Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers: Selected Readings for Daily Reflection
Compiled and edited by Christopher D. Hudson, J. Alan Sharrer, and Lindsay Vanker
ISBN 13: 978–1-5656339–6-4
Hardcover, 400 pages
Recommended by Rev. W. Oord
Not everybody wants to sit down and read the thirty-eight volumes of The Early Church Fathers. Some of the early church fathers like Athanasius and Augustine are well known. Others, such as Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa, are hardly known at all. Yet each one of the thirty-nine men featured in this volume played an important role in the early church.
Each day Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers offers a few paragraphs from a church leader who lived during the opening centuries of the New Testament church. These were men who faced great trials and were often persecuted (even martyred) for their beliefs. A brief biography of each contributor tells of some of the difficulties these men of faith faced as they rose to prominence in the church and defended the church against ungodly and false teachers of their time.
Their great zeal and love for the triune God and the humility in which they sought to serve Him shine through on each page. Even a small glimpse of each writer should give a clear understanding as to why the Reformers wanted to break away from the traditions of the Romans Catholic Church and return to the teachings of the early church.
The authors have provided outstanding samples of the writings of each church father and updated the language. At the same time, they have preserved the original meaning of the author in each meditation. As you use this volume as your daily devotion, may you be introduced to some of the early writers in the church and enticed to read more of their works.
Day by Day with John Calvin: Selected Readings for Daily Reflection
Compiled and edited by Mack Fackler, Philip Christman, Donald Dumbacher, and Paul Stob
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN 13: 978–1-5656365–3-8
Recommended by Dave Vander Meer
Day by Day With John Calvin is a daily devotional that gives you some of John Calvin’s insights on certain Bible texts. Each passage brings a different passage and a new writing on that text by John Calvin. While these writings are short—one page in length—they are both practical and powerful. It is amazing how much Calvin could say in a short amount of space. It is a wonderful combination of doctrine and applications.
Four of the 365 titles in the devotional are titled as follows: Perfectly Saved, Learning in Humility, Faith Undefeated, and Pardon in Prayer. There is a special section on the Ten Commandments. The book also includes an index of Scripture passages in the back that could be helpful when studying Scripture to get a quick explanation from Calvin’s teaching on that text.
In this devotional we are reminded of the great heritage of our faith that should not be forgotten. If you have not read much of Calvin’s works, or it has been a long time since you have read any of his writings, then this book would afford you a good place in which to get acquainted or reacquainted with John Calvin. You will be encouraged in this devotional to dig deeper into the thoughts and teachings of this man who so greatly influenced Protestant Christianity.
Day by Day with the English Puritans
Compiled and edited by Randall J. Pederson
Hardcover, 422 pages
Reviewed by Rev. W. Oord
You have, no doubt, read Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Every minister should read Richard Baxter’s The Reformed Pastor. Everyone should be required to read John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. These brilliant men, along with many others, were known as the Puritans. They had a wealth of knowledge and insight into the truths of the Holy Scriptures.
To catch just a glimpse of their brilliance, I encourage you to begin each day with Day by Day with the English Puritans as your morning devotional book. To spend some time each morning with the Puritans—even if it is but a few minutes—would be a wonderful way to begin each day. Each day you would be introduced to a gem of thought to carry with you the rest of the day.
J. I. Packer writes that, like all good devotionals, the selected readings found in this volume will “enlarge your sense of God’s presence, goodness, and closeness to you.”