We’re one week deep into reading the church fathers together, so I want to take a moment to reflect on our first seven days.
First, we’ve read some really great passages. Here is a brief list of some of my favorite highlights. What were yours?
- Clement of Rome’s call to repentance (ch. 7), to holiness and humility (ch. 30), and to labor and praise in harmony (ch. 34), along with Clement’s call for order in the church (ch. 44).
- The author of the Epistle to Diognetus on “what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world” (ch.6), and Christ as the revelation of God (ch. 8) and justification of men (ch. 9).
- Polycarp’s call to the imitation of Christ and to self-control (ch.10), and his words to the proconsul and the crowd in the arena (ch. 9).
Second, I have heard from a number of readers that the reading takes about 20–25 minutes per day, which lines up with my experience. Is that about right?
Third, a few people have expressed chagrin at being behind in the reading “already,” I want to suggest that there is a better way to think about the reading plan. Try thinking of each day’s reading as a new opportunity, rather than as the latest in a string of missed opportunities. In other words, feel free to do the reading for each day as you have the ability, rather than feeling obligated to read through a backlog of earlier readings. (Or, do whatever you want; this is just a suggestion.) Read with joy, rather than out of a feeling of obligation.
Fourth, many more people than we expected have joined us in the first week. It’s hard to estimate, but it seems like a minimum of 200 and probably more like 300 (and as many as 400) people have joined us. You can get an idea of the diversity from this list of countries that have had regular visitors (it’s hard to say how many of these countries have regular readers, but at least the top 10 do). I’ve also heard from several church groups who are adapting the reading program for Sunday school classes or reading groups.
Finally, thanks to all the readers who wrote blog posts recommending Read the Fathers. We appreciate your contribution. Here is as complete a list as I could compile; there were many other people who wrote things on Facebook or Twitter.
- Amy Cavender
- Luke Stamps at Credo Magazine
- Scholiast at The Pocket Scroll
- Bryan Owen at Creedal Christian
- Luke Wisley at Secundum Scripturas
- Matthew Adam Block at Captain Thin
- T. C. Judd at Simply, Christian
- Nathaniel Claiborne at Marturo
- Hayes Worldview
- Allen Krell
- Terrance L. Tiessen at Thoughts Theological
- Jason Tucker at Tipping Sacred Cow
- Evangelical Baptist Church
- Rebecca Stark at Rebecca Writes
- Scott Reeves at Scribe of the Kingdom and Proverbs 31 Dad
- Kim Shay at The Upward Call
- Brian LePort at Near Emmaus
- The Logos community, which has adapted the plan to their software
- All Saints Cyprus
- Southwest Central Church of Christ (PDF)
- David LaDuke