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Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
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Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  23,058 Ratings  ·  670 Reviews
The 25th anniversary edition of the most important contemporary guidebook on Christian spirituality, which has sold more than one million copies to date.
Hardcover, Special 20th Anniversary Edition, 228 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by HarperSanFrancisco (first published July 1st 1978)
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For years I had followed traditional Christian writings and practices, growing ever more disenchanted with the hollowness of the experience. In my private readings I'd immersed myself in wider and deeper worlds, searching, searching.

In 1984 I was doing some training in Estes Park and went to hear Amy Grant at the YMCA of the Rockies. I wanted to hear her do Angels Watching Over Me in person, and that done, I browsed the bookstore before heading back to my cabin.

This book, recently published at t
Jan 01, 2014 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-life
I have mixed feelings about Celebration of Discipline. On one hand, I struggled with Foster’s subjective terminology and mystic approach. At times I found myself wondering exactly what he meant, and in turn wondering whether I would agree with him if I discovered exactly what he meant. Part of this is a difference theological emphasis, but I suspect it also comes down to a difference in personality. Some people like objective descriptions of neat and tidy concepts (like me), whereas others prefe ...more
Dec 28, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it
Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy

I first read this book in 1996 and loved it. I re-read it in 2005 and got even more out of it the second time. The book is inspiring and is a good reminder of the way I can have a more Christ-centered life through discipline.

Foster deals first with the inward disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, study. Then, he moves on to the outward disciplines: simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. The corpora
Classic twentieth-century guide to a deeper inner life and joy. As the title implies, discipline is not negative but positive. Foster explores twelve approaches to inner, outer and corporate discipline.

Gets better with every reading. In fact, I didn't get half of what Foster had to offer my first time through.
Aug 08, 2010 Bill rated it it was amazing
So, in establishing my "goodreads" library, I thought it was wise to begin with a book that has served to inform, as well as transform my character. What better place to start than with Foster's classic. Certainly, a must read for any believer, but especially important for those of us who call ourselves "leaders" in the church. This book establishes the starting point for true leadership...learning to place ourselves in God's presence where he can begin to do the work of transformation in us. Fo ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Johnny rated it really liked it
Shelves: devotional
Although influenced by Dallas Willard (prior to his publication of The Spirit of the Disciplines), Richard J. Foster uses a different taxonomy in Celebration of Discipline than Willard uses in his book (Disciplines of Abstinence (solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice) and Disciplines of Engagement (study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, submission) (p. 158)). Foster’s division of spiritual disciplines is a trinity of Inward Individual ...more
Ellie Sorota
Aug 01, 2011 Ellie Sorota rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline reads like a cup of strong coffee - pleasant going down, but rather rattling once it enters the stomach. Each chapter focuses on a different discipline of the Christian life, and Foster is quick to offer snippets of his own attempts (failures & successes) in practicing the disciplines. With each discipline he presents both the practical and radical methods of practice. For example, the fasting chapter begins with an argument on the prudence of fast ...more
Sameh Maher
رغم تقييمى للكتاب بنجمتين فقط إلا إنه كتاب جيد فى مجمله والسبب فى انخفاض تقييمى له عدة أسباب :
1- الكاتب بدأ بمقدمة توحى بأشياء عظيمة مع حوالى 4 مقدمات مختلفة لعدد من الطبعات ولكن الكتاب من الداخل عادى جدا
2- تم وصف الكتاب بأنه كلاسيكى يعتمد على جذور كلاسيكية مع الحداثة والتجديد فى قالب عصر وهذا صحيح جزئيا إلا أن الكاتب لم يستعمل الجذور إلا فى اضيق الحدود فلم يقتبس من الأباء بل رجع الى القرون الوسطى التى حملت بعض النور بالطبع إلا أن ضعف بحثه مخزى واغلب اقتباساته من جون ويسلى ومارتن لوثر والتجديد ت
Kathleen Kurlin
Jan 02, 2013 Kathleen Kurlin rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the greatest books I have ever read on the subject of spiritual discipline. I am only halfway through this book so far, but I can't believe all that I've learned so far. I am in a class at my church and we are using this book for our year-long class. I can't wait to finish reading this book. I look forward to applying all the principles I'm reading about in this book to my daily life and walk with God. Great, great book!
Jun 16, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone, everyone
Recommended to Jason by: Bible study book
Shelves: self-help, 2015
To be clear I'm not your conventional Christian, so bear that in mind if you go any further, and please forgive any irreverence. I suppose many would say I'm not a Christian at all, but luckily all that is between me and God and not His other children. As with most things, I plan to take what I can use from this and leave the rest. Thankfully there is plenty I can use. I found it inspiring, plan to reread it, and will probably find other parts inspiring that didn't speak to me this time. I read ...more
David Woods
Foster discusses 12 spiritual disciplines. He doesn't waste words. The chapters were succinct, and I found myself underlining often. Great tidbits and suggestions and logistical how-to's as well as discussing the scriptural bases for the disciplines and the fruit that can come as a result. Ultimately, the disciplines in themselves are nothing, but they are various ways to present ourselves before God so that he can bring about spiritual transformation in our lives. Grace is free, but we do have ...more
Feb 02, 2016 Zachary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I had forgotten how much of an impression this book had made on me in college, when I worked through it with a small group of friends. We read each chapter and then set out that week to put them into practice in a deliberate and specific way. It was pretty awesome and life-changing, actually. I didn't realize how much of an effect it had upon my personal theology until I just re-read it for a class.

