Medieval Wisdom
for Modern Christians

Finding Authentic Faith
in a Forgotten Age with C. S. Lewis

Church historian Chris Armstrong helps readers see beyond modern caricatures of the medieval church to the animating Christian spirit of that age. He believes today's church could learn a number of lessons from medieval faith, such as how the gospel speaks to ordinary, embodied human life in this world. Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians explores key ideas, figures, and movements from the Middle Ages in conversation with C. S. Lewis and other thinkers, helping contemporary Christians discover authentic faith and renewal in a forgotten age.

"Accessible and engaging, Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians is a wonderful introduction to our neglected Christian tradition for all those who feel something is missing in the modern church. It is also a real treat for fans of C. S. Lewis."

Devin Brown, professor of English, Asbury University;
author of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis


"With a searching evaluation of his own evangelical leanings and inspired by the discerning medievalism of his spiritual mentor C. S. Lewis, Chris Armstrong takes us on a delightful tour through the insights of medieval Christians that have most profited him. With Armstrong's sparkling prose, the journey never turns arcane or becomes tiresome, and it leaves us with many treasures to ponder."

Robert B. Kruschwitz, professor of philosophy and senior scholar
in the Institute for Faith and Learning, Baylor University

“With lilting prose and sparkling insight, Armstrong draws us into the spiritual riches of medieval Christianity. He shows how the era managed to combine faith and reason, spirit and nature, health and healing, joy and discipline, and Word and sacrament in a way that all Christians, and especially evangelicals, acutely need today. Armstrong uses the insights of C. S. Lewis and other modern interpreters to shine a light on that long-past yet still remarkably relevant era. This book will serve equally well in college, seminary, and church education classrooms.”

Grant Wacker, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Christian History, Duke Divinity School

“Evangelicals have come a long way in the past twenty years in recovering the richness of the Christian past. There is still a long way to go, and this book takes a big stride in the right direction. In Medieval Wisdom for Modern Christians, Chris Armstrong offers a convincing rationale for why evangelical believers are quick to reject the Middle Ages but slow to appreciate the era's theological and spiritual riches. Using the wisdom of C. S. Lewis as a point of entry, Armstrong unpacks the material and sacramental world of the medieval church, demonstrating why such dated material is not only relevant but also much needed in the life of the evangelical church today. As Lewis knew well, the way to the future lies in the past, and Armstrong provides a fascinating glimpse into what will be gained from exploring medieval wisdom. This is a must-read for anyone who cares about the evangelical church's future.”

Greg Peters, Biola University; author of The Story of Monasticism

“Armstrong's approach to introducing twenty-first-century Christians to the rich resources of medieval and monastic wisdom is ingenious. He uses C. S. Lewis to invite us into a conversation with other contemporaries who have found that this oft-neglected period of Christian history provides the kind of embodied and holistic spiritual life that is needed as a remedy for today's gnostic, individualistic, and shallow spirituality. The reader who knows little about the medieval period will end up with an appetite whetted for more and with enough wisdom to begin practicing a deeper faith.”

Dennis Okholm, Azusa Pacific University; author of Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins: Learning from the Psychology of Ancient Monks

“Chris Armstrong knows what ails modern American Protestantism, and the right medicines, he says, are available on the pharmacy shelves of the Middle Ages. Here is an excellent introduction to medieval spirituality, philosophy, theology, and Christian practice, which offer strong medicines for serious conditions.”

David Neff, former editor in chief, Christianity Today and Christian History




The Author

Chris R. Armstrong (PhD, Duke University) is the founding director of Opus: The Art of Work, an institute on faith and vocation at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, where he also serves as a faculty member in biblical and theological studies. He formerly served as professor of church history at Bethel Seminary and was founding director of the Bethel Work with Purpose initiative. Armstrong is senior editor of Christian History and is the author of Patron Saints for Postmoderns.