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Author Esau McCaulley’s accessible guide to the season of Lent is the first book in the Fullness of Time series, six short books on the seasons and key events of the church year, including Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. McCaulley explains that the books in the series aren’t devotionals or academic tomes. Rather, “they are theological and spiritual reflections that seek to provide spiritual formation by helping the reader live fully into the practices of each season. We want readers to understand how the church is forming them in the likeness of Christ through the church calendar.” 

Raised in the Primitive Baptist Church, McCaulley didn’t encounter the liturgical practices associated with church seasons until he became a young adult. McCaulley effectively combines anecdotes about his spiritual growth through embracing Lenten disciplines with explanations about the history of the development of Lent and how it is practiced today. He repeatedly shows that the season of Lent is not about burdensome rules or ways to earn God’s merit—an impossibility!—but “a gift of the collected wisdom of the church universal.”  

McCaulley repeatedly focuses his reading audience’s attention on God’s love and grace: “In Lent we learn that God does more than make up for our inadequacies. He does not finish a race we began or fill what is lacking in our sacrifices. The whole thing is his own work all along. He renders our efforts irrelevant to the question of our life with him. He makes it all a matter of grace.”  

Recommended as an outstanding resource for individual or small group study, though discussion questions are not included. (IVP)


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