I. LOVE. church history. If you know me, this will come as no surprise. However, since I have some new followers to my blog (Hi, Friends!), this is one of those fun (a.k.a. nerdy) facts about Stacie that you will come to realize sooner or later. I am a Bible geek. Especially the Old Testament. Nothing has taught me more about the absolute majesty of our Lord and Savior like the Old Testament has.
But I digress.
Part of being a perpetual student of the Bible is learning all that I can about the men and women that shaped Christianity; from learning about their cultures and languages, to learning about their lives after Jesus ascended into Heaven. In fact, it is this particular area of study…the lives of the Apostles after Jesus’ ascension…that has yielded the least amount of (reliable) fruit for me. There are so many opinions, ideas and educated guesses out there! Which is why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on After Acts: Exploring the Lives And Legends of the Apostles.
I thought this book was brilliantly done. So many times, books of this nature are tough to read; either too dry, too lofty, too wordy, or just too far above my head. After Acts was not only readable, but felt very conversational. I was able to follow along easily, while soaking up the information (and taking copious notes.) The author’s passion for the subject shined through, as he fleshed out the apostles, confronting both truth and myth alike.
Perhaps my favorite part of the book is that Bryan Litfin wasn’t afraid to use “outside” sources in his quest for the truth. He used church tradition, yes. But also gave credence to more secular sources, even “heretical” sources, to glean the truth about the lives of these men. When you put these stories together, what you end up with is a fascinating illustration of what these people went through in their passion to tell the world about Jesus. From Matthew, Mark, Luke, Thomas, Mary, Peter, Paul and others, the author hands you his findings, introducing you to the history that you never knew…history that fills in all of the gaps.
And so, in keeping with Bryan Litfin’s end-of-chapter report cards (you’ll see what I mean…so cool), I give this book an A++.
See? I’m so excited that I made up my own grading system.