The Christian in Complete Armour

by | Jun 27, 2019 | Books, Christian Living, Discipleship, Ministry

A few months ago, a friend recommended The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall, originally published in 1669. Thankfully, it is still available today in print and digital. Charles Spurgeon said…

“Gurnall’s work is peerless and priceless; every line is full of wisdom; every sentence suggestive. The whole book has been preached over scores of times, and is, in our judgment, the best thought-breeder in all our library.”  —Charles Spurgeon

The copy in print today is from the 1865 edition and has a biographical introduction by the notable J.C. Ryle. William Gurnall was a pastor for nearly 30 years in the village of Lavenham in Suffolk, England.

“John Newton said that if he might read only one book beside the Bible, he would choose The Christian in Complete Armour.”

—Charles Spurgeon

The original short description of the book reads, “A Treatise, wherein a Discovery is made of that grand Enemy of God and his People, in his Policies, Power, Seat of his Empire, Wickedness, and chief design he hath against the Saints. A MAGAZINE OPENED From whence the Christian is furnished with Spiritual Arms for the Battle, helped on with his Armour, and taught the use of his Weapon: together with the happy issue of the whole War.”

Certainly not for the faint of heart! In fact, one of my favorite quotes in the book about the need for courage to stand strong reads,

“The Christian, of all men, needs courage and resolution. Indeed, there is nothing he doth as a Christian, or can do, but is an act of valour. A cowardly spirit is beneath the lowest duty of a Christian.” —William Gurnall

This book is rich. It is also THICK. You can’t tell from the picture above but this book has small print and measures nearly 2 ½ inches thick! This print has 656 pages besides the introductory biography by J.C. Ryle.

“It requires more prowess and greatness of spirit to obey God faithfully, than to command an army of men; to be a Christian, than to be a captain.” —William Gurnall

I’m loving it. I believe the need for this book in our time is equal or greater than its original audience. The entire book is a study of eleven verses from Ephesians 6.  The book is filled with supplementary Scripture references and written with an eloquence and depth no longer in vogue but wonderfully suited for disciples who truly long to grow in relationship with Christ, to better understand the battle we are facing, and to be better equipped to stand victorious with Christ.

You can find a copy on Amazon here.  I also purchased this digital copy. Don’t be surprised if you find many more quotes popping up on this blog from William Gurnall.

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 32 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and three precious grandchildren.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

Musician: I got my start in ministry as a singer/songwriter. It’s been over a decade since I last recorded any music but be on the lookout for new music in 2023 on your favorite streaming service.