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Book Jacket

364 pages
Dec 2007
InterVarsity Press

Water From a Deep Well

by Gerald L. Sittser

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


You’d better find a comfortable chair, and have a drink nearby. Water From a Deep Well is a hard-to-put-down book. Don’t hamper yourself with biases and dislikes in this history book or you'll miss out on some really helpful, scriptural lessons. The Christians portrayed herein come from the widest possible base throughout our history. The author‘s aim is to help us mine the riches of our wide heritage, and he does it admirably. Starting with the early martyrs who encourage us to die daily, Sittser proceeds through history with intriguing, growth causing, intimate, challenging depictions of some of our spiritual ancestors: The Desert Saints; Monasticism; users of Icons and Saints; Mystics; Medieval laity; The Reformers; The Evangelicals, and Pioneer Missionaries. His closing chapter challenges with a discussion of where he believes we’re now headed.

At one-time a pastor, and now a professor of Theology , Gerald Sittser comes from a Reformed background. His grasp of the subject, ability with words, and his experience learning these lessons shine from every page of Water From a Deep Well. While he sometimes refers to himself, Sittser has a marvelous reticence and humility that adds a winsome depth to the narrative. It is refreshing to get the substance without the author focusing on himself. -- Donna Eggett, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

In Rome in A.D. 165, two men named Carpus and Papylus stood before the proconsul of Pergamum, charged with the crime of being Christians. Not even torture could make them deny Christ, so they were burned alive.

Is my faithfulness as strong?

In the fifth century, Melania the Younger and her husband, Pinian, distributed their enormous wealth to the poor and intentionally practiced the discipline of renunciation.

Could living more simply deepen my trust in God?

In the sixteen hundreds, Philipp Jakob Spener's love for the Word of God and his desire to help people apply the Bible to their life moved him to start "Colleges of Piety," or small groups.

In what ways could commitment to community make me more like Christ?

The history of the church has shaped what our faith and practice are like today. It's tempting to think that the way we do things now is best, but history also has much to teach us about what we've forgotten. In Water from a Deep Well, Gerald Sittser opens to us the rich history of spirituality, letting us gaze at the practices and stories of believers from the past who had the same thirst for God that we do today. As we see their deep faith through his vibrant narratives, we may discover that old ways can bring new life to our own spirituality.