George Muller

September 23, 2010 at 8:24 am | Posted in Books and Movies | Leave a comment

          We’ve been reading together as a family the biography, George Muller: Man of Faith and Miracles, by Basil Miller.  Though this is on my list of most influential books, and I love the story of this man who trusted God for some amazing things, this time through I’ve been disappointed.  The biggest disappointment is in the presentation the author makes of the post-conversion George Muller.  Until the very late chapters, when some of his trials and temptations are reviewed, it’s as though Muller never sinned again after coming to Christ.

          The author begins his biography with this sentence: “George Muller is literally ‘the man God made.’”  That is a great start, and maybe in light of it we should read God’s workings into all he says, but too often he seems to give Muller the credit for what God was doing.  He uses titles like “our hero,” “apostle of faith,” “disciple of faith” and “servant of God” all too often.  But worse than that are the scattered sentences like, “All of these gifts, it must be remembered, were wrestled from the hand of God through Mr. Muller’s prayers.”  And later, “All of this was brought in through prayer alone.”  Then “During the next three years Mr. Muller literally fed the orphans out of God’s hand.”  Notice that the active agent of those sentences is George Muller.  My wife commented that Mr. Muller would not like his own biography, because it’s too much about him and not enough about God. 

          I haven’t read the book since college, and it had such a positive impact on me then, that this disappointment may be just a letdown from high expectations.  Even while typing this blog, it doesn’t seem half as bad as when we read it.  However, all three of us felt the same way.  My daughter’s disappointment could be from high expectations we gave her before reading it.

          There are, however, many great lessons in this book and many things said well.  It is still worth your time to read, if you don’t know George Muller’s story.  So let’s end on a couple of positive quotes: 

After learning the lesson of being busy in the work of the Lord, too busy in fact to pray, he told his brethren that four hours of work after an hour of prayer would accomplish more than five hours without prayer.

During the latter years of his life, he read the Bible through four times yearly.  . . .  He was a greater lover of the Bible at ninety than at thirty.  It grew upon him with age.   In it he found his supreme pleasure, and daily he waited upon the Lord as the Word spoke to him.

I only hope those last three sentences can be true in my life.

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