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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.

"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