Stand Firm and Fight On
Edited by Lee Gatiss, the book begins with an excellent introduction to Ryle as an evangelical Anglican, by Vaughan Roberts (Rector of St Ebbe’s, Oxford and President of the Proclamation Trust). Dr Andrew Atherstone from Wycliffe Hall then examines Ryle’s evangelistic strategy and there’s also a chapter on his view of comprehensiveness in the Church of England by the late Peter Toon. Two outlines of Ryle’s life and ministry as a bishop in Liverpool (by Eric Russell, his biographer, and Oswald Clarke) are followed by Alan Munden’s fascinating explorations of Ryle as a tract-writer and as a premillennialist (something which is not often noted!).
This is a collection of chapters which have appeared over the last 150 years in our journal Churchman, and it is rounded-off with two chapters by Ryle himself, from the very first issues (freshly edited with new notes). In the first, Ryle asks “Where are we?” as he surveys the state of evangelicalism in his day. This will be sobering and encouraging to his spiritual descendants today. Then finally, Ryle’s provocative and challenging article on “Unity among Churchmen” (originally from 1879) is an unexpected and startling must-read in these days of turmoil and division in the Church of England.