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The Communion of Saints: Living in Fellowship With the People of God [Paperback]

By Philip Graham Ryken (Editor)
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Item Number 130624  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   230
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2001
Publisher   P & R Publishing
ISBN  0875525075  
EAN  9780875525075  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The contents of The Communion of Saints is as follows What is the Communion of Saints?, Union with Christ, Baptized into Communion, Members Only, United in Love, Assembly Rwquired, The Communion Table, Gifts and Graces, Relief in Outward Things, Mutual Edification, All in the Family, Worldwide Communion, For All the Saints, Appendix: Spiritual Gifts Questionaire, Notes, Leader's Guide, Index of Scripture, Index of Names

Publishers Description
In a day when Christians are more divided than united, true believers must again commit themselves to their common spiritual communion with one another. This biblical and practical guide, complete with leader's guide and spiritual gifts questionnaire, guides those united in Christ toward life in the Christian community. Contributors include William Edgar, Hughes Oliphant Old, and more.

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More About Philip Graham Ryken

Philip Graham Ryken Dr. Philip Graham Ryken ’88 is the eighth president of Wheaton College.

A Wheaton native and the son of longtime professor Dr. Leland Ryken and Mary Graham Ryken, President Ryken attended Wheaton as an undergraduate, majoring in English literature and philosophy. He met his wife, Lisa, during their first few days at the College, and they were married before their senior year. The Rykens have five children: Josh, Kirsten, Jack, Kathryn, and Karoline.

Dr. Ryken earned a master of divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford. Dr. Ryken returned from England to join the pastoral staff at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1995, preaching there until his appointment at Wheaton.

President Ryken has published more than 30 books, including The Message of Salvation (InterVarsity 2001), Art for God’s Sake (P&R, 2006), Loving the Way Jesus Loves (Crossway, 2011), and expository commentaries on Exodus, Jeremiah, Luke, and other books of the Bible.

Philip Graham Ryken currently resides in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. Philip Graham Ryken was born in 1966.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
How The Body Conforms To The Bible  Dec 14, 2007
'Union in Christ is the basis for the communion of the saints.' pg 27

Ryken and friends have compounded the dogmatics of the Church in this brilliant rendition of biblical unity. The doctrine under their observation seen in its whole, and represented in its wholesome truth, is correlative to the essential oxygen coursing thru our bloodstream. This challenging look at how the body is comprised and ought to exist in union with Christ and in subsequent union with true believers, is irreplaceable as teaching material for example, for small groups, for the effective practice of biblical norms insisted on by our Christ and Lord - yet often neglected wholesale. This is not looking out for Nr 1 but the almost inconceivable reaching out to all the beloved in Christ.

The honorable Judge Martin's contribution, `Gifts And Graces', is one I would like to make special mention of. It is by no means a deep theological foray, but is forceful and august in its simplicity and forthrightness. It contains just enough historical consciousness to convince the reader that we are indeed continuing in the footsteps of the historical church of Christ.

`Our gifts are entrusted to us by grace, and our graces equip us to exercise our gifts. Christ gives spiritual gifts and graces to adorn and equip the church for the work it is called to do.' Pg 100

`In the early church spiritual gifts included miracles such as the ability to cast out evil spirits, speaking in unknown tongues, supernatural healing, and even raising the dead back to life. These extraordinary gifts were given to edify the church by confirming the truth of the apostolic gospel (1 Cor 14:26; Heb 2:4). The gifts given to the early church also included extraordinary callings such as apostle and prophet (Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 12:28).' Pg 102

`We need to be careful not to condemn those whom God accepts. Unless a doctrinal mistake concerns an essential element of the Christian faith or a person's misconduct is scandalous (1 Cor 5:11), we should not exclude a fellow pilgrim from our fellowship. Since God wants us to live in harmony in the church, we must accept some whom we believe to be in error. This causes weak Christians difficulty because they think it requires compromise, which many view as the worst sin of all. However, accepting the gifts and graces of a brother or sister who is in error does not constitute compromise, nor does it require that we change our views. The Scripture commands us to `accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters' Rom 14:1.' Pg 105

`Not every doctrinal error is heresy. Furthermore, not every member of the church that tolerates heresy necessarily believes its damnable doctrines. Nevertheless, we should not be surprised to encounter heresy in the church. God sometimes allows a heresy to develop in order to plainly segregate truth from error. But we need to guard ourselves and others from falling into heresy and thereby falling into ruin.' Pg 105

A Lot of Material - Very well done. I loved it.   Jul 7, 2007
The Communion of Saints is a phrase we repeat in the Apostle's Creed, but I had no clue what I was saying. I thought I knew what it meant before I read this book, but I really did not.

