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There are four great temptations that plague most young men: sloth, lust, love of pleasure, and peer pressure. J.C. Ryle--the last of the great Puritans--tackles each of these subjects with a tenderness and tact which is unsurpassed. If it was difficult to be a young man in the days of the nineteeth century when Ryle first penned Thoughts for Young Men, it is all the more There are four great temptations that plague most young men: sloth, lust, love of pleasure, and peer pressure. J.C. Ryle--the last of the great Puritans--tackles each of these subjects with a tenderness and tact which is unsurpassed. If it was difficult to be a young man in the days of the nineteeth century when Ryle first penned Thoughts for Young Men, it is all the more difficult to be a young man in the twenty-first century world of image-overload, radical individualism, and rampant sensuality. Thoughts for Young Men remains to this day the most relevent and helpful book on the subject in print.


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There are four great temptations that plague most young men: sloth, lust, love of pleasure, and peer pressure. J.C. Ryle--the last of the great Puritans--tackles each of these subjects with a tenderness and tact which is unsurpassed. If it was difficult to be a young man in the days of the nineteeth century when Ryle first penned Thoughts for Young Men, it is all the more There are four great temptations that plague most young men: sloth, lust, love of pleasure, and peer pressure. J.C. Ryle--the last of the great Puritans--tackles each of these subjects with a tenderness and tact which is unsurpassed. If it was difficult to be a young man in the days of the nineteeth century when Ryle first penned Thoughts for Young Men, it is all the more difficult to be a young man in the twenty-first century world of image-overload, radical individualism, and rampant sensuality. Thoughts for Young Men remains to this day the most relevent and helpful book on the subject in print.

30 review for Thoughts for Young Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barnabas Piper

    While it is addressed to young men, so much of what is said applies people of both genders and all ages. It is a book of biblical foundations for Christian living, and it shoots straight and uses large caliber ammunition. Ryle packs so much wisdom into these 80 pages - I would recommend this to just about anyone seeking a stronger relationship with God.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ezra

    A medicine cabinet of aged wisdom and tender care. Besides the Bible, this is the most effectual and potent book I have ever read. Do yourself a favour and read it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    This book is a short yet passionate plea of a man in the latter years of life to young men. Though written about a hundred years ago, this booklet is full of truths that are no less relevant today. The books is divided into four sections with a conclusion. In section one, Ryle begins with reasons for his exhorting young men. In section two, he then focuses on five specific dangers which young men to be warned of (e.g. pride, the love of pleasure, the fear of man’s opinions, etc.). In section thre This book is a short yet passionate plea of a man in the latter years of life to young men. Though written about a hundred years ago, this booklet is full of truths that are no less relevant today. The books is divided into four sections with a conclusion. In section one, Ryle begins with reasons for his exhorting young men. In section two, he then focuses on five specific dangers which young men to be warned of (e.g. pride, the love of pleasure, the fear of man’s opinions, etc.). In section three, he outlines some general suggestions which he entreats young men to receive and then in section four he lays down some practical specific “rules of conduct” which he strongly advises young men to follow. Ryle then concludes with the results of heeding such exhortations as he has laid out. I read this while in college — yes, as a young man — and it came at an ideal time. His exhortations, I'll add, are more practical and timely than many of today’s most popular authors. “Youth is the seedtime of full age—the mouldering season in the little space of human life—the turning point in the history of man’s life. By the shoot we judge the tree—by the blossoms we judge the fruit—by the the spring we judge the harvest—by the morning we judge the day—and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up” (p. 11). Or: “Godliness has indeed the promise of this life, as well as of that to come. There is a solid peace in feeling that God is your friend. There is a real satisfaction in knowing that however great your unworthiness, you are complete in Christ—that you have an enduring portion—that you have chosen that good part which shall not be taken from you.... Young men, these things are true. Suffer the word of exhortation. Be persuaded. Take up the cross. Follow Christ. Yield yourselves unto God” (p.62).

  4. 4 out of 5

    William Schrecengost

    Very very good. This is a must read for every man, not just young, but especially young. I would encourage young men to make this a yearly read. It's a good short read, something I should have read 5 years ago. Ryle hits on "Why young men especially need to be cautioned", "Their specific, common pitfalls", "Things they need to do to avoid a sinful, wicked life", "Rules to implement to help them live a godly life". Very very good. This is a must read for every man, not just young, but especially young. I would encourage young men to make this a yearly read. It's a good short read, something I should have read 5 years ago. Ryle hits on "Why young men especially need to be cautioned", "Their specific, common pitfalls", "Things they need to do to avoid a sinful, wicked life", "Rules to implement to help them live a godly life".

