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049 Life With God: The Richard Foster Interview

‘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 PowerPrayer, 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

Quotable Foster

There are so many gems in this conversation. Here are some of my favourites:

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“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?’”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“A spiritual discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.”

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“One of the things we must learn how to do is suffer together.”

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“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.”

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“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.”

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“God is out to do us good all the time.”

Your Response

What do you think? Leave a comment below now or call me using the ‘Send Voicemail’ button on the right. Please also rate and share this podcast on iTunes to help others discover it. Thanks!

Episode Resources

You may find the following resources helpful:

Announcements

  1. My next book Resilient has been announced. Here’s some info!
  2. 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
  3. I’ll be giving the closing keynote at the brilliant Premier Digital Conference in London on November 14. Join us

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  • Matthew Pullar

    Hi Sheridan,

    I haven’t been able to record a voicemail message for some technological reason, but I just wanted to say I’ve recently discovered your podcast and am greatly appreciating it. I have a long commute to work at the moment, through some fairly frustrating traffic, and your programs are just the right mix of things that I’m after. Not to mention the amazing guests – I’ve so appreciated discovering your old interview with Eugene Peterson, and today listened to the Richard Foster interview while stuck in traffic. Both were wonderful reminders of the need to slow down and dwell deep in God, something I’m trying to explore in some poetry I’m writing at the moment and which your program has helped me with so well. Thanks! Blessings from Melbourne,

    Matt.

    • Ginny Rawstorne

      So true we need these deep and committed folk to balance goals we chase

    • I’m so glad, Matthew. Thanks for taking the time to write your encouraging words. Enjoy!

  • Marie Atkinson

    Wow! What a blessing. We are studying The Celebration of Discipline at our church on Wednesday evenings. Discussing “solitude” tonight. This podcast will be very valuable to the group some time in the future.