Subscribe now

Steps Towards Heaven

By J. C. Ryle
January 2018 | Review by Tony Bickley
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-696-4
  • Pages: 174
  • Price: 5.50
Buy this book »

Book Review

What a joy this is to read! It is an edited series of what were originally tracts. It is easy to understand, well written and sound in its doctrine of salvation. The book opens with a chapter on sin, explaining why and how we are all sinners. Readers are exhorted to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith.

The pamphlets that make up this book were written for the many who, in Ryle’s day, attended church merely as a duty or ceremonial nod towards God. The subjects covered are sin, salvation, conversion, justification and the Holy Spirit.

Each chapter has something important for us today. Ministers will gain gospel insight for preaching, while lay Christians will gain better understanding of what it is to be a believer and the importance of each concept discussed.

I also recommend it to serious seekers, as it explains the difference between being ‘religious’ and being ‘saved’, majestically hammering home each point. It is above criticism in terms of the standard of the writing and doctrine.

The only issues I had was, first, that it was clearly written in a bygone age. Some of the examples given for worldliness are set among the horse and carriage, the card school and theatre. And second, it highlights agreement with other denominations regarding the sole sufficiency of Christ’s blood for redemption, even though, nowadays, some of these denominations no longer hold to this foundation.

That said, every chapter contains blessing and encouragement, especially the chapter on the necessity of the Holy Spirit in conversion and the Christian life. I would heartily recommend this book to Christians of all levels of knowledge and maturity.

Tony Bickley

Brighton

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans
Matthew D Haste & Shane W Parker

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church
Stephen J Nichols

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Misted World of Genesis One
Michael L. Drake

There have been so many books on the creation chapters of Genesis that there have to be compelling reasons to recommend another addition. When I started to read Michael Drake’s book, I must admit that, from my knowledge of the…