In the Georgia Review, Judith Kitchen praised Sea of Faith for its “unified consistency of tone and sophistication of approach,” remarking that the “voice is urbane, humorous, and amused—distanced just enough to poke fun at the world and itself alike, to be able to see the ironies in every predicament." Kitchen writes: “Brehm knows what it is to live in a fallen world, knows what it is to live with a less than perfect self, and knows that rendering this state of being strikes a universal chord. You simply can’t resist reading many of these poems out loud to someone else. So easily do they make their way inside you, you might be tempted to think of them as ‘easy.’ Yet each poem is original, and if they feel familiar they do so because Brehm has given voice to the complexities of being, handing us back to ourselves through the surety of his craft.”

In awarding Sea of Faith the Brittingham Prize, Carl Dennis described a speaker who is “both self-mocking and self-accepting, taking his concerns seriously but always distant enough from them to regard them as a small part of a larger human story, a story we recognize at once to be our own.”

David Daniel wrote in Ploughshares that “Brehm's poems are sexy, funny, often brilliantly crafted, and wonderfully sweet at their core.” He called Sea of Faith “one of those rare books one can confidently recommend to any friend, even those whose hearts are hardened to poetry.”

And in Prairie Schooner, Mike Wilmot wrote that “reading John Brehm's Sea of Faith, it is difficult not to be charmed by his voice and glittering wit.... Brehm is the poet-friend you've always wanted...a plain-speaking raconteur—delightfully hyperbolic, ironic, and comically self-deprecating.”