Renovare

Living Wisely with the Church Fathers

by Chris Hall

The first cen­turies of Chris­tian­i­ty are like a far coun­try. But despite their for­eign­ness, they hold a trea­sury of wis­dom for liv­ing. 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. And from this cru­cible of dis­ci­ple­ship they extract­ed lessons of virtue, faith­ful­ness, and joy in Christ.

Christo­pher Hall takes us to the ancient Mediter­ranean world, inquir­ing Chris­t­ian lead­ers how to live a good life as a Christ fol­low­er. The menu of top­ics 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.

Gath­er­ing around Basil or Chrysos­tom or Augus­tine, we are instruct­ed anew in the way of dis­ci­ple­ship. And as they grap­ple with issues sur­pris­ing­ly res­o­nant with our own, this cloud of ancient wit­ness­es both sur­pris­es and chal­lenges us in the life of faith.

2017

Recommendations

In a win­some style that makes the patris­tics acces­si­ble with­out ever domes­ti­cat­ing them, Chris Hall takes read­ers deep into anoth­er engag­ing con­ver­sa­tion with the church fathers. This time, he expert­ly high­lights the immense­ly prac­ti­cal, deeply wise, and brac­ing­ly chal­leng­ing things they have to say to us about the way we live our lives. The only thing that counts, we are remind­ed, is faith work­ing through love’ (Gal 5:6) — but that sin­gu­lar goal affects every area of our lives, from our finances to our rela­tion­ships, pol­i­tics, and dai­ly reg­i­mens. Part man­i­festo and part train­ing man­u­al, Liv­ing Wise­ly with the Church Fathers com­pels us — and then teach­es us — to do just what the title suggests.”
Carolyn Arends, Renovaré Director of Education, Author of Wrestling with Angels

About the Author