Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes by Mark Dever,

The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes by Mark Dever, is latest book in the Long Line of Godly Men Profile series.that introduces and profiles significant Christian men in history. I know Richard Sibbes only through his book, A Bruised Reed. I am guilty of putting all the men of this era in the same general category of “Puritans” and “Nonconformist”. Dever’s book has corrected me in that assumption and helped me to understand Sibbes and his life and the context which he ministered. Dever explains through a few second hand sources Richard Sibbes is wrongly identified with the Nonconformist and was more of a moderate, hoping for long slow reform of the Church of England.

Since Richard Sibbes was a moderate man, who was a Consenter, yet leaned towards sympathies with Nonconformist, he is claimed by both sides. If you don’t know what these terms mean, you will before you get very far into this book.  Dever's goal was to "...recover Sibbes as a historical and theological whole” and to view Sibbes in his historical context for the moderate man he was. Rather than engaging in the controversies of the day, Sibbes had a heart toward the people in his congregation and sought to help those under his preaching.

I can’t say that the book has moved me to appreciate Richard Sibbes more, but it does give me a better understanding of who he is and how to go about reading his works in the future. In the light of many of his contemporaries who suffered for their convictions, I can’t say a moderate man who avoided controversial topics and toned down doctrines he professed is awe-inspiring, but these books are much better when we know the truth about a man instead of making him a sort of superhero. For this, I am thankful for the honest look at Richard Sibbes.

Thanks to for the review copy.

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