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Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation
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Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  478 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Too often, our study of the Bible focuses on searching for specific information or some formula that will solve our pressing needs of the moment. But what if we approached the Bible differently, and instead of transforming the text to meet our needs, allowed it to transform us?

That's exactly the idea behind Life with God, Richard J. Foster's much-anticipated book on the Bi
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by HarperOne
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Kristofer Strid
Oct 05, 2015 Kristofer Strid rated it it was amazing
My first book of Foster and some people say that is all the rest of his books concluded into one. I don't know if that's the case.
However, I really like the book since it combines how to read the Bible for spiritual transformation and at the same time gives the background of grace and the spiritual disciplines.
It has for sure made me more interested in reading more from Richard Foster and of course go deeper with God!
David Varney
Mar 03, 2013 David Varney rated it it was ok
Dull and flabby. Turned into a book about spiritual disciplines in general rather than specifically bible reading. If I wanted to hear him on the disciplines I would have read his earlier (and more famous title Celebration of Discipline). It seems like he ran out of steam towards the end. Drawing on the same old proof texts that these guys seem to use, it was all rather predictable.

I'm not sure of his past experience and context but I found the 'evangelicals sin through bibliolatry' line a litt
Matt Hartzell
Dec 30, 2011 Matt Hartzell rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Meh
Shelves: theology
My, my, my. Where to begin here. Let it first be said that I read Foster's Celebration of Discipline, and really enjoyed it. This was a number of years ago, so I'm not sure if the writing style in that book is substantially different from this one, but Life With God was an enormously painful reading experience for me.

That's not to say that Foster does not have a lot of good things to say. I pulled out quite a few nuggets of poignant truth from the book. The problem for me was the Foster chose to
Mar 19, 2009 Drew rated it it was amazing
Clarence Bray gave me this book and I am so glad that I read it!!!! This book is written for Christians of all stripes--evangelical, liberal, whatever flavor. It presents a very appealing picture of why a person would want to be a Christian and how much better this world would be if we lived our faith. I highly recommend it.
Michelle Young
Feb 19, 2009 Michelle Young rated it it was ok
Shelves: christian, nonfiction
Subject is interesting, treatment is not. Basically, encouragement to engage in lectio divina (listen, reflect, pray, obey). I did appreciate his point that modern churches sometimes idolize Scripture to the neglect of recognizing the living Holy Spirit. Otherwise, I felt he could have compressed this book into an article.
Mar 20, 2016 Audrey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book!!!! Foster's books have been among the most formative in my spiritual life, and this one does not disappoint. The main focus of this book is the role of the Bible in our spiritual formation, and Foster does a great job of articulating both healthy and unhealthy ways that we tend to use the Scriptures. The book contains great instruction on how to specifically bring the Bible into prayer and meditation and get the most out of it. His dominant thrust is to steer his readers away ...more
Andrew Irwin
Sep 17, 2016 Andrew Irwin rated it really liked it
A refreshing call to read the bible for all it is worth. Foster is not someone I would agree with on everything, but someone who when you read will challenge and refresh a weary soul, The books strongly reminds us that Grace is not the end but the means and calls us to ask the question "Do we truly want life with God?" if properly read, the answer can only be Yes
Jeff Noble
Dec 20, 2015 Jeff Noble rated it liked it
The first two chapters were excellent as Foster unpacked the importance and primacy of scripture. He points out that God constantly asks tells us through the Bible, "I will be with you," and the question is... "will you be WITH God?" The main way of discovering who God is is through His Word.

He has some quotables throughout the book, but I lost interest in several places as he just didn't seem to be adding to his overall thesis: Scripture is primary for entering and cultivating a relationship wi
Bob Price
May 03, 2013 Bob Price rated it it was ok
To begin with, Life with God is not a bad's simply repetitive from Foster's other works.

Richard Foster is one the leading experts in spiritual formation. To that end, he has written one of the best books, Celebration of Discipline which should be mandated reading for every Christian.

