Vintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith

Reviewed by: Hope Bolinger, a professional writing major at Taylor University.



Title: Vintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith

Author: Karen Wright Marsh

Publisher:  InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 215 pages


Saints feel distant . . . gaunt icons sketched with wan halos. These heroes of the faith seem too perfect, too withdrawn to share in the trials and tribulations of today. Turns out, even those who lived almost two millennia ago might understand our modern complexities and complaints better than we do. Kierkegaard faced crippling depression. Augustine dabbled in one too many extramarital affairs, and Howard Thurman battled racism weaved into

the institutionalized Christianity of his day. Through an examination of saints from the fourth to most recent century, Marsh discovers, in her own spiritual pilgrimage, that saints were, indeed, human.

Marsh’s playful storytelling tone and self-deprecating humor helps readers digest fibrous academics, such as Kierkegaard and Saint Benedict. The book fits those in millennia-old monk robes into modern clothing for the audience to relate to the characters at hand more easily. Marsh also selects a variety of saints from various periods to tackle topics ranging from mediocrity to persecution. The author excels in all areas except for the lack of organization. Although she divides the twenty-some saints into two sections, Asking and Walking, no clear pattern exists from one chapter to the next.


Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christians struggling in their spiritual pilgrimages, or Christians interested in learning about the lives of the saints

Christian Impact

We learn from our elders and history, and in Christianity a study of the saints helps us with both. We can understand how our forerunners faced difficult trials (physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally) and appreciate how God works in imperfect vessels to perform great wonders.



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Vintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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