• The Streams of Living Water

  • Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith
  • By: Richard Foster
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this landmark work, Foster examines the foundations of Christian experience, growth, and renewal found in six historical movements: contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational. Using profiles of biblical and modern characters who exemplify these traditions, he offers suggestions on how to integrate them into your daily life and challenges you to lead a more authentic Christian experience.
©2001 Richard Foster (P)2009 christianaudio.com

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Oh! That they may be one!

This work gives an overview of the various streams, the various Christian groups, and the contributions they made to Christian thought and practice. Indeed, it is an answer to the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus...Oh! that they may be one...you cannot listen without getting a new respect for groups that you might have regarded as inferior to your own. As you listen, you gain a greater understanding, love, kind regard, and respect for your brothers and sisters who are clothed in different cultural robes than you are.

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Written from an Evangelical perspective

Very basic understanding and not quite accurate in describing Catholic/ Orthodox Faith. Modern assumptions about a more ancient Christianity.

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Awakening to our call

We can spend a life time living disconnected from our Creator. Our worship becomes matter of routine based on the rituals of tradition. This book has awakened me to the need to explore more about who I am and how best to live a spiritual life expressed outwardly. Our divine purpose is within the streams of the living waters expressed by the author. Just finished reading the Gospel and this book has gave me the how to receive the teaching in my life

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great read

I was inspired and challenged by this book. I plan to listen to it over and over again.

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All the rage, yet not worth it at all

In a lot of seminaries and Christian undergraduate levels, this book is still talked about. I speak from experience on this. I also, after reading it twice, still cannot fathom why. The book describes "streams" of various traditions, all of which Jesus is the ultimate example of. He then attaches a biblical character to the streams, explaining how this stream was played out in their life, then expands on a more modern historical figure in Christian history to build on the example.

It's not a terrible idea. Most of my criticism is likely linked to the seminary experience of hearing about this book, and then being utterly underwhelmed. Many of the Biblical examples (St. Paul, for example) are linked subjectively to streams that highlight one aspect of their lives, ignoring others. Foster's choices for more modern examples are much better, but even then, his pseudo-autobiographical work is not very good.

Foster also misses what some would consider their definitive "stream." The "suffering stream" would fit perfectly, with a Jesus, biblical character, historical figure, and theological tradition grounding, but is nowhere to be found. And while I may not like the "prosperity gospel" and its stream, it is a stream and could be expounded on in all the same ways. While trying to expand and explain, the book only succeeds at narrowing the view of Christianity.

I'm not sure what this book is. It's not a devotional piece. It's not a historical piece. It's not a biographical piece. It's not really a commentary. It's a bizarre theological perspective that has somehow wormed its way into some Evangelical thought at the undergraduate and graduate level.

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A Lifetime of Challenge

There is not a page Foster has written that doesn't challenge and call one (me) further on in the working out of faith... or as CS Lewis says further up and further in. He leaves me with much to study and contemplate. Thank you Brother Richard!

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Streams

Each stream should be entrenched within our lives, perpetually flowing and deepening as God so desires, in "good" times and "bad."