Review: Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Kelly
Who knew? I certainly didn’t. What a rich legacy those of the early church have left for us! And it’s been all but lost to the majority of the believers in modern times. Lots of reasons for that loss, but this isn’t the place for listing them.
What it is the place for is to appreciate what Bell and Kelly, along with all those that make this sort of work happen, have done for us. The introduction explains a little about the Church Fathers and what some of their concerns were, how they understood their life and times, and some of the encouragement they offered. A short biographical sketch of each of them is included at the end of the book. I found that very helpful in placing them in their respective time frame. Polycarp was very early and Maximus the Confessor about 500 years later. One of them even had contact with Attila the Hun---in a positive sort of way.
Although I have not read every entry, I can say that this is definitely a worthwhile book to buy and savor. I have decided to use it as a devotional for myself. (Thank you, Zondervan and Booksneeze.) The depth and breadth of these writings is so different from what I’ve seen anywhere else. And I’ve looked and read a lot lately.
Only thing that might have been nice would have been to include from which of the volumes the devotional reading was drawn since there are an entire shelf full of the writings of the Church Fathers, but that’s just the school girl part of me talking. That in no way detracts from what was written.
Yes, I do recommend this devotional book without reservation.
This book was provided to me by the publisher via Booksneeze in exchange for this review.