web site hit counter Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith

Availability: Ready to download

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 varie 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."


Compare

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 varie 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."

30 review for Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    This book is a wonderful introduction and summary of six streams or traditions that have influenced Christianity: *The Contemplative Tradition-the prayer filled life *The Holiness Tradition-the virtuous life *The Charismatic Tradition-the Spirit-empowered life *The Social Justice Tradition-the compassionate life *The Evangelical Tradition-the Word-centered life *The Incarnational Tradition-the sacramental life Foster does a wonderful job of presenting the best of what each tradition brings to the Churc This book is a wonderful introduction and summary of six streams or traditions that have influenced Christianity: *The Contemplative Tradition-the prayer filled life *The Holiness Tradition-the virtuous life *The Charismatic Tradition-the Spirit-empowered life *The Social Justice Tradition-the compassionate life *The Evangelical Tradition-the Word-centered life *The Incarnational Tradition-the sacramental life Foster does a wonderful job of presenting the best of what each tradition brings to the Church (universal body of believers across the world and across time, not the building on the corner) and the potential pitfalls of each one when it is practiced in isolation. Each chapter opens with a historical paradigm, telling the story of someone whose life exemplifies that tradition. Foster then moves on to present a Biblical paradigm, doing the same with an individual from Scripture, and a contemporary paradigm with an individual from the 20th century. These stories almost define the traditions on their own, but following them Foster moves into a more detailed description of what each tradition is, its major strengths, its potential perils and practical ways the reader can begin incorporating that tradition into his or her life. This is a wonderful read for Christians from any background. Although there will probably be one tradition that is more familiar than all the others, one primary influence in the reader's background, the beauty of all of these traditions is the way they work together--sharing their strengths and providing protection against the perils. When I read it, I found the exposure to different traditions brought my faith and the expression thereof to a deeper level and I gained new understanding and appreciation for the beautiful diversity of the Church. The two appendices included provide snapshots of turning points in church history, and brief (one paragraph) biographies of individuals whose lives reflect the various traditions (30-40 people for each one). These are a great starting point for further exploration!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Austin Spence

