Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church


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Well, here you have it, a compendium of wisdom, devotion, and biblical insight from some of the most thoughtful and faithful Christians from the early eras of the church's history. And in Facebook sized posts. That's a nice change of pace! Kelly is a day by day year long devotional compiled of writing and prayers from leaders of early Concise accounts are given by early Christian leaders, who are truly the "Fathers of our faith" - and every page is provided with Scripture references.

Even though these devotions were written a few James Stuart Bell, Jr. Therefore, he devised these harmonious melodies for us to sing and, while singing, to be trained in goodness. For while it is difficult to hold in our mind an apostolic or prophetic message, we easily chant the words of the Psalms, even in the home and around in the marketplace. They can even sooth our wrath and lull us to sleep through their sweet melodies.

We are wrapped up in worldly concerns, and the more we devote ourselves to superficial things, the more insensitive we become to spiritual things. Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Nov 07, James rated it really liked it Shelves: There has been a resurgence in evangelicals reading of patristic sources.

H Williams and others have called for a ressourcement which makes use of the Great Tradition. The value of patristic exegesis is a hot topic in the academy, but few works have given the words of the early church for popular consumption. James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly has just done that with theirt new devotional. I have noted before the difficu There has been a resurgence in evangelicals reading of patristic sources.

I have noted before the difficulty in reviewing devotionals.

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Reviewing a devotional after only having it for a couple of weeks, means that at best my thoughts on it are provisional. To know the true value of it, I would need to use the book daily for a time. However I am fairly impressed by it. This is a daily devotional which culls together readings from patristic sources. Readings from sixty-nine different Church Fathers, from the first to the eighth century, challenge Christians to live out their faith in a compelling manner. There are theologically rich reflections and prophetic calls to holy living from everyone from Ambrose and Augustine to Zeno of Verona.

Awakening Faith is beautifully bound with a ribbon book mark. There are readings from the church fathers, with a scriptural reference at the head of each entry. This book looks good and the contents are pure gold. I absolutely love it. However the book is limited in a couple of respects. First, I wish that it reflected the church calender more. Those volumes follow the liturgical cycle and draw together different patristic commentaries on the readings for each Sunday.

By contrast Awakening Faith is a daily devotional without an evident seasonal dimension. It is possible to start this devotional on day one reading each day until you finish the book there are no dates are given for the readings.

There are specific readings for Easter and Christmas and other holy days but these are scattered throughout the book. This makes me wonder what the internal organization of the readings is. It is not straight forward. It tends to bounce back and forth from various topics. Another limitation of this devotional is the lack of references. Each reading reflects on a passage and tells you the author.

It does not tell from which of their works the reading was taken from or their context.

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Sometimes this is obvious. Prolific authors like Augustine, Basil the Great, or guys named Gregory are harder to track down. I would have appreciated a reference to the actual work at the end of each reading. That way I could delve deeper into particular topics or authors. This may just be my academic bent. The selection of readings themselves are quite good. Here is a random selection of topics covered: Basil the Great on the value of the Psalms reading 10 Tertullian on Prayer reading 88 Augustine on Martyrdom reading 90 John Chrysostom on standing firm on the rock of Christ reading Ambrose on freedom in Christ through grace reading Bell and Kelly did a great job of selecting devotions for this collection I just wish I knew where they were all from!

This is a great compendium of Christian thought.

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Awakening Faith - Daily Devotions from the Earliest Christians (Standard format, CD, Library ed.)

I happily recommend this book as either a daily devotional as it is intended or a bathroom reader as I have been using it. There are beautiful passages here which are worth copying into your journal and I plan to use this book for years to come. I give it four stars: Sep 23, Josh rated it really liked it. I must say that I have been deeply encouraged by the recent devotionals entering the marketplace for purchase the past few months.

The Andrew Murray Day Devotional Bible and Mornings with Tozer Devotional Journal are two such devotionals from guys who were passionate about making much of Jesus, and each of those devotionals are ones that I have read and highly recommend. Well, I would definitely add, Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church, to the small list of devotionals tha I must say that I have been deeply encouraged by the recent devotionals entering the marketplace for purchase the past few months.

