I’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.
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.