The "real" saints, being the New Testament apostles warn Christians to be on guard against wolves in sheep's clothing, and this is exactly what this book is. At first glance while you're reading this it may seem like strong Christian teaching and it quite quickly sucks you into believing what the author has to say.
My wife and I who have been Christians for over 10 years read only one chapter together and found it to be steeped in newage, quasi-mystical ancient teachings with very few actual scripture references. Any I did find seemed to be very out of context. The worst part is that this book was required reading material for a respected Bible college in our area when my wife was a student there. It is very interesting to go on the website for Renovaire (Richard Foster's new "church" group) and find that they are "Drawing from the example and practices of Jesus and of the historical Church" ANY time you see Jesus AND, big red flags should go up in your mind. Jesus said clearly I am the only way to God, "No one comes to the Father accept through me." Judging by the fact that the historical church has a very bad record of following what Jesus taught, I am not sure we should be drawing from their "example". The only example we should drawing from is that of the divine, holy and perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ!!!
This book is full of mysticism and pagan spirituality. The author is Quaker, he founded Renovare', and also wrote a Renovare' study Bible which includes the apocryphal writings. I highly recommend that anyone considering this book (or any other for that matter) do a thorogh study of the author before purchasing. The practices encouraged in this book have been leading believers to "another Jesus" for centuries. This is the same old "New Age" concepts, just wrapped in different packaging.
Sorry to see some other review stating horribly untrue things about this book. I have cherished this book for a number of years now. I have read and re-read it several times and everytime I re-read it the message comes through even more timely & relevent. I have recommended it to hundreds of people I know. I have quoted it from my pulpit many times, I have it so marked up that I am buying a new copy. Anyone who finds fault with this book is nothing more than a bone-headed legalist and knows nothing of the JOY OF THE LORD BEING OUR STRENGTH. Anyone who truly desires a deeper, more satisfying Christian life, needs to read this book over and over and over again. This book is my ALL TIME FAVORITE!!! God Bless Richard Foster for having the courage and spiritual insight to share with us this gem!
I was really looking forward to reading this book in order to make my life more discplined. The outline showed a lot of promise, and it received approval from Dallas Willard (whom I admire). However, I found out quickly that this book was quite dissapointing for a number of reasons:
1) Scripture is not taught at any depth, whatsoever. In fact, Foster takes verses out of context quite often in making his points. There is one chapter where he gives a barrage of Scripture, leaving the reader wondering what the point of it all is. His interaction with Scripture is foretelling of his ability to teach it.
2) Foster says some strange things throughout the book_and I do mean strange! This made me think that not only is he a bad teacher but that he is quite odd.
3) Some of the chapters have really nothing to offer in the way of Biblical support. The material presented is simply common sense with some quotes.
4) Foster is well-read on the spiritual discipline gurus. However, he seems everything they say as innerant, and advocates some things that I find quite strange and disturbing.
Overall, the book is a major bust. His formulation of spiritual disciplines is not built on thorough Biblical exegesis or Scripture. He states in the preface how he never thought that he would be an author. This book shows that he is quite a poor author. In my opinion, he would serve the Christian community best by putting his pen down. There is no doubt that Christians need to be disciplined in their lives. If you want to find out exactly what to be disciplined about and where it is taught in Scripture, you need to look somewhere other than this book.