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4.35  ·  Rating details ·  3,577 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
The twenty papers contained in this volume are a humble contribution to a cause which is exciting much interest in the present day,--I mean the cause of Scriptural holiness* It is a cause which everyone who loves Christ, and desires to advance His kingdom in the world, should endeavour to help forward. Everyone can do something, and I wish to add my mite.

The reader will f
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1877)
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Oct 16, 2012 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
Dec 21, 2010 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to give this a more in-depth review on the blog shortly. Suffice to say I highly recommend it :).
Oct 27, 2009 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ben Hartman
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read. It took me a long time, but I finally finished it. Holiness constantly looks Christward, exhorting Christians in the living of a holy life. One of the most often quoted texts was Hebrews 12:14 "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." This seems to be a somewhat forgotten verse in our day. May we strive daily for greater holiness and conformity to Christ and His Word.
Feb 25, 2013 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.
Jan 12, 2016 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
Angie Tolpin
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.
Alan Yau
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alan by: Pastor Michael Sprott
Shelves: holiness
Almost every chapter was convicting, bringing the reader back to the Gospel and makes you question yourself to see if you have truly repented and put your trust in Christ and thus have salvation, because if you have you will desire holiness and strive towards holiness.
T. Aidan McGuire
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 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodoxy, puritans
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
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: devotional, theology
A classic that should be read and discussed by every Christian.
Chris Wray
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic and robustly biblical book, and is undoubtedly one of the best things that I've read on the subject of holiness. Written as a series of individual papers rather than a systematic work, it nevertheless gives a full picture of what biblical holiness is, what it looks like in practice, and why it's so important for Christians to strive after it. It is also a book that feels very fresh and relevant even though it was written nearly 150 years ago. The same errors, weaknesses and m ...more
Josh Miller
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I concur with John Stott's reply when asked what one book would he recommend to someone starting out in ministry, "J.C. Ryle's Holiness!"

This book inspired, convicted, challenged, motivated, and ministered to me in so many ways. To be honest, any Christian who would take the time to read, meditate, and ponder the truths contained in this book will be the better Christian for it.

The first three chapters alone (Sin, Sanctification, & Holiness) were as powerful as any I have ever read on the s
Crystal Joplin
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually reading a compilation of Ryle's papers that is 281 pages in length and is larger book (by width and height) also called "Holiness" but I can't seem to find it on goodreads. This version on goodreads is only for the first paper entitled Holiness. I haven't finished all of the papers in the version I have but the papers on Holiness and Sanctification are excellent. Perhaps the best I've ever read on the subject. I highly recommend any believer who wants to dig deeper in what it means ...more
Danny Gumprecht
In the providence of God, it has taken me 10 years to read Holiness. The Lord saw fit why it would take me this long.

This is the classic on sanctification and the Christian life. There are many other books that are helpful, but Ryle is in a class of his own. You must read it- read it slowly and savor it- and be changed as he points you to Christ. "Christ is all."
Carlyn Cole
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This needs to be re-read once a year. It provides a necessary reset to our thinking and acting in our world.
Todd Linn
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chola Mukanga
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Not much one can say except that it is a classic and thoroughly enjoyable version! One to read and re-read!
Curt Mize
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kevin DeYoung said that this would be the book he would pick if he could have every Christian read one book. I agree. Indispensable.
Jonathan Sussex
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that is well worth reading more than once. It was very challenging and full of solid Gold biblical encouragement.
Benjamin Zintak
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike E.
Mar 22, 2011 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
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
Josh Dockter
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meagan Maree bought this little gem for me a couple years back and I have not put it down since. This is my second time through and I believe it will live on my desk until glory.
"The Frank and Manly Mr. Ryle" was an Anglican bishop in the late 1800's who was compelled to preach against the Keswick movement which was gaining popularity in England. This dangerous theology proclaimed from the rooftops the dirt-shallow cry of "let-go-and-let-God". Ryle knew from reading the Bible that something was
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
Aaron Kleinheksel
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
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  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • The Bruised Reed
  • Redemption Accomplished and Applied
  • Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
  • The Doctrine of Repentance
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
  • A Quest for Godliness
  • The Letters of Samuel Rutherford (Puritan Paperbacks)
  • The Sovereignty of God
  • Lectures to My Students
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man
  • The Reformed Pastor
  • The Mystery of Providence
  • The Religious Affections
  • The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness
  • The Enemy Within: Straight Talk about the Power and Defeat of Sin
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
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.” 33 likes
“I entreat my readers, besides the Bible and the Articles, to read history.” 17 likes
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