Oct 22, 2012

Read his books…and grow

If you see any book by Philip Graham Ryken for sale I urge you to buy it. I’ve always been so blessed by every book of his I’ve ever read. City on a Hill (Reclaiming the Biblical Pattern for the Church in the 21st Century) is no exception. He is biblical, engaging, has a deep appreciation of what we need to learn and hold onto from our Reformed past, and understands the times in which we live.

I’ll be saying more about Ryken’s key insights for church leaders when I review the book. For now, here is an extract from a young Jonathan Edwards quoted by Ryken on his chapter ‘thinking and acting biblically’.

I have been before God, and have given myself, all that I am and have, to God; so that I am not, in any respect, my own. I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections, which are in me. Neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members: no right to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell, or this taste. I have given myself clear away, and have not retained any thing, as my own… I have been this morning to him, and told him, that I gave myself wholly to him. I have given every power to him…I have this morning told him, that I did take him for my whole portion and felicity, looking on nothing else, as any part of my happiness.. and that I would adhere to the faith and obedience of the Gospel, however hazardous and difficult, the confession and practice of it may be… This, I have done; and I pray God, for the sake of Christ, to look upon it as a self-dedication, and to receive me now, as entirely his own, and to deal with me, in all respects, as such, whether he afflicts me, or prospers me, or whatever he pleases to do with me, who am his. Now, henceforth, I am not to act, in any respect, as my own.

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