The Making of an Ordinary Saint
My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines
Nathan Foster was just a child when his father's classic Celebration of Discipline brought the spiritual disciplines into the popular evangelical consciousness. More than thirty years later, Nathan made his own journey into the spiritual disciplines. As he sought day by day to develop habits that would enable him to live more like Jesus, he encountered problems both universal and unique. In this engaging narrative, he draws insights from saints of old to uncover fresh ways of living for the contemporary, postmodern Christian.
Through his successes, struggles, and failures, Foster invites readers on a journey of freedom, pain, frustration, and ultimately joy as he learns to rise above selfish desires, laugh at his own failures, and fall in love with God. Those who have read Celebration of Discipline will find in Nathan's book creative new ways to practice the disciplines that have been so formative in their lives. Those who are new to the spiritual disciplines will find that developing a vital, interactive, conversational relationship with God is within their grasp. As a result, the holy habits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are truly possible for all. Includes chapter openings and a foreword from Richard J. Foster.
Good for personal growth, or group study.
If you’re looking for a really simple introduction to the spiritual disciplines, this’ll do ya. Nathan Foster’s book introduces us to 12 of the disciplines—submission, fasting, study, solitude, meditation, confession, simplicity, service, prayer, guidance, worship, and celebration—and shares a little of his own experiences (and, briefly, someone else’s) in tackling each of them.
Why is Foster qualified to write a book on the subject? Well, why isn’t he? The spiritual disciplines are for any and every Christian, and anyone who’s trying to live the Christian life—to be an “ordinary saint,” as the book’s title goes—is qualified to give their two cents on what makes these practices hard yet helpful. But Foster has a slightly unique perspective: He’s the son of Richard Foster.
Richard Foster wrote the forward to Ordinary Saint, and his writings introduce each chapter. He’s quoted extensively, and from time to time Nathan Foster shares personal conversations between he and his father as he tries to understand the disciplines better. No, this isn’t Richard Foster’s book; it’s his son’s experiences and personal conclusions. He picks his dad’s brain, picks himself up and tries again, and here’s what he’s learned so far.