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Longing For God [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   364
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 2009
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830835148  
EAN  9780830835140  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This completely redone edition of the landmark book that changed the way the church sees the world includes a new Introduction by James W. Sire, that places Shaeffer's seminal work in the context of the intellectual turbulence of the early 21st century.

Publishers Description
2010 Christianity Today Book Award winner 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner Think of the moment you last experienced God. Do you know him that closely in this moment? Truly experiencing the love of God gives us a taste of his goodness and his love for us, but often those moments are fleeting. We get distracted by life. Our awareness and understanding fade while our longing to experience him that way again increases. In these pages you can begin to fill that longing by developing your capacity to receive and respond to God's love. Spiritual formation is the process through which one's inner self is opened to the work of the Holy Spirit, who forms us into the image of the Son. Here Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe, both experienced leaders in spiritual formation, introduce you to people from the past who have known God deeply. Each person helps you to grasp one of the seven primary paths to intimacy with God that have been developed throughout Christian history. Chapters are divided into sections, each segment surrounding a key figure and concluding with a reflection and prayer. This rich resource can guide you into the same deep intimacy with God, opening you to the Spirit's work of transformation.

Buy Longing For God by Richard J. Foster & Gayle D. Beebe from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780830835140 & 0830835148

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More About Richard J. Foster & Gayle D. Beebe

Richard J. Foster Richard James Foster is a Christian theologian and author in the Quaker tradition. His writings speak to a broad Christian audience. Born in 1942, in New Mexico, Foster has been a professor at Friends University and pastor of Evangelical Friends churches. Foster resides in Denver, Colorado. He earned his undergraduate degree at George Fox University in Oregon and his Doctor of Pastoral Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary,and received an honorary doctorate from Houghton College.

Foster is best known for his 1978 book Celebration of Discipline, which examines the inward disciplines of prayer, fasting, meditation, and study in the Christian life, the outward disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service, and the corporate disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration. It has sold over one million copies. It was named by Christianity Today as one of the top ten books of the twentieth century. A work described as a sequel to Celebration is Foster's 1985 Money, Sex & Power. and associated study guide.

He also published Freedom of Simplicity in 1981, which further explores the discipline of simple, intentional living, Freedom of Simplicity. Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home (1992, ISBN 0-06-062846-4), which explores 21 different types of Christian prayer, edited Devotional Classics (1993, ISBN 0-06-066966-7), a devotional guide featuring Christian wisdom through the ages, and Streams of Living Water (2001, ISBN 0-06-062822-7), which examines the place of the different spiritual traditions - Contemplative: The Prayer-Filled Life; Holiness: The Virtuous Life ; Charismatic: The Spirit-Empowered Life; Social Justice: The Compassionate Life; Evangelical: The Word-Centered Life; and Incarnational: The Sacramental Life - in Christianity. Foster (along with several others) also wrote the devotional Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible (now published as The Life with God Study Bible). Two editions of this NRSV-based study Bible exist, one with the apocryphal/deuterocanonical texts and one without.

In 2008, he co-authored with Gayle Beebe, the book Longing for God.

SPANISH BIO: Richard J. Foster (D.Th.P., Fuller Theological Seminary) es el fundador de Renovare en Denver, Colorado. Es autor de numerosos libros, entre ellos Celebracion de la disciplina: Hacia una vida espiritual mas profunda, que ha vendido mas de dos millones de copias en todo el mundo, La Oracion: Verdadero refugio del alma, La libertad de la simplicidad: encontrar la armonia en un mundo complejo y coautor (con Gayle Beebe) de El anhelo de Dios: Siete Senderos de la devocion cristiana.

Richard J. Foster currently resides in Denver, in the state of Colorado. Richard J. Foster was born in 1951.

Richard J. Foster has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Plough Spiritual Guides: Backpack Classics
  2. Renovare Resources

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent overview of spiritual formation  May 1, 2010
This book is an excellent overview of spiritual formation over the centuries. Certainly one of the best books I have read on this subject. Both deep and devotional, each chapter takes one deeper into the reality of spiritual formation as seen through the eyes of different famous Christians and their writings and practices.
For those who like the spiritual classics  Feb 16, 2010
Foster and Beebe identify seven paths in the Christian life--seven stages in the Christian's spiritual journey. For each path they explore the life and writings of three to four great spiritual writers to define and explore the path of growth. Beebe explores the facts of each writer's life and thought and Foster follows with his own take on the importance and how the thought of the author informs our life today and a concludes with a prayer.

