Category Archives: Richard Foster

My reading-list for 2020 (and onward)


I went to the list that I published last year about the books I want to read and decided to make a new list instead of updating it. Since many of the books on this list is Afrikaans, I will add a translation in block-brackets after each Afrikaans title (or at least a rough translation of the title).

A. Being Christian

  1. Kry styl – Jesus s’n [Get style – Jesus’s style] by Stephan Joubert
  2. Ek wil nie die kaarte hê nie: hoe om te oorleef sonder om te verstaan [I don’t want the cards: how to survive without understanding] by Roelf Opperman
  3. The way of the warrior by Erwin Raphael McManus
  4. Celebration of discipline by Richard Foster
  5. Omdraai wegdraai: Koffiegesprekke oor geloof en geloofsvorming [Turning around, turning away: Coffee-chats about believing and formation of believings] by Willem Pretorius
  6. Om (op)nuut te glo: Wees weer verwondered oor God [To believe (a-new): Be amazed by God again] by Ockert Meyer
  7. The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus
  8. Where is God when it hurts? by Philip Yancey
  9. Ek kies steeds die kerk: Stories, stryd en standpunte oor die kerk en die wêreld [I still choose the church: Stories, contest/conflict and viewpoints about the church and the world] by Neels Jackson
  10. Op soek na Jesus: ‘n Verslaggewer se verrassende perspektief op die lewe van Jesus [Looking for Jesus: A journalist’s surprising perspective on the life of Jesus] by Neels Jackson
  11. Faith to faith by Dan Scott
  12. Verstaan die gawes van die Gees [Understanding the gifts of the Spirit] by Henry & Mel Blackaby
  13. Adventures in saying yes by Carl Medearis
  14. Love wins by Rob Bell
  15. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
  16. The renewed mind: A unique guide to becoming the kind of person you really want to be by Larry Christenson

B. Being Church

  1. Vaste Rots op wie ek bou [Fixed Rock on whom I build] by Cas Vos & Dirk Human (editors) – This is a book filled with articles, which I broke down to be smaller “books”.
  2. No joke: A Rabbi, an Imam and a Preacher do the unthinkable… and become friends for life by Jim Henderson and Cara Highsmith
  3. Everything must change by Brian D. McLaren
  4. Jim & Casper go to church by Jim Henderson & Matt Casper
  5. Soul survivor by Philip Yancey
  6. Deep & wide by Andy Stanley
  7. Die dinamika van ‘n Christelike geloofsgemeenskap [The dinamics of a Christian community] by Coenie Burger
  8. Jesus, save me from your followers by Dave Gilpin
  9. Ek behoort aan die kerk [I belong to the church] by Thom S. Rainer
  10. Speaking Christian by Marcus J. Borg
  11. Building a church of small groups by Bill Donahue & Russ Robinson
  12. Leading the congregation: Caring for yourself while serving the people by Norman Shawchuck & Roger Heuser

C. Youth ministry

  1. Purpose Driven youth ministry deur Doug Fields
  2. Doktor Andries Gous praat met die jeug [Doctor Andries Gous speaks to the youth] by Andries Gous
  3. Sustainable youth ministry by Mark DeVries
  4. A new kind of youth ministry by Chris Folmsbee
  5. Your first two years in youth ministry: A personal and practical guide to starting right by Doug Fields
  6. Belydenis van geloof Gespreksgids: Verrassende veelkleurige fasette van die geloof – Bely en lewe [Confessions of faith Studybook: Surprisingly colourful facets of the faith – Confess and live] by Johannes Mouton

D. Relationships

  1. Life changing relationships by James T. Meeks
  2. How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie

E. Prayer

  1. Prayer partners by Elmer L. Towns
  2. Prayer by Philip Yancey
  3. Prayer by Richard Foster
  4. Knowing God through fasting by Elmer L. Towns