    Breaking up different spiritual movements is a class act for developing a holistic idea of the church. Foster proves to be a fantastic reporter on top of his own ability to write and conjure up ideas to spread. Unfortunately I just wanted to know EVERYTHING bout each movement listed, which left me wanting more from each description in the chapters. Another great one for sure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    While this wasn't my favorite of the (two) books that I've read of Richard Foster so far, it--like his other writing--still has his wonderful writing style that always seems inspiring and transcendent. I find it hard to describe, but maybe it's best likened to fresh, warm, hearty bread, although it's less earthy than that, so not the perfect metaphor. However, it's similar in that it feels at once comforting and heartening, rich and wholesome, and too-soon finished. In this book, Foster discuss While this wasn't my favorite of the (two) books that I've read of Richard Foster so far, it--like his other writing--still has his wonderful writing style that always seems inspiring and transcendent. I find it hard to describe, but maybe it's best likened to fresh, warm, hearty bread, although it's less earthy than that, so not the perfect metaphor. However, it's similar in that it feels at once comforting and heartening, rich and wholesome, and too-soon finished. In this book, Foster discusses six "streams," or traditions, of Christian faith: contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational. In order to more fully flesh out each, he gives us a vivid sketch of how Biblical personalities and then saints or Christians ancient and more contemporary have embodied these traditions in their lives. For me, I felt that his descriptions of these different personalities were more vivid and enduring than what I learned of the traditions themselves, though he detailed each one in a very clear, charitable manner. (I still can't quite nail down what holiness is/how it is different from the rest, but that's probably more of a reflection on me as a reader rather than on Foster as a writer). Reading through about the different people, though, made me both feel incredibly ignorant about church history (maybe even history in general). Luckily for people like me (or maybe not since I felt obligated to read it because of my cluelessness?), he included at the end a basic outline of church history, and then short paragraphs about many notable people who exemplified the traditions throughout history, which were informative and pretty well interesting considering the fact that it was basically like reading through an encyclopedia. Still, despite the revelation that I know so little about anything, I was also grateful to now be introduced to so many amazing people. Among the ones that particularly stuck out to me: St. Antony (Contemplative), who sold all that he had and went out into the Egyptian desert for twenty years to discover God. Foster tells about a few of the very vividly-detailed confrontations he had with demons/temptations, his miracles and healings, and his peace-making. I feel like I probably didn't know much about him since I know very little of saints and such having not grown up in the Catholic church, but was very... impressed, I guess you would say, at the supernatural character of his life. Frank Laubach: (Contemplative) As someone who's interested in adult literacy/education, I could hardly not be attracted to Laubach, who did absolutely incredible work: his "each one teach one" campaign to try to spread literacy all over the developing world, his forming the World Literacy Committee, and his work on developing ways to teach people to read in dozens of different countries and cultures is almost overwhelming. For me, the part that is almost even more amazing is that he did all this while (because of?) doing things like his "Game of Minutes," where he tried to have God in mind every minute of the day, and ora et labora, a manner of working while praying from the Benedictine monks that makes work a true collaboration with God. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Holiness): The German professor, theologian, double agent who worked to assassinate Hitler, and then ultimately prisoner and martyr after the plot failed. He sought to truly follow Jesus, "[leading:] him to an uneasy pacifism: desiring to be obedient to the peace commandment of Jesus while at the same time standing in firm resistance to the tyranny of Hitler," and developing the concepts of costly vs. cheap grace: ""Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ"" vs. the cheap grace of ""the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession"" (or, I guess in my opinion, many of the things that the modern church is accused of being hypocritical for). He spoke out against the beginnings of mistreatment of Jewish people during their deportation in a way that is admirable in its boldness: ""An expulsion of the Jews from the West must necessarily bring with it the expulsion of Christ."" He insisted, in a speech that many of his colleagues were furious at and walked out on, that the Church has an obligation to all members of society whether they are Christians or not. Maybe he wasn't the first to develop this concept, but it also seems like he very much was aware of the idea of multiple histories/the history of the oppressed, and tried to structure his life accordingly, trying to ""see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcast, the suspects, the maltreated, the powerless, the oppressed, the reviled--in short, from the perspective of those who suffer."" William Joseph Seymour (Charismatic): I pretty much had no idea what the Asuza Street revival was/why it was significant, so I didn't know that Seymour was the one who lead it. Seymour left his Southern beginnings as a self-educated man and went to California after a time working with a white preacher, only to start church meetings three times a day for several years in the early 1900s, with consistent crowds of 800 inside the building, and 400-500 outside. Most amazing, in a time when blacks and whites rarely mixed, Seymour--a black preacher--was drawing crowds of every race and social status and giving women authority roles, gathering huge amounts of people with no choir, no church organizing behind what he was doing, no offerings taken, and no advertising. Behind it all was his vision of love (the primary evidence of the Holy Spirit, rather than speaking in tongues, as later Pentecostals would make it) and of uniting one common family, undivided by race, gender, class, or nation. Dorothy Day (Social Justice): I had heard of her before and knew that the Catholic Worker movement grew from her, but had no idea how revolutionary she was in terms of campaigning for the poor, the homeless, and for workers, how she set up so many houses of hospitality to feed and give a place for the poor to sleep (but also to meet with them and truly know them and listen to them), and how she was an uncompromising pacifist, even after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her bravery and willingness to serve perfect strangers and her unswerving commitment to what she believed in are astonishing. Dag Hammarskjold (Incarnational): Secretary-General of the United Nations who served for eight years and was killed in a plane crash in Africa, who "transformed the UN from a forum for conference and controversy into an agency of creative action for peace." He, like Frank Laubach, absolutely amazes me because despite being the Secretary-General of the UN, he had a very deep and rich spiritual life. Upon his death, his secretary found a 175-page book that he had written called "Markings" that is an in-depth exploration "with merciless scrutiny and absolute honesty" of his personal and spiritual state that never directly mentions anything about the UN or his professional life. After helping resolve the Suez Crisis, he wrote: "Your own efforts 'did not bring it to pass,' only God--but rejoice if God found a use for your efforts in his work." Wow. I feel very grateful to this book for again making me aware of the incredible richness there is in the lives of so many people who have gone on before, and I hope that it will help me to get around to reading some of their works. More than that, though, it has also been an inspiration and also, in a way, devotional: it is hard not to feel uplifted, thankful, and moved by these people, these acts, and these evidences of God's work in the world, especially in the beautiful way that Richard Foster describes them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Bruyn