I think this material would be very heavy for the average reader. However, if one has interest and background in the great spiritual writers, this book is a very useful way of looking at how the lives and thought of our spiritual forebears is important for our lives today. I would have appreciated the inclusion of more than two women out of the 26 historical figures studied. However, Appendix Two: "Christian Women and Spirituality" and Appendix Three: "The Contribution of the Eastern Orthodox Church", were an excellent addition.
matters of the heart  Aug 13, 2009
I loved both Spiritual Classics and Devotional Classics (Foster & Smith), so this offering was a pleasant journey back to many of those authors, but with the added benefit of helping me draw closer to God . . . to continue the renovation of heart work begun with the help of Foster, Willard and others previously. To be sure, there are authors with whom my heart rings truer than others, (Pascal and Teresa of Avila to name just a couple), but "it's all good" as popular youth vernacular would say. I have suggested the book to our Spiritual Formation Team at church for future classes and for individuals seeking the "higher" communion with God (our mysterious Trinitarian Savior). I am about to read it all over again, this time more slowly and with pen and highlighter in hand. Much in this book will no doubt trouble and perturb church leaders and the church, as it should. Christ followers, of which this book gives the stories of many, have been troubling and perturbing the church and its leaders since He ascended and sent the Spirit to reveal all things. Hopefully, the challenges and conviction contained within this book will prompt the "work" of spiritual renewal/formation . . . renovation of the heart (to take from Willard)? Hopefully, one day, the church . . . Christians and Christianity . . . will reflect Christ more visibly in this world. Make me more like you Lord, make me more like you.

Part Devotional, Part Lesson in Church History, and Part Challenge for Deeper Spiritual Growth  Jun 10, 2009
When it comes to growing in-depth in one's spiritual life, Richard Foster is one of the first authors to whom you should turn. Founder of Renovare in Denver, Colorado and author of many books --- including the classic CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE: The Path to Spiritual Growth --- he has long been known for challenging followers of Jesus to reflect more of God in every area of their life.

In his latest book, Foster teams up with Gayle D. Beebe, president of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, on a project that has taken three years to develop and write. LONGING FOR GOD: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion, is well worth the wait. The book is based on the idea that throughout history, both individuals and societies have taken different paths to become alive to God. Once these spiritual awakenings occur, a hunger for God's habitual presence often lingers. So how do we encounter God's love in a way that stirs up the spiritual longings inside of us? Foster and Beebe believe there is no cookie cutter answer. Rather, our own capacity to receive and respond to God's love needs to be cultivated. We must be intentional about Christian spiritual formation.

They observe: "Today there is a growing awareness, reflected in an important body of literature, that we have destroyed the main centers of meaning and value to such an extent that we are left with few resources to cultivate and sustain our common life. At the same time a significant chorus of writers is seeking to recover the rich spiritual resources that once guided us morally, sustained us spiritually and satisfied our deep longing for God."

LONGING FOR GOD explores the seven primary paths to God that have developed throughout Christian history: right ordering of our love for God, journeying with God, recovering knowledge of God lost in the Fall, intimacy with Jesus, right ordering of our experiences with God, action and contemplation, as well as divine ascent. Each of the seven sections highlights three or four spiritual writers who illuminate this path of the Christian life. For example, in right ordering of our love for God, the lives and teachings of Origen of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Blaise Pascal are all explored. While the authors uncover the principles of each person's journey and teachings, they do it in a quick but thoughtful way. As a result, the material throughout the book is not only accessible but also enjoyable.

Along the way readers will come across Christian classics that they may not have heard about, or aspects of writers and thinkers of which they were unaware. Some of the familiar names, including Francis of Assisi, John Wesley and Teresa of Avila, are still given a fresh look and provide rich insights. As a result, the book is part devotional, part lesson in church history, and part challenge for deeper spiritual growth. Reading the pages is a rich reminder that we are not alone in our journeys of spiritual formation --- God is with us, and many have gone before us.

