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

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9780060628222: Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith
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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."

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Review:

Streams of Living Water is Richard J. Foster's roundup of six great traditions of Christian spiritual practice. His essays on spirituality--contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational--are grounded in straightforward profiles of biblical and modern characters whom Foster considers exemplars of these traditions. (The prophet Amos and the Quaker abolitionist John Woolman, for example, are featured in the chapter on social justice.) Each chapter ends with a bit of advice about how readers can cultivate new aspects of spiritual life and keep these Christian traditions alive: "Take a bath instead of a shower. Waste time for God," Foster writes, in his chapter on the contemplative tradition. Foster doesn't really break new ground in Streams of Living Water--he's written about most of these spiritual disciplines elsewhere--but this book is a useful and engaging introduction to a fairly broad range of Christian spiritual practices. --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Publisher:

Bestselling author Richard Foster -- whose hardcover sales top Harper San Francisco's list at over one million copies -- lays the cornerstone of his acclaimed RENOVARE program with this exploration of the major Christian traditions and their role in spiritual renewal.

Richard Foster founded RENOVARE (Latin for "to make new") for the purpose of encouraging long-term committment to spiritual renewal and growth. Now, in this landmark work, he examines the foundation of Christian experience -- six dimensions of faith and practice -- and explains the unique contributions of each one.

These great historical movements or "streams," as Foster calls them, are Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical and Incarnational. Each stream emphasizes a different aspect of life and faith; for example, the Contemplative way is a prayer-filled life, while the way of Holiness is a life of virtue. Foster lifts up the enduring character of each tradition in the midst of constantly evolving faith. He 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.

What Foster ultimately discovers is that while each tradition is capable of providing spiritual growth, the most complete renewal can only come from combining the best from each tradition. Stream of Living Water integrates Foster's work in seeking the most complete, most fulfilling path to spiritual renewal. He identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each tradition and offers practical ways to incorporate these traditions in our daily life -- offering his devoted readership a clear and tangible course to authentic Christian experience.

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Publisher: HarperOne, 1998
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