The book, "The Sacred Journey", is beautiful .It describes me at my very core. I am the human being that has to walk when things go wrong. I yearn to be barefoot in my journey, because it truly is about the experience. The essence of the book is this: As humans, we pilgrimage. Some religions have a one a year big trip where you have to literally walk for hundreds or thousands of miles to reach a sacred building. As humans, we stride, or walk, wherever we go. It is not about arriving at our place, but it is about the journey. When it comes to our spiritual lives, it is no different. It is about choosing to walk with Jesus Christ daily, and live obediently to him alone.
The journey of walking daily with Jesus Christ changes people. It changes you, and it changes me. If you are not walking with Jesus Christ daily, I pray you would. It is scary. It is challenging. But God yearns to be with us, and He is transforming us from the inside out. He is the only one who has the power to "create me in a new heart" (Psalm 51:10) Rev 21:5 is where the Lord is on His throne, and says "I make all things new!"
God has such awesome power to transform us the minute we become "saved", but instead we are left to the journey. Why? This is, because it is the experience of the lifetime. We have the opportunity to grow closer to the Lord, as we forsake the old self and turn to Christ daily! We are never left on the journey alone. We have Jesus Christ to walk with us, as we journey and we have the support of fellow believers who are on different stages of the same life-long journey.
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This book in the Ancient Practices Series, seeks to convince its audience that pilgrimage, in a very real and physical sense, is something every Christian should attempt to do. Drawing from history and different religions, the author shows the reader why man was made to wander. For the Christian, wandering in the sense of a physical journey, to walk with and discover God in one's life both spiritually and physically, should be at the very heart of a Christian's belief. While I disagreed with many of the more liberal spiritual views of this author, I did enjoy the author's relating of the history of pilgrimages to be very interesting and entertaining.
In his attempts to show why a Christian should go on a physical pilgrimage the author often used examples of people who were not Christian which left me with a confused sense as to which religion he was actually trying to promote. I did appreciate the author's linking the words of the Bible, its sense of nomadic life and movement to the present, and why Christians should continue to have that same sense of being strangers in this world, not just settled in to mundane lives with no expectations for a future and hope of life with Christ for all eternity. While I don't necessarily agree with the premise that everyone should attempt to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands utterly destitute and seeking out the Lord in the company of strangers, I do see how being completely dependent only on God both physically and spiritually should truly be the heart of the journey a Christian takes in this life. While not my favorite book to read, I would possibly recommend this book (with a caution to more conservative christians) for its challenging talking points and historical recaps.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÂ®.com <http://BookSneezeÂ®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
I read The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster. The subject of pilgrimage is one that I know very little about, so I was eager to read this book. However, I had a hard time getting into this book. Not sure if it was the subject matter or what. Also there were several statements that made me question, but I guess that's what this book was designed to do: Make one think for themselves.
If you are interested in this subject, you might enjoy this book, but if the thought of pilgrimage doesn't excite you, I doubt you'll enjoy this book.
This book on pilgrimage is not just a book by an academic that has studied pilgrimages, it is by a man who has practiced the discipline of pilgrimages for what seems to be decades. The author shares authentic insight as he talks about his highs and lows on his journeys. <br /><br />The book addresses the issue of pilgrimage in three movements. The first portion of the book lobbies persuasively for the importance of pilgrimage for spiritual development. It also makes the argument that God made humanity to be nomadic. The author clearly goes through Biblical history to make the point that "God is on the side of the wanderer". The next portion of the book tends to the practical aspects of going on a pilgrim journey. In this section, Foster attempts to answer some basic questions about how to go on a pilgrimages.The final portion of the book attempts to answer some criticism of pilgrimages. <br /><br />I loved this book. The Sacred Journey makes a persuasive argument for all believers to go on some sort of pilgrimage if they are physically able, which was exciting for me.What I loved more than the concept of going on the pilgrimage was the Biblical foundation for being a wanderer. <br /><br />I have always felt like more of a wanderer. Having moved several times as a child, and moved around a little bit in my adult years, I have at times felt judged for not staying in the same place. I have also felt the loss of being "from somewhere" and feeling like I could "go home". Yet, Foster makes the argument for being nomadic, and how this was true of Jesus, Abraham, Moses, and others. I felt comforted.<br /><br />I recommend you read this book. Be ready to be challenged. Be ready to see things from a different point of view. *This book was given to me in exchange for reviewing it by booksneeze.com and Thomas Nelson publishers.
Charles Foster's contention is clear: God has a 'clear bias for the wanderer' and accordingly the Christian life should consist of real pilgrimages, or metaphorical ones for those for whom its not possible. Starting from Abraham's nomadic wanderings and ending with Jesus' journey, Foster attempts to demonstrate that all Christ-followers should have the mind of a nomad-disciple.I was originally alienated by Foster's anti-institutional, anti-authoritarian approach. Whilst valid at times, he fails to acknowledge that God has and does work through institutional structures and even set them up! (cf. Titus 1:5) He mocks the "traditional" definition of the gospel offered by the conservative evangelicals at his dinner party, and instead proposes that the Gospels don't contain 'anything analogous to conversion', rather, people just follow Jesus, and gradually become transformed by doing so. But what about the woman in John 8 who has been accused of adultery? Jesus doesn't tell her to 'follow me', rather he commands that she 'leave her life of sin'.As Foster moves from the theological underpinnings of pilgrimage to the practical benefits of going, he becomes more convincing. Visiting the places Jesus walked, living simply and freely away from modern 'necessities' help build faith and grow in intimacy with God and other travellers. I also appreciated Foster's rejection of gnosticism prevalent in many churches today. This means that flesh and blood experiences like pilgrimages do affect our faith.In all, I appreciated Foster's lyrical, relaxed approach to writing. I also was thankful of his measured approach, whilst not sharing his openness towards relics, I liked that he didn't immediately condemn the Catholic church, and how he acknowledged a variety of Christian experiences but still noted the need to a personal commitment to Christ.