Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Awakening Faith by:James Stuart Bell

Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church
About the Book:
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. In every reflection you will be refreshed by deep wells of wisdom and spiritual insight. 'In the age of Twitter and Facebook, where glib sayings abound, one yearns to read some deeper wisdom about life and faith on a regular basis. 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!' ---Mark Galli, editor, Christianity Today.

About the Author:
James Stuart Bell, Jr., is a former director of religious publishing at Doubleday, executive director of Bridge Publishing, and executive editor at Moody Publishing. The writer, editor, or compiler of more than 140 books, he owns Whitestone Communications, Inc., a literary development agency, and makes his home in the western suburbs of Chicago. Bell is married with four children.

My Review:
 Awakening Faith, is the most appropriate title for the latest work by the great James Stuart Bell. The book in all of its 366 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. Hearing their words and thoughts on different subjects such as the church, salvation, prayer&devotion, Holiness, service&stewardship give us encouragement to stay the course along life's way until that day when we meet our Savior is simply heart warming. 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.

 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." My husband decided to keep this book for himself to help with his future sermons but this book can easily be used by anyone as a daily devotional. I love the book it is a very valuable resource in Bible study.

**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Cross Focused Reviews.