Daily Devotions from the Early Church, to the small list of devotionals that I recommend to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to purchase, and use, on a daily basis. The struggle that I have always had with devotionals of any kind is their ease in taking verses out of context in order to prove a point the author wants to make, instead of keeping the text in it's original context and building a thought or thoughts based on the original meaning the author intended to be gleaned from it.

Also, most devotionals are theologically shallow, and are not helps to the Kingdom of God but are hindrances to the mature growth of those who, unfortunately, buy them and read them on a daily basis. A unique thing about this devotional is the fact that it is filled with daily thoughts from church fathers all throughout church history mainly the first 8 centuries as far as this devotional is concerned. Instead of reading a thought about a text of Scripture from the same person for days, you get a new church father each day of the year who has their own unique way of presenting God's truth to the readers.

Devotionals that possess the same authors thoughts throughout the entire devotional are not necessarily bad see Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon and the two other devotionals mentioned at the top of this review , but there is a monotony that can sometimes creep in because the author states the same things multiple times but in slightly different ways. I found myself immensely enjoying the variety of authors and the way that God's truth was brought to life through their unique personalities. Also, another great benefit of this devotional is the fact that it is going to introduce quite a few "new" church fathers that most modern Christians have ignored for far too long.

May we never forget, nor neglect, those who came before us in the faith and glean from them everything good that we can.

What God Can Do in Daily Devotions – John Piper

I would caution that we need to read the writings of the early church fathers with a discerning heart which is no different from the way that we need to read contemporary authors , because some of these people have theological beliefs that don't line up with Scriptures. However, I believe that we can learn a bunch from reading behind them as it will cause all of us to become deeper and better thinkers as it pertains to discerning what the Bible really teaches. I received this book for free from Zondervan via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. Nov 13, Jason Custer rated it really liked it.

Awakening Faith fills a much needed void in today's Christian culture by giving us a brief glimpse into the writings of the first seven centuries of the church fathers who have gone before us in our faith. For a culture that remains so focused our ourselves and self-help material, reading from the church fathers' reminds us that we worship God as a part of "a cloud of witnesses" that spans throughout history and across the globe. It also reminds us that God is a "God of the living," and that the Awakening Faith fills a much needed void in today's Christian culture by giving us a brief glimpse into the writings of the first seven centuries of the church fathers who have gone before us in our faith.

It also reminds us that God is a "God of the living," and that the input of those "living" Christians who have gone before us are just as valuable as contemporary Christian writers. Awakening Faith is a collection of daily readings from a wide range of about 70 different church fathers. Each entry is a page long excerpt from a specific church father, which contains a title header and a relevant Scripture passage along with the text and author below.

In some cases, if the excerpt cannot be limited to single page entry, there will be a part 1 and part 2 so that you can get a full understanding of the text broken into sections. These page entries are well formatted, and make it easy for you to read just a little each day from saints ranging from Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and Clement, to later greats such as Augustine, John Chrysostom, Basil, and Benedict. If you are unfamiliar with the church father for the day's reading, there is a helpful index listing of the different church father's in the back with a brief one paragraph biography of each.

There is also a Scripture index in the back. My one qualm with Awakening Faith is that there is absolutely no citation of the work, chapter, or page from which these excerpts come - only a listing of the church father's name. For the average reader, this may not be as big an issue - but as someone who wants to read more of the church father's than just the excerpts, this is a travesty. It may be easy for those who are familiar with the church father's works to recognize where the text comes from, but if I were to give this to someone and they enjoyed a passage from Ephrem the Syrian, they would have no help whatsoever in knowing where they could read the context of the passage.

To be fair, in the biographical index in the back, under some of the church father's there is a listing of some of their works - but even this is partial and gives no direction for further reading on specific passages used in the entries. Oct 29, Jalynn Patterson rated it it was amazing. In simple, updated language, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell provides a year of inspiring readings drawn from the earliest teachers and writers of the churchthe Church Fathers. Well, here you have it, a compendium of wisdom, devotion, and biblic About the Book: James Stuart Bell, Jr.

