‘Superficiality is the curse of our age,’ wrote Richard Foster more than thirty years ago. ‘The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.’ Fulfilling this need has become Foster’s life-long calling.
Richard J. Foster is one of the most significant spiritual writers of our day. The author of several bestselling books including Celebration of Discipline, Money Sex and Power, Prayer, Freedom of Simplicity and Life with God, he is the founder of Renovaré, a movement committed to spiritual renewal.
In this rich and personal interview you’ll hear Richard share his formative experiences, his spiritual highs and lows, and give some wonderful insights on living a ‘with-God’ life that results in deep joy.
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In the Interview
I had wanted to interview Richard Foster for a long time before this conversation took place (in the podcast I share the brilliant reason why I was first turned down!). When the opportunity came I was not disappointed. In this interview you’ll hear:
- How Richard came to faith
- How the loss of both parents in his teenage years affected him
- The fascinating story of how he became a writer
- Two ways to read the Bible for inner change
- His own experiences of spiritual dryness (one at a very surprising time)
- The one spiritual practice we need to recover now
- and more
There are so many gems in this conversation. Here are some of my favourites:
“Over and over throughout the Bible God says, ‘I am with you.’ God was with Abraham. God was with Noah. God was with Moses. But then the penetrating question that comes to us is, ‘Will you be with me?’”
“If we’re constantly filled with noise and hurrying crowds, of climb and push and shove, then we cannot actually be present with people because we’re so full of ourselves and our agendas. Solitude is what helps us deal with that.”
“I went to pastor a little church that would’ve ranked as a marginal failure on the ecclesiastical score boards. But Dallas Willard was in that congregation. When I taught in that church, folks might come. But when Dallas taught, they brought their tape recorders.”
“A spiritual discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.”
“One of the things we must learn how to do is suffer together.”
“Character transformation is what reading scripture is all about. We’re not trying to amass information; we’re not trying to gather arguments to prove that everybody else is wrong; we’re coming to be formed spirituality.”
“We live in a world that tries to convince us that God is not good but, I tell you, live with God over a period of time and you’ll see his absolute goodness.”
“God is out to do us good all the time.”
You may find the following resources helpful:
- Book: Open House Volume 2 has the full interview transcript
- Book: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
- Book: Life with God by Richard Foster
- Book: Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster
- Book: Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster
- My next book Resilient has been announced. Here’s some info!
- I’ll be speaking at the Woman to Woman conference in London on October 24, with Sarah Bessey and other great folks. Details are here
- I’ll be giving the closing keynote at the brilliant Premier Digital Conference in London on November 14. Join us