Book Review: “Give Us This Day Devotionals, Volume 5: Acts”

Give Us This Day Devotionals, Volume 5: Acts. By Charles Erlandson. Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2023. 272 pp. $28.00 (e-book).

The Give Us This Day Devotionals fill a niche that is not so common in Anglican or really most other circles: long form devotions. These are not three-paragraph pieces on some random Bible passage, but an orderly process through a book of the Bible. Nor are they primarily exegetical commentaries.

Erlandson’s purpose in writing in this form is to immerse his audience in lectio divina, which is a meditative approach to reading the Scriptures with an interest in discerning how they are related to Christ. The end goal is not to gain scholastic knowledge so much as to love Christ more.

Each entry picks a pericope or two, sometimes a rather long paragraph of Scripture in the case of some of the discourses in Acts. There is then a reflection, generally more akin to storytelling than an exegetical sermon. Think Paul Harvey at his best. These are typically three or four pages followed with some prayer and an action point.

Most of us have probably seen Anglican preachers that are hard-pressed to cobble this much coherent material together on a weekly basis. And I could see the volume being used as a source of ideas for the Sunday homily. However, Acts is woefully under-represented in most of our Sunday lectionaries. This could also be a small group curriculum with minimal adaptation.

As a priest, I have had many devotional resources appear on my desk over the years, often from a well-intentioned member who wants to know if we should order a bunch of them. Though Erlandson’s series is considerably more expensive than much of the other stuff on the market, I would much rather read these and have my people reading them. There’s supposed to come a point in the Christian experience when three verses and a pep talk are no longer adequate sustenance. And it is my understanding that the content of the books has been extensively field tested in Erlandson’s congregations over his career.

Shannon Ramey

Canon Shannon Ramey was ordained a deacon in the Orthodox Anglican Church in 2017 and a priest in 2018. He also serves as the Secretary General for International Relations of the Orthodox Anglican Communion. He is a 2015 graduate of Regent University. He previously served an enlistment in the United States Navy. Canon Ramey is a widower with two young daughters.

'Book Review: “Give Us This Day Devotionals, Volume 5: Acts”' has 1 comment

  1. November 27, 2023 @ 10:25 am Winpicius

    Great review! Please make sure you check the email I sent! or see the message I sent in the Instagram DM! God be with you!


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