Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…