Friday 4 March 2022

Words of Wisdom from the Church Fathers - Jimmy Akin

Words of Wisdom from the Church Fathers
ISBN 9781784691738
eISBN 9781784692315
ASIN B071V82756
CTS Booklet SP50

This is the sixth book by Jimmy Akin that I have read, and the second he published with the Catholic Truth Society. Over the last few years, I have read over 250 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society. I have also read other books on the church Fathers including some by Mike Aquilina and Pope Benedict XVI. So I approached this volume with great expectations.

The description of this volume is:

“Who are the Church Fathers? What can they teach us today? This collection of their wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations show us that they have much wisdom from which we can learn.

In the history of Christianity, the age of the apostles gave way to the age of the Church Fathers – which is the hinge connecting the New Testament era to the rest of Christian history. But who are the Church Fathers? And what, if anything, can they teach us today?

Author Jimmy Akin gathers the wisest, most practical teachings and exhortations from the Fathers of the Church, to show us that our Christian forbearers have much wisdom from which we can learn.

Presented in a format perfect for daily meditation and inspiration, these classic translations will become a beacon of light to the faithful, as they were to the church leaders, laity, and the theologians that came before.”

The chapters in the booklet are:

The Importance of Love
Daily Prayer
Perseverance in Prayer
Defending Life
Helping Those in Need
God or Money?
Going to Church
Our Spiritual Gifts
Our Shepherds in Christ
Avoiding False Teachers
The Religious Life
Showing Off How Spiritual We Are
Dealing with Anxieties and Fears
When Others Wrong Us
Forgiving Others
Taking Up Our Cross
When We Have Fallen
The Death of Our Loved Ones
Helping Our Departed Loved Ones
Seeking Help from the Saints
Devotion to the Blessed Mother
Our Own Death
Treasure in Heaven

The end of the introduction to this volume states:

“Provision therefore needed to be made for the Christian faith to be passed on to future generations. This was accomplished partly through the writing of the New Testament, but it was also accomplished as the first generation of Church leaders passed from the scene and handed the torch of faith to another.

At the end of his life, the apostle Paul wrote to his young protégé, St Timothy, telling him: “Accept the strength, my dear son, that comes from the grace of Christ Jesus. You have heard everything that I teach in public; hand it on to reliable people so that they in turn will be able to teach others.” (2 Tm 2:1-2)

The age of the apostles thus gave way to the age of the Church Fathers, which is the hinge connecting the New Testament era to the rest of Christian history.”

The first chapter of this book, titled ‘The Fathers’, states that:

“The Church Fathers are vital witnesses to the Christian Faith. To qualify as a Father, an individual must meet four criteria: he must possess antiquity, orthodoxy, holiness, and the approval of the Church.”

It then goes on to define each of those four requirements. And ends with this statement:

“Canonisation implies that the Church approves both an individual’s holiness and orthodoxy, so for practical purposes, any sainted writer living in the age of the Fathers may be considered a Church Father.

The writings of these individuals are important, and they contain much practical wisdom for living the Christian life.”

Jimmy also informs us of some other valuable sources from this time period, and also some valuable books without solid attribution. And finally Jimmy states:

“In this booklet, we will examine what the writings of the New Testament, the Church Fathers, and other early Christian sources have to say on a variety of subjects.

We will see that the issues we face today have always been part of the Christian life, and that the writings of our Christian forebears have much wisdom from which we can learn.”

From there we are presented 25 topics. Jimmy’s research is impeccable. His writing is fluid and engaging. The book is accessible. It is a book that can be read from beginning to end, or jumping around the topics. It is also a book we could return to often as a refresher. When I was involved with Campus Ministries, specifically Campus Crusade for Christ, they have a series of ‘How To’ booklets, by your second or third year in the ministry you had them memorized and could use them in random evangelization. This book might not be memorized by many, but reading it a few times, or once a year for a few years will help set the teaching in our hearts and minds. 

It is a wonderful little volume and I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Jimmy Akin:
The Salvation Controversy
Cracking the Da Vinci Code
The Fathers Know Best
The Drama of Salvation
Justification by Faith and Works
A Daily Defense: 365 Days ( plus one) to Becoming a Better Apologist
Mass Revision: How the Liturgy is Changing and What it Means for You
Pope Names: The Definitive Guide to the History of Papal Naming, Why Popes Choose the Names They Do, and What Name the Next Pope Will Choose
Why Mormonism Is Not Christian: The Essential Facts Every Catholic Must Know
Mormons: The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints: A Catholic Perspective
20 Answers Salvation - 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers
The Bible Answer Man Debate: Jimmy Akin vs. James White
Annulments: What You Need to Know
Islam: A Catholic Perspective
Mark: A Commentary
The Nightmare World of Jack Chick
God Is Love: Understanding Benedict XVI's First Encyclical
Words of Wisdom from the Church Fathers

20 Answers Faith and Works - Jimmy Akin

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