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Practical Religion [Hardcover]

By John Charles Ryle (Author), J. I. Packer (Foreword by) & J. C. Liverpool (Preface by)
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For more than a century, J. C. Ryle was best known for his clear and lively writings on practical and spiritual themes. His great aim in all his ministry was to encourage strong and serious Christian living. But Ryle was not naive in his understanding of how this should be done. He recognized that, as a pastor of the flock of God, he had a responsibility to guard Christ's sheep and to warn them whenever he saw approaching dangers. His penetrating comments are as wise and relevant today, as they were when he first wrote them. His sermons and other writings have been consistently recognized, and their usefulness and impact have continued to the present day, even in the outdated English of the author's own day. Why then should expositions already so successful and of such stature and proven usefulness require adaptation, revision, rewrite or even editing? The answer is obvious. To increase its usefulness to today's reader the language in which it was originally written needs updating. Though his sermons have served other generations well, just as they came from the pen of the author in the nineteenth century, they still could be lost to present and future generations simply because, to them, the language is neither readily nor fully understandable. The goal, however, has not been to reduce the original writing to the vernacular of our day. It is designed primarily for you who desire to read and study comfortably and at ease in the language of our time. Only obviously archaic terminology and passages obscured by expressions not totally familiar in our day have been revised. However, neither Ryle's meaning nor intent have been tampered with.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.24" Width: 6.26" Height: 1.02"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2001
Publisher   Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
ISBN  1589600487  
ISBN13  9781589600485  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Charles Ryle, J. I. Packer & J. C. Liverpool

John Charles Ryle Ryle was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford. He was ordained in 1842, eventually becoming Anglican Bishop of Liverpool in 1880 until shortly before his death.

John Charles Ryle was born at Macclesfield and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford. He was a fine athlete who rowed and played Cricket for Oxford, where he took a first class degree in Greats and was offered a college fellowship (teaching position) which he declined. The son of a wealthy banker, he was destined for a career in politics before answering a call to ordained ministry.

He was spiritually awakened in 1838 while hearing Ephesians 2 read in church. He was ordained by Bishop Sumner at Winchester in 1842. After holding a curacy at Exbury in Hampshire, he became rector of St Thomas's, Winchester (1843), rector of Helmingham, Suffolk (1844), vicar of Stradbroke (1861), honorary canon of Norwich (1872), and dean of Salisbury (1880). In 1880, at age 64, he became the first bishop of Liverpool, at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year.

Ryle was a strong supporter of the evangelical school and a critic of Ritualism. Among his longer works are Christian Leaders of the Eighteenth Century (1869), Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (7 vols, 1856-69) and Principles for Churchmen (1884).

John Charles Ryle was born in 1816 and died in 1900.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( P ) > Packer, J.I.
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about Practical Religion?

Outstanding!!!  Nov 21, 2008
A tremendous book! No fluff, no watery messages, just plain, simple, convicting truth! A book to be read and re-read many many times.
Uncommon Wisdom  Apr 3, 2008
The problem with Christians and their ministers, that I am liable to as well and that Bishop Ryle addresses in this text is summed up in the following statements:

"... we live in a day of weak and feeble statements. The danger of the state of nature is feebly exposed. The privileges of the state of grace are feebly set forth. Hesitating souls are not encouraged. Disciples are not established and confirmed. The man out of Christ is not rightly alarmed. The man in Christ is not rightly built up. The one sleeps on, and seldom has his conscience pricked. The other creeps and crawls all his days and never thoroughly understands the riches of his inheritance." (p. 454)

"But to have religion enough to be saved, and yet not go into extremes, -- to be sufficiently good, and yet not be peculiar, -- to have a quiet, easy-going, moderate kind of Christianity, and go comfortably to heaven after all, -- this is the world's favorite idea. There is a third class, a safe middle class, the world fancies, and in this middle class the majority of men persuade themselves they will be found." (p. 446)

He answers the challenges of the above statements through systematic forceful compassionate stinging offending bold unashamed essays on what the Scriptures say about what Christianity is, and what true Christians are like. The readers will not only find systematic treatments on what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ, the gospel, zeal, happiness, heaven (under the heading "Our Home") and hell, the church, holiness, charity, formalism, the absolute necessity of spiritual disciplines of prayers, Bible reading and ordinances, the end times (the great gathering and the great separation), but also piercing questions to the point that I feel as if he were forcing you to deal with the questions at hand in often an obnoxious manner which I think is very good, appropriate, and necessary. The readers will find heart-searching, self-examining questions as:

