Saturday, December 28, 2013
BOOK REVIEW: Go deeper in your devotionals in 2014 ...
Would you like something better than the almost cheesy, positive-thinking philosophy, more-platitude-than-biblical-thought devotionals written by rock star pastors? Would you be interested in something with a little more theological depth that can actually challenge your thinking and your living?
If so, let me point you to "Awakening Faith" by James Stuart Bell, with Patrick Kelly (published by Zondervan).
So what is it that makes this book something of depth and value as a devotional? Simple answer: it's comprised of 366 writings from the early church fathers. These guys were a little more thoughtful and sober in their writings than many of the guys who write today. The early church fathers weren't worried about building a "platform," expanding a personal brand, amassing an audience for book sales, or becoming popular so they could go on the conference speaker circuit. They were primarily concerned about teaching Christ, as is evident in the content of their writing.
Each page of the book begins with a scripture verse, followed by a short writing from one of the early church fathers. It could be notes about the church from John Chrysostom, thoughts about holiness from Clement of Rome, ponderings on forgiveness and holiness from Leo the Great, or teaching about how Christ shares our suffering from Augustine. The topics are multiple, as are the church fathers, but each takes you a little deeper than a daily platitude.
In the back of the book you'll find a paragraph-length "bio" on each of the church fathers included in this devotional. In addition to providing you with thoughts to awaken your faith, this book is an easy way for Christians to get a simple introduction to the men who provided spiritual leadership to the church in its early days.
"Awakening Faith" provides a refreshing new depth to short devotional reading. Why not pick up a copy of this book and spend the year learning from the early church fathers? It just might really do something to awaken a deeper faith in you.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”