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Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, December 24, 2002
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Perhaps most interesting and useful is Foster's chapter on the controversial Christian discipline of submission. According to Foster, submission does not demand self-hatred or loss of identity. Instead, it simply means growing secure in the conviction that "our happiness is not dependent on getting what we want" but on the fulfillment that naturally flows from love of one's neighbors. Such wise and encouraging suggestions have helped many readers to discard the idea that discipline is an onerous duty and to move toward a liberating and simpler idea of discipline--whose defining character, as Foster never forgets, is joy. --Michael Joseph Gross
“Foster has challenged us to see Christian faith … as a life of spiritual transformation.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian)
“Foster has taught me more about prayer and living faithfully than just about any other living author.” (Lauren Winner, author of Girl Meets God)
“This seminal work on the practice of spiritual disciplines is never outdated.” (Relevant Magazine)
“Richard Foster has given us a rare gift... The celebration of each discipline in this book hands us a tool that can be useful in helping us to integrate our inner and outer lives.” (Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B., author of A Tree Full of Angels)
“The best modern book on Christian spirituality..... No other book apart from the Bible has been so helpful to me in the nurturing of my inward journey of prayer and spiritual growth.” (Ronald J. Sider, executive director, Evangelicals for Social Action)
Top Customer Reviews
I've read this book 5 times in 8 years. I've been in churches where multiple people were reading it at the same time. I've been in small groups where everyone read it together. I've seen mature Christians read it. I've seen new Christians read it. And I've concluded that THIS BOOK CAN BE DANGEROUS.
The reason I say that is that even in the most non-legalistic churches I've ever seen, I've seen immature Christians stumble in part because they are overwhelmed by everything in this book. And when I say "stumble", I'm talking about people going back into severely addictive lifestyles. And the pressure they felt from feeling like they have to do all these disciplines contributed to that.
Unfortunately, it's easy for any of us to filter even the most well-intentioned, well-written book through our false self, that part of us that is performance- and fear-oriented. Spiritual disciplines do not change us; they open our hearts to the change that the Spirit of God wants to bring.
Again, I think this is a phenomenal book. But lest we feed our heads instead of our hearts and lest we frustrate ourselves with a standard of righteousness that Foster never intended, I'd like to humbly, humbly suggest some things:
* I personally recommend that people start with Henri Nouwen's "Way of the Heart" for a primer on spiritual discipline. It is just much simpler. The big stuff can come later. (Other books by Merton, Nouwen, Keating, etc., will work just as well.Read more ›
Another book that makes a nice companion to this one is Dallas Willard's "The Spirit of the Disciplines." Willard's book is highly recommended by Foster who considered it the book of the decade (1980s) and now considers Willard's new book "The Divine Conspiracy" as the one he has been searching for all his life because of its biblically comprehensive, holistic and practical nature. Both Foster and Willard value the deep, spiritual insights of the older Christian classics (including those penned by so-called Christian "mystics") as seen by their many references and quotes.Read more ›
Foster speaks of the "inward disciplines" the "outward disciplines" and the "corporate disciplines" of the Christian life. As I flip through the book, I find myself in need of a tune-up.
It's that kind of book. It's one that you'll never master, but the joy is in the journey, and in following the Savior with the full passion of your heart. He's calling us to the life of Discipline and discipleship, not to a willy-nilly external Christianity. _Celebration_ is a breath of fresh air in an era of "easy believism" and cheap grace.
Foster has touched a generation of believers with this timeless classic.
A continual distraction throughout the work, however is Foster's highly assertive style. The tendency reveals itself in implicit assertions that the disciplines are in and of themselves inherently good and that their purposes are self-realized or attained experientially. If the chapter on fasting is considered, it is difficult or impossible to find a thesis for the purpose of fasting. If the chapter on prayer is considered, "personal prayer" and "prayer for others" are categorized separately; the thought is then asserted that it is appropriate to pray for ourselves in the terms, "if it be thy will" but not appropriate to do so for others.
In the end, Foster's work is rightly seen as a source of strong encouragement - a conversation with a knowledgeable friend sharing thoughts and experiences. It does this well. However, it should be looked at with a more critical eye, if regarded as a source of teaching. Many assertions and ideas are left unsubstantiated and may be misleading, misguided, or wrong.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this many years ago and thought it was a good book. But now it has totally blown me away.Published 1 day ago by David Weis
I'm a youth pastor an bought multiple copies as gifts for graduating youths. The book is great and theres a reason it has been updated and continues to sell well. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Erom
This will take you on a deeper walk with Christ. If your goal it to take your next steps towards Jesus Christ, then this book will help you.Published 12 days ago by Todd O
Interesting book helpful in developing a contemplative life. Easy read and understandable.Published 16 days ago by mike
I love this book. The author does a wonderful job of enlightening those in ministry how to have discipline.Published 16 days ago by Michelle M.