The Experience Magazine - Spring 2017

the life and legacy of charles ryrie


Dr. Charles Ryrie, the Theologian who left the greatest mark on my spiritual and theological development and that of countless other Word of Life Alumni, went Home to Glory last year. Shortly before his death, Dr. Ryrie graciously allowed me to interview him twice in preparation for a research paper entitled, Charles C. Ryrie: The Man, His Ministry, and His Method. What follows is an excerpt from that paper. Dr. Charles Ryrie was one of the most influential Theologians of the 20th century. Ryrie was a tenured professor, prolific writer, bold pioneer, ardent apologist, and ordained minister. THE PROFESSOR AND PRESIDENT Young Ryrie began his academic career the summer following his graduation from Dallas Theological Seminary. He first taught at Midwest Bible and Missionary Institute. In 1949, Ryrie joined the faculty of Westmont College and eventually became the Department Chairman of Biblical Studies and Philosophy. Shortly after the death of one of Ryrie’s mentors, Lewis

Sperry Chafer, (the first President of Dallas Theological Seminary), Ryrie returned to teach at Dallas Theological Seminary. Ryrie remained at DTS for five years. At the young age of 33, he became the President of Philadelphia College of Bible. He remained President until 1962. In 1962, Ryrie returned to Dallas Theological Seminary to become the Chairman of Systematic Theology and the first Dean of Doctoral Studies. Ryrie retired in 1983 but continued to teach as an Adjunct Faculty member at various schools (including Word of Life Bible Institute). THE PROLIFIC WRITER Dr. Ryrie is remembered most for his prolific writing; he wrote a total of thirty-two books that have sold more than 1.5 million copies. That number does not include the Ryrie Study Bible , which has sold 2.6 million copies alone. Ryrie’s writings were diverse in their scope, writing in seven vastly different arenas, and the impact of his pen is immeasurable. Ryrie wrote at a level understandable by

12 The experience spring 2017 edition

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