Ever wonder what made them different? Ever wonder what it was that made a saint, a saint? Well, settle in and begin a journey with Chris Armstrong into the lives of some of the faith's most erstwhile believers and discover what it was that made their lives so different, and better yet, how our lives can be transformed into effective Christians who faithfully pursue their calling. This book intends to enrich our lives by exposing us to the lives of faithful Christians in the past, and help us to understand our lives as part of the larger community of faith. Paperback.
Are you feeling discouraged in your efforts to reflect Christ each day in our broken world? Does it feel lonely? Too difficult? Too overwhelming? The saints can help you. Especially the ones whose stories Chris Armstrong tells here, because he's chosen them for the ways they've inspired him and deepened his own faith. A professor of church history, Armstrong provides rich portraits of ten people from the past who
- translated the gospel for their own times
- broke down barriers
- ministered out of the brokenness we all share
- knew what it feels like to live on the margins
- believed in the power of stories to bring transformation through Christ
Knowing their stories buoys our own, and observing their steps gives us lived-out action to go with our theology. Perhaps more important, seeing their ordinariness--their foibles, sins and mistakes--helps us realize that no matter where we come from, no matter how inadequate we think we are, God can change each of us by his grace and use us for his glory. So settle in, and spend some time getting to know these brothers and sisters in Christ who struggled and failed and fought and lived faithfully in their day. Together, Armstrong and ten saints from the past will encourage you in your struggles and help you live faithfully in the present.
Chris R. Armstrong (Ph.D., Duke University) is associate professor of church history at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Armstrong contributed chapters to (edited by Mark A. Noll and Edith L. Blumhofer) and to (edited by James R. Goff Jr. and Grand Wacker). He has written over seventy articles as the former managing editor of Christian History & Biography magazine, and he is a contributing writer to Christianity Today, Leadership Journal, Christian History, and other publications. He blogs regularly at www.christianitytodayblogs.com/history.
"Taken together these 'patron saints' become a most valuable 'cloud of witnesses' for the many and varied circumstances of Christian believers in our own day. Careful reading of this well-crafted book will pay rich rewards."
"For those who have been tempted to think that Christian history has little to teach the contemporary church, Patron Saints for Postmoderns may come as a delightful and unexpected surprise. In his beautifully crafted and well-researched volume, Chris Armstrong provides his readers with a winsome and convincing argument for the continued relevance of the past. Patron Saints for Postmoderns is both a treasure trove of valuable insight and a genuine joy to read."
"The church in America has no lack of novelty. Bloated with self-referential congratulations, our American Christendom needs a hearty dose of wisdom. In Patron Saints for Postmoderns, professor Chris Armstrong tells the stories of ten flawed yet wise historical figures who incarnated the gospel afresh at a pivotal time in the life of the church, each offering a glimpse of how we might critically bring flesh to the gospel in our own pivotal era."
"Lives have consequences, and Armstrong reminds us just how consequential our lives are. In ten crisply drawn portraits of saints whose lives resonate with our times, he challenges us to take our freedom with eternal seriousness."
"Saints can be off-putting and unapproachable figures, trapped in pious pictures and stained-glass windows. The pleasure of Christopher Armstrong's attractively written book is in seeing the very human, quirky side of some of the greatest heroes and heroines of the Christian story."