F. Star Trek

  1. Star Trek: Destiny #3 – Lost souls by David Mack
  2. Star Trek: Destiny #4 – A singular destiny by Keith R.A. DeCandido
  3. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Book Episode adaptations: Star Trek 1 – Dagger of the mind by James Blish
  4. Star Trek: The next generation #002 – The peacekeepers by Gene DeWeese
  5. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Book Episode adaptations: Star Trek 1 – The unreal McCoy by James Blish
  6. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #002 – The siege by Peter David
  7. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Book Episode adaptations: Star Trek 1 – The naked time by James Blish
  8. Star Trek: Voyager #003 – Ragnarok by Nathan Archer
  9. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Book Episode adaptations: Star Trek 1 – Miri by James Blish
  10. Star Trek: Enterprise – By the book by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  11. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Book Episode adaptations: Star Trek 1 – The conscience of the king by James Blish
  12. Star Trek: Discovery – Drastic measures by Dayton Ward
  13. Star Trek: Short stories – Sparrow Books short stories #4 – The secret empire by William Rotsler
  14. Star Trek: New Frontier #02 – Into the void by Peter David
  15. Star Trek: Short stories – Sparrow Books short stories #5 – Intelligence test by William Rotsler
  16. Star Trek: Stargazer – Gauntlet by Michael Jan Friedman
  17. Star Trek: Short stories – Sparrow Books short stories #6 – To wherever by William Rotsler
  18. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Books Episode adaptations: Star Trek 2 – Space seed by Carey Wilber
  19. Star Trek: Movies – The wrath of Khan by Vonda N. McIntyre
  20. Star Trek: The Original Series #084 – Assignment: Eternity by Greg Cox

G. Homosexuality

  1. Homoseksualiteit en sewe klassieke Bybeltekste: Antigay of misverstaan? [Homosexuality and seven classical Bible texts: Antigay or misunderstand?] by Ernest van Eck & Ralph Barnard
  2. Riglyne vir ‘n verantwoordelike Nuwe Testamentiese verstaan in die homoseksualiteitsdebat, Deel 1: ‘n Komplekse saak [Guidelines for a responsible New Testament understanding in the homosexuality-debate, Part 1: A complex case] by Gert J. Steyn
  3. Riglyne vir ‘n verantwoordelike Nuwe Testamentiese verstaan in die homoseksualiteitsdebat, Deel 2: Nuwe Testamentiese tekste [Guidelines for a responsible New Testament understanding in the homosexuality-debate, Part 2: New Testament texts] by Gert J. Steyn

H. Biographies and autobiographies

  1. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  2. Captain in the cauldron by John Smith
  3. Not without honour: Tribute to Beyers Naudé by Peter Randall
  4. I write what I like by Steve Biko
  5. Conversations with my sons and daughters by Mamphela Ramphele
  6. ‘ … and nothing but the truth’? by Deon Gouws
  7. Politically incorrect by Peter de Villiers
  8. 7 men by Eric Metaxas
  9. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
  10. The President’s Keepers: Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison by Jacques Pauw
  11. My mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And the angry white man by Kevin Powell

I. Fiction

  1. Jake’s choice by Jim & Rachel Britts

J. Health

  1. Beseer in Sy diens: God se genesing vir gelowiges wat seergekry het [Injured in His service: God’s healing for believers who got hurt] by Hennie Maartens
  2. Personality type and religious leadership by Roy M. Oswald & Otto Kroeger
  3. In die donker put [In the dark pit] by Johan Smith
  4. Competent to counsel by Jay E. Adams
  5. Depressie – simptome, oorsake en genesing [Depression – simptoms, causes and healing] by Frank Minirth & Paul Meier
  6. Healing for damaged emotions by David A. Seamands
  7. The Detox Manual by Suzannah Olivier
  8. Eat right for your type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo

