Awakening Faith Blog Tour

November 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

More Images Awakening Faith Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart BellOver the next few weeks, the Cross Focused Reviewers are participating in a book review blog tour for Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell. Excerpts and links to the reviews will appear below as they are available:

“This is an amazing tool for everyone. What a great way to start off your day than with some thought provoking devotionals. I like the set up, you are given a title and the scripture, then you are given a reading, written by an author from the early church; which helps you ponder on the scripture. In the back there is a list of the church fathers and a short biography… A very attractive hardcover which I prefer for constant reading.”
Reviewer: Mary-Ann Bell (proverb31titus2godlybookreviews.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Books that make the reader think are arguably few and far between these days especially in the devotional genre. There should be no reason why sound theology or engaging important issues every believer faces in their daily life should be avoided in favor of merely presenting a feel good storyline. Awakening Faith is an excellent resource for all believers to use in conjunction with their daily Bible study regimen.”
Reviewer: Michael Boling (IntelMin.org)
Rating: 5 Stars

“There is beauty in the words of these men from the early days of the church. All of them lived during a time when “many Christians were being killed for their faith and when doctrinal controversies threatened to split the church” (found in the introduction). Despite the fact that they faced serious physical, economic, and emotional threats they understood the importance of theology, of following Christ, of running the race to completion. Their exhortations and their wisdom about Jesus Christ, the Church, the Bible, salvation, service, stewardship, holiness, prayer, etc. will greatly enrich your devotional time and your spiritual life as you meditate on them.”
Reviewer: Becky Norton (lookingaheadtobetterdays.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Awakening Faith, is the most appropriate title for the latest work by the great James Stuart Bell. The book in all of its 366 devotions contain some of the best and most undeniable words of faith and honor to the Lord. Devotions meant to spur us on in times of trouble and adversity. The author has combined several words, quotes and things of the like from some of the earliest writers and teachers of the early church. Inspirational readings that even though written so long ago still apply to life and faith even today.”
Reviewer: Jalynn Patterson (asimplelifereally.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“While this book should not be a substitute to one’s daily Bible reading, it will introduce many readers into the thoughts of those who came before us. Read with discernment. The early church fathers represent a wide variety of theological views. Take this book and use it as a tool to find those whose writings you want to investigate further.”
Reviewer: Todd Randolph (toddrandolph.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“As a devotional this book works on many levels”
Reviewer: Jon Roberts (GoodReads.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“The writings will challenge you to ponder the Christian faith and your relationship with Jesus Christ… A good read to ponder and reflect on.”
Reviewer: Michael Taylor (mtaylor.thoughts.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This book is an excellent compilation of early church fathers.It was refreshing to read thoughts that were not in keeping with the trendy writing styles of today’s authors but were timeless in their presentation… The cover to this book is beautiful, making this a great book to give as a gift. It is a wonderful resource that would be greatly appreciated.”
Reviewer: Joanne Viola (daysnthoughts.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“Get this book. Read for revival in your personal devotions—and read this book with a group for discussion, as you stir the flames of your faith into roaring fires.”
Reviewer: Jeff Borden (icrucified.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I would recommend this book for the believer who needs little reminders to focus on what is important from time to time. I find this collection of devotions to be perfect for a first-thing-in-the-morning devotional to get my mind pointed toward the things that are eternally important. For those people who may not be very familiar with the early Church fathers, this collection is an excellent place to start. I have been “introduced” to several new saints through this book, and have been able to sit at the feet of many of the great names of our faith.”
Reviewer: Justin Combs (covenantedreader.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Overall, the selection of church fathers, the careful thematic structure of the passages, and the snapshot way in which the passages are included all lend this book to being used over and over again.”
Reviewer: Spencer Cummings (spencerdeancummins.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Awakening Faith fills a much needed void in today’s Christian culture by giving us a brief glimpse into the writings of the first seven centuries of the church fathers who have gone before us in our faith… this is a great introduction to get Christians reading the early church fathers…”
Reviewer: Jason Custer (leadingcaptivitycaptive.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I would definitely add, Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church, to the small list of devotionals that I recommend to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to purchase, and use, on a daily basis.”
Reviewer: Joshua Davis (ServantsOfGrace.org)
Rating: 4 Stars

