The Theological Method Of Charles Caldwell Ryrie -- By: Paul D. Weaver

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 17:2 (Fall 2013)
Article: The Theological Method Of Charles Caldwell Ryrie
Author: Paul D. Weaver


The Theological Method Of Charles Caldwell Ryrie

Paul D. Weaver

Bible Institute Director, Bible Teacher
Word of Life Hungary Bible Institute

Introducing Charles Caldwell Ryrie

If one were asked to list the most influential theologians of the twentieth century, certain theologians would be sure to make the cut. Charles C. Ryrie is one such theologian. Walter Elwell would certainly agree. In his edited work, Elwell’s Handbook of Evangelical Theologians, Ryrie is included as one of the thirty-three most influential theologians of the twentieth century.1 He has indeed had a significant influence on the broader evangelical movement in general and conservative evangelicalism in particular, and has had an even greater sway upon evangelicals who are dispensational.

Need For This Study

Ryrie’s influence in American evangelicalism has certainly been felt, but his impact is not limited to North America. By virtue of the students he has taught, who teach and preach in nearly every country of the world, and his books, which have been translated into a multitude of languages,2 his impact has been felt globally. Apart from a few relatively brief biographical sketches, little has been written about him and even less about his theological method. These factors warrant further

investigation into the life, writings, hermeneutic, and theological method of the theologian, Charles Caldwell Ryrie.

Purpose For This Study

The purpose of this study is not merely to write a biographical sketch of the life of Ryrie, or even to understand his body of work (although this study will certainly attempt to do both). This article will seek to investigate the life and writings of Charles C. Ryrie with the purpose of understanding the hermeneutic he used, and the theological method he implemented, resulting in the theological system for which he is known.

Method Of This Study

This study will begin with an investigation into the formative years of Ryrie’s childhood, his education, and the influential figures in his life. Next, an examination of the important roles in which Ryrie functioned will take place. He will be examined from the standpoint of a tenured professor, prolific writer, bold pioneer, ardent apologist, and ordained minister. After such a study is complete, a discussion of his pre-understandings will be included and special attention given to his hermeneutical principles. Consideration will also be given to his integration of the Old and New Testaments. Time will then be devoted to Ryrie’s...

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