Since 1978 with the publication of Celebration of Discipline
(and sometime later with the founding of his church renewal movement, Renovare), Richard Foster has committed himself to introducing spiritual disciplines such as meditation, fasting, sacred reading, simplicity and solitude to large portions of the Christian world previously unfamiliar with them. Through his Devotional Classics,
he sought to do the same for the great men and women of prayer down through the centuries. In Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
, he introduced various types of prayer: examen, tears, adoration, unceasing prayer of the heart, contemplative, intercessory. Now, in Streams of Living Water,
Foster turns to church history as a whole, and again makes a huge topic graspable by describing it through the lenses of six traditions or types of Christian experience: Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational. Foster's narratives are always personal, and this book is no exception: all these paradigms are described through looking at the lives of great exemplars of each. (The two appendices of this book, with their summaries of great lives and a mini-course in church history, could have constituted a small book by themselves, and add immeasurably to the value of the book). Foster's classifications can be endlessly argued, but he serves great purpose in revealing the history of the Church as more than a series of names and dates, rather, a revelation of the holiness and love of the Holy Trinity. Be ready to be not only critical -- it's necessary with a schematic like this -- but also to be informed, stretched, and inspired.
An Eighth Day View:
The author of the bestselling celebration of discipline explores the great traditions of Christian spirituality and their role in spiritual renewal today.
In this landmark work, Foster examines the "streams of living water" -- the six dimensions of faith and practice that define Christian tradition. He lifts up the enduring character of each tradition and shows how a variety of practices, from individual study and retreat to disciplines of service and community, are all essential elements of growth and maturity. Foster examines the unique contributions of each of these traditions and offers as examples the inspiring stories of faithful people whose lives defined each of these "streams."