Saturday, 1 March 2014

Ryles Books

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Bishop Ryle was an 19th century Anglican Bishop in Liverpool, England. He was a great contender for the Reformed Protestant faith, battling fearlessly with all his considerable might against the dark forces of the undercover Romanism mercilessly invading the Church of England at that time. His Calvinism (alas of the 4 point variety) was nevertheles pronounced and he was a great soulwinner.

I cannot speak too highly of Bishop Ryle's books. As a relatively young believer, I purchased some of the TT Clarke editions (within sight of my desk as I type these words) of his famous works. They proved to be then, as now, a real feast indeed. Ryle writes simply yet powerfully in plain Anglo Saxon English. You get none of the oratory of Spurgeon, but there is no loss for all that.
Some of Ryles works:

Old Paths: Effectively his theology book. *

Holiness: An answer to the false Keswick teaching that swept English evangelicalism.

Practical Religion: "Being plain papers on the daily duties, experiences, dangers and privileges of professing Christians." 

Knots Untied: A defence of Anglican polity. I don't always agree, but still enjoyable to read. 

The Upper Room: A series of addresses, largly to encourage God's people

The True Christian: Evangelistic sermons

Charges and Addresses: Ryle's equivalent to Spurgeon's "An  All Round Ministry" 

Christian Leaders of the 18th Century: Solid bios of men like Whitefield, Wesley, Venn etc. (One minister read it every vacation holiday for 30 years. Says it all.) 

English Reformers: Solid bios of great Protestants like Cranmer and Latimer etc. Includes the great chapter; "Why were our Reformers burned?"

Bible Commentary on Matthew and Mark: Short observations on the first two gospels. Large on application. Originally written to be read in family devotions. 

Bible Commentary on Luke. More application, but growing number of footnotes.

Bible Commentary on John's Gospel: A very full volume with the usual powerful application, but with extensive notes dealing with the various interpretations that arise. IMO: The best commentary on John's Gospel.

* It is interesting that Ryle talks about doctrine under the thought of oldpaths. Now in some strains of Fundamentalism, it seems to be more associated with so called altar calls and the cut of your suit and colour of your shirt. #TwoDifferentWorlds


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