Book: Awakening Faith

Running a book a day, hopefully, trying to clear some backlog.

There’s a consistent problem in modern life, whenever modern is for you. That problem is this: we tend to think that we are the smartest people to ever life. No one else has had the same problems or come up with the same solution to those problems. No other generation has figured out what we know—it was refreshing to hear a conversation recently about the plethora of “Gospel-centered” books and how we come across as if we discovered the Gospel in the last decade, when the Church has been around for two millennia. It’s not healthy.

Into that problem comes a few good ideas. One of those ideas is to reach out and read from prior generations. That can be intimidating to tackle in one fell swoop, but a good way is to take little bites and see what has been said in ages past. If you couple that with the excellent idea of daily readings to help draw us nearer to God, then you can accomplish this by picking up James Stuart Bell’s Awakening Faith. It looks like this:

Now, let’s be honest with our credits. Bell did not truly write Awakening Faith. He wrote the introduction, and he selected the writings, but these daily devotionals were written by people like St. Patrick or the Venerable Bede. I am uncertain, based on the information in the book, whether or not Bell did all the translating or if he worked from existing translations.

That does not particularly matter to the value of Awakening Faith. You have here a year’s supply of devotionals developed by the giants that stand in the early years of church history. I cannot find a bad day among them all, and I will enjoy reading and rereading this for years to come.

If there is a fault to find here, it is more the fault of history than of Bell. There is a reason that these are all devotions from the Early Church Fathers. No women are featured in the writings, but the well is pretty dry to draw from in that slice of time. So, again, it’s no fault of Bell, but it’s worth noting. More a reminder of the missing half of wisdom from the last two millennia than anything else.

In all, though, do not let that scare you away from Awakening Faith. Keep in mind that these Early Church Fathers wrote before over verbosity became a virtue, before printing presses. These men say more in a page than most of us say in a blog series or a book. Grab a copy for yourself and for a history-minded Christian friend.

Note: free book from Cross-Focused Reviews in exchange for the review. No, you can’t have mine. Click the link above or search on Amazon for Awakening Faith.

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