Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review- A Sacred Journey Charles Foster

I was excited to receive this, I was disappointed early on in the read. I agree with the author about the need for us to take our spiritual life and journey on it, to make a pilgrimage, and that this is not accomplished by sitting on the couch.
Foster tries too hard to prove his point and in doing so takes Bible verses out of context, or stretches applications from some past what is intended. I was also concerned with the vast amount of referencing he made to sources outside of a biblical mindset.

I had some red flags pop up with some of the ways he phrased things, in particular, with reference to person and acts of Jesus.
On page 25 he quotes,”Jesus fascination often led to Jesus following...”and the context is all about just journey with Jesus, but he is very unclear in that chapter about the need to have a Kingdom transference, a point, in the journey, where the person makes that decision and becomes a child of God. The whole “just walk with Jesus and it is all good” mentality unsettles me in light of Scripture clearly saying salvation is a gift you need to receive and that you must transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light and there is a definitive time that happens. He also makes and quick and positive reference to the Toronto Airport “spiritual revival” which again brought up red flags. Even for balanced charismatics that event did not cast a positive light at all, spiritually, on them. A third strike(that I will comment on) came later in the book(page 181), in talking about the Temple and peoples fascination with focussing on tangibles as part of their spiritual journey, says about Jesus,”...he was the temple and that soon he would be the only temple. Whether or not he was right, Romans razed the temple in 70AD...” the part “whether or not he was right”...of course he was right, He is Jesus...there were a number of little red flags through the book. I am used to reading with “radar on”, we shouldn’t be passive about anything we let into our mind, but I found the frequency of flags unsettling and really took away from the other stuff he was right about.

You can tell he is passionate about the need for the Christian church to explore this missing spiritual discipline, and I applaud him for that, but I feel he was also short on providing good directions in how one is to do this, ways to explore it without leaving everyone and everything and going on a “walk about”. Yes, each journey will have unique aspects, but there ARE some clear principles to help guide folks on this journey, but this author missed so many of them that this was not a sacred journey, it was a concerning one that took me AWAY from journeying meaningfully with Jesus, to having to filter waaay to much stuff to try to find a few good, solid, or practical points to walk with from this book. This was a sad journey, but I will keep looking for a solid book that speaks to this important principle.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Guess I won't bother with this one. thanks son - I always trust your reviews.