Christians have a habit of forgetting the past (sometimes). For political reasons, we look to previous decisions made by preachers and theologians. Likewise, Christians do the same for their own particular tradition (denomination). For example, Reformed Christians look to Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others. Catholics look to the church Fathers and Mothers, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. Still, others look broad scope across 2,000 years of history.
Christopher A. Hall’s final volume over the church Fathers, Living Wisely with the Church Fathers, talks practical action that Christians in the twenty-first century can learn from those in the second and third centuries. This book, in its scope, asks (and answers to some degree) the question as to what it means to live a “right” life before God. Ultimately, this book is in the scope of the only perfect person, Jesus of Nazareth, who demonstrates what it means to live a morally and spiritually perfect life.
Topics covered in this book are poverty, martyrdom, war, life, death, marriage, and many others. These are hot topics for Christians today! How much more can we learn if we go back to those who lived so close to the time of Jesus? Topics such as poverty are more than “social justice” issues today, but it is a key “issue” in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus ministered to the poor, the early church ministered to the poor, and we are to minister to the poor. This book will no doubt convict many Christians, hopefully, the Church as a whole, to do more and act as the hands and feet of Jesus.
I loved this book. It is practical, historical, and theological. It is wonderful to read and revisit the past. I think all Christians should revisit the tradition from which we come.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from InterVarsity Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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