25 copy price £5.48
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The modern world, with its emphasis on speed and busyness and the mis-named "social" media, has not been an especially welcoming place to develop long-lasting, solid friendships that help to nurture the heart. Providing exemplars and guidance in this challenging situation, this book on friendship looks at some of the details of the friendships of the eighteenth-century pastor-theologian Andrew Fuller to help us think about and engage in meaningful relationships that [provide joy and comfort (in the older sense of that term as "strength") for the Christian journey. This is an ideal study for anyone desirous of being a better friend as well as those interested to know something of the history of Christian friendship.
Today, we live in an expendable society, the value of “friendship” has depreciated, and “friends” are treated as products to be replaced and upgraded like mobile phones. However, the Bible paints a different portrait of what a friend should look like. ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ looks into the lives and friendships of two pastor–theologians John Ryland and Andrew Fuller. Ryland and Fuller met in 1776 as young men wrestling over important theological issues such as “Hyper Calvinism” and quickly became best of friends until the passing of Fuller in 1815. Fuller described their relationship as a “long and intimate friendship” and that friendship culminated in Ryland having the privilege of preaching his best friends funeral sermon. Beginning with the Greco–Roman era, the book examines friendship in antiquity. Reflections on friendship in the writings of Homer, Plato and Aristotle are mentioned briefly as well as familiar bible characters: Ruth–Naomi, David–Jonathan, and Paul–Timothy. Haykin gives us an insight into the relationship between John Ryland Jr. and John Newton. I found the letters of counsel from an older Newton to the younger Ryland particularly enjoyable as Newton, with godly wisdom, consoles and allays Ryland concerning personal issues involving his father. I enjoyed the book for several reasons, but none more so than reading the letters of godly men and woman of the past. There’s a personal quality to letters that cannot be replicated with modern modes of communication like WhatsApp’s and emails. Personally, this book wasn’t the easiest read for me, as I there are a lot of names, dates, and locations (towns and boroughs) which I find mentally tiring after a while if I’m honest. If you like biographies combined with a little bit of history then ‘Iron Sharpens Iron’ might be right up your street.
Total Price: £1.99