This week we take a break from our time with John Cass­ian and Abba Isaac on prayer. We’ll be back with them next week. 

Today I want to inform Ren­o­varé read­ers that the Ren­o­varé Book Club is fea­tur­ing my new book, Liv­ing Wise­ly with the Church Fathers (IVP Aca­d­e­m­ic, 2017), as the last book club selec­tion for this year.

Ancient Wis­dom for Mod­ern Times

The first cen­turies of Chris­tian­i­ty are like a far coun­try for many of us. Despite their ini­tial strange­ness, though, the wis­dom pro­duced in these ear­ly cen­turies for liv­ing life well with God can help mod­ern Chris­tians in many ways.

Ear­ly Chris­tians strug­gled and flour­ished in a cul­ture that was in love with empire and mil­i­tary pow­er, infat­u­at­ed with sex and enter­tain­ment, tol­er­ant of all gods but hos­tile to the One. From this cru­cible of dis­ci­ple­ship, these ear­ly Chris­t­ian lead­ers — known to us as the church fathers — extract­ed lessons of virtue, faith­ful­ness, and joy in Christ.

In my new book we head back to these ancient times. I inter­view, so to speak, Chris­t­ian lead­ers from around the ancient world, inquir­ing how to live a good life as a Christ fol­low­er. The menu of top­ics I cov­er with these ancient friends wends its way through wealth and pover­ty, war and vio­lence, mar­riage and sex­u­al­i­ty, the­ater and the are­na, as well as the harsh real­i­ties of per­se­cu­tion and martyrdom.

Ancient Chris­tians such as Basil, Chrysos­tom, or Augus­tine grap­pled with eth­i­cal issues sur­pris­ing­ly res­o­nant with our own. They both sur­prise and chal­lenge us as we seek to live life well with the God made known to us in Jesus.

It’s still pos­si­ble to sign up for the Ren­o­varé Book Club for this last selec­tion. I’ll be inter­act­ing with read­ers through the sev­en weeks we spend togeth­er read­ing the text. We’d love for you to join us.

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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