K. Articles in the book “Vaste Rots op wie ek bou” [“Solid Rock on whom I build”] by Cas Vos and Dirk Human (editors)

  1. Proloog [Prologue] by Cas Vos
  2. Die reformatoriese kerklike landskap [The reformatory church-landscape] by Hennie Pieterse
  3. Die uitdagings van Bybellees [The challenges in reading the Bible] by Dirk Human
  4. “Op hierdie rots sal Ek my kerk bou” [“On this rock I will build my church”] by Conrad Wethmar
  5. Die lang pad van Skrifuitleg [The long road to understanding the Scriptures] by Jurie le Roux
  6. Tekste en hulle kontekste [Texts and their contexts] by Jurie le Roux
  7. Mitologiese taal: verduistering of verheldering? – Jona as illustrasie [Mithological language: eclipsing or brightening?] by Dirk Human
  8. Metaforiese vonke en mitologiese taal [Metaphorical sparks and mythological language] by Ernest van Eck
  9. Messiaanse tekste in die Ou Testament [Messianic texts in the Old Testament] by Alphonso Groenewald
  10. Messiaanse tekste in die Nuwe Testament [Messianic texts in the New Testament] by Gert Steyn
  11. Feesgedig [Festival poem] by NP van Wyk Louw
  12. Die maagdelike verwekking [The virgin begetting] by Ernest van Eck
  13. Kruiseling [Crossling {I’m not really sure how to translate this any better}] by Cas Vos
  14. Oor ons gekruisigde God, nakend en vol bloed About our crucified God, naked and full of blood] by Johanna de Lange
  15. “Christ of the burnt men” by Sheila Cussons
  16. Jesus-afdruk [Jesus-print] by I.L. de Villiers
  17. Versoening in die Ou Testament [Reconciliation in the Old Testament] by Pieter Venter
  18. Versoening in die Evangelies [Reconciliation in the gospels] by Hermie van Zyl
  19. Paulus en die Korintiërs: wantroue en versoening [Paul and the Corinthians: distrust and reconciliation] by Kobus Myburgh
  20. Opstanding [Resurrection] by Cas Vos
  21. Opstanding in die sinoptiese Evangelies [Resurrection in the synoptic Gospels] by Gert Steyn
  22. Opstanding in die Evangelie volgens Johannes [Resurrection in the Gospel according to John] by Dirk van der Merwe
  23. Opstanding by Paulus [Resurrection according to Paul] by Kobus Kok
  24. Opstanding in die apokaliptiek by Pieter Venter
  25. Opstanding en simboliek in die vroeg-Christelike kuns [Resurrection and symbolism in the early-Christian art] by Hennie Stander
  26. Redelike geloof? [Reasonable belief?] by Gerrit Brand
  27. Lex orandi, lex credenda [This is a Latin phrase: The law of prayer is the law of belief] by Vincent Brümmer
  28. “Soms mis ek God” … oor die kortsluiting tussen geloof en ervaring [“Sometimes I miss God” … regarding the short circuit between belief and experience] by Daniël Veldsman
  29. Oor hoe geloof my dra [Regarding how belief carries me] by Elna Mouton
  30. Epiloog [Epilogue] by Cas Vos

L. Politics

  1. How not to get shot. And other advice from white people by D.L. Hughley
  2. Afrikanerskap in Bybelse lig [Being Afrikaner in a Biblical light] by Prof J.L. Helberg
  3. Geestelike weerbaarheid teen ideologiese terrorisme [Spiritual resilience against ideological terrorism] by S.G. Roos

M. Romans-study

  1. Romans by David L. Bartlett
  2. Paul’s letter to the Romans: A commentary by Arland J. Hultgren
  3. Romans & the people of God by Sven K. Soderlund & N.T. Wright
  4. The letter to the Romans: Salvation as justice and the deconstruction of law by Herman C. Waetjen
  5. Reading Romans in context: Paul and second Temple Judaism by Ben C. Blackwell, John K. Goodrich & Jason Maston (editors)
  6. Paul’s new perspective: Charting a Soteriological journey by Garwood P. Anderson
  7. The Political Theology of Paul by Jacob Taubes

N. Hobbies

  1. The world encyclopedia of coffee: The definitive guide to coffee, from simple bean to irresistible beverage by Mary Banks, Christine McFadden and Catherine Atkinson
  2. Bonsai gardening secrets by Eric A. Olsen
  3. Advancing your photography: A handbook for creating photo’s you’ll love by Marc Silber
  4. Wit, Afrikaanse man [White, Afrikaans man] by Neels Jackson

My reading list for 2018 and onward


At the beginning of this year (2018), I compiled a list of books I want to read throughout the year (and in 2019 and beyond).

I recently handed in my mini-dissertation, and it was approved to be sent to the external examiner. Thus, as far as my hopes go, I am finished with my studies. For now at least. And that gives me more time to read.

This list is long. This is because I really want to try and make a type of short-list of books I want to read over the next 12-36 months. There might be books that get onto the list and becomes a bigger priority to read that the titles that are currently on the list. I will update this list regularly. I will also update the list of books that I read regularly, as I finish some of the books. I will try to keep that list current by year. I will also try to keep this specific list to 45-50 titles.

I will post the books I have read in 2018 soon (maybe even later today).

