Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Review: The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges

The following came as an email from Gospel Reminders:

“People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.” - D.A. Carson

I think this quote gives a good overview of what the author of The Pursuit of Holiness is trying to teach, encourage, and warn against. Since people do not "drift towards holiness", they need to pursue holiness with "grace-driven effort". Understanding this concept, beginning this journey, and warning against pitfalls is what this book is about.

Bridges uses scripture, personal stories, anecdotes, and illustrations to get across his points. He manages to get across his ideas with a style that is easily understandable and interesting. He covers the topics with balance and gracefulness.

I found some chapters much more profitable, and enjoyable, than others. This is likely due to where I am at on my personal pursuit of holiness. Bridges has something for everyone in this book regardless of where one might be on their own journey.

In this classic work on holiness, Bridges covers a wide array of related topics; God's holiness, our sin, Christ's work and our standing as a result, our responsibilities, personal discipline, the Holy Spirit's work, the central role of Scripture, perseverance, resolve, and prayer as well as many other topics.

You can read other posts I have made about this book here and here.

I'll end with a quote from Tim Challies of Discerning Reader:
"And so I commend this book to you. You will not have to look far to find testimonies of the power of The Pursuit of Holiness... it has been endorsed by hundreds of thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ who have been challenged by it to live lives of holiness."

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