--- Reviewed by Margaret Oines
You Don't Have to Go it Alone  Jun 10, 2009
Among some Christians, there is little, if any, attention paid to church history or those who have gone before. In some cases, the writings and thoughts of past luminaries may be disregarded or frowned-on because of their religious tradition, or because some of their teachings are considered controversial or unorthodox. Our tendency to write people off that we disagree with is tragic. We end up losing out on whatever we might have learned from them and may diminish their significance in the eyes of others. I'm not suggesting that we embrace false doctrine. When we encounter teaching that may not be correct, one noted Bible teacher of the past likened it to eating fish: "eat the flesh and spit out the bones." This is an approach that I favor, one that requires us to become mature, able to distinguish between right and wrong.

This is the broadminded way that Richard Foster and Gayle Beebe take in Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion. They serve-up the best from twenty-six different historical figures who in some way have contributed to our understanding of experiencing God.

The book is divided into seven major sections. These consist of the seven primary paths to God that have been recognized throughout Christian history. The authors summarize them as:

The spiritual life as the right ordering of our love for God
The spiritual life as journey
The spiritual life as the recovery of knowledge of God lost in the Fall
The spiritual life as intimacy with Jesus Christ
The spiritual life as the right ordering of our experiences of God
The spiritual life as action and contemplation
The spiritual life as divine ascent

The three or four individuals selected for each section were chosen "because of the way their witness to Christ has endured over time and guided people through the ages."

The mature perspective, the ability to place individuals and events in their historical context, the expert synthesis of each individual's thought and major writings, plus the simple but profound practical applications at the end of each chapter, combine to make this an outstanding resource. One slight drawback might be that you don't get much of each person's own words, but it would be hard to adequately represent their teachings through quotations in such short chapters. Some of these original writings can also be difficult to read. But if that's what you want, each chapter gives you the titles of major writings. The book serves as a fine introduction to many of the brightest lights in church history.

This is easy to read and the chapters are short enough that you can read one a day as a devotional. The content is deep enough to provide much to think about. Richard Foster, who writes the "Reflecting and Responding" sections in each chapter, wisely chooses to keep his applications simple. Some of the thought is complex and as helpful as it may be, it's important not to get overwhelmed or to try and copy the experience of someone else. We never want to lose the simplicity of personal devotion to Christ. Fortunately, the authors are of a similar mind in that they keep Christ at the center. One way to approach the book is to be like the Bible character Ruth in the fields of Boaz. Anyone can glean from the wealth of material presented.

Though I've read about a number of individuals covered in this book, I count it a joy when I can learn about people that are not as familiar. One such person for me was George Hebert, an English poet and pastor. His appreciation for beauty and language are endearing and an uncommon reminder of the role that they can play in our life with God.

Is humility something we can work at? Wouldn't that generate pride in our ability to achieve it? If you are tempted to think that there is nothing that can be done to foster humility, you may want to read Benedict of Nursia. He "leads us through twelve degrees of humility that usher us into the presence of God." One of the most interesting is "to speak gently, using reasonable words and humane tones. This emphasizes the way human speech can lift up or tear down."

If you have ever read much of A. W. Tozer, regarded by some as an evangelical mystic, you may have come across repeated references to a book that was influential in his life and the lives of many others. The Cloud of Unknowing by an anonymous author is completely summarized here, so that I now know what it's all about. The "cloud of unknowing" represents all that we don't know about God. Our mind can make us aware of our lack, but this classic emphasizes that it's only though our love for God that we begin to penetrate that cloud.

Don't be tempted to think that this book might be too mystical, or one that advocates more of an ascetic lifestyle. I was pleasantly surprised throughout by the authors' practical emphasis. They and their subjects continually remind us of our need for community and combining devotion with action. Love for God and service to others is a theme echoed frequently.

Some of us may have started out in the Christian life thinking that we are on our own when it comes to spiritual growth. This books shows that many others have traversed that path, and there are helpful things we can learn from their experience.

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