This book was written by seven men (that I counted). Each writing one or more chapters.

Chapter 1 covers the definition of "The Communion of saints". You must be a saint to have this communion. Once you are a saint, it is anticipated that you will participate in the many aspects to this communion. This chapter lists several privileges and responsibilities to our Communion. Great Intro.

Chapter 2 covers "Union with Christ", which is the basis of our Communion. I like this chapter because it shows the many pictures that the Bible uses to describe our Union and Communion. The Vine, the Body, Marriage, a Covenant, a Household, and a Building. Great Illustrations.

Chapter 3 covers "Baptized into Communion", which is an interesting study into baptism.

Chapter 4 covers "Members Only", which has good material on Elders and Deacons and shows how a church is organized.

Chapter 5 covers "United in Love", where some great verses from Ephesians are listed. It speaks about the importance keeping unity in the church. Page 63 has a great summary of the Vices, Virtues and the Graces Paul mentions.

Chapter 6 covers "Assembly Required", and uses 3 passages of scripture to show that worship has always been a corporate event. He uses Acts 2:42, Exodus 24, and Nehemiah 8.

Chapter 7 covers "The Communion Table", and covers the history of the Lord's Table and shows its significance. This is a great summary on the Lord's Table.

Chapter 8 covers "Gifts and Graces", where the author does a very interesting treatment of both gifts of the Spirit and the graces of the Spirit.

Chapter 9 covers "Relief in Outward Things", which speaks about helping the poor and needy as one of the duties of our Communion.

Chapter 10 covers "Mutual Edification", and speaks of the need for building up each other as part of our communion.

Chapter 11 covers "All in the Family", and speaks of the problems we have with race, gender, and status and how that hinders our communion.

Chapter 12 covers "Worldwide Communion", and speaks of our communion as global. This chapter as a great summary on page 154 about the Plan, the Command, the Promise, and finally the Reality of our Communion to the entire world. This chapter also has a great summary of the expansion of the church to the world through out church history.

Chapter 13 covers "For All the Saints", and speaks of our Glorification. It shows how even our Glorification is a corporate event that we all share in. I like this chapter.
Plus there is an appendix on Spiritual Gifts Questionare. An appendix of Notes on each chapter. And finally a Leaders Guide.

There is a lot of material in this book and I wanted to read several of the chapters 2 times.
Growing in Fellowship with God through Growth in Fellowship in the Church  Mar 7, 2007
For a small group looking for an overview of how the Church should function as a body of believers here on earth, Ryken has provided a good summary, with questions and notes that will encourage discussion and consideration of ways that a congregation may need to change. Ryken is not afraid to bring his clear denominational convictions into the discussion, so those within the Presbyterian tradition will find it most usable,. Nonetheless, his overall message is one all within the Christian church today should consider.
Wonderful book that leads to great conversations  Jun 11, 2006
It has been said that nobody 'does the Communion of Saints' better than the Lutherans. Regardless of whether that is generally the case or not, this book fits the bill. Ryken does a wonderful job presenting a collection of essays that illumine what the Communion of Saints means to a Christian community of believers in this day and age.

In addition to the comprehensive content, what is commendable about this work is the structure of each chapter that allows for group discussion as part of ongoing faith formation.

This is a great book and should be part of your library if you are at all interested in learning more about the Communion of Saints, particularly from a modern Lutheran perspective.
This is a super book!  Oct 30, 2002
Very rarely are books written that are really unique, this is one! I was preparing a series of studies on how our communion with God is enhanced through our membership in the body of Christ, and this is the only book that I could find that really addresses this issue in any substantive manner. It promotes the idea of church membership as a biblical mandate and describes how this can be proven scripturally, but this book is certainly not a list of to-dos. It promotes the church as an irreplaceable source of encouragement and growth for the Christian, it shows the great benefit of church membership instead of offering just a biblical requirement. This book is highly recommended.

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