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‘Holiness’ – A Review by Peter Barnes

Author
Category Book Reviews
Date June 17, 2015

A review by Peter Barnes of J. C. Ryle’s Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots.1

No one has written more simply, more graciously, and more helpfully than J. C. Ryle, and the 21 chapters which constitute the full edition of Holiness (the enlarged 1879 edition which expanded the 1877 edition) reveal Ryle at his best. It is a reminder of another era in that he describes the issue of scriptural holiness as ‘a cause which is exciting much interest in the present day’. One can only hope that the republication of Ryle’s work will do something to revive that interest.

Ryle’s Introduction is a gem, and in a most understated way he demolishes the biblical-sounding but utterly unbiblical approach of the Keswick movement which taught sanctification by faith. Seven times he raises Keswick teachings, only to respond laconically: ‘I doubt it.’ Then follows 21 essays, each based on a biblical text.

There are few books that one would consider calling ‘indispensable’, but this comes close to being in that category. It has everything: clarity, power, and faithfulness to God’s revelation. Borrow it or buy it, but by all means read it, and recommend it to others.

Notes

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      Holiness

      Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots

      by J. C. Ryle


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      A review by Peter Barnes of J. C. Ryle’s Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots.1 No one has written more simply, more graciously, and more helpfully than J. C. Ryle, and the 21 chapters which constitute the full edition of Holiness (the enlarged 1879 edition which expanded the 1877 edition) reveal Ryle at his […]

Taken with permission from Australian Presbyterian, August 2015.

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