Thursday, May 19, 2016

J. C. Ryle and Comprehensiveness

Ryle was an Evangelical Churchman; not merely an Evangelical and not merely a Churchman, but an Evangelical Churchman. As an evangelical he was particularly committed to the doctrines of the full aspiration and authority of Holy Scripture, of human sinfulness and corruption, of the penal substitutionary atonement of Christ, and of the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and sanctification. As a Churchman he was thoroughly committed to the Church of England by law established, to her system of church government, to her Prayer Book, to her Articles of Religion, and to the recognition and acceptance of the existence of various tradition and parties (High, Broad, Low and Evangelical) within her fold. He demonstrated his acceptance of these various traditions and parties as at least tolerable by his active participation in the Church Congresses from the year 1865 onwards as well as participation in the Diocesan Conferences in Norwich when he was Vicar of Stradbroke.

With this in mind the basic question which we shall attempt to answer in this article is the following: how did Ryle, as a leading Evangelical clergyman, understand and interpret the comprehensiveness of the church? Or, put another way: how did Ryle, who held such definite and dogmatic views of the nature of Christianity, understand and interpret a church in which were ministers and laymen with differing views of the Faith of Christ and the nature of the church? Read More

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