Fruit for Thought

Recovering the Original Fruit/s of the Spirit and Harvesting It/Them Today

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
98 Pages
Reviewed on 11/14/2022
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Author Biography

When it comes to professions, Art Edwards has bounced around a bit. He's worked in an amusement park where he was a beauty queen, engineer, train robber, and undertaker.

He served on special assignments as a United Methodist minister in The Purple Dragon Coffee House at the Jersey Shore and in a State Park ministry in Washington's Okanogan Valley.

He worked as a somewhat regular minister in New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

After losing his voice, he re-invented himself at various incarnations of AT&T as a technical writer, speechwriter, AT&T Foundation COO, and leader for an in-house PR agency.

His retirement has included travel and new world views thanks to his four grandkids. He and his wife, Joyce live in Decatur, Georgia.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite

I have been a minister for over forty years and must say that Fruit for Thought by Art Edwards is one of the finest exegeses of the fruit of the Spirit that I have read. This book is full of golden nuggets. In his opening remarks, Art mentions that the reader won’t find orthodox Christianity in this book. In my opinion, it is exceptionally orthodox. His explanation that the fruit is active and not passive is how I have taught it and have been taught about it since I was a child. It does take a church (village) to make the Gospel work. Only by putting the divisions of the fruit into practical action can others see Christ in you. So I will agree that his teaching is not dead orthodoxy.

Art Edwards goes back to the original Greek meanings of the various words used to describe the fruit of the Spirit. The Word of God is “quick” (Hebrews 4:12), meaning “living.” Since the Word is alive, one should interpret it and apply its meaning to daily living. Art does this masterfully. The important thing to remember is that Christianity is not about the words but the deeds those words produce. The list in Galatians starts with love, but Art covers that last. In his opinion, the rest of the fruit emanates from love. The fruit of the Spirit involves and emphasizes the unity found in Christ. For example, peace is not just being peaceful but actively becoming a peacemaker uniting various factions. Read this book for a fresh look at fruit and how to live it out in your daily life.

Diana Lopez

Fruit for Thought: Recovering the Original Fruit/s of the Spirit and Harvesting It/Them Today will help you understand the Bible in a new way. It focuses on redefining the original meanings of ancient words with simple explanations. The information is based on the New Testament, mainly on the words of Paul and the meaning of the fruits of the spirit that he mentions. To provide a background, Art Edwards begins by narrating how he became involved with the church at the age of 15. He provides a new perspective to give readers a starting point in understanding the complexity of defining God. He then describes his journey to come to a fuller comprehension of the Bible. He emphasizes the meaning of crucial terms such as love, based on his interpretation of Greek terminology.

I liked Art Edwards’ narrative style. He uses explanations based on history, everyday situations, and modern culture. The result is a book that is informative, thought-provoking, and easy to understand, yet remains personal. Edwards shares the doubts that he had and how he sought to obtain answers, adding that you can always expand your knowledge. In explaining the meaning of words derived from the original Greek text, he provides the context according to the understanding of the people of Paul's time. This allows us to understand some biblical passages quite differently. Fruit for Thought can be read by someone new to the Bible or those who are already familiar with it. The arguments are concrete and focus on the fruit of the spirit which Paul described. The book allows readers to view morality in a different light, according to the teachings of the Bible, but with a better understanding of the concepts.

Carmen Tenorio

Fruit for Thought: Recovering the Original Fruit/s of the Spirit and Harvesting It/Them Today sheds light on a profound yet concise list of nine hallmarks of Christian virtues or the Fruit of the Spirit found in the Apostle Paul's letter to the early Christian communities located in the ancient provinces of Turkey known as Galatia. Art Edwards attempts to recapture the true spirit and meanings behind the nearly two millennia-year-old Greek words that the Apostle Paul has used in his writings. Following his attempts to recover the original meanings, he made connections between these ancient words and the realities of 21st-century modern life and culture, drawing his observations from movies, novellas, scientific theory, prominent personalities, heroes, and more personally from his own experience with his family and church community. By analyzing St. Paul's doctrine in this manner, the author also wishes to arrive at a deeper and more relevant point of view and understanding of who the Christian God in the New Testament is without getting lost in translation.

