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City on a Hill: Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century Paperback – March 1, 2003
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From the Back Cover
THE CHURCH TODAY STANDS AT A CROSSROADS. HOW WILL WE FULFILL CHRIST’S CALLING TO BE A “CITY SET ON A HILL”?
Many sincere and dedicated Christians point to the path of relevance as a means for enjoying a post-Christian witness. They want to explore new ways of “doing church”— ways that focus on seekers’ needs, that appeal to today’s entertainment-saturated audiences, and don’t make church “too hard.”
Philip Ryken, however, sees danger ahead. Rather than confronting the relativistic and narcissistic mind-set of our world, this way may very well accommodate it.
In City on a Hill, Ryken asserts that the church needs to walk a different path... a biblical path that leads to exalting God and Him alone by:
· Proclaiming the saving work of our crucified and risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
· Focusing on our holy God in our personal and corporate worship.
· Reaching our in Christ’s love to care for one another and share the Good News with the world.
When the church does what it was called to do, it will give the world what it needs most—the life-giving message that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord.
PHILIP GRAHAM RYKEN (M.Div., Westminster Theological Seminary; D.Phil., University of Oxford, England) is senior minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, where he has preached since 1995. His published works include The Heart of the Cross and The Doctrines of Grace (with James Montgomery Boice), Is Jesus the Only Way?, The Message of Salvation, and Jeremiah and Lamentations. Dr. Ryken lives with his wife, Lisa, and children, Joshua, Kirsten, Jack and Kathryn in Center City, Philadelphia.
Top Customer Reviews
I, sometimes reluctantly, find myself predominantly in the third camp, though I sometimes also wonder if we really are doing so poorly. Philip Graham Ryken is also clearly in the third camp. He assumed the pastorate of Ten Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia after the death of James Boice with whom he co-authored the wonderful book The Doctrines of Grace. As if to prove his allegiance, he subtitled this book "Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century." As with leaders of the other camps, Ryken examines the culture and seeks to find ways in which the church can fulfill it's God-given mandate to be a city on a hill.
This book began with a ministry retreat in early 1999 in which Ryken and the leadership of his church engaged in discussion about being a church that could successfully fulfill God's mandate in the post-Christian 21st century. When he succeeded Boice as pastor of Tenth, Ryken began his ministry by preaching a series of sermons on the seven committments of his church's mission statement. These messages form the basis for the book. Because of this they do read a little bit like sermons (which is not necessarily a bad thing).
City on a Hill begins with an introduction to postmodernism.Read more ›
Truly, the church of today is confronted with many unique challenges. The author points out the narcissistic attitude which prevails society today. "Whether they admit it or not, their minds reject absolute truth, and in their hearts they love themselves more than anyone else, especially God." (18) In order to reach the current generation she must confront these mindsets.
As Ryken described the church and God's plan for it, he laid down a list of essentials which every church must be participating in. At the top of the pile was a need for Scripture saturation. "The only church that will survive in post-Christian times is a church with a passion for God's Word." (25) This passion must not be in unique to the church when gathered, although the exposition of the Word is of utmost importance. The Scriptures must be a part of the church member's daily life. Without this essential diet, both corporate and personal, the church cannot and will not survive.
The pastor plays a unique role in this area. A duty given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ is to feed the flock, preach the Word, teach everyone. His job is not to speak his ideas, ideals, or intentions but God's Word. "A minister who sees himself as an expositor knows that he is not the master of the Word, but its servant." (49)
Another aspect highlighted in the book was the description and necessity of worship.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author argued more for tradition than biblical church. It was funny to read how his 1950s style church just happened to fit the "biblical" model needed in the 21st... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
Thoughtful, challenging, and convicting read. Ryken warns of the new barbarism where pleasant people "threaten our most cherished institutions and our very character as a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ken Endean
Keeps everything lined up with scripture. If you haven't study a lot of scripture in depth. He explains things great for you.Published on October 15, 2013 by Sonia K. Wernsman