    Foster's six traditions (contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical and incarnational) have a lot of explanatory power, with the exception of his social justice tradition, which is clearly the odd one out, even by his own standards of exegesis and biblical support. I would also re-term the 'charismatic' tradition as the 'pneumatic' tradition, for 'charismatic' carries all the anachronistic associations of the post 1960s movement. Some of Foster's chosen biographies also re Foster's six traditions (contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical and incarnational) have a lot of explanatory power, with the exception of his social justice tradition, which is clearly the odd one out, even by his own standards of exegesis and biblical support. I would also re-term the 'charismatic' tradition as the 'pneumatic' tradition, for 'charismatic' carries all the anachronistic associations of the post 1960s movement. Some of Foster's chosen biographies also represent tenuous Christianity, in my opinion. Having said that, I think the general thesis represents a somewhat correct intuition. I would see A.W. Tozer as a model of combining the five that I think are valid, if rightly understood.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Beachy

    I really enjoyed this book by Foster. I have always had a deep desire to see the body of Christ unified and this book helps paint the picture of how Jesus is in all of these streams and the danger of thinking your stream is the only "right" one. With many books, I may not agree with everything, but I appreciated the book overall

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tim Littleford

    Genuinely stunning book about the diversity of practice in God's Church. A body with many parts. It can be easy to feel like there's so much your not doing as a follower of Jesus, so much you have to learn. As Foster takes you through the 6 great streams of the faith, you get a glimpse that, although we are to care about all of them, and grow in each of them, we as people are only one part of the body. Be a really good ear, and celebrate and support those that are noses or arms. This is genuine Genuinely stunning book about the diversity of practice in God's Church. A body with many parts. It can be easy to feel like there's so much your not doing as a follower of Jesus, so much you have to learn. As Foster takes you through the 6 great streams of the faith, you get a glimpse that, although we are to care about all of them, and grow in each of them, we as people are only one part of the body. Be a really good ear, and celebrate and support those that are noses or arms. This is genuine unity in diversity.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    This marvellous book starts with this Thomas a Kempis's quote: "We must imitate Christ's life and his ways if we are to be truly enlightened and set free from the darkness of our own hearts. Let it be the most important thing we do, then, to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ." A life of imitation.On developing an intimate relationship with Christ, Foster uses the analogy of the "rivers of living water" (John 7:38) to describe how we both live a life of imitation and how we are united together in This marvellous book starts with this Thomas a Kempis's quote: "We must imitate Christ's life and his ways if we are to be truly enlightened and set free from the darkness of our own hearts. Let it be the most important thing we do, then, to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ." A life of imitation.On developing an intimate relationship with Christ, Foster uses the analogy of the "rivers of living water" (John 7:38) to describe how we both live a life of imitation and how we are united together in community. He outlines six streams that define this paradigm of imitation: 1. The Contemplative Stream - or a Prayer-filled life 2. The Holiness Stream - or the virtuous life 3. The Charismatic Stream - the gifts of the Holy Spirit 4. The Social Justice Stream - a life of compassion 5. The Evangelical Stream - the Word-Centred life 6. The Incarnational Stream - Everyday Life with God Foster outlines each stream and provides historical, Biblical and current examples of persons who display the individual streams so that we are able to get a glimpse of how each stream is lived out in practice. I particularly appreciated these illustrations as it provided much clarity around each stream. Further, Foster provides a summary overview of the various critical turning points in the history of the church as well as a comprehensive list with one paragraph bios of people throughout history displaying the various streams. This is a wonderful book and provides a practical and well researched outline on how to live a life of imitation of Jesus. It really should be compulsory reading for all believers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rone