Reading how Art Edwards matches the Fruit of the Spirit embodied in Christian teachings with his own everyday experiences can be touching, entertaining, and relatable. It is a well-researched work and his views on important people and events help give his interpretations a more expansive view of what Christian thought and action are and what they should be. His modern analysis of old themes ultimately helps open a crack in the biblical parchment that leads to a better, more enlightened, and precise view of what it truly means to be inspired by the Spirit in our current life. His brilliant similes also give a good, clearer insight into several points that he has made. Fruit for Thought offers a different perspective on Christianity and its character that urges us to interpret actual words, acts, and their meanings more deeply and plausibly than most traditional Bible followers have done. A recommended read for people who are already devout Christians, as well as for those whose faith or beliefs might be different or those who have lost their faith along the way.

Sherri Fulmer Moorer

Reading the Bible is one thing, but understanding it is another. Most Christians want Bible reading to be part of their daily life, but often struggle with understanding and interpreting what they read. One problem is that the various versions and translations have resulted in things not reading as intended. Sometimes you need a guide to see you through. This is where Fruit for Thought: Recovering the Original Fruit/s of the Spirit and Harvesting It/Them Today by Art Edwards comes in. Edwards does an intensive study of the fruits of the spirit detailed in Paul’s writings in Galatians 5:22-23. This verse, while seeming simple and straightforward, actually means a whole lot more than most readers realize. This book is a wonderful guide to help readers not only understand what these verses originally meant but how they still apply to everyday life.

I like and appreciate the way that Art Edwards takes an expansive look at these verses. He not only explains the translations but also broadens the discussion to modern science and popular themes in the twenty-first-century world to explain what Paul meant when he wrote these verses. The fruits of the spirit aren’t just a personal admonition, but an explanation of how to connect with our fellow man and the world around us. Fruit for Thought is an excellent personal study and would make a wonderful guide for groups discussing how to relate to other people and engage in the world around them. It’s clear, concise, and an interesting read. I highly recommend this if you're interested in delving deeper into these verses, and understanding how they apply personally and to living your best life every day.

K.C. Finn

Fruit for Thought: Recovering the Original Fruit/s of the Spirit and Harvesting It/Them Today is a work of non-fiction focused on religion and theology. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by Art Edwards. In this concise and interesting treatise, Edwards focuses on one specific section of the Bible where Paul discusses the concept of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. Using the historical and theological context of the time, the author expands on this topic and finds its parallels in modern-day notions of science fiction and popular culture. In doing so, a powerful message is revealed concerning the different graces and gifts that we can cultivate within ourselves, with advice on how to ‘harvest’ these fruits for a better future.

Art Edwards has produced a beautiful work of religious interpretation and conceptualization which encompasses all the best parts of Bible teachings and utilizes them to inspire people not only to lead a richer personal life but also to serve those around them. I appreciated the conversational tone of the narrative, which flows well and is professionally put together. It feels as if a wise friend is telling you stories and teaching you valuable life lessons along the way. The format is engaging, bright, and easy to get to grips with, with imagery that will help readers focus on the core points of the teachings. It has a crisp structure so that you can refer to any specific topic you want to contemplate. Without wanting to reveal what each of the fruits involves, it’s safe to say that Fruit for Thought is a highly recommended work encompassing all the virtues and graces you need to live a better life in today’s harsh world.

Victoria Smith

This book is as entertaining as it is thoughtful. Art has woven personal stories we can all relate to & be entertained before making provocative cogent points. It is a thinking person's pathfinder to everyday questions. In our increasingly polarized society he is admirably objective on hot button topics. His art work is distinctively unique & applicable to his lessons
2 people found this helpful

Janis Hill

Adding new dimensions to our understanding of the “Fruits of the Spirit” found in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, (5:22-23) appears to be the author’s purpose in writing this book. In order to do this, Edwards adds the context of the times, delves into the original meanings of the Greek words, and makes meaningful connections by exploring the region’s geography. He analyzes the possibilities of gleaning that same fruit in the reading of the Gospel of John. Finally, not to be missed are his inspiring stories of these fruitful words in action 2000 years later.

