Editor's note:

Forty years ago, tra­di­tion­al ways of grow­ing in grace that had nur­tured believ­ers for almost two thou­sand years had large­ly fall­en by the way­side of west­ern Chris­tian­i­ty. Yet, many had a strong desire to find prac­tices to enter ever more ful­ly and deeply into Christ­like­ness. Richard Fos­ter penned Cel­e­bra­tion of Dis­ci­pline as a response to this increas­ing need.

—Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Celebration of Discipline

Still, today, some forty years lat­er, we can thank God for steps for­ward. Many no longer find spir­i­tu­al dis­ci­pline” to be neg­a­tive and off-putting. Vast num­bers of ordi­nary folk have tak­en into their own lives Dis­ci­plines of the spir­i­tu­al life that reflect the over­all life of Jesus him­self. And, they have indeed dis­cov­ered these Spir­i­tu­al Dis­ci­plines to be the means of God’s grace for the for­ma­tion and trans­for­ma­tion of heart and mind and spir­it and body and soul. They have actu­al­ly made progress for­ward in the spir­i­tu­al life. What a won­der! What a grace! I thank God.

Now, let’s con­sid­er togeth­er whether Cel­e­bra­tion of Dis­ci­pliné is rel­e­vant to our cul­tur­al con­text today. So much has changed in the last four decades. Per­haps most impor­tant is the explo­sion of infor­ma­tion tech­nolo­gies in our day. Nev­er­the­less, and this is the cru­cial point, noth­ing in these amaz­ing tech­nolo­gies touch­es the sub­stance of the human per­son­al­i­ty. Our moral defi­cien­cies are as glar­ing as ever … per­haps even more so, as a con­sum­ing pride grows stronger with every advance we make. Deep inside we still long for free­dom from anger and bit­ter­ness and hos­til­i­ty. None of our gad­gets are able to over­come the deep, destruc­tive habit struc­tures that reside in our souls. No tech­nol­o­gy is able to pro­duce the char­ac­ter trans­for­ma­tion we so des­per­ate­ly need. The gnaw­ing hunger for the spir­i­tu­al real­i­ties of love and joy and peace remains.

Fos­ter, Richard. Cel­e­bra­tion of Dis­ci­pline (40th Anniver­sary Edi­tion). Harper­One, 2018.

Starting Soon: The 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion not just infor­ma­tion. Runs Sep­tem­ber 2020 through May 2021.

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