Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review - Awakening Faith

Every now and then I get books to review - and I am very glad I got this one!  Have enjoyed, and am enjoying it very much...  Here's a copy of the review I added to Amazon.ca

Awakening Faith - James Stuart Bell
Interesting insight into early Christian writings and an inspiring devotional
So often, as was the case in my own studies, introductions to that group of bishops, theologians, monks, writers etc that we call 'The Church Fathers' (not so many women, unfortunately) are only found in dense, dry, academic collections; so this gathering of devotions is a pleasant alternative which gives some idea of the breadth and depth of the Church in it's formative years.

With a substantial, but not overly taxing, amount of writing for each day (one page) along with a verse of Scripture, there is the opportunity to see something of what these early Christian's were wresting with, considering, praying over and formulating. Remembering that the Bible as we know it now was not in existence, that Christian Theology was in the early stages of its evolution, that many of these followers of Jesus were starting from scratch when it came to the words and ideas that have become the core of Christian faith, there is wisdom in this collection that is fresh, imaginative and exciting. Some of the phrases, concepts and expressions may jar with us - there are some quite negative attitudes to women or 'outsiders' that are difficult to disentangle from the writings - but we must remember they wrote in a different time, a different context and a very different world to that which we now inhabit and their dedication to Christ allows us to see the truth beyond the flaws.

The format is very helpful, devotions for every day stretching over a year. It feels enough to get the mind and heart working, without being too much to process in one go! The updated language is helpful too, readable and clear English.

Pep up your spiritual reading, a copy of Awakening Faith is a helpful reminder that the Christian Faith has twenty centuries of heritage, not just a few decades or a couple of centuries. It might even inspire more study of these Christian classics.

I received a copy of this book for review from Zondervan, through Cross Focused Reviews, but I am not under any obligation to review it positively - that's all due to the book itself!

1 comment:

Julia Snyder said...

This book looks great, I would love to read this one asap. At the moment I am reading Evolving Towards Peace by Jalaja Bonheim, www.jalajabonheim.com is her site. This book has been a blessing for me and I recommend it to everyone! Thanks for this review, I definitely have put this one on my tbr list!