“Keep in mind that these Early Church Fathers wrote before over verbosity became a virtue, before printing presses. These men say more in a page than most of us say in a blog series or a book. Grab a copy for yourself and for a history-minded Christian friend.”
Reviewer: Doug Hibbard (DougHibbard.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“There are some inspiring and wonderful pieces I very much enjoyed reading, and I also liked the wide time period chosen (7-8 centuries) as well as the cultural or ethnic backgrounds of the writers. I found the brief notes in the back of the book about each author interesting and informative. I also liked that the readings were short and fairly concise, so it was easy to take away what I wanted or needed from a particular days’ excerpt.”
Reviewer: Lisa Johnson (seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“All in all, it is a great read, with much to offer the reader. It is certainly to leave the reader unsatisfied in that one, even remotely interested in church history, will want to know more about the early church writer’s references. The book could be thought of as proverbs from the early church, and I am glad to recommend the book to others.”
Reviewer: Martin Justice (instrumentofchange.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“This is a great compendium of Christian thought. I happily recommend this book as either a daily devotional (as it is intended) or a bathroom reader (as I have been using it). There are beautiful passages here which are worth copying into your journal and I plan to use this book for years to come.”
Reviewer: James Matichuk (thoughtsprayersandsongs.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I have previously enjoyed From the Library of CS Lewis and From the Library of Charles Spurgeon, both works of James Stewart Bell. This title is more of the same: bringing past writings that many people would be unfamiliar with into an accessible form.”
Reviewer: Joey Parker (parkerjreviews.blogspot.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“If you are looking for a solid Christ-centered devotional as a complement to your personal worship in the word or if you want to introduce yourself to the early church, I would highly recommend Awakening Faith!”
Reviewer: James Pruch (jamespruch.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I definitely recommend this devotional. The devotions are short but contain a lot of wisdom. They are easy to understand but they make you think. Very well written.”
Reviewer: Amanda Talbert (thetalbertreport.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“When I received the book, Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell, I was excited at the opportunity to finally fill in some of the gaping holes in my knowledge of the early history of the Christian church and the Church Fathers. After reading several of the 366 offerings, I haven’t been disappointed. While the language has been simplified, the content is deep and thought provoking.”
Reviewer: Beverly Terry (beverlylynnt.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Their writings touch the heart and move the soul to long for their experience of Christ’s presence in one’s own daily life.”
Reviewer: Christy Toh (christytoh.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“The book itself is compelling as I can get a feel of vintage wisdom that has stood the test of time. Despite the ancient beginnings, the relevance is timeless and very appropriate for a technological culture that prefers the latest and the greatest. This book reminds us once again that there is much value in the earliest and the oldest. What we need are humble hearts and willing ears to listen. The benefits are all ours for the taking and for the sharing.

If you are thinking of a Christmas gift for anyone, this book certainly is a highly recommended one.”
Reviewer: Conrade Yap (booksaint.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Spending time with these ancient Christians is eye-opening and gives me a fresh and deeper view of our faith, our life, and the world.”
Reviewer: Annie Kate Aarnoutse (9anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“if you are unfamiliar with the church fathers and would like an accessible entry point into some of their devotional wisdom, this might be a book for you.”
Reviewer: Nate Claiborne (nathanielclaiborne.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“There is much to like about Awakening Faith. Exposure to the thoughts of the early church will expand Christian’s minds and deepen their appreciation for Christ and His great influence over history. Bell selects a good batch of devotions from a wide scope of church history, sharing thought-provoking words that serve as faith-building proclamations that carry over many centuries and cultures. ”
Reviewer: Kevin Halloran (kevinhalloran.net)
Rating: 4 Stars

“If you’re looking for a devotional for the new year, Awakening Faith would be a wonderful choice!”
Reviewer: Kara Haschke (homewithpurpose.net)
Rating: 4 Stars

“Pep up your spiritual reading, a copy of Awakening Faith is a helpful reminder that the Christian Faith has twenty centuries of heritage, not just a few decades or a couple of centuries. It might even inspire more study of these Christian classics.”
Reviewer: Alastair McCollum (fracme.blogspot.ca)
Rating: 4 Stars

“The book consists of 365 daily devotional readings drawn from writers who lived during the first 8 centuries of Christian history, i.e. from the end of the 1st century until about 900 AD. The writers include the greatest theologians, pastors, martyrs, apologists and founders of movements from the formative period of Christian life and belief. Topics include prayer, faithfulness under trial, community life, holy living, spiritual disciplines, fasting, and the Trinity. There is even a statement on justification by Basil the Great page 26) that sounds like it was written by Martin Luther! If you are not familiar with Clement, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Chrysostom, Leo, Benedict or Cyril, here’s your chance to get acquainted,”
Reviewer: Barry Simmons (journeymansfiles.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“The short passages along with the brief biographies provide a good and digestible introduction to the early church leaders and their writings, giving us a glimpse at how our brothers understood the Scriptures in ages past. God’s Word truly stands firm throughout the ages, and this book is a great reminder of that.”
Reviewer: Vanessa Small (letthemcome1014.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Each devotional might peak the reader’s interest in such a significant way that they become more appreciative of these leaders and start to research some on their own. It’s very possible, because these devotionals are weighty and very pointed.”
Reviewer: Louis Zinc (louiszinc.tumblr.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Awakening Faith reminded me that the Church Fathers are great examples of writers who allow well-spent personal time in the Word to permeate their writings (Christian Bloggers, take note!).

