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Building a God Centered Family

Matthew Henry
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    Matthew Henry is known worldwide in our time as the author of his famous commentary on the Scriptures. But far less known in our day is the fact that Henry was an emblem of faithful fatherhood during his lifetime. Henry took his duties as a father seriously — and it showed. One observer noted that the Henry household was like unto the ”gates of heaven” where he and his wife governed all family life by the Word of God.
     
    As an English non-conformist pastor, Henry carried his passion for family discipleship into the pulpit. On April 16, 1704, he preached an abundantly practical sermon entitled, “A Church in the House, A Sermon Concerning Family-Religion,” as an encouragement to fathers to develop the spiritual life of their families in their homes. Henry exhorted that “every house should be a little church.” His point was not that the home should replace the church, but that the home should become a fountain of blessing for both the local church and the community at large.
     
    The NCFIC is pleased to offer this reprint of Henry's sermon in Building A God Centered Family: A Father's Guide.
     

     

  • Paperback: 93 pages

    Publisher: The National Center for Family Integrated Churches
    Language: English
    ISBN-13: 978-09820567-7-6
    Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.25 inches
    Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
  • Tremendously practical volume. Henry has a knack for dispensing powerful insights in a very concise way. I recommend this work regularly to the men in my church. -- Josh Camacho



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    • Editor's Note
      Introduction
    1. Here the Reformation Must Begin
    2. What Does It Mean to Have a Church in the House
    3. Motives to Persuade You to Turn Your Houses into Churches
    4. Exhortations for Applying These Things

About the Author

Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 – 22 June 1714) was an English commentator on the Bible and Presbyterian minister. He was born at Broad Oak, Iscoyd, a farmhouse on the borders of Flintshire and Shropshire. His father, Philip Henry, had just been ejected under the Act of Uniformity 1662. Unlike most of his fellow-sufferers, Philip possessed some private means, and was thus able to give his son a good education. Matthew went first to a school at Islington, and then to Gray's Inn. He soon gave up his legal studies for theology, and in 1687 became minister of a Presbyterian congregation at Chester. He moved again in 1712 to Mare Street, Hackney. Two years later (22 June 1714), he died suddenly of apoplexyat the Queen's Aid House (41 High Street) in Nantwich while on a journey from Chester to London.[Matthew Henry's well-known six-volume Exposition of the Old and New Testaments (1708–1710) or Complete Commentary, provides an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible. covering the whole of the Old Testament, and the Gospels and Acts in the New Testament. After the author's death, the work was finished (Romans through Revelation) by thirteen other nonconformist ministers, partly based upon notes taken by Henry's hearers, and edited by George Burder and John Hughes in 1811.

Henry's commentaries are primarily exegetical, dealing with the scripture text as presented, with his prime intention being explanation, for practical and devotional purposes. While not being a work of textual research, for which Henry recommended Matthew Poole's Synopsis Criticorum, Henry's Exposition gives the result of a critical account of the original as of his time, with practical application. It was considered sensible and stylish, a commentary for devotional purposes.

Famous evangelical Protestant preachers such as George Whitefield and Charles Spurgeon used and heartily commended the work, with Whitefield reading it through four times - the last time on his knees. Spurgeon stated, "Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least." 

Henry's Miscellaneous Writings, including a Life of Mr. Philip Henry, The Communicant's Companion, Directions for Daily Communion with God, A Method for Prayer, A Scriptural Catechism, and numerous sermons, the life of his father, tracts, and biography of eminent Christians, together with the sermon on the author's death by William Tong were edited in 1809; and in 1830 a new edition included sermons not previously included and Philip Henry's "What Christ is made to believers". The collection was issued several times by different publishers.

Several abbreviated editions of the Commentary were published in the twentieth century; more recently the Christian linguist and author of reference books, Martin H. Manser, edited a version in modern English: The New Matthew Henry Commentary: The Classic Work with Updated Language (Zondervan 2010).