Read Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster Free Online
Book Title: Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World|
The author of the book: Richard J. Foster
Date of issue: August 30th 2005
ISBN 13: 9780060759711
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 982 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.8
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As far as spiritual disciplines books go, this is one of the better ones. Foster is (usually) wise enough to know that enforcing a lot of these disciplines and practices as a "law" is legalism. And he doesn't do that. His thesis is simple (no pun intended): simplicity allows us to live in freedom to God (Foster 3). Simplicity exposes our numerous "false selves."
How then should one live in simplicity? Here is where it gets tricky. Foster knows he cannot "make" any of his suggestions a law for the Christian life, otherwise he is going beyond the gospel. (Some of the earlier SoJo guys did just that, but to their credit they later retracted their Galatianism). But he does give practical suggestions and many of them are quite good.
1. Great section on prayer and fasting.
2. Great section on the False Self (80-81).
3. He is aware that a lot of, say, Ron Sider's earlier proposals probably won't pan out and so he recommends a more balanced approach.c
1. Like many connected with Sojourner's Magazine, he accidentally makes the mistake of using big
corporate government to fight big corporate government (181). He advocates multinational institutions to fight multinational institutions.
2. He praises the IMF as a possible rescue organization for the poor. This is ironic since many social justice people criticize the IMF's loan policy as crippling the developing world. So which is it?
3. There are problems with Adam Smith (174), but no one accused Marx and Engels of lifting 2 billion of the world's population out of poverty.
4. He makes the astute observation that spiritual principalities are behind many unjust social structures (164-165). Further, he is correct that these principalities can empower evil multinational corporations. The problem is he paints himself into a corner: he really has no way of fighting these multinational principality structures outside of appealing to something like the UN. This cure is worse than the disease. Further, he says exousiai in Romans 13 means spiritual principalities. That reading really strains the rest of the text, those his larger point holds.
I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. He is much more balanced than Sider et al. He writes with the wisdom of experience.
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