Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith

by Richard J. Foster

Hardcover, 1998




The author of the bestselling celebration of discipline explores the great traditions of Christian spirituality and their role in spiritual renewal today. In this landmark work, Foster examines the "streams of living water" -- the six dimensions of faith and practice that define Christian tradition. He lifts up the enduring character of each tradition and shows how a variety of practices, from individual study and retreat to disciplines of service and community, are all essential elements of growth and maturity. Foster examines the unique contributions of each of these traditions and offers as examples the inspiring stories of faithful people whose lives defined each of these "streams."


HarperOne (1998), 448 pages

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(87 ratings; 4)

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LibraryThing member roydknight
One of the best books to give a comprehesive understanding of traditional Chistian backgrounds. Our spiritual heritage is rich and diverse and Foster gives more than adequate treatment of each one.
LibraryThing member alaskabookworm
An excellent examination of the differing faith-traditions of the Christian church throughout history, and their inherent value to each other. For each faith-tradition, Foster examines three people who fit each tradition: one from history, one from Biblical history, and one from contemporary
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history. Foster suggests that the time is coming when these various tradtions will once again reconverge after hundreds of years of separation, and revitalize and refuel the future of the church.
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LibraryThing member debs4jc
Foster goes through different Christian movements (i.e. Social justice, evangelical, charismatic), telling the story of key people from each one. He also goes over methods for following in these traditions, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each. An excellent overview, but be sure to
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allow for some time to read it, it requires some thought and brainpower on the part of the reader to really absorb what he is saying.
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LibraryThing member NGood
It took me over a year to complete this book (I set it down for a while in the middle) so it is hard to give a review of the material, as I do not necessarily remember details from the beginning.
However, I sincerely appreciated Richard's attempt to summarize the great traditions of the Christian
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faith. He did this by telling the story of three notable figures within that tradition: one from Scripture, one "historical", and one "modern". He also, then, explains the tradition, what we can learn from it and apply to our lives, and the positives and negatives that come along with it.
I found the book to be extremely exciting and convicting at times, as well as informative to the point of dryness at other times. However, due to the nature of the book both should be expected and both were appreciated and well done in their own rite.
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LibraryThing member tillywern
An excellent overview of the ways which people have approached living out their Christian faith. Each section has examples of people who exemplify that particular tradition.
LibraryThing member MarthaHuntley
Richard Foster is one of my favorite writers on spiritual matters. I read this book in small snippets daily at devotion time, loved it and was greatly blessed by it. Foster examines six streams of Christianity - the Contemplative, Holiness, Charismatic, Social Justice, Evangelical, and
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Incarnational Traditions. He defines each, gives a historical example, a Biblical example, and a contemporary example - an embodied example - of each, and discusses the strengths and dangers of each tradition, and how they interact with each other. He writes beautifully. He has written a beautiful, significant, and inspiring book once again. He has also included a lot of auxiliary material in two appendixes (with Linda Graybeal) on critical turning points in church history, other notable figures and important movements in church history, and includes many endnotes for a more academic approach to church tradition and history..This is a book well worth reading for information, inspiration, and spiritual formation. Highly recommended.
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