A. Churchlife and Christianity

  1. Everything must change by Brian D. McLaren
  2. Celebration of discipline by Richard Foster
  3. The Barbarian Way by Erwin Raphael McManus
  4. Jim & Casper go to church by Jim Henderson & Matt Casper
  5. Where is God when it hurts? by Philip Yancey
  6. Soul survivor by Philip Yancey
  7. Deep & wide by Andy Stanley
  8. Life changing relationships by James T. Meeks
  9. Die dinamika van ‘n Christelike geloofsgemeenskap by Coenie Burger [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be something like “The dinamics of a Christian (religious) community”]
  10. Jesus, save me from your followers by Dave Gilpin
  11. Ek behoort aan die kerk by Thom S. Rainer [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “I belong to the church”]
  12. Speaking Christian by Marcus J. Borg
  13. Faith to faith by Dan Scott
  14. Verstaan die gawes van die Gees by Henry & Mel Blackaby [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “Understand the gifts of the Spirit”]
  15. Adventures in saying yes by Carl Medearis
  16. Love wins by Rob Bell
  17. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson
  18. Doktor Andries Gous praat met die jeug by Andries Gous [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “Doctor Andries Gous speaking to the youth”]

B. Youth ministry

  1. Purpose Driven youth ministry by Doug Fields

C. Prayer

  1. Prayer partners by Elmer L. Towns
  2. Prayer by Philip Yancey
  3. Knowing God through fasting by Elmer L. Towns

D. Star Trek

  1. Star Trek: The next generation – Ghost ship by Diane Carey
  2. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The siege by Peter David
  3. Star Trek: Voyager – The escape by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  4. Star Trek: New Frontier – Into the void by Peter David
  5. Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars, Volume 2 – The rise and fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 2 by Greg Cox
  6. Star Trek: The original series – Bantam Books Episode adaptations: Star Trek 2 – Space seed by Carey Wilber
  7. Star Trek: The original series – To reign in hell: The exile of Khan Noonien Singh by Greg Cox
  8. Star Trek: Movies – The wrath of Khan by Vonda N. McIntyre
  9. Star Trek: The Original Series – Assignment: Eternity by Greg Cox
  10. Star Trek: The aliens are coming! by Dayton Ward
  11. Star Trek: Destiny – Gods of night by David Mack

E. Biographies and autobiographies

  1. Captain in the cauldron by John Smit
  2. Not without honour: Tribute to Beyers Naudé by Peter Randall
  3. I write what I like by Steve Biko
  4. Conversations with my sons and daughters by Mamphela Ramphele
  5. ‘ … and nothing but the truth’? by Deon Gouws
  6. Politically incorrect by Peter de Villiers
  7. 7 men by Eric Metaxas
  8. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
  9. The President’s Keepers: Those keeping Zuma in power and out of prison by Jacques Pauw
  10. My mother. Barack Obama. Donald Trump. And the angry white man by Kevin Powell

F. Fiction

  1. Jake’s choice by Jim & Rachel Britts

G. Health

  1. Personality type and religious leadership by Roy M. Oswald & Otto Kroeger
  2. In die donker put by Johan Smith [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “In the dark pit”]
  3. Deperessie – simptome, oorsake en genesing by Frank Minirth & Paul Meier [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “Depression – simptoms, causes and healing”]
  4. Healing for damaged emotions by David A. Seamands
  5. The Detox Manual by Suzannah Olivier
  6. Eat right for your type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo

H. Politics

  1. How not to get shot. And other advice from white people by D.L. Hughley
  2. Rising out of hatred: The awakening of a former white Nationalist by Eli Saslow
  3. Afrikanerskap in Bybelse lig by Prof J.L. Helberg [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be something like “Being an Afrikaner in light of the Bible”]
  4. Geestelike weerbaarheid teen ideologiese terrorisme by S.G. Roos [This is an Afrikaans book; in English, the title would be “Spiritual defensibility/resiliency against ideological terrorism”]

“Celebration of Discipline”: Inleiding – Vat ‘n Breuk


In die eerste tien inskrywings oor Richard Foster se boek oor Geestelike Dissiplines, het ek gekyk na sy inleiding aangaande die Dissiplines. Ek wil graag ‘n breuk maak van die boek vir twee weke. Hierdie breuk is nie sodat ek kan rus, of iets soos dit, nie. Daar is twee hoofredes vir hierdie breuk.

