Book Review: George Müller by Joan Ripley Smith
Author: Joan Ripley Smith
Publisher: Evangelical Press
Reading Level: Leisure
“I have known my Lord for fifty-two years, and there has never been a single day that I have failed to get an audience with the King.” (116)
George Müller (henceforth GM) is one of the latest volumes in EP Books’ series “Bitesize Biographies.” Both the strength and weakness of the book, Joan Smith has written an instantly accessible, faithfully encouraging and suddenly concluded biography of Prussian born George Müller.
A young man born into moderate privilege, Müller lived a life of revelry and deceit while studying to be a Lutheran minister (11-22). Once converted Müller was first interested in missionary work before dedicating his life to an orphanage ministry in Bristol, England. It is here that Smith spends most of GM depicting the faithfulness in prayer, preaching and reliance upon God. Some of these stories range from incredible to really incredible (57-79). In everything, Smith writes smoothly and quickly which results in great enjoyment while reading but sadness upon completion.
It is presumed that George Müller read through the Bible some 200 times (120). His dedication to the Scriptures led him to endorse credobaptism (38), reject pew renting as a method of paying pastors (39-41) and ultimately associate with the Plymouth Brethren (89-90). Though these stories reflect a Godly man, it is the descriptions of his prayer life and utter reliance upon God that is staggering. George Müller outlived both of his children (one dying the same week as Müller’s father), two wives and his ministry partner of 35 years. The testimony of daily prayer and reading, often performed on his knees, for the running and growth of orphanages eventually housing over 2000 children demonstrates the power of prayer and Godly faithfulness.
“’I am a happy old man,’ he said with energy and a smile on his face, ‘yes, indeed, I am a happy old man! I walk about my room, and I say “Lord Jesus, I am not alone, for you are with me. I have buried my wives and my children, but You are left. I am never lonely or desolate with You and with Your smile, which is better than life itself.”’” (120-121)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."