I call upon You, Lord, God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob and Israel, You who are the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God who, through the abundance of your mercy, was well-pleased towards us so that we may know You, who made heaven and earth, who rules over all, You who are the one and the true God, above whom there is no other God; You who, by our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit, give to every one who reads this writing to know You, that You alone are God, to be strengthened in You, and to avoid every heretical and godless and impious teaching.

St Irenaeus of Lyons, Against the Heresies 3:6:4

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Pastor Ready In and Out of Season: J. C. Ryle’s Warning for His Times...and Ours

I suggest, for one thing, that we ought to exercise a special jealousy over our own personal religion [i.e., evangelical Protestantism].  Let us take heed that it is thoroughly and entire Evangelical.  The times we live in are desperately unfavorable to a sharply-cut, decided, distinct, doctrinal Christianity.  A fog of vague liberalism overspreads the ecclesiastical horizon.  A settle determination to think everybody is right, and nobody is wrong, everything is true, and nothing is false, meets us at every turn.  The world is possessed with a devil of false charity about religion.  Men try to persuade us, like Gallio, that the alleged differences between creeds and schools of thought are only about “words and names,” and that it is “all the same thing.”  In times like these, let us be on our guard, and take heed to our souls—“Watch ye: stand fast in the faith.  Quit you like men: be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).  Let us steadfastly resolve to stand fast in the old paths, the good way of our Protestant Reformers.  Narrow, old-fashion, obsolete, as some may be pleased to call that way, they will never show us a better!

J. C. Ryle, Knots Untied, Kindle, loc. 403—412.   

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