Reading Together – “The Pursuit of Holiness”

Anyone who has visited our home knows that we love to read! I have a stack of books waiting and ready, but I don’t get through them very quickly without a plan or purpose in mind. I enjoy reading books that challenge me to step out of my comfortable Christianity, pushing me to put my hope more fully in Christ.

One of the things that encourages me to finish some of the books that I begin is to read them with others, so that the discussion can spur more thought and growth. I also find that I read more thoughtfully when I am anticipating a conversation. Last year, Shawn and I chose a difficult theological book to read together knowing we would gain more from it together through the sharing of our thoughts and ideas. I know I would not have finished it if we had not been pushing through it together.

So, I’m reading “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. I want to invite you to read along and join the discussion! 

In order to get through the book in a reasonable time period, I plan to cover two chapters a week, discussing the main points and sharing some of my own thoughts and experience. I encourage you to read with your husband, wife, or a friend—someone with whom you can have a face-to-face discussion. Then join along in the discussion by sharing your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear how the Lord uses the book and discussion to challenge you.

“The Pursuit of Holiness” is a modern classic challenging us not to be complacent in our daily lives, but to live with purposeful obedience to the Lord. The book is not hard to read. The chapters are only 3-5 pages long and the language is not difficult, but it will challenge your thinking.

I want to share the first couple of paragraphs from the preface, which is an illustration describing the balance between God’s sovereignty and our responsibility:

“A farmer plows his field, sows the seed, fertilizes and cultivates—all the while knowing that in the final analysis he is utterly dependent on forces outside himself. He knows he cannot cause the seed to germinate, nor can he produce the rain and sunshine for growing and harvesting the crop. For a successful harvest, he is dependent on these things from God.

Yet a farmer knows that unless he diligently pursues his responsibilities to plow, plant, fertilize and cultivate, he cannot expect a harvest at the end of the season. In a sense he is in a partnership with God, and he will reap its benefits only when he has fulfilled his responsibilities.

Farming is a joint venture between God and the farmer. The farmer cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what the farmer should do.”

In short, this is the theme of the book. Please leave me a comment if you want to read along! I’ll start discussing the first two chapters next week, which should give you time to order the book if you need to. You can also read the first chapter here for free.

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2 Responses to Reading Together – “The Pursuit of Holiness”

  1. Katie Curtis says:

    I’m very excited for this study! I’ve read Bridges’ Pursuit of Holiness before and it really puts a lot into perspective. I especially love his stress on the importance of memorizing scripture (something I have yet to make a regular thing). I read this my senior year in college, and now that I’m married and we’re starting our own family, I’m sure a fresh look will be great for both Austin and I!

    Katie (and Austin)

    • Sara says:

      Yes. His book “Respectable Sins” was a big perspective changer for me a few years ago. Glad you guys are participating in my experiment!