John Gill on Prayer

January 17, 2008

It is good for the saints to draw near to God; it is not only good because it is their duty, but because it yields their souls a spiritual pleasure; and it is also of great profit and advantage to them: It is often an ordinance of God, and which he owns for the quickening the graces of his spirit, for the restraining and subduing the corruptions of our hearts, and for the bringing of our souls into nearer communion and fellowship with himself. Satan has often felt the force and power of this piece of our spiritual armour; and it is, indeed, the last which the believer is directed to make use of. Praying souls are profitable in families, neighbourhoods, churches, and common-wealths, when prayerless ones are in a great measure useless. The believer has the utmost encouragement to this work he can desire; he may come to God, not as on a seat of justice, but as on a throne of grace. Christ is the Mediator between God and him, his way of access to God, and his Advocate with the Father; the Spirit is his Guide, Director, and Assister; he has many exceeding great and precious promises to plead with God; nor need he doubt of a kind reception, a gracious audience, and a proper answer, though never so mean and unworthy in himself; since the Lord will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise his prayer.

— John Gill (1697-1771) from “A Discourse on Prayer”

Art and Soul Lectures Available Now

October 16, 2007


The Annual Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies regional conference in Cambridge, ON is now available for purchase as MP3’s.




Dr. Mark Coppenger, Pastor of Evanston Baptist Church in Evanston, IL and Professor of Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary presented 3 messages on the theme, Art and Soul: Spirituality and the Aesthetic. These were recorded and are now available on CD as 3 MP3’s. The lectures were:


The Soul of Art

The Soul of the Artist

The Soul of the Viewer


These are available for purchase from the Fuller Center for $10. If you are interested please contact me at:

416-925-3263 or

The God who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality

October 3, 2007



Available soon from Evangelical Press! Make sure you get yourself a copy!


The God who draws near is an attempt to recapture an understanding of true biblical spirituality and what that means for daily living. With so many ideas abounding of what spirituality is, both secular and religious, many are confused about what forms the basis of God-honouring spirituality. By going back to ‘the Source’ and mining the pages of God’s Word, Michael Haykin draws together the main threads of vital spirituality and provides the foundation for believers to anchor their lives in truth, faith and an active, growing relationship with God — that very God who was pleased to draw near to us through his Son. May these pages help you to draw near to him.

Dr Michael A. G. Haykin is Principal of Toronto Baptist Seminary, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies. He recently has accepted a full-time appointment at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where he will be Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality. Michael is a popular conference speaker in North America and the UK. Michael is married to Alison and they have two children.

Endorsements for the Book!

‘Perhaps no other writer today has read as widely in both Christian history and Christian spirituality than Michael Haykin. The fruit of his study is evident in this book, for he not only feeds us a satisfying banquet of biblical teaching on Christian spirituality, he also garnishes it with savoury stories and quotations from Christian history. You’ll not find Haykin here re-inventing spirituality for the twenty-first century, but reconnecting us with the Scriptures and with wisdom of those who have walked with God before us and can give us wise counsel for walking with our timeless God in our own generation.’ Dr Donald S. Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Senior Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, USA

‘Biblical and reformed spirituality was never more needed than in these post-modern times and Michael Haykin’s exposition of it in these pages is both timely and judicious. With the skill of John Owen, his treatment is intentionally trinitarian: God glorifying, Christ-centered and Spirit focused. With the added skill of a first-rate historian, Haykin mines the pages of history bringing breathtaking illustrative material to help us understand the biblical parameters of godliness. A timely book; but readers should beware: reading these pages may cost you dearly for it will require that you part with your dearest sins and in order that you may discover in Christ fullness, contentment and joy.’ Dr Derek W. H. Thomas, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, RTS, Minister of Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS, USA, Editorial Director,

‘I warmly commend this timely, easy-to-read, informative and challenging book.’ Dr Philip H. Eveson, Principal, London Theological Seminary, London, UK

‘In this great little book, Michael Haykin introduces the reader to the central elements of a properly biblical spirituality. Of special note are his attention to the necessity of understanding trinitarian dimensions of the Christian life, and to the value of drawing on the great classics of spirituality of the past in order to live for Christ in the contemporary world. A delightful book to read and to give to friends.’ Dr Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia, PA, USA

