cover image Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue

Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue

Richard J. Foster. IVP, $25 (192p) ISBN 978-1-5140-0212-4

Foster (A Year with God), founder of the Christian educational nonprofit Renovaré, touts the merits of humility in this meditative outing. Foster decided to “learn about humility by study and experience” and shares the musings he recorded in his journal over the course of a year following the Lakota Moon calendar, chosen because of its “close connection to the earth.” The wide-ranging entries reflect the author’s wandering curiosity, with considerations of the 12 Lakota virtues (of which humility is the first) appearing alongside an account of a snowy day and a chronicle of humility’s rise from “pejorative” usage in the Hellenistic world to its exaltation by Jesus. Foster also ponders works by Benedict of Nursia, Julian of Norwich, and Andrew Murray, in addition to unpacking scripture, such as when he examines nine biblical translations of Paul proclaiming his humility before God. The author’s discursive writing features its share of wisdom (“We need to experience humility’s... strength to undermine pride and ultimately free us from it”), but some readers may be frustrated by the rambling presentation, as well as the frequent and inconclusive tangents (“Can flowers be humble? I don’t know, I’m just wondering”). Still, these earnest reflections capture a sharp mind at work. (Dec.)