    Fosters book is wearisome to read and one is at times tempted to skip a page or two. But the basic values and truths of this book is beyond description. He ends his book with a lengthy historical background of the Roman Catholic Church as well as Protestantism which is good for all to have in their library. Yet I cannot really conclude which one of these he would award the prize for having most of the mentioned streams. In my opinion that does not matter for if I understand the conclusion of it Fosters book is wearisome to read and one is at times tempted to skip a page or two. But the basic values and truths of this book is beyond description. He ends his book with a lengthy historical background of the Roman Catholic Church as well as Protestantism which is good for all to have in their library. Yet I cannot really conclude which one of these he would award the prize for having most of the mentioned streams. In my opinion that does not matter for if I understand the conclusion of it all correctly these streams have little to do with the denomination but everything to do with the individual. For when I as an individual have drunk from the Living Water I have to become a living stream. The onus is on myself. Foster combined the lives of many brilliant and spiritually strong people to try and convey the beauty of a live that has been touched by Christ and understood the meaning of this. Pinning the label ‘Christian’ onto my lapel brings with it great responsibility and accountability. And this is to be lived and not just preached. May God have mercy on me…!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    In this book, Foster discusses the various traditions of the Christian Faith (Holiness, Evangelical, Social Justice, etc.). In each tradition, he discusses: how Jesus modeled the tradition, a timeline of prominent individuals and movements in the history of the tradition, a bio of a biblical, historical, and contemporary example of the tradition, the benefits and drawbacks of each tradition, and how to grow in each tradition.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I started this book, but I'm glad I did. As the subtitle suggests, Streams examines "Essential practices from the six great traditions of Christian faith." What Richard Foster does is find a "historical paradigm," a "Biblical paradigm," and a "Contemporary paradigm." The book is over twenty years old, so the "contemporary" paradigms are sometimes pretty early in the twentieth century. The "six great traditions" as defined by Foster are as follows: The Co I wasn't sure what I was getting into when I started this book, but I'm glad I did. As the subtitle suggests, Streams examines "Essential practices from the six great traditions of Christian faith." What Richard Foster does is find a "historical paradigm," a "Biblical paradigm," and a "Contemporary paradigm." The book is over twenty years old, so the "contemporary" paradigms are sometimes pretty early in the twentieth century. The "six great traditions" as defined by Foster are as follows: The Contemplative Tradition: Discovering the Prayer-Filled Life; The Holiness Tradition: Discovering the Virtuous Life; The Charismatic Tradition: Discovering the Spirit-Empowered Life; The Social Justice Tradition: Discovering the Compassionate Life; The Evangelical Tradition: Discovering the Word-Centered Life; The Incarnational Tradition: Discovering the Sacramental Life. I won't go into each of the paradigms of each tradition, but to give you an example, in the Contemplative Tradition, the historical paradigm is Antony of Egypt, also known as Saint Antony, who lived from approximately 251-356 AD. He is known as the founder of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Foster's choice for the Biblical paradigm was John the Apostle, and his choice for a contemporary paradigm was Frank C. Laubach. After each of the paradigms is presented, Foster then gives us some strengths and potential perils of each of the traditions, as well as some hints for practicing them in our own lives. For the most part, this is well-written and well-presented. One thing I didn't care for was the way in which Foster presented each of the historical paradigms. To me, it was a little silly, as he mildly attempted to disguise who he was writing about by using a lesser known name for the person. Of course, when I read books, I always check footnotes/endnotes, so I already knew who he was writing about before he finally "reveals" it. I didn't care for this little "game." Otherwise, I had no objections to the main text of the book. At the end of the book (approximately halfway through the pages of my edition), there are two appendices. Appendix A is "Critical Turning Points in Church History," and Appendix B is "Notable Figures and Significant Movements." The historical appendix is much more dry and was a bit hard to muddle through. I would rather read a book on church history than try to get a whirlwind tour of it in less than a hundred pages. In Appendix B, there is some good information, as there is about a paragraph of each of the people/movements represented. They are all presented alphabetically, for easy reference. It was a bit of a challenge to simply read straight through it, but I did. Because I'm stubborn that way. All in all, I find this to be a valuable work, especially for one who is not as well-versed in these "great traditions of Christian faith." Not only was it an enjoyable read, it is a great reference tool for the future. It would be quite simple to look someone up in the Appendix, and it would also be useful and simple to find information about any of the six traditions. Another thing I really liked was Foster's way of connecting all of the traditions. You see, none of these exist in their own sphere. They are all, in some way or another, interconnected. A well-rounded Christian life should include bits of all of them. For example, to attempt to be Charismatic without being Compassionate would be somewhat contradictory. Or to be Evangelistic without being Compassionate, as well. As one who used to feel comfortable identifying as an "evangelistic," I've seen way too much of that in our modern culture.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Manuel

