Christopher Hall follows his two previous books with a powerful third, topping his other two with deeply powerful insights into forgotten Christian writers – forgotten to the Evangelical world – bridging a gap that is desperately needed between modern Christianity and those greats of the past.
There are no long-winded sermons, dusty facts, or theological interpretations. Instead, Hall connects the Fathers with their own words, sometimes with his insights by experience, producing a text that gives the Christian steady reading while he or she explores what the Fathers believed. Starting with the Eucharist and Baptism, he doesn’t argue for sacramentalism, but shows how the Fathers lived the communication of Grace, a tradition handed down time and time again, by various writers, producing a strong focus in the Christian life. Moving into prayer, he shares with the reader his challenges in presenting a better understanding of prayer, something that he struggles with himself. Finally, he ends with individual discipline. This book is thoroughly engaging to the theologian, Church Historian, but most and best of all, every Christian.
In a time when we ‘fit’ God into our lives, Hall reminds us of the Fathers and their life led in Christ. He brings home not theological arguments, nor denominational, but draws the reader into Christian historical theology. He seeks to answer the tough questions on prayer with how the Father’s did so. He brings in Augustine, Chrysostom, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and numerous others, but he ties these great writers to himself, and thus to us, by sharing his personal experience, such as the sacramentalism he received from his Uncle Bob. He doesn’t expect to change anyone’s opinions, only to show that, perhaps, what Evangelicalism is missing by ignoring the Fathers and the early theology.
Read it as a Church History text book, or a theological work, or even as a devotional but this book should be read, and will be enjoyed, but those who are seeking something more in there worship of God, and the understanding of the focus placed on such sacraments by Catholics, Orthodox and others as they worship God.
You may also order it from Westminster.