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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

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