    One part history of certain figures of the church and one part broad introduction to six streams of theology, Streams of Living Water makes for an interesting book. Richard Foster is looking at Christianity and pulling out six streams of Christianity (Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational). When discussing each of these Foster gives three examples of each stream and then gives a basic overview of the stream and its biggest strengths and weaknesses. One part history of certain figures of the church and one part broad introduction to six streams of theology, Streams of Living Water makes for an interesting book. Richard Foster is looking at Christianity and pulling out six streams of Christianity (Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational). When discussing each of these Foster gives three examples of each stream and then gives a basic overview of the stream and its biggest strengths and weaknesses. He pulls the three examples from the distant past, the Bible, and from more recent times and these examples can range from Augustine to Dorothy Day to Billy Graham. While I think that this book could be useful for someone who doesn't know much about church history or hasn't realized that there are multiple streams and ways of practicing the Christian faith, but for me it was just an okay book. I think he does a really good job of showing that there are different ways to practice the Christian faith. That our expression is not limited to just one way or the way that our local church may adhere to. The faith is wider than any one congregation. I think that's an important message. I also really appreciate the examples he uses. I think it would be all to easy for a book like this to only use male examples, but he includes both male and female examples here. Some of these examples I hadn't heard very much about and others were well known to me. So I felt like it was a good sampling of people that he looked at. I also felt that his summaries of each stream and the potential weaknesses and positives were fairly well done. There were maybe some that I felt were more or less valid than he gave credit for, but overall I felt like he made some fairly good points as he looked at each of these streams. However, the book suffers from oversimplification and doing it in a very wordy kind of way. While I do enjoy him displaying the different ways of practicing Christianity it's not quite that simple. I think that many Christians are a mix of many streams and while he does hit on this a bit, it is never fully presented that way. This would be okay if the book was a bit shorter, but it's a rather lengthy book for what it is. I think he probably could have removed one of his examples from each chapter or shorted all three a bit, and it would have turned out a bit more manageable. Overall, I don't think this is a bad book. It's an okay book and may even be a good book for those who don't know much history of the church or the different ways that Christians have practiced their faith over the years. I didn't really fit in either of these camps and even then its a bit of a weighty book for an introduction, so it's not the most approachable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Blankenship