"Is your religion a matter of form, not of heart? Answer this question honestly, and as in the sight of God. And if it is, consider solemnly the immense danger in which you stand.... I earnestly beseech you this day to know your danger, to open your eyes and repent...if you only have a name to live, and a form of godliness without power, awake and repent. Awake, above all, if you are an evangelical formalist... There is no formalism so dangerous as evangelism formalism.... Whatever religion you have, never be content with wearing a cloak." (p.281-282)

There are few indeed, ministers with uncommon wisdom and vision of the signs of the times, the dangerous ones particularly; of whom Ryle is one of them, not only in the 1800's but O how much still and even more applicable today, the sober warnings from the Scriptures of the necessity of earnestness, serious, fight of faith to enter the strait gate and narrow way. "Practical Religion" is a Christian jewel that needs to be in every Christian family's library.
Piercing to the Division of Soul and Spirit, Joints and Marrow  Sep 10, 2005
What does a Christian do? What are the duties of the Christian life? What are the privileges of the Christian person? How does my faith in Christ affect my day-to-day living? My outlook on life and the world around me? J. C. Ryle answers these questions with his characteristic (but uncommon) wisdom, certainty and plainness. It is no mistake that this volume of his practical divinity (the others being `Holiness,' `Knots Untied' and `Old Paths') carries a subtitle that begins `Being Plain.' If Ryle is anything, he is plain. He is straight-forward, sincere, honest and eminently practical. Ryle just plain makes sense. His interpretation and application of the texts are impeccable. He makes Christian theology and the practice of heart-religion seem so simple and obvious and beautiful that I sometimes wonder what Bible I've been reading all these years to have missed so many beautiful truths!

Ryle speaks to both common and uncommon subjects in this volume. Prayer, Bible-reading, and attendance at the Lord's Table are duties which are well-known to every professing believer. His treatment of `Zeal,' `Formality' and `Sickness,' however, are bound to make the nominal Christian more than a little uncomfortable. Ryle speaks to the heart and soul of every man. He wields the sword of the Spirit like a skilful surgeon, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow. His sword strikes true and cuts deep-especially to those whose religion is a matter of practice and not a matter of the heart. It is clear that the title `Practical Religion' does not speak of a formula for mere religious action (nothing was more abhorrent to Ryle than heartless religion), but of those acts which are done by those whose faith is a way of life.

Christian, read J. C. Ryle. You will not regret it. He is a man who first and foremost loves the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the vital center of all his teaching and writing and the sole reason for his great power in ministry. Whether you are an erudite scholar or a hard-laboring farmer, a pastor or a layman, a spiritual elder or a babe in Christ--no matter where you are--Ryle's writings are for you. The love of Christ and the faith of this great 18th century saint cling to every page like an aromatic perfume. He is quickly becoming one of my very favorite writers. I have no doubt he will win a place in your heart (and your bookshelf) as well.

Here is a brief quote from one of my favorite chapters to whet your appetite: `Perhaps you have thought that if a man's religion is correct outwardly, he must be one with whom God is well pleased. You are completely mistaken. You are rejecting the whole tenor of Bible teaching. Outward correctness without a right heart is neither more nor less than Pharisaism. The outward things of Christianity,--baptism, the Lord's Supper, Church-membership, almsgiving, and the like,--will never take any man's soul to heaven, unless his heart is right. There must be inward things as well as outward,--and it is on the inward things that God's eyes are chiefly fixed' (p. 269).
Proper Theology = Proper Living  Feb 3, 2000
There is quite the movement in today's evangelical circles to the idea of "practical theology." Living what you believe, or 'walking the walk, if you will. What this movement sorely misses however is that to "live what you believe," you must KNOW WHAT YOU BELIEVE! Ryle deftly walks the line between Systematic and Practical theologies, constantly forcing the reader to stop and examine his/her own life. What is the point of theology if it doesn't impact your walk? Ryle challenges the "talk" and the "walk" at the same time. Not recommended for those who do not wish to engage in "Self-Examination," but highly recommended for those who truly wish to make Truth the reflection in the mirror of their lives.
One of the greatest Christian writers of the 20th century  Jun 18, 1999
Of all the books I have read in the past few years, no one has influenced my life as Bishop J.C. Ryle has. His writtings give the perfect balance of Law and grace and will help you to better understand the Christian life to a deeper and richer level. I am very thankful for the writings of this man. I would recommend his other works including "Old Paths." His expository commentaries on the Gospels are wonderful, too. Find out why J.C. Ryle has impacted Christians for over 100 years.

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