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4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,820 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Ryle calls us to live a life set apart from the world and set our minds on things above.

Bishop J.C. Ryle served the Lord in ministry in the Church of England for almost the entire length of the Victorian Age. Although Ryle was committed to all forms of evangelism, his heart beat strongest for mass evangelism in the cities. Much of his immediate influence on Victorian evang
Paperback, 59 pages
Published August 28th 1996 by The Institute of Evangelism (first published 1877)
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Oct 16, 2012 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable number of books that promote 'formulas' for living the Christian life have had their day on the Christian bestseller lists, only to fade away as time goes on. Yet J.C. Ryle's Holiness, which was first published 126 years ago, shows no signs of going out of style. What could possibly account for the longevity of a volume that Reformation & Revival Journal once called "the finest work on living the Christian life available"? I offer three reasons:

1) It gives no formulas. Bishop Ry
Jan 13, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ryle's work is a classic Reformed defense of the pursuit of sanctification as an active enterprise against various late 19th century denigrations of that understanding. He is, in a way, a Puritan out of place in history (and easier to read than John Owen). In Holiness, Ryle stands against extremes among the Reformed and Lutheran that claim sanctification is all about faith, but also against the holiness movements of his day, arising in part out of a misdirection of Wesley's understanding of imm ...more
Amy Ivey
Sep 21, 2012 Amy Ivey rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! This book was written in the late 1800s, but it reads like it was written today!! Each chapter is a separate paper written by J.C. Ryle, some were sermons, all focused on SCRIPTURAL holiness. Ryle's discussions are beautifully simple and completely scripturally founded. He begins with chapters on sin, sanctification, holiness, then continues on to offer biblical examples of his points. His chapter on Moses clearly represents Moses as a type of Christ: Moses left the rank and greatness and ...more
Oct 13, 2015 Suzannah rated it really liked it
I want to give this a more in-depth review on the blog shortly. Suffice to say I highly recommend it :).
Nov 16, 2009 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
This review so far refers only to chapter VII "Assurance" (pp. 143-181):

Another reading with me doing plenty of underlining throughout. One line of truth even had me updating my Facebook profile quotations since I resonated with it so much.

Reading this chapter wasn't all roses for me, however. I felt that I didn't share the experience he described as so common among Christian believers (a lack of "assurance") but by the end of the chapter I was chalking it up to cultural differences and semanti
May 03, 2012 Sushant rated it it was amazing
Excellent, Excellent book!

I believe that a lack of passion for personal holiness is probably one of the saddest aspects of 21st century Christianity. In our effort to move away from legalism, we have given way to lechery, and we have emphasized God's love and forgiveness so much that most of us have no clue what the verse "Strive...for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14) means. This book helps you understand what that verse means biblically.

A generation that is
Apr 23, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
This has been a book that I have slowly read for the past 2 years. It's not a fast read by any means, but the writing is mostly clear. Some parts I connected with better than others. It was originally written as a series of papers, so it felt like 20 separate thoughts on holiness. However, this is a book that deserves to be read by every Christian today.
I really love the discussion over how much of the confusion regarding the pursuit of holiness is really confusion over participation in sanctification vs. justification.
Mar 07, 2016 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary: The classic collection by nineteenth century evangelical Anglican J.C. Ryle emphasizing that growth in Christ-like character (holiness) involves not only faith in Christ's empowering work but effort in laying hold of that work and that this basic matter is far too often neglected in the church.

J. C. Ryle was an Anglican rector, and eventually bishop of the then-new Diocese of Liverpool. He lived from 1816-1900. Much of his work was among working class people, and it is evident in readin
Benjamin Zintak
Mar 25, 2016 Benjamin Zintak rated it it was amazing
This book is a must-read for the serious Christian. Ryle pulls extensively from Scripture in his attempt to characterize just what holiness is. He challenges the reader to examine his or her life and evaluate it against God's call to holiness, which is explicit in many passages of the Bible. Indeed, he goes to great lengths to dissect confusing verses and bring their meaning to light, demonstrating the need of every true Christian to strive for holiness.