Life with God is more of a companion to the Renovare Spiritual Formation Study Bible. It traces how one reads the Bible, along with the spiritual disciplines, but doesn't add too much that wasn't already in
Jun 09, 2009 Joel rated it really liked it
In the midst of working through Life With God, it occured to me that Richard Foster might be one of the most timeless living theologians. I suspect people will be reading his work hundreds of years from now, long after most other academic and popular theologians of our time have been forgotten. That Foster chooses to focus on a timeless topic, the spiritual disciplines, makes this somewhat unsurprising. But what really sets him apart and will continue to make his work relevant is the way he is ...more
Kelly Belvis
Dec 08, 2009 Kelly Belvis rated it really liked it
"…we want to become the kind of person inwardly so that when we do get to heaven we will want to stay there. Our feelings and passions and affections will have been so transformed that we will feel right at home in heaven."
--from Life With God

I have often wondered if I would fit in when I get to heaven...and the answer is probably not in my current state...this book offers many suggestions on how to live an authentic life with God (enabled by the Holy Spirit)so that we might one day "fit in" to
David Campton
This is not entirely, or indeed primarily an approach to Bible reading, as the sub-title suggests, but rather Foster returning again to his main area of expertise, that of spiritual disciplines, but this time using Bible reading as the through line to understand the other disciplines. The claim that he offers a new approach to Bible reading is also hyperbole. What he does do is offer the centuries old approach of lectio divina. He also warns against programmatic approaches to spiritual ...more
Blake Chenoweth
Dec 16, 2014 Blake Chenoweth rated it really liked it
I really am blessed by Richard Foster's writing on the disciplines and this book is one of my favorites of his. It encourages us to read scripture not just for information about how to live or what to do, but to read it for spiritual transformation.

For anyone who is in need of great encouragement in your scripture reading, this is a great book for you. We tend to think that quantity of scripture is more important, but this book helps us see we need to let the Bible change us simply from a small
I am not sure what to say about this book. It is well written and needed in this day and age. Foster wants us to read the Bible, but for God, not for our own needs. One should not expect the Bible to be a magical solution. Foster has a good section on lecto divina and a wonderful chapter on grace. As always Foster has written a marvelous, meaty book.

The reason I am not sure how to review this book, is that I think my first reading has only skimmed the surface. I have found that Foster's books ar
Drew Dixon
Aug 13, 2014 Drew Dixon rated it really liked it
If you're only going to read one of Foster's books I would recommend this one. Why? Because this book sort of sums up all of his others, specifically through the lens of Bible-reading. There is not much new here when you consider his other books, but he puts all that he has written into a new perspective as he considers it all in light of regular "life with God" and specifically engaging Scripture.

This book is not so much a good read from start to finish. It is more of a helpful resource. It is
Sep 01, 2014 Jeff rated it really liked it
A book by Richard Foster of "Celebration of the Disciplines" fame. This book is Foster's take on Dallas Willard's understanding of the general pattern of human transformation as expressed in the acronym VIM; Vision, Intention and Means. The penultimate chapter "The Way of Freedom" saved this book of me. As Foster remarks, "Two utterly unquestioned values in our culture today are desire and freedom --to put it bluntly, "I do what I want, when I want, to the extent that I want. The cultural idol ...more
Apr 22, 2013 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good resource for learning how to read the Scriptures in a listening posture and using Scripture in your prayer life. It also has an excellent overview of "Life With God" in the form of a chart in the back that looks at the various books of the bible and shows what aspect of life with God those books are focused on. For instance Genesis 1-11 "The People of God in Individual Communion" and Genesis 12-50 "The People of God become a Family" and Proverbs, Ecclesisastes, Song of Solomon, = ...more
Claire Aufhammer
Jan 12, 2014 Claire Aufhammer rated it liked it
I'm a big Foster fan, but I must admit that this is not one of his best. What I had hoped would provide me with a helpful perspective on and tools with which I might fruitfully engage with Scripture, ended up being a rehash of Foster's other books (namely, Celebration of Discipline and Streams of Living Water).