  5. 5 out of 5

    Luke Smoke

    One of the most hard hitting little books I have ever read. Ryle's holistic critiques of the 19th century young man are no less applicable today, spurring men and women alike onward to godliness and action. I keep several copies of this book to give away. - concise - surprisingly applicable in 21st century - blunt - insightful - exposes the sinful heart of humanity - full of scriptural references One of the most hard hitting little books I have ever read. Ryle's holistic critiques of the 19th century young man are no less applicable today, spurring men and women alike onward to godliness and action. I keep several copies of this book to give away. - concise - surprisingly applicable in 21st century - blunt - insightful - exposes the sinful heart of humanity - full of scriptural references

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brent McCulley

    Few books can touch the reader's generation with profound biblical insights and practical theological exhortations - still fewer can do this not only for the generation wherein it was written, but a generation hundreds of years removed from its original publication! J.C. Ryle is a beloved favorite, and this short treatise is further evidence of his careful and scrupulous study making sure every action is aligned with God's Word. Ryle's clarion call to young men is so fantastically pertinent for y Few books can touch the reader's generation with profound biblical insights and practical theological exhortations - still fewer can do this not only for the generation wherein it was written, but a generation hundreds of years removed from its original publication! J.C. Ryle is a beloved favorite, and this short treatise is further evidence of his careful and scrupulous study making sure every action is aligned with God's Word. Ryle's clarion call to young men is so fantastically pertinent for young men today it's scary. In a generation of young "Christian" men [boys] who are addicted to videos games, MMA fights, and beer, we would all do well to pick this up on a monthly basis and allow our minds to submit to the exhortations Ryle is commending to us. I was so utterly challenged by Ryle's words, I've never had such a strong desire for more holiness. As a 23 year old teetotaler who does not have a Facebook, does not own cable or a TV, and someone who doesn't own any video games, I already stand out among the crowd. This is not enough: how can I conform my mind more unto Christ? LORD, I want more of You! Happy is the man, who picks up this book, whose life is changed. Brent McCulley

  7. 4 out of 5

    David Steele

    Essential reading for every Christian man. Ryle drills down on almost every topic imaginable - sin, temptation, faithfulness, integrity, devotional life, friendship, work ethic, etc. My third time through. Honestly, it gets better every time! I read Thoughts for Young Men with my seventeen-year old son. The book was deeply encouraging for my boy. I recommend every Christian father and grandfather to read JC Ryle with their sons/grandsons.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christian Barrett

    Ryle’s works are convicting and thought provoking. This short book for young men is no different. Here he challenges young men to not waste their youth by pursuing sinful passions, but to use their youth to grow closer to Christ and to grow in godliness. A great book that any man should read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    I am going to have sons read this, hopefully more than once. But you don't need to be 17 to be pricked by this book. Ryle is simple, applicable, and solidly evangelical. An excellent book to for all men, but especially young ones. I am going to have sons read this, hopefully more than once. But you don't need to be 17 to be pricked by this book. Ryle is simple, applicable, and solidly evangelical. An excellent book to for all men, but especially young ones.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jesvin Jose

    What an encouraging and convicting read! There's nothing extraordinary in this book - just plain wisdom from the Bible and everyday experience. But it's much needed counsel for all young men, in every generation! Recommended. What an encouraging and convicting read! There's nothing extraordinary in this book - just plain wisdom from the Bible and everyday experience. But it's much needed counsel for all young men, in every generation! Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Satterlee

    Ryle knows the human heart. And he gracefully (and mercilessly) applies Godly principles to the inner life of young men, leaving no room for cheap excuses in his reasoning. I imagine that the effect has been the tearing down of many proud, and the building up of many discouraged.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Chan

    Startlingly relevant for a book written in the nineteenth century. J.C. Ryles clearly articulated the special focus that young men need when it comes to spiritual discipline. Broken into four sections and only 75 pages, Thoughts for Young Men is as convicting as it is succinct. Highly recommended for Christian men 18-late 20s. I wish I had read this when I was younger and plan on reading it annually! 5 stars!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wade Stinson

