Saturday, August 16, 2008

Streams of Living Water

Okay, so I read Streams of Living Water by Richard J. Foster. Again. (The first time was in college.) I'm super lazy and do not wish to read it again. So, here's the synopsis.

Foster identifies six dimensions of the Christian walk. I find this book genuinely helpful in that it helps the reader to recognize the areas which may have been neglected.

Add these six things to your "to do" list. It'll keep you busy for the rest of your life.
  1. The Contemplative Tradition: Discovering the Prayer-Filled Life

    Christianity is all about a personal relationship with Jesus. How can we have a relationship with someone we never talk with?

    "Pray continually." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

  2. The Holiness Tradition: Discovering the Virtuous Life

    "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

  3. The Charismatic Tradition: Discovering the Spirit-Empowered Life

    Foster defines the Charismatic Tradition as "A life immersed in, empowered by, and under the direction of the Spirit of God." Basically, it is using our gifts to build one another up.

    1 Corintians 12:
    "Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." (verse 7)
    "All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines." (verse 11)
    "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." (verse 27)

  4. The Social Justice Tradition: Discovering the Compassionate Life

    I'd recommend the entire book of Amos on this one. Throughout, God (through Amos) tells the Israelites that he despises their injustice towards the weaker members of society. He tells them that their religion--their worship, their sacrifices, everything--is worthless to him when they neglect justice.

    "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (Amos 5:24)

  5. The Evangelical Tradition: Discovering the Word-Centered Life

    The Evangelical stream is not only about spreading the Word, it is also about studying the word to develop our understanding of God (which will in turn, help us to spread the Word), as modeled by Paul.

    "As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead." (Acts 17:2-3)

  6. The Incarnational Tradition: Discovering the Sacramental Life

    This "stream" is all about living every moment for God; it's being Jesus to the world.

    "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)

    "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Colossians 3:23-24)

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