Celebration of Discipline
How can Christians become more like Christ? How can we grow in our knowledge of His ways and awareness of His presence? There are many answers to these essential questions, and Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline has been recognised for decades as containing excellent explanations of many of them.
The word “discipline” tends to suggest thoughts of try-hards and legalists in the minds of many who are content to have a superficial relationship with God. Foster contends against both these faults:
“God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.”Foster’s experience of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and his reading of devotional writers from across the centuries give vitality and depth to his writing – ingredients that modern evangelicalism sometimes risks missing.
Reading this book is one thing, applying its experience and wisdom quite another. With so many Disciplines to discover, the reader would be advised to choose to focus on one or two at a time. To grow in just a few of these would surely bring wonderful changes in our lives...
Part I: The Inward Disciplines
Part II: The Outward Disciplines
If you'd like to read about how God changes us, I'd recommend James K.A. Smith's You Are What You Love, which looks especially at how our hearts and our habits shape us, and Everyday Supernatural by Mike Pilavachi & Andy Croft which gives expert (and light-hearted) advice on experiencing the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.