    An exceptional work that highlights common sins within young men and states effective ways to combat them through God’s word.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brett Monge

    The most quotable short book in the history of short books.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marden Zelaya

    “Youth is the seedtime of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning point in the history of a man’s mind. By the shoot, we judge of the tree; by the blossoms, we judge of the fruit; by the spring, we judge of the harvest; by the morning, we judge of the day; and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up.” I wish I had this book when I was 15. It’s pretty amazing how J.C. Ryle’s counsel and wisdom is sti “Youth is the seedtime of full age, the molding season in the little space of human life, the turning point in the history of a man’s mind. By the shoot, we judge of the tree; by the blossoms, we judge of the fruit; by the spring, we judge of the harvest; by the morning, we judge of the day; and by the character of the young man, we may generally judge what he will be when he grows up.” I wish I had this book when I was 15. It’s pretty amazing how J.C. Ryle’s counsel and wisdom is still relevant and applicable today—the book was first published in 1865! I know Ryle intended this book for young men, but I believe that anyone can read it and get a lot out of it. I think most struggles pertaining to the moral and ethical precepts of the Christian faith (especially those discussed in this book) are very universal these days, in the sense that they remain a stumbling block for many regardless of age or gender.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    I haven’t read much of Ryle but this little book was a practical book chalk full of wisdom and down to earth guidance. What struck me while I was reading it was how applicable it was to today’s context.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Crump

    It is like you are being disciplined and advised by your grandpa. If you grandpa was a famous theologian and pastor who spoke in old english. I think the book is best used not by young men but older men who want to disciple, lead, and help young men grow.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zack Clemmons

    Prepping for a middle school boys' study by revisiting this familiar collection of advice from Bishop Ryle. Still too dualist for my taste (and conviction), and perhaps a little overeager on the prohibitions side of things, but full of wisdom well earned, and the sort of confrontational zeal boys thrive on. If only middle school boys have the ears to hear it. Prepping for a middle school boys' study by revisiting this familiar collection of advice from Bishop Ryle. Still too dualist for my taste (and conviction), and perhaps a little overeager on the prohibitions side of things, but full of wisdom well earned, and the sort of confrontational zeal boys thrive on. If only middle school boys have the ears to hear it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Downing

    This should be required reading for lads in CUs. Absolutely brilliant.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Alfond

    J.C. Ryle is so clear and straight forward in the way that he writes. A young Christian man can often be uncertain in his ways and can second-guess himself because of how different the Christian life is to the ways of the world. Ryle's instruction gives clarity and straight-forward direction. Reading this book will leave you decisive in your walk the Lord and encouraged to be as intense as possible about serving Christ without questioning whether you're being "too serious about spiritual things" J.C. Ryle is so clear and straight forward in the way that he writes. A young Christian man can often be uncertain in his ways and can second-guess himself because of how different the Christian life is to the ways of the world. Ryle's instruction gives clarity and straight-forward direction. Reading this book will leave you decisive in your walk the Lord and encouraged to be as intense as possible about serving Christ without questioning whether you're being "too serious about spiritual things".

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Alley

    This was a great book for not just young men but also for all men from all walks of life and all ages of life. J.C. Ryle was a preacher and writer with great depths and Scripture-packed writings. This is a short read but every reader may suffer distractions as the Truths contained will be hindered with a Spiritual battle from the enemy. I heartily recommend this read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Donald

    Highly recommend this book. Insightful, clear, helpful, and challenging. Not only for young men but everyone could benefit from Ryle's warnings and exhortations. Highly recommend this book. Insightful, clear, helpful, and challenging. Not only for young men but everyone could benefit from Ryle's warnings and exhortations.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Caulfield

