cover image Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

Richard J. Foster, . . HarperOne, $24.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-06-083697-9

Foster (Celebration of Discipline ) has built a career exploring foundational spiritual practices like fasting, prayer, study and worship. Here he zeroes in on Bible study to help Christians grow in their faith. Although Bible study is nothing if not a well-trod topic, Foster breathes new life into it by drawing on ancient resources: he is especially interested in the age-old practice of lectio divina, sacred reading that requires the attention of both mind and heart. Foster cautions several times that lectio divina is neither a magical solution to problems nor an approach that “bypasses the living God by treating the Scriptures as a sort of Ouija board.” He warns that the Bible is also not an owner's manual for successful living or even moral living; we shouldn't read it merely to serve our own needs. Rather, lectio divina offers an invitation to enter the Bible as a story (or a complex group of stories) and enter its river of life. As usual, Foster's work is not for those readers who are seeking quick answers or a behavioral checklist of what the Bible says they should do. Rather, it is a deep reflective guide to spiritual rumination and growth. (Apr. 22)