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The author of the bestselling celebration of discipline explores the great traditions of Christian spirituality and their role in spiritual renewal today.

In this landmark work, Foster examines the "streams of living water" –– the six dimensions of faith and practice that define Christian tradition. He lifts up the enduring character of each tradition and shows how a variety of practices, from individual study and retreat to disciplines of service and community, are all essential elements of growth and maturity. Foster examines the unique contributions of each of these traditions and offers as examples the inspiring stories of faithful people whose lives defined each of these "streams."

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 12, 2010
ISBN: 9780062046338
List price: $6.99
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An excellent overview of the ways which people have approached living out their Christian faith. Each section has examples of people who exemplify that particular tradition.read more
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Foster goes through different Christian movements (i.e. Social justice, evangelical, charismatic), telling the story of key people from each one. He also goes over methods for following in these traditions, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each. An excellent overview, but be sure to allow for some time to read it, it requires some thought and brainpower on the part of the reader to really absorb what he is saying.read more
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Honestly, I was really disappointed with this book. First off, Foster doesn't offer much to this book. He talks about different "streams" of Christianity, but the whole concept feels contrived. Secondly, the book was too long. Each chapter could have been only a few pages rather than 40. Third, the appendices were too long and not very helpful. The mini biographies did not enlighten the various "streams." If you are looking for a book on Spiritual Formation, this is not it.read more
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Reviews

An excellent overview of the ways which people have approached living out their Christian faith. Each section has examples of people who exemplify that particular tradition.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Foster goes through different Christian movements (i.e. Social justice, evangelical, charismatic), telling the story of key people from each one. He also goes over methods for following in these traditions, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each. An excellent overview, but be sure to allow for some time to read it, it requires some thought and brainpower on the part of the reader to really absorb what he is saying.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Honestly, I was really disappointed with this book. First off, Foster doesn't offer much to this book. He talks about different "streams" of Christianity, but the whole concept feels contrived. Secondly, the book was too long. Each chapter could have been only a few pages rather than 40. Third, the appendices were too long and not very helpful. The mini biographies did not enlighten the various "streams." If you are looking for a book on Spiritual Formation, this is not it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An excellent examination of the differing faith-traditions of the Christian church throughout history, and their inherent value to each other. For each faith-tradition, Foster examines three people who fit each tradition: one from history, one from Biblical history, and one from contemporary history. Foster suggests that the time is coming when these various tradtions will once again reconverge after hundreds of years of separation, and revitalize and refuel the future of the church.
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I have been blessed by reading this book. Foster spoke about Phoebe Worrall Palmer (1807-1874) who was a well known teacher, humanitarian and theologian. Her influence and impact was far reaching during that time. Phoebe’s third child, Eliza, died a tragic death. Her maid accidentally dropped a lit oil lamp on the gauze curtain covering the baby’s crib. Little Eliza died in her infancy in the flash fire.Can you imagine the inexpressible pain, the anguish, the despair and agony Phoebe must have felt? Through the book, Foster showed the pain in Phoebe’s heart when she related:“In the agony of my soul I had exclaimed, “'O, what shall I do!'"God reached out to the inner recesses of Phoebe's heart in those trying and difficult time. She found solace and strength from God. She allowed the word of God to nurse her back to health and wholeness. She allowed God to walk her through her immense grief and pain. To cut the long story short, she picked herself up and emerged stronger and more determined to love and serve God with every ounce of her energy.How many people can be like Phoebe Palmer? How many of us can remain strong in the face of life’s harshest storm? strongly believe she overcame because her relationship with God was so strong. She was deeply rooted in the love of God and this led her on in spite of her pain and suffering. She did not allow the trial to destroy her life and ministry; on the contrary, she thrived and persevered to pursue God in greater intensity. She left behind a godly model and example for millions of Christians to follow after.
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One of the best books to give a comprehesive understanding of traditional Chistian backgrounds. Our spiritual heritage is rich and diverse and Foster gives more than adequate treatment of each one.
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