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4 Stars Out Of 5
Jesus: The Epitome of Love!
July 18, 2012
"Loving the Way Jesus Loves" is an exposition of both the "love chapter" (1 Corinthians 13) and the embodiment of love as found in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through this compilation of twelve messages, Phil Ryken does a commendable job of demonstrating how Jesus fulfilled the qualities of love as listed by the Apostle Paul. Each chapter is built around an outline of defining a quality (such as "love waits" "love hopes," etc.), illustrating how Christ perfectly modeled that quality, and challenging the reader to strive to follow Christ's example. A twenty-page study guide is included to facilitate group discussion and individual growth. The book is also annotated and contains general and scriptural indices. While recognizing that this is not a scholarly work, but one meant for general audiences, the author could have expanded his source material. In nearly every chapter, for example, he quotes Jonathan Edwards and Lewis Smedes, two obvious favorites. His use of illustrations, especially to introduce chapters, creates immediate interest for the reader and orients them to the characteristic of love being discussed. I would recommend this book for small groups who desire to explore the meaning and living out of "agape" love. Ryken could have done a more comprehensive job of discussing the origin or source of love, but given its intended scope, it is still a work worthy of one's investment.
Few authors can combine a great knowledge of literature, the Bible, theology and write in such a way as to drive the reader to Jesus. Dr. Phil Ryken is one of the rare authors I've read who combines a great deal of knowledge among a broad scope of disciplines to help readers develop a biblical worldview and learn to know and exalt in the Savior more. Dr. Ryken has quickly become one of my favorite writers because of his ability to write in an integrated fashion as he does in Loving The Way Jesus Loves.
Loving The Way Jesus Loves is an examination of the all too familiar "Love Chapter" 1st Corinthians 13. By drawing on the life and ministry of Jesus to illustrate what love is and isn't Dr. Ryken draws on his extensive knowledge across a variety of disciplines to bring a unique but biblical perspective to this often quoted passage.
The most interesting part of this book isn't the approach the author takes to 1st Corinthians 13 which is spot on, but rather the inclusion of the photographs. This book first began as a sermon series that Dr. Ryken preached at Philadelphia's Ten Presbyterian Church where he served as Pastor for fifteen years. In the spring of 2010 Gene Schmidt came to Philadelphia with an art installment to the streets of Philadelphia with art entitled "Lovetown PA" a project "that involved setting up wooden stencils in various settings around the city, including Love Park, the home of Robert Indian's iconic "Love" sculpture" (13). These stencils spelled out the complete text of 1 Corinthians 13 in the NIV.
Dr. Ryken soon realized while putting the book to publication that he should include Gene's artwork and contacted him. Another artist Alicia Hansen helped to bring these photographs of Gene to life as he quietly went about his work by situating him "in urban landscapes that display the splendor and misery of a great city" (14). These photographs add value to this book by giving fresh power to the words of the biblical text by placing the text of Scripture in juxtaposition with the world we live in today.
When these photographs are combined with Dr. Ryken's excellent Christ-honoring exegesis this book will help Christians of all ages to understand the profound love of Christ more deeply, which will in turn help them learn to love Jesus more deeply in response. I recommend you get a copy of this accessible exposition of 1st Corinthians 13. Reading this book will challenge you and help you to see the authentic love of God in a whole new light.
Authors: Phil Ryken
Publisher: Crossway (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Crossway Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Essentially a commentary on 1 Corinthians13, Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken is a wonderful portrayal of what it means to love with the love of Christ.
Each chapter in Loving the Way Jesus Loves takes a focused look at the different characteristics of love taught in 1 Corinthians 13. It also views 1 Corinthians 13 through the lens of Christ's love, and how He exemplified each characteristic of love described in 1 Corinthians.
I found chapter 3, Love Is Not Irritable, particularly helpful (and convicting!)
"When we are irritable, we want to get away from other people--our family members, our neighbors, our classmates, our co-workers--even if it means keeping other people away from Jesus, too." (page 52)
"This is how irritability treats other people: by putting what we want ahead of what they need and, if possible, by trying to avoid their needs altogether. The real problem is us, not them. We need to be honest about this, because often we blame the people around us for the way we respond."He really makes me mad!" we say, as if someone outside of us were directly and totally responsible for our sinful attitude. This is not to say that other people are never annoying. Sometimes they are. But the spiritual issue for me is not how irritating other people are; it is how irritable I am." (page 52-53)
Oh, how I need the love of Jesus to love others more than I do myself!
Ryken does a wonderful job of pointing us to Jesus with every chapter. I cannot be less irritable, self-seeking, or impatient without the love of Christ. It is His love that is the example I look to, and it is only His love that enables me to love like Jesus.
"Jesus never does anything without love. Indeed, his love is everything the Love Chapter says that love should be. It is patient with sinners and kind to strangers. It does not envy or boast but offers itself in humble service. It does not envy or boast but offers itself in humble service. It does not insist on its own way but submits to the Father. It is able to forgive, trust, hope, and persevere...In other words, the love of Jesus is everything that we are not...Jesus is the living perfection of love." (page 178)
There is also a great study guide in the back, making this a great book for a small group discussion.
I really enjoyed this book! Grab your own copy today, you'll love it!
Many people usually take 1 Corinthians 13 and applies it to romantic love. It is quoted at weddings and even at a church's Valentine's Day banquet. Could 1 Corinthians 13 actually talk about how Jesus loves people including us?
That is what Phil Ryken in his book, Loving The Way Jesus Loves, talks about. Ryken takes 1 Corinthians 13 and talks about every aspect of love that Jesus has for us. This book was based on a sermon series on 1 Corinthians 13, which seems that sermon series always make great books. What is unique about this book are the photos that are in the beginning of each chapter. The photos are various place in Philadelphia with stencils of different words which is based on 1 Corinthians 13 (in the NIV).
This book is theologically sound on the love of Christ. I think I have almost every page in the book underlined and quoted this book a lot on Twitter. This is a great book for all Christians to read especially if there is someone in your life you are having a tough time to love.