I did not know Jerry Bridges as well as those who wrote these tributes, though I wish I’d had that blessing. I was honored to speak at a couple of conferences with him. Other than a couple of letters or emails perhaps, this was the extent to which I knew him personally. But each time we were at a conference together I was struck by his humility and kindness.
Like nearly all who have written of him since his home-going to Heaven, Jerry’s books had a great impact on me and my ministry. I have recommended his books on countless occasions, and it so helpful when someone asks for a book recommendation to be able to say “anything by Jerry Bridges.”
If you aren’t familiar with Bridges, you owe it to yourself to read at least one of these brief articles. I hope you’ll read them all.
This one is from Justin Taylor and was posted on the Gospel Coalition website. Here’s the best overview of Bridges’ life among all the tributes.
Here’s another from the Gospel Coalition website. It’s by Bob Bevington, who coauthored two books with Bridges. It has one of my favorite stories regarding Jerry in all the tributes:
A year ago I sat at Jerry’s dining room table, the place he typically did his writing—longhand with pen on paper. Every 10 minutes or so Jerry would put down his pen, close his eyes, and slip into what looked like a catnap. A couple times it looked as if he was going to fall off his chair. Then he’d suddenly awaken, pick up his pen, and start writing away. He’d look at what he wrote, nod his head as if to say, “Thank you, Lord,” and then repeat the process. The result was Jerry’s final book, The Blessing of Humility: Walk within Your Calling, which will be released later this year.
“Remembering Jerry Bridges” is by C.J. Mahaney. C.J. writes of the “surprising friendship” he had with Jerry for more than fifteen years.
Tony Reinke, author and host of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, provides “Five Lessons from a Remarkable Life of Faith.” This includes both an audio and text version of a 2011 interview with Bridges..
Tim Challies wrote “My Too-Weak Tribute to Jerry Bridges.” With Bridges-like humility, Tim underestimates the strength of this testimony.
Finally, here’s the obituary on the Navigators’ website. It also includes a list of the more than twenty books that bear the name of Jerry Bridges.
Besides his humility and holiness, what I’ll remember most when I think of Jerry Bridges is his exhortation to “preach the gospel to yourself every day.”
Thank You, Lord, for the life and works of Jerry Bridges.
Photo from ChristianityToday.com