    A fascinating book introducing the various streams of Christian tradition. For most Christians at least one or two of these emphases may be familiar, but to realize that others have the same core faith but different expressions of that faith can be very enlightening, even as one realizes that some of these traditions are at times at tension with other traditions, and that not all of the expressions of these traditions are valid. Foster, to his credit, points out some of the dangers of each tradi A fascinating book introducing the various streams of Christian tradition. For most Christians at least one or two of these emphases may be familiar, but to realize that others have the same core faith but different expressions of that faith can be very enlightening, even as one realizes that some of these traditions are at times at tension with other traditions, and that not all of the expressions of these traditions are valid. Foster, to his credit, points out some of the dangers of each tradition even as he also emphasizes their strengths. I would also encouraging reading Streams of Living Water alongside Foster's book of readings called 'Devotional Classics'; these help fill in the gaps and introduce readers to the primary materials of these traditions.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steve James

    This was good in that it presented the idea of the particular traditions of the faith. Some were easier to understand than others but I found it useful. One complaint is he starts the book saying that God is bringing together the streams after years of their being isolated but he gives no evidence of it. We're to take it all on faith of his assertion. I would prefer that he pointed to specific instances where he was seeing it. But overall I thought it was a good book. I read it as part of a clas This was good in that it presented the idea of the particular traditions of the faith. Some were easier to understand than others but I found it useful. One complaint is he starts the book saying that God is bringing together the streams after years of their being isolated but he gives no evidence of it. We're to take it all on faith of his assertion. I would prefer that he pointed to specific instances where he was seeing it. But overall I thought it was a good book. I read it as part of a class I'm taking on the Traditions of Spiritual Formation. I wouldn't have known about or read it otherwise.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gene Stevenson

    I've been living closely with the material in this book for the past several months, but in fact, I've not been able to get it out of my mind since I was introduced to it several years ago in my seminary studies. My initial reaction to Foster's work has lingered in that time, circling as it has around some variety of the thought that "This makes so much sense!" And in fact, if you're looking for a fairly honest, comprehensive, but considerate explanation for why the church has so many seemingly I've been living closely with the material in this book for the past several months, but in fact, I've not been able to get it out of my mind since I was introduced to it several years ago in my seminary studies. My initial reaction to Foster's work has lingered in that time, circling as it has around some variety of the thought that "This makes so much sense!" And in fact, if you're looking for a fairly honest, comprehensive, but considerate explanation for why the church has so many seemingly disparate traditions, there are few better places to start than Streams. Though the Church and the world would deeply benefit from an updated edition, this book is close enough to five stars to rate it as such.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Will Kooi

    I breezed through this book in only a few days. This is now one of my favorite books. I grew up entrenched in one of the six streams (Evangelical) and desperately needed a well-rounded look at some of the other streams out there that have all contributed many positive things to the greater body. Foster guides you through each one, giving biblical, ancient, and contemporary examples, and shows how a more holistic faith will draw from each of these traditions, since the founder of our faith (Jesus I breezed through this book in only a few days. This is now one of my favorite books. I grew up entrenched in one of the six streams (Evangelical) and desperately needed a well-rounded look at some of the other streams out there that have all contributed many positive things to the greater body. Foster guides you through each one, giving biblical, ancient, and contemporary examples, and shows how a more holistic faith will draw from each of these traditions, since the founder of our faith (Jesus) is the source of each of those streams. A wonderful read and highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Devon Bowman

    A great book on the different traditions of the Christian faith. Foster gives examples from antiquity and the Scriptures to display the traditions in their fullness. Perhaps the most helpful part of the book for the reader is the explanation of the strengths as well as the potential dangers of each tradition. No matter your church tradition, background, or preference it is incredibly important to worship in a well rounded way. The hope and goal of this book is to present the worship of God as mo A great book on the different traditions of the Christian faith. Foster gives examples from antiquity and the Scriptures to display the traditions in their fullness. Perhaps the most helpful part of the book for the reader is the explanation of the strengths as well as the potential dangers of each tradition. No matter your church tradition, background, or preference it is incredibly important to worship in a well rounded way. The hope and goal of this book is to present the worship of God as most beautiful when all the traditions are working together for the glory of God.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bannon