Eerstens, ek wil jou uitdaag om weer deur alles te lees. Dink weer na oor alles, en gee kritiek daarop, indien jy wil. Onthou, kritiek is nie outomaties is negatief nie. Dink na oor wat jy lees, en dink oor hoe dit jou kan help om geestelik te groei. Jy is welkom om enigiets wat verband hou met die onderwerp by te voeg. Dalk het jy al êrens anders gelees oor die Geestelike Dissiplines. Voeg die inligting wat jy het by. Op hierdie wyse kan ons almal groei en bymekaar leer.

Tweedens, ek wil jou uitdaag om te begin dink oor die volgende deel van die boek: Meditasie. In baie Christelike kringe is dit ‘n baie kontroversiële onderwerp. Dink na oor jou voorbehoude (“reservations”) en vrae wat jy daaroor het. Hou dit gereed vir bespreking sodra ons die reeks hervat.

“Celebration of Discipline”: Introduction – Taking a Break


In the first ten entries about Richard Foster’s book about Spiritual Disciplines, I looked at his overview on the Disciplines. I want to take a break from the book for two weeks. This is not so that I can rest, or anything like that. There are two main reasons for this break.

Firstly, I want to challenge you to read through everything again. Think about everything again, and really criticize it, if you want to. Remember, criticism doesn’t automatically mean something negative. Think about what you read, and think about how it could help you to grow spiritually. Feel free to add anything that is related to the topic. Maybe you have read about the Spiritual Disciplines somewhere else. Add the information that you have. In this way, we can all grow and learn from each other.

Secondly, I want to challenge you to start to think about the next part of the book: Meditation. It is a controversial topic among some Christian circles. Think about your own reservations and questions about it. Keep it ready for discussion, when we continue the series.

“Celebration of Discipline”: Inleiding – Verdere leeswerk


Foster gee ‘n paar voorstelle vir verder leeswerk. Ek sal die name van die boeke wat hy noem gee. In die “comments” blok, sal ek ‘n paar ander verwysings en boeke wat ek raak geloop/gelees het, byvoeg.

  1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost of Discipleship
  2. Jean-Pierre de Caussade – The Sacrament of the Present Movement
  3. Thomas R. Kelly – A Testament of Devotion
  4. Thomas à Kempis – The Imitation of Christ
  5. William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  6. Brother Lawrence – The Practice of the Presence of God
  7. St Ignatius of Loyola – The Spiritual Exercises
  8. Eugene Peterson – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
  9. Lawrence O. Richards – A Practical Theology of Spirituality
  10. Francis de Sales – An Introduction to the Devout Life
  11. Agnes Sanford – The Healing Light
  12. A.W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God

“Celebration of Discipline”: Introduction – Further reading material…


Foster gives some suggestions for further reading. I will give the names of the books that he mentions. In the “comments” block, I will add a view references and books that I have seen/read.

  1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer – The Cost of Discipleship
  2. Jean-Pierre de Caussade – The Sacrament of the Present Movement
  3. Thomas R. Kelly – A Testament of Devotion
  4. Thomas à Kempis – The Imitation of Christ
  5. William Law – A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  6. Brother Lawrence – The Practice of the Presence of God
  7. St Ignatius of Loyola – The Spiritual Exercises
  8. Eugene Peterson – A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
  9. Lawrence O. Richards – A Practical Theology of Spirituality
  10. Francis de Sales – An Introduction to the Devout Life
  11. Agnes Sanford – The Healing Light
  12. A.W. Tozer – The Pursuit of God

“Celebration of Discipline”: Inleiding – Vrae vir jou eie studie


Foster gee enkele vrae vir verder studie rakende die Geestelike Dissiplines. Met hierdie inskrywing, gaan ek die vrae gee, en dalk van my eie vrae byvoeg. Maak tyd, en werk biddend daardeur.

