As we all may well know, study of the early Church Fathers can yield great treasures in not only seeing Christ lived out in the context of another culture, but gaining invaluable information in regards to their perseverance, resolve, and lifestyle. Rediscovering the Church Fathers by Michael A.G. Haykin provides us with an excellent introduction to the earlier centuries in the Christian faith.
One particular thing I recognized early on was that Haykin wanted to make it very clear that studying of the earlier church fathers is extremely applicable and relevant to our time today; “the Fathers can provide us with a map for the Christian life” (p.18). I love the quote that Haykin included on C.H. Spurgeon speaking about the study of those who have learned/struggled/conquered/died before us, “It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others” (p.14).
Not only does this book provide a legitimate foundation for taking a beneficial look into the past, and those who have already gone through it, but he also structures the book thematically. Haykin starts by presenting the necessity of this study, and advances to topics like ‘dying for Christ’, ‘sharing the Truth’, ‘interpreting the Scriptures’, the Eucharist, ‘being Holy and Renouncing the World’ [which particularly influenced me], and the model set forth by St. Patrick in saving the Irish.
For those of us who had not previously looked much into the Church Fathers who have gone before us, Haykin also provides us with multiple resources throughout the book that we can refer to in growing in understanding, and having a starting-point to deepening our study in them. Whether it be the in-chapter citations and mentions of various books, or the appendices at the end, you can rest assured that you will walk away from this book with a fortified perspective in many aspects of the Christian faith, and materials to deepen your study and sanctifying work in any of the topics God puts on your heart.
I left this book feeling extremely edified, built up, and motivated to pursue God with a fresh perspective and an urgent outlook, and I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to know more about the Church Fathers, the various topics included in this book, and the significance of why we ought to study them.
This book will be a constant reference-point for me in the months and years to come.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and the views expressed in this review are my own.