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Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle Hardcover – January 24, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

J. I. Packer (DPhil, Oxford University) serves as the Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College. He is the author of numerous books, including the classic best-seller Knowing God. Packer served as general editor for the English Standard Version Bible and as theological editor for the ESV Study Bible.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; 1St Edition edition (January 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581343582
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581343588
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jacob Aitken on March 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"I only know it is far easier to be a Christian among singing, praying, sympathizing Christians in a public room, than to be a consistent Christian in a quiet, retired, out-of-the-way, uncongenial home."
As the other reviewers have said, this is an appreciation and should be read sa such. Appreciation or no, Packer reaveals the facts and this makes Ryle enjoyable to read about. Ryle was a man among men in his day and would be a demi-god among men in our day, with so little doctrinal preaching in our midst. What caught me about Ryle was that he was widowed twice and he outlived his third wife, and yet still proclaimed the Word of God.
To be honest, his book holiness is not easy to read. BUt as John Piper said, "Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves. Digging is hard, but you might find diamonds." Ryle stands in the old Puritan tradition. Maybe tough to read, but extremely edifying to the saints when read. His view on Holiness stands in direct contrast with the view of Finney. But that is okay because the Bible stands in direct contrast with Finney. THis book should be read by all denominations: Anglican/Episcopal so that they may appreciate one of their own. Baptists, becasue he preaches like one. Charismatics--so that they might be rescued from their erring ways.
This is a good introduction to Ryle's life and hopefully will accomplish the task that Packer hopes, that one may read more of Ryle, along with the other puritans.
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Format: Hardcover
Faithfulness And Holiness: The Witness Of J. C. Ryle by J. I. Packer (Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) is a superbly presented tribute to Bishop John Charles Ryle, a man who challenged his parishoners to seek greater holiness. Bishop Ryle's own testimony "Holiness," first published in 1877, is included in its entirety within the pages of Faithfulness And Holiness. A profound reflection upon Ryle's life, ideals, work, and legacy is a powerful and moving work of faith and joy, Faithfulness And Holiness is very highly recommended for Christian Studies reading lists and reference collections.
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Format: Hardcover
Cast in the same mould as the Puritans before him, and true to their way of life, JI Packer honors the life of Bishop JC Ryle, who gave nothing to compromise and asked nothing of modern criticism. His constant want was to see Christ glorified, evidenced in his battles with opposing views and the rise of liberalism. Bishop Ryle was appreciative of another Victorian Puritan, Charles Spurgeon, and JI Packer is brief, but shares their healthy respect for the other. This godly man suffered because of his preaching of uncompromising truth, and suffered a similar fate as Spurgeon as they were both ousted by their own denominational leadership, who gave in to the demands of rationalism.

So Ryle's life is one of personal trials and professional testing, yet always remaining true to his convictions. He readily refers to the Puritans and their works, way of life and doctrinal standards, as those he clearly espouses and refuses to do away with. Dr Packer spends several valuable chapters in painting the 19th century on the canvas of Ryle's life.

The second portion is the well-known book, Holiness, which Ryle published in 1877. It is true of this modern classic that Ryle wished he 'might have chosen a subject more popular and pleasant...but I...could not have chosen one more seasonable and more profitable to our souls.' p 139 This is a favorite read. Not too theological, yet inspiring of great good that can be achieved by the hand of a holy God. Bishop JC Ryle's view of justification and sanctification stand in stark contrast to Bishop Moule, who stated that 'We are not to think of the giving of the Spirit as of an isolated deposit of what, once given, is now locally in possession'. Said Ryle: 'I fear it is sometimes forgotten that God has married together justification and sanctification.
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Format: Paperback
I love books by, as we affectionately call them in my house, "old dead guys." There is a certain quality to the work of countless men allows them to endure through the centuries. J.C. Ryle, who lived from 1816 to 1900, is one of these men. His works, like Holiness, A Call to Prayer, and Practical Religion continue to be favorites of many, challenging readers to examine themselves and grow in their faith. Among his admirers is noted theologian J. I. Packer who aims to introduce readers to Ryle in Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J. C. Ryle.

The large (6'3" tall) Anglican bishop, with his affection for the Puritans and commitment to the historic evangelical fundamentals, was a staunch opponent to the creep into theological liberalism within the Anglican Church. Though some found him to be not unlike a bull in a china shop, Packer describes Ryle as "a single-minded Christian communicator of profound biblical, theological, and pastoral wisdom, a man and minister of giant personal stature and electric force of utterance that sympathetic readers still feel" (p. 11).

Packer's biographical survey definitely backs up this claim by highlighting 12 aspects of Ryle's character and ministry. In these chapters, Ryle's affection for the Puritans, high view of Scripture and great love of the gospel shine forth, as does Packer's admiration. Perhaps the best example is found in the following passage:

"Nobody in Ryle's time idealized pastoral ministry as the work of the wounded healer, in the manner so common today, and Ryle himself would have dismissed the idea as improperly shifting interest from the message to the messenger.
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