When All the Saints Come Marching In by Rita Edkins

When All the Saints Come Marching In

Chronicles of an Unknown Saint
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A self-professed ordinary woman's series of meditations for her fellow Christians.

The central aim of Edkins (Crumbs from the Master’s Table, 2015) in her stirring, straightforward new book is simple: “to develop an ever-increasingly deeper relationship with our heavenly Father.” She works toward this goal by addressing 12 short, fast-paced chapters to her fellow “saints,” urging them to give themselves over to God (“Submission is the key. He, Himself, and His—totally, completely surrendered”) and incorporate their faith into their daily lives. She stresses that she isn’t advocating joining a monastery; the lives of her “saints,” she says, will each glorify their God in his or her own way: “Saint,” she writes, “you are not there to earn a salary. His plan and purpose for you is greater than that.” This emphasis on individuality, which seems to conflict with a call for abject personal surrender, runs throughout the book, with Edkins repeatedly pointing out that it’s through the separate personalities of its “saints” that the community of faithful will prosper. “Pumping out carbon copies is easy,” she maintains, but the real miracle of Christian life is allowing God to produce “an original”: “In all the world there is one you and one me.” This focus extends, interestingly, to race as well, with a stern clarification that “There is no ‘black church’ or ‘white church’, there is only His church.” It’s accompanied by clear, no-nonsense declarations about how fully embracing a faithful life will forever change those who do it. Each chapter of Edkins’ bracing book ends with a “Recipe,” consisting of a lengthy quote from Scripture, and the author also includes many original prayers, custom-written around the themes she lays out. Although this isn’t a book for religious doubters, much less active skeptics, it will be a congenial reading experience for devout Christians.

A heartfelt, accessible celebration of modern-day “saints.”

ISBN: 978-1-4828-0685-4
Publisher: Partridge Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015