The primary concern with Ryle's work is th
Valerie Caraotta
A must read for church leadership and seriously committed Christians

I can't think of a more timely book in the day we are living in then this one entitled Holiness by J.C. Ryle. Before I proceed, it's imperative that this book is not for every Christian. Rather, it is for those willing in deed rather than mere knowledge, to take up their cross daily and get on board with what holiness represents in actuality. J.C. Ryle will have you discover that holiness is much more then mental assent but a de
Angie Tolpin
Feb 11, 2015 Angie Tolpin rated it really liked it
We as Christians should be in a pursuit for Holiness. But often our relationships don't allow us to live holy. Comparison, competitiveness, etc... all attempt to swerve the christian off the path of living holy and usually this is done by our own team mates, the body of Christ.

I have been grieved over this reality in my own life and in reading this was so encouraged to pursue holiness no matter what the cost, friendships, etc...

So thankful for this exegesis of scripture on this topic.
Michael Bering Smith
Apr 05, 2016 Michael Bering Smith rated it it was amazing
One discipline in the ordinary Christian life that receives (to my despair) increasingly less attention in our current age is that of practical holiness.

J.C. Ryle, the great Victorian-age, Anglican bishop of Liverpool (and contemporary of Charles Spurgeon), here offers a timely distillation of the essence of a holy Christian life: there are no formulas, only joyful adherence to the biblical truth. This can sound taxing. Yet he delivers his addresses in a way that commends 1 John 5:3, "His comman
T. Aidan McGuire
May 02, 2016 T. Aidan McGuire rated it liked it
The first few chapters are excellent and are a must read on the topic. However, as the book progresses the author becomes more and more pietistic and less applicable to the Christian life.
May 27, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a rich, rich book. My very favorite chapter was the chapter on Lot. Wow. Every Christian should read that chapter. My favorite chapters were 1-4 and 9, 15, 19.
Pete Williamson
Mar 28, 2013 Pete Williamson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: devotional, theology
A classic that should be read and discussed by every Christian.
Aaron Kleinheksel
Mar 09, 2014 Aaron Kleinheksel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous and timeless treatment of the titled topic.

