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.
Title: Loving the Way Jesus Loves
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.”