Bell and Kelly let the Church Fathers speak for themselves. I’d recommend this for any believer at any part of their faith journey. It’s an encouraging and enlightening way to change up your daily devotional time.”
Reviewer: Jason Brueckner (TheBraveReviews.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I really liked that I could study the works of the Church Fathers from the first eight centuries. I was especially appreciative of the fact that Bell and Kelly took the time to modernize the language. I do have a degree in English with an emphasis in Old English, but the language has always been hard for me to understand easily. The modern English language made the devotions a joy to study and I felt that I really began to understand how the Church Father’s thought and what their lives were like.”
Reviewer: Rani Grant (christsbridge.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I was thrilled to be able to read Awakening Faith. I love the early church fathers; such wisdom and depth in their words. So much of the power and truth that is so lacking today. I also enjoy the history that is woven into their words. And this devotional is no different. It reminds me of the power of His word; it helps to strengthen me on those days when I am so very weary. I have learned and continue to learn much of the early church. Many names never before heard – there is a handy appendix full of details about the various church fathers; a list of scriptures indexed within too. Often I find devotionals to be soft and fluffy but this one is a gem. In fact this is one you keep close and read again and again gleaning much each time.”
Reviewer: Jennifer King (worthabowedhead.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Awakening Faith is a valuable look at patristic piety and serves modern readers to help us feel their emphases and passions”
Reviewer: Brian Lund (brianjlund.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“if you are looking to pick up a book of daily devotional reading, are interested in learning more about the early Church, or both, Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church is highly recommended.”
Reviewer: Gaines Redd (teamredd.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This is an insightful and inspiring devotional with hundreds of years of wisdom from church fathers. It was interesting to learn about more of our church history and to read their insights into the Bible. Some of the names I recognized, such as Augustine, and others were unknown to me. The language is quite easy to understand. This is a beautiful hardcover with a dust-jacket and ribbon bookmark.”
Reviewer: Veronica Sternberg (shopgirl152ny.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“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.”
Reviewer: Cliff VanNostrand (vannostrand.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“The explosion of solid, believing, first-rate, reliable scholarship in the last 50 years or so has a tendency to make us think these early Christians were somewhat primitive in their theology and thinking, which, when compared to the state of the best of current, believing scholarship has some validity. But we also owe a great debt of gratitude to many of them for formulating a number of solid, scriptural, often foundational truths many of which we continue to believe and confess to this day.

This is a quality production, rich and varied, and includes the nice touch of a built-in ribbon marker, brief biographies, and a Scripture index at the back.”
Reviewer: Douglas Wallace (pilgrimsontheway.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This book is a gold mine of wonderful devotions from the Early Church period. Each page is a window into the faith that has stood for millennia. The Christian reading these daily offerings will be blessed, encouraged, and educated by those that have been so critical in establishing the foundations of the church.”
Reviewer: Michael Britton (vintagecommunity.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“Want a year to soak biblical doctrine with the early church fathers– the ones who agonized over the “sound words” to preserve and protect the truth? Think about getting this book and using it to deepen your appreciation of the Christian tradition.”
Reviewer: Eric Durso (EricDurso.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“The writings of the early church fathers have a seriousness that is lacking today. These writers were committed to Scripture and did not let the world around them convince them otherwise. I appreciate their unwavering faith. This devotional is a call to return to the faith of our fathers. You will be encouraged in your faith by the book Awakening Faith.”
Reviewer: Cheryl Frerichs (thykingdomcometoday.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Awakening Faith is a great devotional resource to ease your way into the writings and thought of the early church fathers.”
Reviewer: Shaun Tabatt (BibleGeekGoneWild.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“[T]here ought to be a place for a devotional reading of the Fathers, unencumbered by the business of critical introductions and apparatuses, and with a view to spiritual edification—and, needless to say, this isn’t only true for the average churchgoer, but for initiates of patristic study as well . . . I am very pleased with Awakening Faith, and look forward to using it daily for my own enrichment and edification, as I have been doing in recent weeks. I warmly recommend this devotional to one and all.”
Reviewer: Esteban Vázquez (voxstefani.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Where to Buy:
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotions from the Early Church by James Stuart Bell is available at your local Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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