"In recent years, more and more evangelicals who are looking for spiritual depth and congregational vitality have started to explore the thought and practice of the early church. Christopher Hall is a wise, experienced guide through the twists and turns of this often strange and unfamiliar territory. This volume provides a clear, readable exposition of what the leading church fathers understood about baptism, the Lord's Supper, prayer and spiritual disciplines. A special strength of this book is that Hall explains the biblical and theological reasoning used by the fathers as they developed their approaches. This book is essential reading for pastors, lay leaders and students who are looking for a reliable introduction to the spirituality of the early church." (Jeffrey P. Greenman, associate dean of biblical and theological studies and professor of Christian ethics, Wheaton College)
"Christopher Hall helps us to read the church fathers contextually and not anachronistically. At the same time he manages to incorporate his own life experiences of worship in ways that make the book deeply personal as all prayer life must be. The result is a rich treasure trove of the prayers of the church." (James M. Houston, founding principal of Regent College, Vancouver, and Emeritus Professor of Spiritual Theology)
"Christopher Hall's wonderful introduction to prayer and worship in the early church will not only draw you closer to the church fathers--it will draw you closer to God." (Lauren F. Winner, Duke Divinity School, author of Girl Meets God)
"In the end Christopher Hall has not written a book about the early fathers' views on worship and prayer. Instead, with expertise and humility, he invites us to join an ongoing conversation with Christian siblings who centuries ago reflected on distractions in prayer, self-deception, passions and other concerns central to the Christian life. Chris has mined the ancient resources, uncovered the gems, and set them in a context that makes them highly accessible for consideration by Protestant evangelicals (of which he is one) and all others in the Christian family who want to deepen their understanding and practice of worship and prayer. You won't want to read this book hurriedly as if you were gulping down spiritual junk food. Feast on a richly laden table as you slowly savor each bit of insight and advice from those who have come before us." (Dennis Okholm, professor of theology, Azusa Pacific University, and author of Monk Habits for Everyday People)
"Many of us who are stumbling to find our way faithfully have looked back to ancient wisdom for direction. Whether we realize it at first, we need guides to navigate these strange landscapes and to discover the treasures they offer for our time. Chris Hall has been such a guide for me. This new volume on worship is a classic example of his ability to help Antony and Augustine, Cassian and Tertullian, speak to us today. Follow Dr. Hall's lead and receive the gifts of this living tradition." (Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author, speaker and new monastic (jonathanwilsonhartgrove.com))
About the Author
Christopher A. Hall is chancellor of Eastern University and dean of the Templeton Honors College. He is also associate editor of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.