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Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  28,133 ratings  ·  837 reviews
Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth is hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality with millions of copies sold since its original publication in 1978.

In Celebration of Discipline, Foster explores the "classic Disciplines," or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith to show how each of these areas con
Hardcover, Special 20th Anniversary Edition, 256 pages
Published October 5th 1988 by HarperOne (first published July 1st 1978)
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4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,133 ratings  ·  837 reviews

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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 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 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.
Jul 10, 2014 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
Brian Ming
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this gem. Although it's taken me some time to get through (due to such a busy schedule), I was disciplined enough to stick with it...See what I did there by celebrating my discipline. In all seriousness, I am very glad I read this book. In particular the sections on worship, on meditation, and especially on the celebration of joy are fabulous.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is seeking to go deeper with God. Surprisingly, even though our culture seems emphatic about t
Aug 08, 2010 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
Elisabeth Ensor
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best book of 2017 for me!!!! I read this all year with 2 friends- taking each month to study a discipline and we discussed them over an app called Voxer. This book was life changing- the chapter on prayer and fasting especially. I recommend the audio book as you can stop and listen again and write it down if you want. The author has so much wisdom and I will read this again for sure!
Ellie Sorota
Aug 01, 2011 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
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
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 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 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
Jana Light
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
This is a wonderful book outlining the Christian spiritual practices (disciplines), offering guidance in how to participate in them, and celebrating their importance and the spiritual benefits they confer. Foster breaks the disciplines into three categories: inward, outward, and corporate (or collective). While any talk about what to "do" for spiritual health can quickly devolve into legalism and shame, Foster emphasizes grace and the idea that God gave us these disciplines as blessings and acce ...more
Carla Corinne
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get through this, but it was a great, helpful book. I loved learning about the "disciplines", especially at a time in my life when I am trying to curb my habits and routines to become more disciplined in every area. I definitely did not agree with some things he wrote and his theology was a bit skewed, leaning towards mysticism at times. I know there are a few sections I will refer to again and again in the future. 4 stars!
Crystal Storms
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! A book I will read again and refer back to.
Christopher M.
Jul 25, 2011 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
Feb 02, 2016 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
Leandro Guimarães
Jan 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: doar
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
Jun 30, 2008 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 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
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Again a book from my past - the 80s - that I re-skimmed. It's excellent in so many ways. Foster's approach to that thing "discipline" is practical and encouraging. He has deep spiritual insight but he's not pompous or overly erudite in his way of explaining prayer, fasting, listening, and worship. I will pass this on but may order it for my Kindle since it calls for re-reading frequently.
Ehab Gamal
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب ده لازم هيكون ما بين افضل الكتب المقروئه لأي حد يقراه , القيمة العملية لكل جوانب الحياة مع الله عالية بطريقة مذهله , قيمة الكتاب فوق الوصف , ببساطة الكاتب بيتناول في كل فصل جزء من حياتنا مع الله ويشرحه ويشرح اوجه القصور ونعالجها ازاي , وطبعا ده حسب رؤيته للجزء ده من خلال فهمه لكلمة الله , بنصح اي حد مهتم انه يقراه بعمق ويحاول يستفيد بقدر الامكان , خلافي مع بعض النقط اللي اتكلم فيها الكاتب ممنعش اني اقيم الكتاب ب 5 نجوم
Richard Ryan
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-books
Although I struggled to get to grips with some chapters in this classic book on spiritual growth, others chapters were so full of nuggets of wisdom I had to pause reading to catch some air! Definitely needs a few reads to full appreciate. This book is nearly as old as me, but a lot of it is still so relevant. Loved the genius of the final chapter too.
Regina Ripamonti
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this....grace-filled practical thoughts on going deeper with Jesus. One to re-read again and again. Only wish he had spoken more on building the Kingdom and reaching the lost with the gospel as the overflow of our intimate walk with God.
Kyle Mervau
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a practical study into the disciplines with a bend towards spiritual formation...I would start here!
Hannah Davies
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Incredibly insightful and encouraging read.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Well written with great insights on how to live a Christian life.
Laura Clawson
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A simple and concise primer on the spiritual disciplines. Helpfully short and written with an approachable humility, this is a book I'll definitely come back to again.
Bob Mendelsohn
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is now the third time through this masterpiece. So simple and yet so demanding. So clear and yet so hard. God, help me in these days and in this day to be your kind of man.
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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
“The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.” 75 likes
“We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. 'We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.' ...It is time to awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick.” 54 likes
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