Overall, an awesome book. He gives a very balanced, non-legalistic approach to the disciplines. Th
Jan 03, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Based on my markings throughout the book this is probably the third or fourth time I have read Foster's work. Sadly I often come back to it because I have fallen away from the life giving habits and practices he outlines. I find I come back out of a sense of guilt, feeling I "should" be doing more. And yet here Foster, and Christ through him, meets me in gentleness and encouragement. In these words there is not judgement but hope, and in hope, life. My prayer is that the next time I come back to ...more
Jun 30, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Josette, Mary
This book is potentially life changing. Thanks to those of you who recommended it to me.
Tim Bariteau
Apr 03, 2012 Tim Bariteau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians, pastors, students, lay leaders, spiritually minded people
Let me begin by saying I am so grateful I read Richard J. Foster’s "CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE: The Path to Spiritual Growth". I have always liked reading and currently have a LONG list of books on my “to read” shelf. However, if this book had not been "assigned reading", I doubt I would have ever picked it up. How much I would have missed out! I am excited to say this little book has become one of my all-time favorites; rapidly moving its way up my “Top Ten” book list...before my eyes even grace ...more
Marlin Jenkins
Sep 08, 2013 Marlin Jenkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This is definitely one of the best Christian books I’ve read. The text’s goals of challenging superficial living and sharing practical ways to focus on living a life of active Christian faith are important and needed ones for the Christian community; and, overall, Foster does a great job of tackling these goals. Foster is clearly insightful and knowledgable. One specific thing I immediately appreciated most was his use of a variety of sources and citations to develop and support his points, whic ...more
Christopher M.
Jul 25, 2011 Christopher M. rated it really liked it
A very solid, very practical introduction to Christian discipleship. Foster spends a chapter celebrating twelve spiritual disciplines, which he divides up into the Inward (meditation, prayer, fasting, study), Outward (simplicity, solitude, submission, service), and Corporate (confession, worship, guidance, celebration) Disciplines. Each of these chapters is well-founded and borrows from a wide variety of Christian sources from across time and tradition.

There is a good amount of flow from discipl
Tim Chesterton
Feb 11, 2016 Tim Chesterton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good introduction to the classical Christian disciplines. I first read this book not long after it came out in 1978, and it had a huge impact on me. I have not read it for many years, so it was good to revisit it.

This book is an entry level treatment of the disciplines. Foster organizes them into three groups: (1) The Inward Disciplines (Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, and Study), (2) The Outward Disciplines (Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, and Service), and (3) The Corporate Disciplines (
Mark Oppenlander
Dec 04, 2012 Mark Oppenlander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, theology
Before I was even done with this book, I knew that I would need to read it again. I tried to pace myself, and I did read it just a chapter at a time so that it took me almost two weeks to complete this slender tome. However, there was still far too much to contemplate in this book for one reading to do it justice.

Perhaps the problem is that the book feels so personal. Richard Foster is aiming to reintroduce the classic Spiritual Disciplines to modern believers. Foster walks his reader through th
Jul 27, 2011 James added it
A good book on spiritual formation. There is a lot of material that is profitable for underlining and revisiting.

Occasional contestable generalization is overshadowed by its truth, but it accounts for my 3.5 star rating - according to my admittedly stringent standards.