  1. Ek skryf dat “Superficiality is the curse of our age” (Oppervlakkigheid is die “curse” van ons tyd). Indien jy saamstem, maak ‘n lys van ‘n paar “indicators” in ons kultuur wat hierdie feit illustreer. Indien jy nie saamstem nie, maak ‘n lys van “indicators” wat jou oortuiging illustreer. Is daar invloede in ons tyd wat Christene meer oppervlakkig sal maak as Christene in ander tye?
  2. Ek verwys na die Dissiplines in hierdie boek as “klassiek” Watter rede gee ek om dit te sê? Kritiseer my “rationale” – dit is, stem jy saam of stem jy nie saam nie?
  3. Wat is die doel van Geestelike Dissiplines?
  4. Wat is die primêre vereiste om op hierdie reis te gaan? Is daar dinge wat jou sal weerhou om hierdie vereiste n ate kom?
  5. Oorweeg Heini Arnold se stelling: “we want to make it quite clear that we cannot free and purify our own heart by exerting our own will.” Is hierdie stelling waar van jou eie belewenis?
  6. Ek toon aan dat diegene wat die wêreld van die Geestelike Dissiplines wil “explore”, twee moeilikhede teëkom. Wat is die “praktiese moeilikheid”? Kan jy dit in jou eie lewe sien? Wat is die “filosofiese moeilikheid”? Hoe kan dit in jou eie lewe gesien word?
  7. Wat bedoel ek met “gedissiplineerde genade”? Wat beteken die konsep “goedkoop genade”? Watter een van hierdie twee tipes genade ken jy die beste?
  8. Indien jy sou loop op die “narrow ledge” waarvan ek praat [dit is die “middeweg” tussen menselike pogings vir geregtigheid aan die een kant en die afwesigheid van menslike pogings tot geregtigheid aan die ander kant], aan watter kant sal jy waarskynlik die meeste van die kere afval? Verduidelik hoe dit in jou lewe gesien kan word.
  9. Soos wat jy die boek lees, dink oor wat jy dink die gevaarlikste dinge is oor die boek. (In ander woorde: Watter elemente (van die boek) kan mense weglei van God af, eerder as na Hom toe?)
  10. Wat het jou die meeste getref van hierdie eerste hoofstuk [Ek het die hoofstuk bespreek in die eerste sewe inskrywings]? Was daar areas waarmee jy nie saamgestem het nie, or waarmee jy nie kon identifiseer nie, of miskien gesukkel het om te verstaan?

“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?

“Celebration of Discipline”: Inleiding – Slaggate rakende Geestelike Dissiplines


Daar is enkele slaggate wat Foster gee aangaande Geestelike Dissiplines (hy noem sewe). (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die eerste slaggat wat hy noem, is die versoeking om die Geestelike Dissiplines te verander in wette. Wettisisme kan die hart en siel uit die pad saam met God baie vinnig versmoor. Die rigiede persoon is nie die gedissiplineerde persoon nie. Rigiditeit is ‘n sekere teken dat die Dissiplines verkeerd verstaan word. Die gedissiplineerde persoon kan doen wat gedoen moet word wanneer dit gedoen moet word. Hy kan lewe in die toepaslikheid van die oomblik. Hy kan maklik reageer op die beweging van die Gees. Dissiplines is persepsies in die lewe; hulle is nie regulasies om die lewe te beheer nie. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die tweede slaggat wat hy noem, is die mislukking om die sosiale implikasies van die Geestelike Dissiplines te verstaan. Die Dissiplines is nie ‘n stel vroom oefeninge vir die toegewydes nie. Dit is ‘n oproep tot ‘n gehoorsame lewe in ‘n sonde-belaaide wêreld. Hulle roep ons op om vrede te maak in ‘n wêreld wat obsessief is met oorlog, om te pleit vir geregtigheid in ‘n wêreld wat geteister is met ongelykheid, en om saam met die armes en diegene wie van hul regte beroof is te staan in ‘n wêreld wat sy naaste vergeet het. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die derde slaggat wat hy noem, is om die Dissiplines in sigself te sien as deugsame. Die Dissiplines self het nie deugde nie, dit besit geen geregtigheid nie, en bevat nie geregtigheid in sigself nie. Die Fariseërs het nie hierdie waarheid besef nie. Die disciplines plaas ons slegs voor God – dit maak ons nie regverdig voor God nie. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die vierdie slaggat wat hy noem, is om op die Dissiplines te fokus, en nie op Jesus nie. Die doel van die Dissiplines is om die “greater good” (daar is nie regtig ‘n goeie term in Afrikaans nie, so ek sal hierdie term in Engels behou) te ontdek. Hierdie “greater good” is Jesus Christus. Hy moet die fokus van ons aandag bly, asook die uiteinde van al ons “quests”. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die vyfde slaggat wat hy noem, is die neiging om een Dissipline te wil isoleer en verhoog, ten koste van die ander. Ons moet besef dat die Dissiplines soos die Vrug van die Gees is – hulle is ‘n enkele realitiet. Soms raak ons geïnteresseerd met een van die Dissiplines (soos vas). Ons begin dink aan slegs daardie Dissipline, selfs tot op die punt dat ons dink dat dit die hele prentjie vorm. Die Geestelike Dissiplines is ‘n organiese eenheid en ‘n enkele pad; ons moet dit onthou. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die sesde slaggat wat hy noem, is om te dink dat ‘n sekere lys van Dissiplines wat iemand gee, die finale hoeveelheid bevat. Daar is waarskynlik geen finale lys van Geestelike Dissiplines wat deur enigiemand gegee kan word nie. Niemand kan die Gees van God vasvang of beperk nie. Christus is selfs groter as enige enkele persoon se poging om Sy werke met Sy kinders te beskryf. Hy kan nie beperk word tot enige (een of ‘n paar) stelsel(s) nie, maak nie saak hoe waardig daardie stelsel mag lyk nie. (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

