Every time I review a Jerry Bridges book, I feel like I must open with a quick discussion about how much I love this author. There is a very good chance he is my favorite Christian author of all, and that stems from my having read all but just a choice few of his books. So whatever I say in this review, just remember: I am partial to Bridges.
I read The Practice of Godliness with my Bible study group over the course of about twenty weeks. We began by using the Practice study guide, but determined that the study guide was best for us to go through personally and not question-by-question as a group. We read and studied one chapter per week, then met to discuss the impressions, convictions and decisions that resulted from our reading.
Perhaps the best quality to Practice is Bridges’ focus on devotion to God. He opens the book with several foundational chapters on devotion and, at one point, offers the triangular illustration that the three necessary ingredients for devotion to God are both a fear and a love of Him and a desire for Him. Adding this illustration to the negative definition that ungodliness is living as if there is no God, devotion to God is the ultimate necessity for practicing true godliness.
Bridges then focuses the remainder of the book on key evidences of godly living, such as humility, joy, self-control, gentleness, and love. Having already read his book Respectable Sins for another Bible study, I have found that Bridges is very capable in naming the sins that lurk behind my ungodliness. Likewise, he is also very capable in naming the virtues that I evidence through my godliness, and in doing so, he sincerely helps me understand God’s Word (specifically the Pauline Epistles) on a whole new level. Now I am able to target specific sins in my life, just as I am able to pursue specific virtues. And also with the godly guidance of Jerry Bridges, I have the full knowledge that my Pursuit of Holiness is only possible because of The Discipline of Grace.