Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
It’s been nearly ten years since I first read this book and I still remember the experience as if it were yesterday. I picked it up thinking it was about incorporating discipline into one’s life. While that’s sort of it, it’s actually about the spiritual disciplines! In other words, it’s about the importance of things like prayer, service, worship etc.
Each chapter goes into a different “discipline” of the Christian life. He explains the importance of each and offers a few helpful tips on how to incorporate them into one’s life. Foster is very well read and well-studied. He brings in Scripture and speaks from a very theological perspective. Yet he does this with just enough encouragement to keep us focused on the spirit of the law rather than living by the letter of the law. He explains how practicing such disciplines leads to freedom, not constraint.
You’ll leave this book encouraged about how to reenergize your walk with the Lord. You’ll also leave it feeling completely free to try out all of the disciplines you’ve struggled with before. Maybe fasting has been tough for you. Foster will explain the theology behind it, the heart reason for it, and you’ll be encouraged to try a fast of your own.
I have read a couple other books on the spiritual disciplines since reading this one and preferred this one the best. I am giving it a 4 out of 5. I do think this is more the type of book for a mature believer as opposed to a beginner in the faith. Give it to someone hungry and wondering how to grow more in their walk. Yet they will need to have been committed to the Lord for a decent amount of time. A young believer might be overwhelmed or not understand the concepts presented here.