Philip Graham Ryken
Reviewed by: Gregory E. Reynolds
Date posted: 05/08/2005
He Speaks to Me Everywhere: Meditations on Christianity and Culture, by Philip Graham Ryken. Published by P&R Publishing, 2004. Paperback, 222 pages, list price $13.99. Reviewed by OP pastor Gregory E. Reynolds.
This collection of crisp, thoughtful, pastoral talks is not only generally helpful to the Christian reader, but also a fine example of what pastors should be doing regularly for God's people: applying the lordship of the risen Christ to all of life. The fifty meditations are part of a series of meditations entitled "Windows on the World," delivered on Sunday evenings at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. They are organized under nine wide-ranging topics: love, marriage, and family; sports and leisure; science and technology; social issues; politics; feasts and festivals; the Bible; church history; and Christianity today.
There is one minor mistake in the essay on work: the Sabbath commandment is referred to as the "fifth commandment." The graphics and the typography are admirably commensurate with the subject matter.
One need not believe in the reformation of culture to have a consistent, coherent, Christian worldview. Some mistakenly believe that in order to be consistent Calvinists we must insist that the civil magistrate implement some form of the true religion. Ryken sets the stage for a healthy alternative in his introduction when he asserts: "The lesser gifts of God's common grace should never be confused with the blessings of his saving grace, but they should still be received as gifts from God. Common grace means that God is concerned about far more than sin and salvation. He takes an active interest in all the life of the world that He has made" (pp. 15-16).
So we must take an active interest in God's world. It is essential for the church, as an embassy of the risen Christ, to engage the culture in which God has placed us. Clearly, more study of the Reformed doctrine of common grace is needed. Ryken's book is a splendid and eminently practical place to begin.