I have appreciated the ministry of Richard Foster since I read Celebration of Discipline for the first time in college. What sets him apart from others who write about spirituality is that he consistently resists reducing the Christian life to a formula or one-size-fits-all experience. He has drunk deeply from the wells of Christian heritage. But most importantly, he has sampled the waters from a diversity of Christian traditions. And he finds something of value in them all.
Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion (IVP, 2009) illustrates Foster's commitment to learning from the broad testimony of Christian experience. With co-author Gayle D. Beebe, Foster explores seven major approaches to spiritual formation throughout history. Since the first century, the authors explain, Christians have understood the process and goal of the life of faith as:
- The Right Ordering of Our Love for God
- The Spiritual Life as Journey
- The Recovery of Knowledge of God Lost in the Fall
- Intimacy with Jesus Christ