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On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom Paperback – January 28, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (January 28, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764800566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764800566
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This would make a lovely gift!
W. Byrd
The "timeless" and "insightful" words of St. John Chrysostom in this slim and easily accessible book are inspiring and instructive.
Adamantia
If you are interested in Patristic Christian thought or just in Ancient Wisdom, I highly recommend this book to you.
Mark D. Merlino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 123 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This outstanding little book contains extracts from the sermons of John Chrysostom, especially on political and social themes. One could hardly imagine how relevant these 1600 year old teachings could be. And at the same time profoundly full of the spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ.
Chrysostom (born 347) was raised in an aristocratic family, studied under the orator Libanus and forsook it all to follow Christ. He managed to offend the bishops of Constantinople by rooting out corruption, establishing new hospitals and criticizing immorality on all fronts. He stripped the patriarch's palace of its luxuries and gave the proceeds to the poor. This of course made him very unpopular with the elite and powerful, but the people rallied around him. Forced into exile by the church's bishops, he died while being forced to march in the rainy season to a fortress on the Black Sea.
John strongly denounced the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and not only preached, but modeled sharing of wealth with the poor. In fact, "If everyone lived according to the teachings of Christ, there would be no rich and poor; all would be equal." John's observations cut to the quick for citizens of a modern capitalist world, and are as relevant as if writtten yesterday.
Consider the following passage: "Commerce in itself is not bad; indeed it is and intrinsic part of God's order. What matters is how we conduct our commerce...each person specializes in the work for which God has ordained him; and by selling his skills or the goods he produces, he can obrain from others the goods which he needs. The problems arise because some people can obtain a far higher price for their work than others, or because some people employ others and do not pay a fair wage.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alexander M. Hallmark on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Saint John Chrysostom was an early "corrector" of the Christian faith, in the same manner of Saint Francis of Asissi, but much earlier. He saw the "faith" getting "off-track" and used his considerable speaking and writing talents to attempt to get the church "back on-track".

The author has skillfully and faithfully condensed St. Chrysostom's volumous work into a short and meditative book. This book is for Christians and non-Christians in that the thoughts expressed are universal.

St. Chrysostom's faith and phylosophy from the 5th century are amazingly applicable and edifying to today's world.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Hakkeem on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a book of quotes from John Chrysostom's sermons. There are wonderful insights here, and many fabulous quotes on a surprisingly wide range of topics. Unfortunately, all of the passages are printed in isolation, without their context. There is no explanation given, no sermons printed in full, not even a reference to tell you what sermon the passage was pulled from. I understand the affinity that many people have for such "gems of wisdom" books, but I would have appreciated much more context and commentary, either by the interpreter, an editor, or even just John Chrysostom's context itself. I am afraid that myself and others could take far too much of the book out-of-context and misinterpret the true original meaning with only short passages to rely on. I would have given the book a three-star review, but the complete lack of references, making it impossible even for me to look up the context of the quotes on my own, is what caused me to drop it to a two-star review.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Merlino on September 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On Living Simply is a wonderful way to introduce yourself to the simple eloquence of St. John Chrysostom. His words illustrate his profound insight into life that is as applicable now as when it was origionally recorded in Late Antiquity. If you are interested in Patristic Christian thought or just in Ancient Wisdom, I highly recommend this book to you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Webfoot on January 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
On Living Simply
St. John Chrysostom

Compiled by Robert Van de Weyer

This is a book of short excerpts from some of Chrysostom's sermons. They were selected to show St. John's teachings about wealth and poverty. He was raised in a wealthy family and trained in the art of legal rhetoric "under the great pagan orator called Libanius." (Introduction) In 368 he renounced his wealth and position of influence, giving himself to the study of Scripture. He was ordained as a priest in Antioch and then dedicated himself to preaching.

His preaching got him into trouble with the powers that be, since he boldly told the rich that their Christian duty was to care for widows, orphans, the infirm, and the poor in general. They were to use their wealth to build up others less fortunate than themselves, and not just for their own, selfish ends.

He was exiled to Armenia because of his preaching. Christianity had recently become the official religion of the Roman Empire and the church had seen an influx of powerful people into its membership. This corrupted the simplicity of the Gospel, according to Chrysostom.

This is a good little book, representative of what John taught about wealth, poverty, and family life.

Here are a couple of quotes:

#5

"In a family the husband needs the wife to prepare his food; to make, mend, and wash his clothes; to fetch water; and to keep the rooms and furniture in the house clean. The wife needs the husband to till the soil, to build and repair the house, and to earn money to buy the goods they need. God has put into a man's heart the capacity to love his wife, and into a woman's heart the capacity to lover her husband. But their mutual dependence makes them love each other out of necessity also.
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