What I wanted to chat about is what I'm reading just now: Richard Foster's Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home ~ but that will have to wait while I address another issue.
I vaguely remembered seeing something very disparaging about Foster & thought I'd just check before writing about what I wanted to write about. See Foster has been accussed of New Ageism, Buddism, Psycho~babble & more & we shouldn't be putting a lethal cocktail like that into our minds now, should we? Well, should we?
The trouble is I've heard of Foster. I've read his works & while there are things I very much disagree with [he's ecummenical] his fruit I consider good. I had never heard of either Albert James Dager or W.B Howard. Having waded through several pages of vilification I decided I needed to know who these people are. Dager, conviently, is almost unknown. He does have books on the market & the only review from a reputable source I could find confirmed my sense that the man was unbalanced & slightly nutty. W.B Howard is a woman & the founder of Endtime Ministries. Eveything I could find of hers dates back to the early 2000s ~ & most of it hasn't come to pass; she argues, if I have understood her correctly, that the U.N has already instigated the One World Church. Um, the U.N mught like that but do you see Islam agreeing to that? Or the Christian Fundies? Both authors belong to the *Ranter's School* ~ & not only do I dislike ranters on principal I loath not being able to follow an argument through logically because every time it gets sticky the paragims get shifted. So I wrote them both of as not worth listening to. Their thoughts don't count.
However...it is worth noting everything we think we know has been filtered through our perceptions of the world & will have some sort of a slant. Everything! That is ok. So long as we acknowledge that fact & make allowance for the fact we could be wrong, just possibly, we should be able to navigate treacherous waters without shipwreck. I know I very much appreciate middle~eastern viewpoints on the bible, which is a middle~eastern book & written with a middle~eastern mind~set~ because they have so expanded my understanding of God's vision & the inter~relationships of the middle east countries.
That being said, Foster is a Quaker. He is a Christian Quaker. He has studied psychology. There are likely to be things not everyone agrees with but that should neither dismay nor deter us. He draws on a number of Christian traditions, which is only to be expected when discussing the prayer tradition within the wider Christian church. That many of these are Catholic should neither worry nor alarm us. If the protestant church abandoned certain aspects of prayer the Catholic church can hardly be faulted if the only examples are to be found within their tradition.
OK. Then there is the thorny problem of "Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."[1Cor.1:12] There is no need to squabble & create divisions ~ & the church has always been very good at that! Nope, hold everthing up to the light of the scriptures. Take the good that is to be found, toss away the rest & let your neighbour do the same because not everyone is going to have the same understanding. So even though Foster may not be of your tradition & worse, refer to traditions you disagree with, there is a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from his understanding of the practise of prayer.
As for the Buddism, New Ageism & all the rest ~ I can't say I've ever found any evidence for such accusations. It may be there. I read fast, I skim things that don't hold my interest & I tend to read thematically. That is not sequentially but by pulling together associated ideas. If you have never done this & don't know what I mean then you probably don't want to! I will be discussing Foster's book in my next post but please do as scripture instructs & discern everything through a scriptual lense. I have done my homework but that doesn't let you off the hook! ☺