Why We Read Ryle
Clear and concise, encouraging and exhilarating, reliable and readable are six words that quickly come to mind. They help explain why the writings of J C Ryle have such an enduring value. But they are not the main reason why I, and so many others, find his books so beneficial.
Ryle tackles controversial issues in some of articles and tracts. He did so because he knew that the issues of his day had to be addressed. The honour of Christ, the well-being of his church, and the salvation of individuals, these are what motivated him.
That is why he published what have proved to be some of the finest Christian biographies available to us. And that is why so many of his sermons and addresses have been collected together in print.
What emerges as you read his books is that he was a preacher, a man with a message. His message had as it centre the amazing grace of God.
He worked hard to arrest the attention of his readers and hearers, to address their needs, and to applying the timeless authoritative Word of God to their consciences. Hence he is always economic in his use of words. Each clause, sentence, and paragraph is carefully crafted to have a maximum impact.
Ryle leads you to Christ. He wants God’s truth to be heard and received. He wants unbelievers to believe, and for believers to be faithful. He learned during his years of Christian service that, after the Bible, the Puritans provide some of the best teaching available to us on living the Christian life. Dr Lloyd-Jones is right. J C Ryle’s books ‘are a distillation of true Puritan theology in a highly readable and modern form.’ You will never read them without profit.
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