Streams in the Wasteland: Finding Spiritual Renewal with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Streams in the Wasteland: Finding Spiritual Renewal with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

by Andrew Arndt
Streams in the Wasteland: Finding Spiritual Renewal with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Streams in the Wasteland: Finding Spiritual Renewal with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

by Andrew Arndt


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What if our exhaustion, burnout, and pain are an invitation into a more vibrant faith?

Christianity is fighting for its soul. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of power and privilege for so long that many of us have forgotten the radical way of Jesus. But we have been here before. And there is a way through. Within a few hundred years after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity emerged as the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Where it once took courage to be a Christian, suddenly it was easy, and the radical way of Jesus was being lost. Toward the end of the fourth century, a group of men and women began to withdraw from the halls of privilege and power into the desert to rediscover the essence of Jesus Christ. The stories and examples of these desert fathers and mothers are recorded for us. And their lives still speak by as they teach us:
  • To embrace the disciplines of solitude, silence, and prayer;
  • To pursue humility, generosity, and unity in rich relationship with others;
  • To develop a keen eye for wisdom; and
  • To lay down our rights for the good of others.
The desert fathers and mothers found a way to live radically, humanly, and beautifully in a spiritually desolate and confusing time. So can we.

Streams in the Wasteland is for all those who thirst for a better way—the radical way of Jesus amid the desert of our age.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781641584517
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/13/2022
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Andrew Arndt is a teaching pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs and the lead pastor of New Life East. He is the host of the Essential Church podcast and author of All Flame: Entering into the Life of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction: Standing at the Crossroads 1

Part 1 Into the Desert with God 17

Chapter 1 For the Love of God 19

Chapter 2 The Great Renunciation 37

Chapter 3 Essential Habits for the With-God Life 57

Part 2 Into the Desert with Others 77

Chapter 4 Called to Community 79

Chapter 5 Saved into Community 99

Chapter 6 Restored through Community 119

Part 3 Into the Desert for the World 139

Chapter 7 Saving Speech 141

Chapter 8 Sanctifying Work 161

Chapter 9 Divine Generosity 183

Acknowledgments 203

Notes 205

What People are Saying About This

Alice Fryling

In Streams in the Wasteland, Andrew Arndt shares with us how the Desert Fathers and Mothers have shaped his own faith, welcoming us to listen as they still teach us about God, others, and our world. Set against a backdrop of Scripture, this book invites us all to experience the love and inner freedom described by Andrew’s ancient friends.

Winn Collier

In Scripture, wilderness is where you find trouble. But it’s also where we encounter the burning bush; it’s the rugged country where God finds us and rescues us. In these pages, we hear—through a fresh and artful pen—these ancient voices who knew the wild places and the wild God. We’re desperate for this wisdom.

Glenn Packiam

Amidst global crises and faltering faith, many find themselves in the desert, disoriented and disappointed. Andrew Arndt shows us that we are not the first to feel this way. The desert saints stood against the corruption of the church and the pollution of the world, embracing and embodying a different wisdom. The brilliance of this book is not simply in the way Andrew selects and synthesizes from the desert saints; it’s in how he places their insight into our lives like water on our parched tongues.

Brady Boyd

Andrew is one of the clearest, brightest thinkers in the local church. This book takes us right into the presence of God, opening our eyes to the mystery and wonder of the resurrected Christ.

Andi Rozier

Andrew Arndt invites us, with his constant posture of honesty and grace, to be re-centered by the wisdom and practices of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. As they have led him, they will guide you toward the power and presence of community so you may kneel down once again at the riverbank of Living Waters.

Rich Villodas

I’m always on the lookout for ancient wisdom made accessible to our contemporary world. Not everyone does this well. Andrew Arndt does. Andrew has given us a great gift in re-presenting “desert spirituality” for this generation. In these pages, you’ll find the nourishment your soul longs for.

Daniel Grothe

In a cultural moment that chases celebrity and prizes originality, Andrew Arndt is calling us back to the hard-won wisdom of the wilderness. The monks and sages down through the ages have much to teach us if we will just listen. Simplicity. Sanity. Soul-satisfying anonymity. This book contains a great healing for our emaciated age.

Trevor Hudson

With one foot in the stream of the desert dwellers from the fourth and fifth centuries and the other in our contemporary spiritual wasteland, Andrew Arndt shares with his reader the treasures that desert spirituality offers us in our own seeking. As Andrew gently insists, exploring these treasures will not draw us into a privatized faith. Rather, they lead us into transformed relationships within our communities of faith and a more transforming engagement with God’s world. This book will become a treasure for many seekers.

AJ Sherrill

In a time of fickle faith and rampant individualism, Andrew Ardnt will encourage your journey. But then his words will poke and prod you to the point of offense. This, I think, is the making of a great book, unafraid to tell the truth with grace, but to tell the truth no less. Solitude, community, and mission—this is the Jesus way, the way the desert disciples revealed to be our life-giving source for the journey. Andrew serves here as a wise guide into that way.

Amy Boucher Pye

Andrew Arndt has made friends with the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and he invites us to enjoy their friendship too. His winsome book reveals how their wisdom sheds light on the problems we face today. One to read, underline, ponder, and share.

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