Home > Reviews, Zondervan > Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Kelly

Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell with Patrick J. Kelly


In simple, updated language, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell provides a year of inspiring readings drawn from the earliest teachers and writers of the church—the Church Fathers. In every reflection you will be refreshed by deep wells of wisdom and spiritual insight. (From the publisher’s website)


“The best Christians in every age take sanctification seriously, without diminishing the work of the Spirit and his grace in transforming us. The Fathers exemplified this understanding. They discussed and exhorted every possible virtue, especially love, humility, mercy, purity, and generosity. Their blessing to us is the seriousness with which they treated virtue, and their refusal to deconstruct or reduce the teachings of Jesus to make them more palatable or easier to achieve. They were clearly not interested in softening the edges of their exhortation for the sake of complacent believers–pursuing a holy life was difficult in their view, but nonetheless imperative.” (From the introduction)


We tend to look at history in terms of great events or great personages. But most of life is lived in the everyday, uneventful plodding down the path of life. We are so enamored with the end of the road (our goals) that sometimes we miss the sights along the side of the road. A book like Awakening Faith can help us slow down and enjoy the journey.

This book is a devotional with daily readings taken from the early church fathers. The readings are numbered rather than assigned dates. I personally like this in a devotional because it removes the anxiety of being behind if you miss a day. It also allows you to pick it up and start any day of the year.

The page layout is well done with a topic, heading, pertinent verse, reading, and author. Most entries are a full page of comfortable print. This book even comes with a ribbon marker to help keep your place. The dust-jacket is attractive and has a pleasant feel.

The reader will find these writings to be very warm and pastoral. These early Christians struggled with some of the same issues as you and I. They were concerned with the health and growth of believers and it comes through in their writings.

This book makes an excellent devotional that is easy to read yet is rich and deep. Any believer will find this book helpful. Those who have never read the early church fathers will find this book an accessible introduction to their writings. But whether you are familiar with these early Christians or not, I hope you will pick this book up and benefit from the insight and passion of the church fathers. James Stuart Bell and Patrick Kelly have done us all a favor in compiling this book.

Book Details:

  • Author: James Stuart Bell

  • Publisher: Zondervan

  • Format: Hardcover, Jacketed

  • Page Count: 400

  • ISBN#: 9780310514879

  • List Price: $24.99

About the Author:

James Stuart Bell, Jr., is a former director of religious publishing at Doubleday, executive director of Bridge Publishing, and executive editor at Moody Publishing. The writer, editor, or compiler of more than 140 books, he owns Whitestone Communications, Inc., a literary development agency, and makes his home in the western suburbs of Chicago. Bell is married with four children. (From the publisher’s website)

Where to Buy:

Disclaimer: I received this book From Zondervan via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Reviews, Zondervan
  1. No comments yet.
  1. November 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: