Andrew Murray — From Spark to Flame: Book review

A novel that brings a remarkable Christian character to life

Book Review by PN Nelson

What a wonderful read! This novel provides an excellent background to Andrew Murray’s books, his ministry, his family life, and his spiritual journey.

The first section of the book focuses on the revival in the Cape Colony in 1860, and gives a heartwarming and inspiring account of what occurred. The revival touched many a life, yet when it started, there were no significant leaders. Andrew Murray himself was humbled by God’s work, and was carried along by the Holy Spirit during those heavenly days. Olea Nel has thoughtfully provided excellent maps so readers can trace the towns and areas touched by the revival.

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The years following brought Andrew Murray into conflict with liberal theology which was gaining a foothold in the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa at the time. The stress of meetings, tribunals, and court cases is very well portrayed.

The highlight of the book is the parallel story of Andrew’s wife, Emma, a truly magnificent woman who gave wholehearted support to Andrew’s ministry as well as caring for a large family.

The growing impact of Andrew’s ministry is seen in the last segment of the book. The story of the establishment of the Teacher’s Seminary for Women and the Missionary Training Institute, both in Wellington, is worth a book in its own right. 

One notable fact of Andrew Murray’s life that really touched me was his desire to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit so that he could serve his God even more fruitfully.

This book paints Andrew Murray as a man of vision, energetic in ministry, and overly generous with his time. Yet we also see him in everyday hues as husband, father, brother, and friend. In a word, this most engrossing novel brings a remarkable Christian character to life.

Where to find this book 

Christian Book Discounters, Cape Town:


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