Celebration of Discipline

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
by Richard J. Foster, Harper Collins, 1978.
Find this book here.

In this book, Richard J. Foster categorizes certain aspects of the Christian faith into disciplines. He encourages us all to allow these disciplines to be a part of our faith journey as we grow closer to Jesus. All of these are important and interconnected. The disciplines he focuses on are:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Study
  • Simplicity
  • Solitude
  • Submission
  • Service
  • Confession
  • Worship
  • Guidance
  • Celebration

Foster does an excellent job of explaining these disciplines and why they are important to the Christian faith. He gives good examples and is clear in saying that there is no one real or only way to do certain disciplines. He invites us into a relational experience rather than legalistic practice.

Foster categorizes these disciplines into inward, outward and corporate. Although it is not the focus, community is seen as important through the corporate disciplines. Many of Foster’s points are based on scripture, although some seem to be taken a little out of context. Even still, we are invited to live into these disciplines ourselves, finding the balance between them in our relationship with God.

Notable Quotes:

“ The classical Disciplines of the spiritual life call us to move beyond surface living into the depths.” (p.1)

“God intents the Disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings: people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes and mow lawns.” (p.1)

“Willpower will never succeed in dealing with the deeply ingrained habits of sin.” (p.5)

“Our world is hungry for genuinely changed people.” (p.11)