As I prepare for my new assignment as pastor of First Baptist Church of Brooklyn (MD), I have been meditating on what it means to love. As I meditate on this, I noticed that Phil Ryken, former pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and current president of Wheaton College, has written a book on 1 Corinthians 13 called Loving the Way Jesus Loves. It should come out next month and should be an encouragement to all of us. From the back cover:
Most people are familiar with the “love chapter” of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13, yet expositor Phil Ryken has something new to say. Drawing on the earthly life and ministry of Jesus to illustrate Paul’s several statements about what love is and isn’t, Ryken brings a Christological approach to this commonly quoted passage. These aspects of love are then illuminated chronologically through the story of Christ’s advent, teaching, miracle working, sufferings, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension. This approach highlights the crucial truth that we are able to love only because Christ first loved us in this particularly profound, very real, and transformative manner.
Complete with a study guide for each of the 12 chapters, Loving the Way Jesus Loves is attractive to Bible study groups as well as to individual readers. Given its unique emphasis, biblical soundness, integration of art through photography, and popular-level writing style, Ryken’s book has both wide and strong appeal. His intensely practical treatment of 1 Corinthians 13 is informed by the classic expositions of John Chrysostom, Jonathan Edwards, and C. S. Lewis, yet it explores an angle that no other commentator has. Ultimately, Loving the Way Jesus Loves bears witness to the life-altering truth that love is a person who has first loved us.