Living Wisely with the Early Church Fathers

By: Christopher A. Hall

The Pastor’s Monthly Book Suggestion – September, 2019

While working through our current series on 1 Peter, I became aware of the difference between the apostle Peter’s view of the good life and the 21st century perspective of the same idea. Technology has changed the way our culture communicates, but the same struggles faced by Christians today were faced by those of the first centuries as well. The early Church was planted and grew in a world where patriotism, war, immorality, and hostility to the gospel competed for people’s allegiance and confronted the ethics of Christianity.

Christopher Hall returns to the world of ancient Rome through the lens of men like Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Athanasius, and Augustine. While it is most helpful to read the original writings of these Church fathers, time and the sheer volume of literature doesn’t always allow for that. The author does us a great favor by wading through much of the work of these early Christians and offering his scholarly insight into their views on subjects such as persecution, wealth, sexuality, and entertainment.

While I did not agree with every conclusion made by the writer, I was challenged by the early Church’s approach to living as exiles in a world that is foreign to the gospel. Hall’s book is not only fascinating from a historical perspective, but it challenges our 21st century concept of the Christian life as it applies the wisdom of those who have gone before us to our own struggle of following the precepts of God’s word. I highly recommend this book for those wishing to learn from faithful believers of the past and acquire a better understanding of the historical context of the New Testament and the early Church.

Bill Mayk

Bill is the founding pastor of Grace & Peace Presbyterian Church (PCA) Prior to beginning this church planting work in the Pottstown area, Bill served as a hospice chaplain and a missionary to Mexico and Jordan. Bill earned his MDiv from Biblical Theological Seminary.
Bill Mayk
About Bill Mayk

Bill is the founding pastor of Grace & Peace Presbyterian Church (PCA) Prior to beginning this church planting work in the Pottstown area, Bill served as a hospice chaplain and a missionary to Mexico and Jordan. Bill earned his MDiv from Biblical Theological Seminary.

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