Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Richard Foster's Inner Attitudes of Simplicity and Interview

In the "Simplicity" chapter of Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline," he states that:
"Freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes.
- To receive what we have as a gift from God
- To know that it is God's business, and not ours, to care for what we have
- To have our goods available to others."

He warns against legalism and extremism. Lest we dismiss these as impractical and unrealistic, he explains beautifully that each is tempered with common sense, and discernment - which are, afterall, some of God's good gifts!

Here is a good interview in which Foster explains more of his understanding of Biblical Simplicity.


  1. This interview was very interesting. As I've been re-reading Matthew 19 this week, I find myself having to avoid trying to determine what the scripture means, instead of trying to determine what it means FOR ME at this time. I could make intellectual arguments about why it does or doesn't mean one thing or another, but that just gives me a way to avoid asking--what does God want me to get from this scripture. I liked this quote from the Foster interview:

    You see, it's important to become aware of the idolaries in our lives. There's an old Christian tradition of examen. One of the questions of examen asks, How is it with your soul? To answer that question, you have to have gone through some self-scrutiny. That's what it take to spot idols in our lives "scrutiny" but few people take the time to do this.

  2. Tracy,
    Your words make me feel joyful inside! I am really encouraged that you have been engaging the Scripture, and that you are seeking to hear it speak to YOU. As a seminarian/academic, I am constantly tempted ( and too often succumb!) to read the Gospels in order to find answers - rather than letting the words of Jesus teach me new questions to ask! Thanks for the witness and encouragement you are to me as you continue to make this experiment in simplicity. In many ways, in my opinion, the most fundamental discipline of simplicity is simply listening to the Word of God. I hope that the Spirit continues to lead you in the way you are being called to go, and would love to hear more about your readings at some point! See you Sunday, grace and peace,