Loving the Way Jesus Loves, by Phil Ryken (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012) 222 pp., paper $14.99

In Loving the Way Jesus Loves Ryken does a fine job describing love as taught in 1 Corinthians 13.  The uniqueness of this book is, after dealing with each facet of love as found in the Pauline epistles, Ryken then illustrates it with an episode from the life of Christ as found in the Gospels.  The effect is to put shoes on love and watch as it travels about in real life situations.

Ryken devotes one chapter each to twelve descriptions of love as provided by Paul.  I particularly appreciated chapter three, “Love Is Not Irritable,” chapter five, “Love’s Holy Joy,” chapter eleven, “Love Forgives,” and the last chapter, “Love Never Fails,” but every chapter has valuable insights.  This volume also comes with a helpful study guide for small groups.

There are a handful of questionable comments such as when the author wrote that the new commandment given by Jesus (“That you love one another…” John 13:34) means that love now comes with new power (p. 129); this interpretation cannot be found in the context.  But for the most part Ryken does an excellent job exegeting the Scriptures he uses.  There is also the seeming obligatory reference to Mother Teresa (p. 55), that always calls the true gospel into question.  But thankfully there is only one such reference and none from other similarly questionable individuals.  Overall the reader can profit much from this book.

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