Chapter 6 on Simplicity, however, was astounding. Replete with socialist buzzwords, Foster says the OT opposes an absolute right to personal property (82), and speaks favorably of wealth redistribution (82). (Voluntarily it is won
Jun 15, 2016 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is at least the second time I have read this book, and possibly the third.

Foster's Celebration of Discipline is kind of the launching point for the modern day spiritual disciplines movement. It is a great book for anyone who wants to get an overall view of the "classic" disciplines and how to practice them in daily life.

Foster breaks the disciplines down into three categories. First, he discusses the inward disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. Then he goes into the outwar
Nov 30, 2010 Abby rated it it was ok
Shelves: for-school
Foster's style and quality of writing leave much to be desired. It seems to me that, as he wrote, he thought very little of his reader. The tone is not engaging or endearing, and he speaks to a very narrow audience (namely: married, white, middle-aged or older men)

The writing is easy to understand, but it is boring and poorly executed. He does have some valuable things to say, but the reader has to sift through many meaningless and wordy passages. He also insults his reader several times, albei
Ashley Moman
I found this book to be extremely good and challenging. It makes you re-examine your own walk with God and see how you can grow. It is very encouraging but crammed full of information. Extremely well laid out and easy to read. I highly recommend it to any Christian looking to go deeper in your walk with God. I read it in three separate sittings - it is sectioned off into three sections with chapters in each section pertaining to the separate disciples. Many you will recognize as standard-issue f ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Phillip rated it really liked it
I picked this up because it is small and had an endorsement on the cover that said it was among the top 10 most important Christian books to read from the 20th century. That piqued my interest.

It hasn't been a disappointment. The book really is something a person could return to chapter by chapter as he or she makes each discipline a practiced part of one's life.

Sometimes he reminds the reader of things we have been taught we should be doing. Other times he presents practices that are outside o
Jon Barr
Nov 22, 2015 Jon Barr rated it it was amazing
This book took over three months to read because I was blessed enough to preach through the entire thing with the followers of Jesus. My church family was patient enough to allow a sermon from each chapter, and I like to think we were all improved by the study.

"Celebration of Discipline" is a fine text for developing a structure to your Christian life, and provides some very down-to-earth ideas for strengthening your relationship with Christ. As with any book on applying the Bible to your life,
Matt Anderson
As compared to the fluffy, "Christian Living" books that are often being published today, this book is a meaty, inspiring tome on the spiritual disciplines of the Christian faith.

My friend, William, bought this for me a few years back after we had a very meaningful discussion on the idea of “simplicity.” After our conversation, I received this as a surprise in the mail. I immediately skipped ahead to Chapter 6, the chapter on simplicity. I read a few other parts of the book before I put it on m
Todd Coburn
Aug 18, 2016 Todd Coburn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
I read this book a few years back as I was trying to understand a couple of the topics addressed herein. I found the book insightful and thought-provoking. Foster led me to think about spiritual disciplines from a different perspective than mine, and this perspective alerted me to truth that seems in line with Scripture that I had not previously sensed or been aware of.

If you are pursuing the God of the Bible, if you wish a deeper relationship with Him, and if you seek a Biblical perspective th
Raymond Christopher
Jul 08, 2014 Raymond Christopher rated it it was amazing
Finally done! Classic, and simply incredible book: actually dishes out practical, real-life discipline as Christians in accordance to the Bible. It breaks the spring trap in which realizing that righteousness is God's gift persuades us to be idle. To quote his statement in the opening chapter: "We do not need to be hung on the horns of the dilemma of either human works or idleness. God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us ...more
Leandro Guimarães Faria Corcete DUTRA
I really loved this book when I was a Neoevangelical. But then I grew Reformed, and it helped me that I ended up pinpointing what so discomfitted me when first reading it: its emphasys on mystical disciplines deviate from Scriptures and end up deemphasysing grace in favour of a focus on works.

Not that it cannot be read with profit. We sure can benefit of spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, meditation &c. But we have to be aware, for example when it deviates from Biblical thoughtful
Jacob Aitken
Mar 21, 2015 Jacob Aitken rated it really liked it
It's hard to evaluate this book. On one hand, I don't want my positive statements to seem like an endorsement of all of Foster's doctrines. He's a Quaker, after all. Further, I have quite a few concerns with the lack of discernment in the Renovare movement.

On the other hand, this is easily the best spiritual disciplines book on the market. His chapters on prayer, study, and fasting are the best things I've read. They are sane, practical, and deep (basically the opposite of most American Christia
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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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