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Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World [Paperback]

By Richard J. Foster (Author)
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Item description for Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster...

By combining a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures with everyday life, this informative and inspirational guide provides advice on how to change your life by embracing prayer, solitude, and the ancient Christian Disciplines. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Publishers Description
Written in his warm, accessible style, this updated edition of Richard Foster's classic work on simplicity explores this discipline throughtout Christian history and the Bible as well as examining simplicity in practice. Foster provides a way to rethink our priorities and to seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness. He shows us how to live in harmony with the rich complexity of life while stressing the relation of simplicity to prayer, solitude, and all the Christian disciplines. With a new introduction and revisions throughout.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Christian Advance - 09/01/2005 page 66

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.24" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 13, 2013
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0060759712  
ISBN13  9780060759711  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 17, 2017 11:07.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Chambersberg, PA.
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More About Richard J. Foster

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 customers think about Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World?

I agree - not a very helpful worldview  Mar 9, 2006
I agree with the previous reviewer.

When they re-released this book, they should have updated it. It makes the author looks silly.

But more importantly, it raises questions about this entire Fundamentalist worldview. This movement is constantly pronouncing so-called timeless values, visions, a prophecies, etc., then they change their minds every few years.

In 1981, the apocalypse was upon us. Then Clinton was the anti-christ, then Saddam...what's next?

In 1981, these same people condemned women preaching & working because the Bible was so clearly against it. Now, these same people are hiring female preachers and writing books to help women balance working while having children. Did the Bible really change that much in 25 years?

In 1961, these same people were against people of color in their churches, for multiple so-called "Biblical" reasons. And as you all know, we must always interpret the Bible literally. In fact, it took a Supreme Court intervention in 1986 to get the fundamentalists & southern baptists to open their schools up to blacks.

Now, because they see the money rolling in, they are building coalitions with African-American preachers like TD Jakes and Eddie Long.

And, of course, the fundamentalist church will never, ever, ever, ever...not in a million years...ordain gays and lesbians. That is, until they change their minds at their next board meeting.

So what changes? The Bible? Morality? Does God change his mind this much? Or is it the opportunistic charlatans of the fundamentalist movement?

Trying to follow the "gospel truth", Biblical inerrancy, and the timeless & unchanging laws of the Bible (that is, however they are interpreted this week) is making my head spin.
A great disappointment  Jan 23, 2004
This book was written in 1981 and, unfortunately, it hasn't aged well. It is loaded with unfulfilled sky-is-falling, doom-and-gloom predictions that look pretty silly in retrospect. I have great respect for Foster's other books, but this one is in desperate need of a rewrite -- with a lot less agitprop and a lot more spirituality.
The Christian case against me-ism and more-ism.  Apr 14, 2002
Foster wonders if he is the right person to write this book, and indeed who would be. (It seems clear that he was exactly the right person.) Our culture is at war with simplicity. Material neediness is almost demanded of us. We need new stuff -- techno-toys, fashions, cars, amazing new whatnot. Says Foster: "Stress the quality of life above the quantity of life. Refuse to be seduced into defining life in terms of having rather than being. Cultivate solitude and silence. Learn to 'listen to God's speech in his wondrous, terrible, gentle, loving, all-embracing silence'... Value music, art, books, significant travel. If you are too busy to read, you are too busy... Learn the wonderful truth that to increase the quality of life means to decrease material desire..." Foster leads the reader to understand that Christian simplicity is not merely a reinvention of self focus, a stripped-down version of self indulgence. It is both carefully inward-looking and thoughtfully outward-looking, always seeking to need only One. This is not the Christianity that the skeptic will find easy to assail, but rather the type of human concerns illuminated by Christ: "A million hogs in Indiana have superior housing to a billion humans on this planet."
Must-Reading for Christians in the Western World!  Apr 2, 2002
I began reading this book with high expectations regarding the insights the author would have to offer. I was certainly not disappointed. Foster divides his work into two parts. In part one, he lays a foundation for a life of simplicity based upon the Old and New Testaments. He also draws upon church history to illustrate the advantages of not being distracted by worldly possessions and pursuits.

In part two, Foster puts the concept of simplicity into action. He speaks of inward simplicity which aligns our lives properly with God. He then refers to outward simplicity, which relates us in a fitting manner to persons around us. He closes his book by referring to corporate simplicity in the church and in the world. Sadly, his work would have been better had he omitted these last two chapters. In them, Foster's liberal economic and political views rise to the surface, strongly overshadowing the Biblical argument he has so skillfully presented earlier.

Still, in an age characterized by materialism within and without the church, this book gives a fresh new perspective on focusing on things eternal that cannot be bought or sold. I recommend it highly.

More Challenging Than I Thought  Feb 27, 2002
This was a good book on voluntary simplicity. I've read enough of such books, but this one offered more of a biblical perspective than I've seen in a lot. The first couple of chapters are really great, as they offered some great insights about how God views wealth and our responsibility to others. It's good information, too, because in our society, we are mostly concerned about how we can get more money to take better care of SELF, not others. Other countries are a lot more community oriented.
In later chapters, though, the book shifts gears a bit and shows us some things we can do to embrace simplicity outwardly and inwardly. Because of these chapters, I don't think that this is exactly the book for simplicity beginners. It gets pretty challenging, and not that this is a bad thing, but it can be a little intimidating and feel a bit "burdensome". The wise reader, however, will know what to apply, and what is fitting for his or her life, and the direction God is leading him or her in. It is a good book, though, and I would recommend it.

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