Come to think of it, the author’s true purpose is more likely to help those of us who profess to be Christians bear the fruit that Jesus says should be readily apparent in our day-to-day lives as disciples. This book is aptly named: there’s plenty of Food For Thought on these pages. And if you, too, believe Christianity is about deeds, not words, there’s plenty of nutrition within to guide you towards greater spiritual growth and actually bearing fruit.

Beverly Mitchell

This book is an artistic creation of masterful language and insight. It’s sub- subtitle could be “Art-Work by Art.” Humor, self-disclosure, story-telling, discovery of key word origins of original text, myths and misunderstandings, validation of Paul’s writings with other Biblical text, current-day connections, questions to probe our wonderings are but a few elements richly combined in a style refreshingly unique to the author through which there comes profound understanding of Paul’s fruit of the spirit.

Wayne Dimmit

Art Edwards has a unique talent for studying words and phrases in the Bible and explaining what they meant to the people of that time and how the various language translations, however well intentioned, have lost the original meanings. He makes what could easily be a dry and boring history lesson into a light and fun story time.

C. Evans

Simply Deep & Just the Book I Needed
Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2022

I came across Fruit for Thought by happy accident. It is precisely what I needed to read, however. It has made me think more deeply about my spirituality in a way I had never thought of previously. Like the author said in one of the early chapters... it's taken me from a "Flatland" (2d) to an "Avatar" (3d) view of God. Maybe after reading it a time or two more, I will even begin to understand the reality of a "String Theory" (13d) view of God. This is not a simple book but was written in a way to be simply understood. Do yourself a favor and buy this book for yourself, a friend, and a complete stranger too.

Kathleen McNulty

The Sage
I have known Art Edwards for years. He is an inspiring and delightful sage! His book “Fruit for Thought” was a revelation as to the real meanings of each of the Fruits of the Spirit.
Through stories he had given us the truth of each. He challenges us by showing that these are gifts we give to each other; the fruits are verbs not beliefs.
The book is a profound lesson to help us understand and learn to practice each one.

Carolyn Dishman

Need clarity? Here it is...Finally!

Reviewed in the United States

Don Tawney

This book is a labor of love that shines light on the deeper meanings and dimensions of words we use to refer to the Fruits of the Spirit. These words are too easily glossed over in our one-dimensional “Flatland” and our “flat thinking.” We so often squash the meaningfulness of these words for fear that they just might snag us into some uncomfortable action like genuinely sharing an experience with others. Gliding over the top may be faster and smoother, but a twist and turn now and then, maybe even a fall, might have a bigger and better payoff later.

For example, the discussion of the Fruit of the Spirit that we call “Joy,” teaches that something like sitting down at a birthday celebration table with a 4-year-old who won’t rest until we all take up our party hats and honkers just might be a good thing. Maybe, just maybe, that “uncomfortable” fulfilling of everyone’s joy might touch a dimension of our lives decades later, at some poignant moment when we want others around — others with whom we need to share something. We simply don’t know, and that’s OK. God might make much more progress with us in living and sharing the Fruits of the Spirit if we were paper-coned and honking more often.

The book also illustrates the consequence of living the Fruit instead of fleeing it. The discussion on the Fruit of “Peace” as modeled by Bishop Oscar Romero exposes the danger of actively working for reconciliation, as well as the killing anger such “peacemakers” can engender in others. In this case, Bishop Romero received the flat, one-dimensional response of a single bullet.

The author's personal stories, from the heart and always on point, shine a light on dimensions of meaning we might have missed on our own. Here’s one that surfaced for me: Perhaps we are sometimes the ones who were meant to turn the darkness into light. There’s light here. Take a look.


Awesome book