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J. C. Ryle: That Man of Granite (History Makers) Paperback – October 20, 2009
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It is very good to have Ryle's story told afresh by someone who understands it so well...Ryle was an Anglican to remember. (J. I. Packer ~ Well known author & Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada)
A spiritual leader with a gentle heart
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Those with limited exposure to the Episcopal/Anglican traditions will stumble over much of the churchy vocabulary that is not explained. Russell assumes we will all know what is meant by a "see," a diocese, or what the difference is between a vicar, a canon, a dean, a curate. Other unexplained terms include priestly garments--surplice, cope and biretta, and the significance of crosiers, of chancery court, etc. A glossary would have been an important addition to this book, along with the full text of the 39 Articles, which are extensively referred to and critical in understanding the beliefs of J. C. Ryle.
The man Ryle himself does not disappoint us. Readers of Ryle's works have come to appreciate his direct and insightful teaching and clear grasp of the Scriptures. As author Russell reminds us, "his short, pithy utterances" stick with us, such as this one: "The thief on the cross was saved, that none should despair, and only one, that none should presume." Russell, while not blind to Ryle's faults, helps us to appreciate the integrity of Ryle who held firmly but graciously to his orthodox evangelical views in a church that was rapidly moving in a different direction.