“Celebration of Discipline”: Introduction – Questions for your own study


Foster gives some questions for study purposes with regards to the Spiritual Disciplines. With this instalment, I will give the questions, and maybe add some of my own. Make time, and work prayerfully through them.

  1. I say that “Superficiality is the curse of our age”. If you tend to agree list several indicators in our culture that would illustrate this fact. If you tend to disagree list several indicators in society that would illustrate your conviction. Are there influences in our day that would cause Christian people to be more superficial than Christian folk of other centuries?
  2. I refer to the Disciplines discussed in this book as “classical”. What reason do I give for saying this? Critique my rationale – that is, do you agree or disagree?
  3. What is the purpose of Spiritual Disciplines?
  4. What is a primary requirement to embarking on this journey? Are there things that would keep you from fulfilling this requirement?
  5. Consider carefully Heini Arnold’s statement, “we want to make it quite clear that we cannot free and purify our own heart by exerting our own will.” Does that ring true in your own experience?
  6. I indicate that those who desire to explore the world of the Spiritual Disciplines are faced with two difficulties. What is the “practical difficulty”? Can this be seen in your own life? What is the “philosophical difficulty”? How can this be seen in your own life?
  7. What do I mean by “disciplined grace”? What does the concept of “cheap grace” mean? With which of these two types of grace are you most familiar?
  8. If you were walking on the narrow ledge of which I speak [that is the “middle path” between human strivings for righteousness on the one side and absence of human strivings for righteousness on the other side], which side would you fall from most often? Explain how this can be seen in your own life.
  9. As you read this book, consider what you feel are the most dangerous things about the book. (That is, what elements might lead people away from God, rather than to God?)
  10. What struck you most forcefully in this chapter [I discussed this first chapter during the previous seven instalments]? Were there areas you disagreed with, or were unable to identify with, or perhaps found difficult to understand?
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