, a much older Dr. Towns is still influencing lives at Liberty University, my alma mater.
Fans of biography, especially Christian biography, will love this book. Pastors need to read this book. Its insights, observations, and experience teach much more than a didactic book of facts ever could. Thank you, Dr. Lutzer, for a life well lived.
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