Sailing Acts: Following an Ancient Voyage
Author: Linford Stutzman
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This book is perfect for those who love sailing and you-are-there travel literature, also for those who enjoy studying the life and times of the Apostle Paul--but definitely for those who love adventure, or at least reading about it!
Seafaring isn't for the faint of heart. It wasn't for the Apostle Paul in the first century A.D.---shipwrecked, imprisoned, and often a stranger in foreign lands.
And it turned out to be a heart-stopping task some two thousand years later, when a religion professor and his wife undertook a 14-month journey by sailboat! They stopped in eight countries, visiting every site where Paul stopped on his tumultuous missionary journeys.
SailingActs traces this 21st-century voyage from Volos, Greece, to Rome, Italy, by car, by foot, by motorized scooter, but mostly on a 33-foot boat, logging more than 3600 nautical miles over two sailing seasons.
'Explorers are easy to admire or despise, but very difficult to understand without going on the trip,' writes Stutzman. 'To really appreciate the experiences, the drama, and development of Paul the explorer, you need to sail with him.'
So begins SailingActs, inviting readers to come on board. Stutzman draws thoughtful comparisons from his own travel mishaps and adventures to the ones Paul experienced on his journeys. This book is in the tradition of Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible.
Stutzman's knowledge of the socio-political setting in the first-century Roman empire provides an informative backdrop to understanding Paul and reading his epistles in a new light.
The book includes dozens of photos, maps showing the couple's travel routes, a list of all the repairs and replacements Stutzman made to the aging boat which he bought sight-unseen, and an itinerary of places they visited.
Linford Stutzman is an Associate Professor of Culture and Mission in the Bible and Religion Department at Eastern Mennonite University. Stutzman also teaches seminary courses and is the director of the John Coffman Center for Evangelism and Church Planting. He and his wife, Janet, a Development officer at the school, are frequent leaders of undergraduate cross-cultural trips to the Middle East. In May 2004 the couple embarked on a Mediterranean sail that would retrace the Apostle Paul's route and last until August 2005.
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