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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully written, wonderfully read, 15 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Pursuit of Holiness (Audio CD)
In this classic book "The Pursuit of Holiness", Jerry Bridges sets out an almost exhaustive catalogue of principles by which one might consider what it means to seek a life of holiness. Usefully, the early parts of the work present not how to pursue holiness, but a systematic explanation of the relevance of holiness to the Christian, its essential root, origin and object in the Holiness of God, and the imperatives presented by scripture which motivate and define this search for holiness.

Of particular value is the chapter entitled "obedience not victory" in which careful attention is paid to the way in which one measures holiness - particularly that one should not seek `victory' in the pursuit of holiness (that being what we have won for us in Christ), but rather `obedience' to God's law (in light of what Christ has indeed done for us).

The work, as all books discussing holiness, treads a very thin line between a created legalism and Christian freedom in the Gospel. The author skilfully moves the discussion back to the Gospel or grace in a number of places, which is greatly to be valued given the topic at hand. That being said, there are places where the reader may feel the line has been crossed into an artificial legalism. As an example, the application of Romans 14 to produce a mandate to derive one's "own convictions" according to how "God is leading [you]" and then hold them to be a rule one must be "careful not to violate" runs contrary to the intention of Paul to underscore freedom according to knowledge. Thus, whereas the Holy Ghost writes by Paul, "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean" (Romans 14:14) it seems the author finds a mandate to figure out what God is leading one to esteem unclean and so declare it such unto one's self.

That being said, the work as a whole stands solidly upon scripture and reflects Grace as its motivation and end. Although I think this is a good book which presents much value and encouragement to the discerning Christian reader, I do not recommend the book for new Christians or those who do not have a firm understanding of the Gospel and the doctrine of justification as the power with which Jerry Bridges brings to the table may easily overpower all other concerns.

This edition is read by Arthur Morey who does a wonderful job adding expression and interest to a text which is at times difficult and expresses complex concepts.

With thanks to the christianaudio reviews program who provided the review copy of this audio book
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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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