As always, he writes beautifully and with much grace and wisdom. I did appreciate and was very moved by his insistence that Scripture's task is to point us towards love of Christ and the
Aug 04, 2008 Bookwrmjr66 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in spiritual growth.
Shelves: christianity, library
In this book, Foster tries to tie together his various writings and ideas about spiritual growth and present a way of living a life with God. Because he tries to cover so much, he can't treat any ideas in depth, and that is the only real weakness in the book. You can still find everything we expect from Foster: enormous, deep learning in the spiritual classics; a profound spiritual life that he writes about eloquently; and a knack for picking stories out of the lives of Christians from the past ...more
Feb 24, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on how to read the Bible for all the right reasons. Foster takes a reading technique known as Lectio Divina (Eugene Peterson also writes about this technique) and launches into a discussion on reading the Bible and moving from that into discussions on the Spiritual Disciplines.

It's a wonderful book that I will probably read again soon, so as to digest the information a little more fully. I think I may have read it too quickly the first time.

I recommend this book for a
May 02, 2016 Eric rated it really liked it
While I think Foster's writing is a little flowery, this book is pretty good. I'm the first half he mentions approaches to have in regards to reading the bible, while the second half is on disiciplines and grace. The second half is particularly good to read as an intro to his other book Celebration of the Disciplines.

One thing I'm introspecting about is what actions and attitudes am I pursuing death of self, and which am I pursuing life. I think this is helpful not only with God alone, but also
Sep 30, 2008 Eleanor rated it it was ok
Shelves: religion
Richard Foster's astoundingly good "Celebration of Discipline," long a favorite of mine , was all the inspiration I needed to compel me to pick this one up as well. I was disappointed, because he had already covered much of this ground elsewhere, and I couldn't help but think it was a cross-marketing plan to rev up sales of the Renovare Study Bible. (A worthy edition, to be sure.)

I suspect that those unfamiliar with Foster will -- and should -- get great benefit from this, but for established fa
Frank Peters
Jul 05, 2011 Frank Peters rated it really liked it
The book was excellent, and very worthwhile to read. The structure of the book was a bit awkward, and the subtitle of the book is highly misleading. Nevertheless, the content of the book is important and humbly written. Foster has gone out of his way to dispel criticisms of his earlier books. He does this repeatedly in the book to ensure that no one can miss the emphasis he intends on the importance on the work of God rather than anything we are doing.
Sep 18, 2013 Marcia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: more-like-this
What struck me the most about this book is that the spiritual disciplines are a means, not an end. Also, that while they make us more open to receive God's grace, it is still God's grace, not our own effort that really matters. This is just one part of the book, but it's the part I needed.

As in all of his books that I have read, Richard Foster does an excellent job of teaching us how to grow in Christ.
Dec 26, 2008 Bobby rated it liked it
This overlaps a great deal with Foster's other books, but does a good job of describing the discipline of Biblical meditation and study. At times, his penchant for wordy and pretty writing, gets in the way of the focus (as well as making the book a bit longer than needed), but doesn't retract so much that I was left without many challenges and encouragements.
Feb 10, 2009 Deidre rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
The writing style may be over the heads of some but this is a must have book. I would advise all new Christians to read this and any Christian wanting to be drawn closer to God. A truly AMAZING look at having a life with God.
Oct 17, 2013 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, 2013, theology
I get fidgety with practical sort of reading. I'm a theory guy... But I noticed that I'd applied an awful lot of highlighter to these pages. Foster did a fantastic job of making the book both applicable and interesting.
Michelle Murray
Nov 02, 2014 Michelle Murray rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual-life
I really relate to Richard Foster and his contemplative ways of thinking and sharing about things. I enjoyed this book and it challenged me to remember to live my life with God not the back and forth of with him and then on my own
Apr 18, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book with my Bible study group over a 6 month period. I think reading it in bits like that made it hard for me to really process it. It would be good for me to go back and read it again strait through.
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Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of Renovaré, an intrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the Church in all her multifaceted ...more
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“And so the test of whether or not we have really gotten the point of the Bible would then be the quality of love that we show.” 2 likes
“An intelligent, humble, careful, intensive, straight forward reading of the Bible will direct us into Life in the Kingdom of God.” 0 likes
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