    Gracious, insightful and inspiring. Speaks with historical balance, poise and genuine enthusiasm into an emerging hunger in my own heart and ministry; beyond binary ideological silos, Foster anecdotally calls out the possibility of a contemplative, holy, charismatic, justice-oriented, evangelical, incarnational, orthodox Christian faith. Too much to hope for in one lifetime, perhaps. But we have satisfied ourselves with far too little of such hope, for far too long now.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gerry Dupuis

    Diverse City An outstanding overview of the Community of Christ, and a compelling presentation of the basis of Christian diversity and tolerance. This work motivates and inspires us to truly appreciate the rich heritage of the Church in the great traditions, and to live our lives with an intentional application of practical theology in all the areas of life as worship. Highly recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    3.5 stars. It wasn’t the most page turning of books but I did really like it. Don’t let the boring cover throw you off. It basically goes through different tenants of the Christian tradition and gives examples in history, the Bible, and then more current day. I learned a lot about some really cool people. I also appreciated the relatively equal split of men and women examples, something not always portrayed in Christian literature.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy McNeese

    Great read! Foster guides his readers through 3 biographies in each of 6 Christian traditions: Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and Incarnational Traditions to illustrate how each tradition/stream of Christianity functions. This book definitely grabs at one's heart as it is read and permeates the idea of where do I fit into this grand chasm of Christian rite, philosophy, and thought.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jose

    Wow. This book is incredible. So full of life. I recommend it. I read it slowly over many years as it has so much valuable wisdom in it, and you have to pause to put it into practice. It’s been long enough since I started that I need and want to read it again! This book takes a denominationally neutral look at what it looks like to seek Christ, through the lens of two thousand years of Christ followers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    This book is unique, bold and downright wonderful! A strange sort of book which combines church history, biography, Bible study, theology and practical daily living into a very readable, informative and enjoyable book. It will help the reader respect, appreciate, and even generously embrace the various "streams" of the universal people of God.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Good historical review of six different traditions (or streams) within Christianity. The last chapter on the "Incarnational Stream" is not well done. When I'm feeling generous with Foster I say the last chapter is theologically sloppy (very sloppy!), and when I'm not feeling generous I say it's just plain old bad theology. But overall, the book is well worth the read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lilly Pittman

    I read this book for a History and Theology of Christianity undergraduate class. It's really good. I think it would have been better had it asked more probing and challenging questions of the reader relating the content. Ultimately, moderation is key. Definitely helped me to understand where I come from.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Magan Lewis

    Learned so much about how the church has phases and traditions -- all of them good, but also with potential to focus to hard on that one stream. So another stream develops to correct an area that needs focus. Enjoyed reading how men and women lived out a specific tradition and lived it well. And Jesus lived them all.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I've wanted to read this book since I was in high school and finally got around to listening to it this morning. Would like to take a look at it in print format to revisit specific sections in more detail.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jadon Haynes

    I love the way that this book systematically walks through the different traditions of faith. The way Foster highlights the positive things we can gain from them as well as the pitfalls of becoming too focused on one particular stream is a valuable resource as we mature in our faith.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nina

    This book put words to many of the thoughts I've had over the years regarding church traditions. Foster, as always, seems to say exactly what he means to say and that is wildly valuable in this particular conversation. This is a book I will definitely find myself coming back to often for wisdom.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mishael

    This is an interesting little book. I loved reading about so many prominent women of the faith - something we don't hear about often at all. And I especially loved the ending. A more unified Church would, indeed, be a beautiful thing! Let's all pray that it happens soon.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    This book was exactly what I expected: in true Foster style, an overview of the Church in centuries of practice. I was looking for my own experiences, and found my knowledge validated and deepened. His epilogue was wonderful.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.