Archive for the ‘Philip Ryken’ Category

Assurance – Ryken on Boston

August 29, 2012

Product: Thomas Boston As Preacher Of The Fourfold State Image[M. Charles] Bell has not been alone in arguing that the later Calvinists ‘turned [man] back on himself to examine himself,’ replacing Calvin’s Christological basis for faith and assurance with a ‘subjective base intra nos in our own sanctification, and thus one lost the possibility of certainty.’ But this is to misunderstand both Calvin and later Reformed theologians, for whom assurance is based on divine activity – within as well as without the soul – and not simply on human initiative. The work of Christ inside us (intra nos) is capable of providing subordinate certainty just because it is the fruit of the work of Christ outside us (extra nos).
Philip Ryken, Thomas Boston as a Preacher of the Fourfold State, 176

Well said Dr Ryken! As an aside Thomas Boston as a Preacher of the Fourfold State is a pleasure to read.  It is very well written for a dissertation and provides a sound guide to one of the most important theologians of the Reformed tradition in Scotland .

It is available for a very reasonable £10 at Authentic Media.

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Ryken on Puritan Preaching

June 27, 2009

The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century series has been something of a mixed bag (as multi-author sets tend to be) but here is a good quote from Philip Ryken on the Puritan understanding of preaching:

The way the law leads men to Christ is by showing them that they will surely perish without him.  “Make known to the lost sheep the utter misery of their condition outside of Christ.  No one ever comes to Christ who stands on his own.  The Prodigal does not race back to his father until he has to, lest he perish on his own.”  While the law shows the sheep that they are lost, only the gospel will bring them home, and thus all preaching is to be evangelistic.  The main work of the gospel minister is to preach Christ, who is “the Alpha and Omega of the ministry.”  To preach Christ is to take his person, his work, and his benefits and offer them freely to sinners.
Philip Ryken, ‘Oliver Bowles and the Westminster View of the Gospel Ministry’ in J. Ligon Duncan, ed., The Westminster Confession into the 21st Century, 2:421-2

Ryken here is writing on Oliver Bowles’ De Pastore Evangelico –  a work Durham was familiar with.  We have seen comments similar to Ryken’s before:

The Puritans did not regard evangelistic sermons as a special class of sermons, having their own peculiar style and conventions; the Puritan position was, rather, that, since all Scripture bears witness to Christ, and all sermons should aim to expound and apply what is in the Bible, all proper sermons would of necessity declare Christ and so be to some extent evangelistic. 
‘The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel’, How Shall They Hear?, Papers Read at the Puritan and Reformed Studies Conference, December 1959, p 11-21, Rept. Tentmaker

Who knows – Ryken and Packer might be right 🙂