The writer, editor, or compiler of more than books, he owns Whitestone Communications, Inc. Bell is married with four children. Awakening Faith, is the most appropriate title for the latest work by the great James Stuart Bell. The book in all of its devotions contain some of the best and most undeniable words of faith and honor to the Lord. Devotions meant to spur us on in times of trouble and adversity. The author has combined several words, quotes and things of the like from some of the earliest writers and teachers of the early church. Inspirational readings that even though written so long ago still apply to life and faith even today.

The early teachers and writers of the church were no different than you and I in their personal lives, they too struggled and strived with being more Christlike. There were many of the Church Fathers that I didn't recognize such as Basil the Great and Dorotheus of Gaza, but the author didn't leave us empty-handed he included a brief summary in the back of the book of each one to further your knowledge on these great guys of faith.

Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church

My favorite from the book is probably Hippolytus' thoughts on "Interpreting Scripture Correctly". A quote from the book, "Sacred Scripture is God's gift to us, and it should be understood in the way that he intends; we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.


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I love the book it is a very valuable resource in Bible study. Oct 23, Michael Boling rated it it was amazing. With the plethora of daily devotional type books on the market today, finding a devotional book that is more than just a collection of pithy sayings can be a bit difficult. Dai With the plethora of daily devotional type books on the market today, finding a devotional book that is more than just a collection of pithy sayings can be a bit difficult.

This effort avoids the pitfalls that most other devotions succumb to, providing the reader with excellent thoughts from the early church fathers on a variety of valuable and important theological topics as issues of everyday life. These men of God, in a manner often similar to that of the Puritan approach, state the issue at hand, provide valuable interaction with the relevant Scriptures, and then provide solid application of that text in relation to matters we face on a daily basis.

This is truly where the rubber hits the road style writing that far exceeds the feel good approach often found in most daily devotions on the market today. I would submit not too many. Books that make the reader think are arguably few and far between these days especially in the devotional genre. There should be no reason why sound theology or engaging important issues every believer faces in their daily life should be avoided in favor of merely presenting a feel good storyline.

Awakening Faith is an excellent resource for all believers to use in conjunction with their daily Bible study regimen. This is an excellent introduction to the Church Fathers. With modern translations of the excerpts, it makes the writings readily accessible and well worth doing so. Nov 16, Lisa Johnson rated it liked it. Daily Devotions from the Early Church Author: James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Zondervan With this book, readers are provided a collection of daily devotions from some of the earlier founding fathers of the Christian church. There is a short devotion for each day of the week on a various topics, but there is no real continuity of theology in certain matters.

Also, the source for these daily brief writings is not given. I thought there neede Title: I thought there needed to be more cohesiveness so as to create less confusion for the general reader. I wanted more information on where these writings came from, and I think others might too, especially if they are interested in learning more about the early church.

I think the idea of presenting readers with thoughts of early church leaders is interesting and would encourage readers to research more about this interesting subject. There are some inspiring and wonderful pieces I very much enjoyed reading, and I also liked the wide time period chosen centuries as well as the cultural or ethnic backgrounds of the writers.

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I found the brief notes in the back of the book about each author interesting and informative. The rating I assigned is based on my opinion that some readers might take all of these writings as biblically and theologically sound when they all are not. My rating is 3 stars. I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http: Also follow me on Twitter lcjohnson, FaceBook at https: Oct 22, Mary-ann rated it it was amazing.

Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell Jr.

This is an amazing tool for everyone. What a great way to start off your day than with some thought provoking devotionals. I like the set up, you are given a title and the scripture, then you are given a reading, written by an au In simple, updated language, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell provides a year of inspiring readings drawn from the earliest teachers and writers of the church—the Church Fathers.

I like the set up, you are given a title and the scripture, then you are given a reading, written by an author from the early church; which helps you ponder on the scripture. In the back there is a list of the church fathers and a short biography. A very attractive hardcover which I prefer for constant reading. I received this book free from www. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. Nov 30, WC Beaver rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book of "Daily Devotions From the Early Church" propels the mind to wonder why folks today do not embrace these truths.

Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church

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