J.C. Ryle's book was written partly in response to the then-fashionable (late 19th c.) theology of "let go and let God" approach to the Christian life. It was being taught that once an individual accepted Christ that conflict and struggles in this life would abate as God would take over. This false teaching led to much spiritual abuse, disillusionment, and confusion in the Church. Incidentally, this type of stuff is still found being dissemin
Mike E.
Dec 13, 2011 Mike E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ryle is the engineer of pastor-theologians! "Holiness" is detailed and exhaustive as well as pastoral, practical. Any believer wanting to be challenged to pursue holiness would benefit from this classic, still in print from 1879. Ryle calls the believer to the fight, to the battle, for holiness. Sanctification is a work of God's grace, but does not happen apart from discipline and intentionality. Ryle does not address congregational or community holiness, only personal holiness. It's amazing how ...more
This is a classic every christian reader should read. It is full of application and truth. It is well focused that it is written directly to the reader that you are examining your own walk with the Lord instead of thinking so and so should read this. There are many books on holiness which I think this book takes crown. It is very centered on scripture and who Jesus is. The what, the why and the how come is revealed in the pages of this read. It is very sobering in that we have a great God that h ...more
Scott Cox
It has been many years since I read this book by Liverpool Bishop J.C.Ryle, however I still remember how encouraging this book was! In reviewing the highlights in my book, I was once again challenged with "I bid you not to be slothful, not to be careless, not to be content with a small measure of grace, not to be satisfied with being a little better than the world" (p.157). Excellent words from a Godly man of the Lord.
Derrick Ochago
Jul 07, 2014 Derrick Ochago rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Christians
Recommended to Derrick by: Tollege
Honestly, the subject of sanctification or rather holiness is not given as much attention as it should be in church today. Christians are so passive to even obey some of the plainest texts in scripture like "if you love me, you will obey my commandments" This is book, however old it may be is a stunner and every Christian even more minster in church should read it
Nov 16, 2015 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful!! I plan to read it again. It is so insightful - one of those books that you can read and re-read and learn more each time you do. Ryle explains holiness and what it looks like in a believer's life and calls you to a higher plane. A definite must for those desiring to grow in holiness.
Jun 26, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily, the most profound book I have ever read regarding our obligation as followers of Jesus Christ to grow in grace, faith, and obedience as believers. If you have any desire to be more like Christ and to be less like the world, please place this book at the top of your "To Read" list.
Feb 22, 2014 Nile rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
This is a fantastic book for anyone looking for a complete treatment of holiness as it relates to the Christian. This was originally published as twenty separate papers that each address a sub-topic of spiritual holiness and end with a set of convicting questions to the reader. Ryle was a preacher and spent much of his time visiting the families in his church. He writes this volume as a pastor that is concerned for his flock. He is deeply theologically and deals with the difficult concepts to un ...more
Ruth Baker
Apr 19, 2016 Ruth Baker rated it it was amazing
Without doubt one of the best books I've read. It's up there with J I Packer's Knowing God. This has a focus on knowing yourself. It's confronting and convicting. But always beautifully written, biblically founded and lovingly offered. I recommend every Christian read this.
I finally got through this massive reading. It just took my three years, but it was worth it, especially chapters 8-13 and the final chapter. JC Ryle is my hero from afar, I will read anything he puts out. This book was a great read for me.
Oct 07, 2014 RCW rated it it was amazing
One of my top three Christian books, so full of practical spiritual help, comfort and conviction. Clear, concise, and highly readable. Highly recommended.
Norm Konzelman
Apr 28, 2016 Norm Konzelman rated it did not like it
Although I can't fault the authors goal, Holiness in the Christian, I found it to be a weird mix of doctrine regarding salvation. On the one hand, salvation to Eternal Life is presented as a free gift received by faith in Jesus Christ, and it is. On the other hand, the author presents his case where it is needed to have just enough holiness to make it.
Whatever that requirement exactly was, was not made clear (because it can't be).
A worldly man won't read this book, though a curious avid reader
Zack Melvin
Sep 23, 2013 Zack Melvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A challenging classic, not just in the conviction it brings to the Christian soul, but to its contemplative nature; in other words, this isn't a book you can just quickly read through. I tried it - wouldn't recommend it. One needs to steep their soul in each of these chapters for them to have any sanctifying effect, to the glory of God. The message: God desires us to be holy before him, and holiness is happiness in the Lord, whom we are to eagerly await in soberness of mind as we stand our groun ...more
Gerald  Zengeya
No other book has shaped my idea of how to live the Christian life like this one. Probably the most important book after the bible.
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  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • Quest for Godliness
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
  • The Doctrine of Repentance (Puritan Paperbacks)
  • Lectures to My Students
  • God's Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards (with the Complete Text of the End for Which God Created the World)
  • The Religious Affections
  • The Mystery of Providence
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
  • The Letters of Samuel Rutherford (Puritan Paperbacks)
  • The Sovereignty of God
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • The Reformed Pastor
  • The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin
J. C. Ryle was a prominent writer, preacher, and Anglican clergyman in nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of the classic Expository Thoughts on the Gospels and retired as the bishop of Liverpool.
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“A true Christian is one who has not only peace of conscience, but war within. He may be known by his warfare as well as by his peace.” 25 likes
“Holiness is the habit of being of one mind with God, according as we find His mind described in Scripture. It is the habit of agreeing in God's judgment, hating what He hates, loving what He loves, and measuring everything in this world by the standard of His Word.” 15 likes
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