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Celebration of Discipline by Richard J.…
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Celebration of Discipline (1978)

by Richard J. Foster

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4,340301,140 (4.15)10
  1. 21
    The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard (StephenBarkley)
    StephenBarkley: These books are quite complimentary. Same theme, different approaches.
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This is a reread. It all started because I had linked my Bible Book Club site to a PDF of the chapter on fasting from this book. When I was editing my blog (www.3yearbiblebookclub.blogspot.com), the PDF was no longer there. So, I searched for it. I didn't find it, but I found that there was a DVD curriculum on this book:
http://lifespringsresources.com/products/curriculum/curriculum-of-christlikeness...
(This is the only place I could find it, but it is lovely. It is really expensive shipping though!)

So, I ordered the DVD curriculum and invited a friend (who invited a friend) to read the book and watch the curriculum. We have even taken a field trip for the solitude and prayer chapters (see my post from last week).

The two other people in this group have the newer version, but I am reading my old copy (image above) one that I got in the 80's that brings back fond memories of reading this book when I was a fairly young believer!

This is a foundational book for growth in Jesus. I highly recommend it!

You might also like: ( )
1 vote Carolfoasia | May 7, 2016 |
Excellent book. Highly recommend to all. ( )
  highlander6022 | Mar 16, 2016 |
I enjoyed reading another "classic" by Foster. Short, straightforward, and very encouraging book.

Foster breaks down thirteen Christian disciplines, the practice of which have largely gotten neglected over the centuries. He divides them into three categories (inward, outward, corporate). Here are what I gleaned from his discussion of each discipline:

Inward:
Meditation - whereas the point of Eastern meditation is to empty your mind, Christian meditation is about filling your mind-- with Christ, with the Word, etc. Foster recommends a two-step process of giving and praying while you meditate.

Prayer - He wrote a whole book on this, I recommend it.

Fasting - This is a tough one. There are not specific instructions for how to fast or many details about how people fasted in Scripture because it was such a common practice over the ages, it needed no explanation. I'll take Foster's dietary recommendations with grains of salt, but agree that the clear New Testament explanation is for Christians to fast often. Why don't I do this more?

Study - Foster gives a little advice on various ways to study Scripture, but also encourages us to study works of church fathers like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas for further application and insights.

Outward:
Simplicity - Foster cautions that purposeful efforts to live simply tend to lead towards legalism, so he gives ten recommended principles. The basic idea is to free yourself from a desire to be like the world, or to have complications in your life that keep you from hearing God's call. "Conformity to a sick world is to become sick." Foster is a Quaker, and like him I believe it's important to make decisions about necessary purchases and lifestyles in community. (I've been thinking about this quite a bit since seeing a PBS Frontline documentary on the Amish. The motivating factor behind their avoiding technology is to avoid objects that would lead someone further from focusing on his/her community. Cellphones and automobiles, for example, make it easier for us to get away from those we are created to be close to. A washing machine or tractor, however, may not necessarily create that pull, so some Amish/Mennonite communities may choose to have them. American individualism hates community dependence, and that is contrary to how God set up Israelite society in His law.)
Does the latest gadget really help you be more productive, or is it about status? If you believe buying the latest fashions help you look better in the eyes of the world, then should you really be buying them?

Solitude - Being intentional about making quiet times alone, and personal retreats so that when we're with people we can be fully with them; just as Jesus did. I am up before anyone else in my household, and have about an hour to myself in the car each day, so I consider that my solitude.


Submission- Giving up your right to retaliate or to speak ill of others. To obey authorities. This is hard for Americans.

Service - Looking to do the menial out of love.

Corporate:
Confession - Having people in your lives that you confess sins to, and pray together with for forgiveness. James says that we're to confess our sins to one another and be healed. How much healing do we forgo in our lives and churches because we don't practice this discipline?

Worship - Embrace distractions in corporate worship, they may be a message from God. Bless the children when they raise a ruckus. Prepare your heart for corporate worship by reviewing the sermon Scriptures and hymns to be sung beforehand. That's a great idea (this is my preferred approach to Sunday school).

Guidance (corporate) - Foster makes the point that our churches do a good job of promoting guidance by the Bible, and personal guidance through reading and prayer, and sometimes even prophetic words or other Spirit-led acts in corporate worship, but argues that we need to go beyond this in terms of guidance. He's getting at something deeper here.

Celebration - Celebration should be the outflow of keeping the above disciplines. Embrace holidays and festivals, have your church and community create their own. Celebrate the answered prayers, the blessings, the hardships and tribulations.

4.5 stars out of 5. ( )
1 vote justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
A classic that I have referred to several times since reading it. ( )
1 vote lnlamb | Apr 13, 2015 |
I really loved this book when I was a Neoevangelical. But then I grew Reformed, and it helped me that I ended up pinpointing what so discomfitted me when first reading it: its emphasys on mystical disciplines deviate from Scriptures and end up deemphasysing grace in favour of a focus on works.

Not that it cannot be read with profit. We sure can benefit of spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, meditation &c. But we have to be aware, for example when it deviates from Biblical thoughtful, thinking meditation into visualisation of Jesus that borders on idolatry and idol making. ( )
1 vote leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
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To Carolynn wife, counselor, companion, encourager
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Superficiality is the curse of our age.  The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem.  The disparate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted propel, but for deep people.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Celebration of Discipline is a video-based curriculum built on Richard J. Foster's most acclaimed book, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth.
 
This 13-session curriculum helps Christians experience formation in Christlikeness through engagement with classic Christian spiritual disciplines and includes:
• 13 motivating presentations by Richard J. Foster;
• practical exercises that bring the disciplines to life;
• conversations among such experts as Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Margaret Campbell, and Glandion Carney; and
• the inspirational music of George Skramstad and Jim Stewart.
 
This package contains:
• two DVDs (total run time approx. 300 minutes);
• revised Leader's Guide
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060628391, Hardcover)

When Richard Foster began writing Celebration of Discipline more than 20 years ago, an older writer gave him a bit of advice: "Be sure that every chapter forces the reader into the next chapter." Foster took the advice to heart; as a result, his book presents one of the most compelling and readable visions of Christian spirituality published in the past few decades. After beginning with a simple observation--"Superficiality is the curse of our age.... The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people"--Foster's book moves to explain the disciplines people must cultivate in order to achieve spiritual depth. In succinct, urgent, and sometimes humorous chapters, Foster defines a broad range of classic spiritual disciplines in terms that are lucid without being too limiting and offers advice that's practical without being overly prescriptive. For instance, after describing meditation as a combination of "intense intimacy and awful reverence," he settles into such down-to-earth topics as how to choose a place and a posture in which to meditate.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:56 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

This classic Quaker text on how to live a deeper spiritual life includes a new introduction by the author. It harks back to the traditional principles of meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, submission, confession and worship.

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