Andrew Murray by Vance ChristieI’m delighted that my most recent biography, Andrew Murray: Christ’s Anointed Minister to South Africa, is to be released in the United Kingdom next month then in the United States in August. I thought you might enjoy reading part of “the story behind the book” in this Perspective:

I recall as a boy seeing two or three of Andrew Murray’s devotional books in my dad’s pastoral library. Then in college I read with great benefit Murray’s devotional classic With Christ in the School of Prayer. I was somewhat acquainted with his books but not with his life. I have come to learn that the same is the case for many Christians with regard to Murray.

When Christian Focus Publications graciously asked me if I might have interest in writing a biography on Andrew Murray, I ordered a couple of the earlier accounts of his life and took those along on a week of family vacation. As I read those works in the following weeks I was impressed and inspired by many features of Murray’s life and ministry – including, among others:

  • His intense devotion to Christ, Scripture and prayer.
  • His humble, Christlike Spirit that grew ever stronger and sweeter as he aged.
  • His powerful preaching ministry that attracted and impacted thousands.
  • His prolific devotional writings that have gained countless appreciative readers from his own day to the present time.
  • His boundless vision, capable leadership and tireless, Spirit-empowered exertions that led to the establishment and promotion of numerous Kingdom enterprises including missionary societies, educational institutions, Christian life conferences, student ministries and more.
Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

I quickly concluded that it would be a great privilege to write a fresh account of Murray’s fascinating and inspiring life in order to help acquaint the contemporary generation with this remarkable Christian minister of the past.

Early in the process of composing this work I casually asked a Christian bookstore owner if he was familiar with Andrew Murray, but did not reveal that I was writing his biography. “Oh certainly,” the man immediately responded. “We carry and sell a number of Murray’s titles.” Shortly after that a member of the church I pastor asked if I was currently working on a writing project. When I indicated I was writing Murray’s biography, she became very excited and exclaimed, “Andrew Murray! He’s one of my favorite authors. We’ve read several of his books in our family devotions.”

It took me nearly two years (on a very part-time basis, while carrying out my full-time pastoral responsibilities) to write the Murray biography. My original rough-draft manuscript was 131,000 words in length, the second draft was trimmed to 117,000 words, while the final manuscript I actually submitted to Christian Focus Publications was slimmed down even further to 106,000 words. CFP was once again most patient in waiting for the completed manuscript and most kind in agreeing to publish my final proposed manuscript in its entirety.

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For other Perspective articles on this outstanding servant of Christ, just type “Andrew Murray” in the search box.

About Vance Christie

An avid fan of historic Christian biography throughout his ministry, Vance has published nine books.

3 Thoughts on “The Story Behind the Andrew Murray Biography

  1. I think the behind-the-scenes perspective is helpful. Readers will read the book to get the whole story you write. But for me, authors are real people too. I like to know how it felt to research someone and write about those experiences. Good job Vance.

  2. Jurgen Ras (Rev) on November 27, 2016 at 9:32 am said:

    As a South African, I am really grateful for your book on Murray. The pity is that over here the Dutch Reformed church has totally moved away from evangelical theology, in favor of liberal theology. They see evangelicals as fundamentalists. The truth is that Andrew Murray was an evangelical mystic, like Tozer. A mysticism based on the Bible, totally Christ-centered, and open to the fullness of the Holy Spirit. St Bernard of Clairvaux was the same.

    • Thanks for your insightful feedback, Jurgen. Hope the book was an encouragement to you. Christ’s rich blessings to you in your ministries for Him and His people.

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