‘So many books on “spirituality” on the shelves of Christian and secular bookstores represent little more than new age labyrinth-walking or pseudo-spiritual pandering. Michael Haykin, one of the pre-eminent evangelical scholars in this and several other areas, brings a fresh, ancient approach to biblical spirituality. He restores to spirituality the Holy Spirit, and points us to Jesus Christ. Those who long for a closer walk with Jesus — and that should be all of us — will love this book.’ Dr Russell D. Moore, Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, USA

‘A biblical, full-orbed view of true spirituality, founded in the Word and the Spirit, in contrast to the false spirituality that deludes so many today.’ Robert Strivens, Principal-Designate, London Theological Seminary, London, UK

Profiles in Reformed Spirituality

August 16, 2007


Spirituality is a rather popular subject in modern evangelicalism. But with so many competing visions of what biblical spirituality is, how will we know what it looks like? This is where Joel Beeke and Michael Haykin come in. They remind us that so much of spirituality can be taught to us by looking at the lives of those who have lived it before us! Thus comes the series, Profiles in Reformed Spirituality. This is fast becoming one of my favourite series of books being written. And this is not because Michael Haykin is my boss! But, both of the series editors acknowledge that evangelicalism is in desperate need to have a more clearer view of biblical spirituality and thus the lives and writings of individuals who have gone before us can be studied with profit as we grow in our own spirituality. So far three books are available now with more to come. These are:

A Consuming Fire: The Piety of Alexander Whyte

“Michael A. G. Haykin provides an excellent primer on Reformed Evangelical spirituality by opening a window to the life and work of Alexander Whyte. Haykin’s biographical essay introduces the reader to Whyte and to the high premium he placed on vibrant Christianity. The remainder of the book presents 28 selections from various written works by Whyte that display his burning zeal for the devoted life. For those who are not familiar with Whyte but interested in acquainting themselves with him and the spirituality of the Reformed tradition, this book will make a reliable introduction.”

A Sweet Flame: Piety in the Letters of Jonathan Edwards

“‘A Sweet Flame’ introduces readers to the piety of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Dr. Haykin’s biographical sketch of Edwards captures the importance the New England minister placed on Scripture, family piety, and the church’s reliance upon God. The remainder of the book presents 26 selections from various letters written by Edwards, two written by family members at his death, and an appendix drawing upon Edwards’s last will and the inventor of his estate.”

Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins

This newest of the books is co-edited by my boss and my good friend Steve Weaver a lover of Hercules Collins. Having proof-read the book I am very anxious to see it finally in my hands! It was wonderful to delve into the immense piety of a grand 17th century Baptist pastor. Anyone and everyone should grab this book immediately and read it as if their lives depended on it!

“Hercules Collins is one of the great figures from our Bapitst heritage – a heritage who suffered much for the cause of Christ and left a great legacy for generations that followed. There is something especially compelling about the witness of a man who was oppressed and imprisoned for his faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The witness of Hercules Collins as pastor, prisoner, and preacher is worthy of the closest attention in our own times. We are indebted to Michael Haykin and Steve Weaver for bringing Hercules Collins to life for a new generation.” R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Go out and get these books and read them today! They will bring you closer in your walk with the Lord than much of contemporary devotional material. You will learn from giants of the faith from the past who will help to conform your own spirituality into the image of the Lord Jesus!

Books on Spirituality

June 13, 2007

A growing area of important study in Evangelicalism is that of spirituality. We have fallen way behind others groups in developing a thorough doctrine of spirituality. Over at Reformation Theology they have laid out the top 10 books on piety, sanctification, and spiritual growth. I agree with each one they have listed and encourage you to read each one carefully!

You can find their list here. These works will give comfort to the soul, inflame a life of holiness, and persuade a more intimate relationship with God.

"Listening to the Past – Lessons from Andrew Fuller" 2

December 3, 2006

This has got to be one of my favourite Fuller quotes.

It is taken from a sermon titled, “Soul Prosperity” (The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller, I:406)

“It is by retiring to our closets, reading the word of God in private, thinking and praying over it; by conversing with our own souls in secret, by dwelling on divine things, by giving such a tone to the soul that it falls naturally and easily into divine things; it is in these holy exercises that we may expect to meet a Divine blessing, and to acquire such a savour of spirit, that when we go out into the world we shall carry the savour of Christ with us. This is a prosperous and thriving state of soul.”