Die sewende slaggat wat hy noem, is om die Dissiplines te bestudeer sonder om dit te beleef. Dit is veilig om die Dissiplines te bespreek in ‘n abstakte manier en om hulle aard en geldigheid te argumenteer en te debatteer. Om hulle te beleef en te ervaar, bedreig die kern van ons wese. Tog is daar geen ander manier nie. Ons moet in hierdie lewe met die Gees inbeweeg – met gebed, stadig, en dalk selfs met baie vrese en vrae! (Foster, 1989 (Eerste uitgawe: 1980))

“Celebration of Discipline”: Introduction – Pitfalls regarding Spiritual Disciplines


There are a few pitfalls that Foster lists with regards to the Spiritual Disciples (he lists seven). (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The first pitfall that he mention, is the temptation to turn the Spiritual Disciplines into laws. Legalism can choke the heart and soul out of walking with God very quickly. The rigid person is not the disciplined person. Rigidity is a sure sign that the Disciplines have been understood wrong. The disciplined person can do what needs to be done whenever it needs to be done. He can live in the appropriateness of the hour. He can easily respond to the moving of the Spirit. Disciplines are perceptions into life; they are not regulations to control life. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The second pitfall that he mention, is the failure to understand the social implications of the Spiritual Disciplines. The Disciplines are not a set of pious exercises for the devout. It is a trumpet call to obedient living in a sin-racked world. They call us to wage peace in a world that is obsessed with war, to plead for justice in a world that is plagued with inequity and to stand with the poor and disinherited in a world that has forgotten its neighbour. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The third pitfall that he mention, is to view the Disciplines as virtuous in themselves. The Disciplines have no virtue, it possess no righteousness and it contain no rectitude in and of themselves. The Pharisees did not realize this important truth. The Disciplines only place us before God – they themselves don’t make us righteous before Him. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The fourth pitfall that he mention, is to centre on the Disciplines and not on Jesus. The aim of the Disciplines is to realize a “greater good”. This “greater good” is Jesus Christ. He must remain the focus of our attention, and the end of (all of) our quests. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The fifth pitfall that he mention, is the tendency to want to isolate and elevate one Discipline to the exclusion or neglect of the others. We have to realize that the Disciplines are like the Fruit of the Spirit – they comprise a single reality. Sometimes we become intrigued with one of the Disciplines (like fasting). We start to think of that single Discipline, even to the point of thinking that it forms the whole picture. The Spiritual Disciplines are an organic unity and a single path; we have to remember that. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The sixth pitfall that he mention, is to think that a certain list of Disciplines that someone gives is the final number that exists. There may not be an exhaustive list of Spiritual Disciplines given by any one person. No one can confine the Spirit of God. Christ is greater than any one persons’ attempt to describe His workings with His children. He can’t be confined to any (one or few) system(s), no matter how worthy that system seems. (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))

The seventh pitfall that he mention, is to study the Disciplines without actually experiencing them. It is quite safe to discuss the Disciplines in an abstract way and to argue and debate their nature or validity. But to actually step out and experience them, is threatening us to the core of our being. Yet, there is no other way. We need to move into this life with the Spirit – prayerfully, slowly, and perhaps even with many fears and questions! (Foster, 1989 (First edition: 1980))