    This book served as a helpful warning to those who would wish to put their repentance off until later in life, as if you could plan such a thing. He adds to these warnings several practical exhortations that young men, or women for that matter, can employ in ridding themselves of a lackadaisical approach to Christianity. Ryle says: “habits are like stones rolling down hill - the further they roll, the faster and more unmanageable their course.” I appreciated his willingness to imply that sexual si This book served as a helpful warning to those who would wish to put their repentance off until later in life, as if you could plan such a thing. He adds to these warnings several practical exhortations that young men, or women for that matter, can employ in ridding themselves of a lackadaisical approach to Christianity. Ryle says: “habits are like stones rolling down hill - the further they roll, the faster and more unmanageable their course.” I appreciated his willingness to imply that sexual sin has more complex tentacles than other. He calls the breaking of the 7th commandment a “sin above all others (I assume within commandments 5-10), that, Hosea says, “takes away all understanding (Hosea 4:11). Its is a sin that levels deeper scars upon that soul than any other sin a man can commit.” Few other quotes I loved: “Satan doesn’t care how spiritual your intentions are, or how holy your resolutions, if only the are determined to be done tomorrow.” “The poorest saint that ever died in the ghetto is nobler in His sight than the richest sinner that ever died in a palace.” On “small sin” as a gateway: “There is nothing finer than the point of a needle, but when it has made a hole, it draws a thread after it.” “Fellowship and worship are a foretaste and a fragment of heaven. The man who finds them a burden and not a privilege, may be sure that his heart stands in need of a mighty change.” “Young men, believe me, if your soul is to be saved you must pray. God has no speechless children.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Still

    Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle was an overlook of what young men can expect in their walks as believers. J.C. Ryle mixed what he has learned throughout life and ministry, and backed it with scriptural evidence to complete a great resource for young men and their walk. Ryle lays out encouragement, specific dangers than young men will face, general counsels they should be aware of, and special rules that if followed, can have a profound and life-giving impact on their pursuit of the Lord. Ryl Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle was an overlook of what young men can expect in their walks as believers. J.C. Ryle mixed what he has learned throughout life and ministry, and backed it with scriptural evidence to complete a great resource for young men and their walk. Ryle lays out encouragement, specific dangers than young men will face, general counsels they should be aware of, and special rules that if followed, can have a profound and life-giving impact on their pursuit of the Lord. Ryle summarizes it up with saying, "Young men, these things are true. Suffer the word of exhortation. Be persuaded. Take up the cross. Follow Christ. Yield yourselves unto God." Great quick read for discipleship with young men.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Dixon

    A convicting book that gives hope to young men. I think this book is going to be incredibly helpful for young men. It is going to be convicting, which is exactly why it will be helpful. It gives practical and useful instruction on the Christian life and how to turn from sin to God. J.C. Ryle sakes of young men not to wait for later in life to follow God, but to begin the habits now and let them build like a house, brick by brick, over a lifetime.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Curtis

    Finally got around to reading this and really enjoyed it. It essentially serves as a stern talking to from Ryle to anyone younger than him. It’s a good talking to, I’d argue an often necessary one, but his direct, sometimes gruff, no nonsense tone can be a bit overbearing and I’m concerned that an overemphasis of this “be killing sin or sin will be killing you” rhetoric (though true in essence) lacks a deeper nuance and is the reason the reformed camp has so often gained a reputation for harshne Finally got around to reading this and really enjoyed it. It essentially serves as a stern talking to from Ryle to anyone younger than him. It’s a good talking to, I’d argue an often necessary one, but his direct, sometimes gruff, no nonsense tone can be a bit overbearing and I’m concerned that an overemphasis of this “be killing sin or sin will be killing you” rhetoric (though true in essence) lacks a deeper nuance and is the reason the reformed camp has so often gained a reputation for harshness.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Abby Hogan

    Wow, this book was good. I’ve wanted to read it for years, and I’m glad I finally did. The book’s brevity (less than 100 pages) made it forceful and easy to read. I think Ryle balanced his exhortations well, displaying both urgency and gentleness. Reading it, I felt convicted but not paralyzed by discouragement at my shortcomings. Instead, I felt moved and inspired to become one of the young people Ryle praises—who have consecrated the “springtime of their lives to God.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mahlangu

    In this book lies treasures that every young man must cherish in his heart and principals by which he must live. While many books on advice come from personal experiences of the author, J.C. Ryle calls on divine wisdom to share with us, young men, how we can make the most of our lives. What an amazing book for everyone, especially young men.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    This book is short enough to be read in an hour but is worth pondering for much longer. Ryle talks like a 19th century Mark Driscoll in his prime: straight talk, no chaser, direct and confrontational, which is what young men often need. Highly recommend for young men of all ages.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Scott Tubman

    What a great book. Short, insightful,powerful yet carefully nuanced. Ryle makes points with a punch yet you also see the pastors heart. Althought its context was 120 years ago, its so contemporary. I want every 18-25yr old guy I know to read this.

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