Journey to Bethlehem, by Leland Ryken

Back to Commendings

Journey to Bethlehem, by Leland Ryken

September 21, 2023

For my six years of full-time teaching at Wheaton College (before I headed to seminary in 1981 to get the MDiv), I had the honor and pleasure of serving as a faculty colleague of Leland Ryken (he in English, I in philosophy). Years later, in the 2000s, he was very helpful to me in serving as an outside reader for SBTS dissertations I was advising. And I've enjoyed quoting him, e.g., on defense of the Puritans, in my Christian Focus book, If Christianity Is So Good, Why Are Christians So Bad? 

His manuscript came to me in December of 2022, and I very much enjoyed reading it on the plane taking me across the Pacific to visit family in Southeast Asia for Christmas. Here's the blurb I wrote for this gratifying and 

stirring book:

"Ryken has assembled, contextualized, explicated, and applied a strong group of classics, both familiar and lesser known, whether cheerful and comforting or provocative and edgy. You’ll learn a lot as you’re being blessed and fortified. I think every pastor should have a copy handy for the Christmas season, as should families for their devotional gatherings. And aspiring writers of hymns, poetry, and edifying prose will get a short course in literary standards and ideals."