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Wisdom of the Saints (and Near Saints)
Christian Inspiration from Ambrose to Zwingli Vol. 1: A-H
Pastor and author Daniel M. Harrell mines the history of the Church for the inspiration that comes in the lives of the saints...and some near saints. From Augustine to T.S. Eliot, from Perpetua to Hildegard, Harrell explores their riches of thought and experience, and then makes them available in short, engaging, and often humorous entries that connect with everyday contemporary Christian spirituality.
"You'd think that some of the church fathers (and mothers) would come into the 21st century kicking and screaming, but in the masterful hands of Daniel Harrell, they come quite willingly. We have a lot to learn from these old saints, and this book is a great place to start learning from them." ~ Tony Jones, theologian, blogger, and author of A Better Atonement: Beyond the Depraved Doctrine of Original Sin
"The wisdom of the Christian saints—those passionate, brilliant, broken, flawed people—has a much longer shelf life than most folks today would guess. These forebears of ours just need a communicator like Daniel Harrell to call them out of their musty past and allow them to speak again in their unique and irreplaceable voices. To take just one example: had I not known about Augustine, and wandered into Daniel's church when he presented the great North African's life as he does here, I believe I would have immediately rushed down the aisle and out the door to the nearest bookstore to buy the Confessions. Go ahead—flip to that chapter. And be encouraged: There's no shortage, here, of God's grace in missed-up lives: 'That such a coarse man as Caravaggio could produce such moving art emphasizing God's redemptive power testifies to God's insistence on receiving glory not from those who can manage their own spiritual successes but instead from those who must desperately rely upon His clemency.' A salutary spiritual discipline would be to set this book on your nightstand, washstand, or coffee table, then read just one of these biographical gems each day. How much you could grow! ~ Chris Armstrong, Professor of Church History, Bethel Seminary; Senior Editor, Christian History magazine; and author of Patron Saints for Postmoderns
"We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and Daniel Harrell has brought many of our forerunners to life for us in his wonderful, whimsical Wisdom of the Saints (and Near Saints): Christian Inspiration from Ambrose to Zwingli. Harrell's meditations on the wisdom of our mothers and fathers in the faith place each person firmly in historical context, explaining how the ideals they embodied were a product of their time, while also calling forth the eternal verities and values that the saints (and near saints) offer to contemporary Christian pilgrims. The result is a book that is delightfully creative and rigorously honest, sometimes funny and other times melancholy, often intensely challenging and always profoundly gracious." ~ Heather Curtis, Associate Professor of Religion, Tufts University
"This is a wonderful and lively collection of short, concise snap-shots of many—though by no means all—of the great Church Fathers and Mothers who have witnessed to the truth of the living Christ over the centuries. Harrell's ability to turn a phrase and to connect the lives and doctrine of these great luminaries to the perennial questions of faith makes for an accessible and engaging read. Given the current lack of depth in much Christian preaching, these sermons are definitely a welcome addition!" ~ Christian T. Collins Winn, Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Chair of Biblical Studies Department, Bethel University