Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: The Sacred Journey

I recently decided to join up with BookSneeze and review some books...for fun.  Unfortunately, my first choice has fallen rather flat.  When I chose to review The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster I had in mind something along the lines of Jonathan Edwards great work on the Christian Pilgrim.  Instead, I found a borderline blasphemous work on how all roads lead to heaven. 
I was very frustrated with the seeming inability of the author to understand the spiritual journey...or make any such applications.  But after consideration, I think that he himself is still searching for the Truth and has not found it.  The hook line for this book asks if Christians have rejected pilgrimage.  I expected thoughts on whether various groups stick to Scripture.  Instead, he shares how he secretly tested his friends and they couldn't tell the difference between the writings of Buddhists, Muslims, etc.  Boy, that makes me more dedicated to memorizing Scripture than ever before.  Another huge eye-opener was realizing that when Foster says pilgrimage he means taking actual road trips or hikes to set places on maps.  In response, it brings to mind the words of that old song,

"This world is not my home I'm just passing through
my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
and I can't feel at home in this world anymore"

If Mr. Foster agrees with his atheist friend that the most interesting stuff in the Bible is "the maps" or truly thinks that God just loves the "wanderers" and "hates cities" he is missing a large part of the gospel.  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." 

All roads do NOT lead to heaven...no matter how dusty their pilgrims or how many times they circle in Mecca...John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

I cannot recommend this book for anyone's library...and will be dismembering my copy to fit through my paper shredder.  On this subject, I encourage instead the reading of The Christian Pilgrim by Jonathan Edwards, “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Heb. 12:1) Though the road be difficult and toilsome, we must hold out with patience, and be content to endure hardships. Though the journey be long, yet we must not stop short, but hold on till we arrive at the place we seek. Nor should we be discouraged with the length and difficulties of the way, as the children of Israel were, and be for turning back again. All our thought and design should be to press forward till we arrive. We ought to be continually growing in holiness, and in that respect coming nearer and nearer to heaven."  It appears in it's entirety HERE.  

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


e-Mom said...

You're bold! Do you get to choose the books? Or do they just send free books to you randomly?

Thanks for the heads up.

Blessings, e-Mom

tweedpipe said...

So sorry that my book disappointed so grievously. But thank you for your honest appraisal, and all blessings on the road.
Charles (Foster)

kim(nannykim) said...

Hmmm, when someone gives that type of review it makes one want to read the book just to see if it is true. Ha! (ps. I do like Jonathan Edwards and my daughter was born in the town he did some of his preaching in up in Northampton , Ma ;-) )

Anonymous said...

On the plus side, you have someone new to pray for. :-) -g

Barbara H. said...

Thanks for standing for the truth.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read this one yet (looking forward to it), but knowing something of Charles Foster's writings, I very much suspect he is fully able to understand the concept of a spiritual journey. But being a travel writer as well, he's clearly chosen to focus on the physical journeys that people make.

As for the old song you quote and many like it, they pull us dangerously towards a dualistic "here - there" fallacy. Christ came to save the world, folks, I for one fully intend to live out eternity on this earth, albeit with a few modifications.

Thrifty Mom Spot said...

Thank you. I too reviewed this book and was SHOCKED at the response, most of the reviewers actually enjoyed the book! I dreaded every minute reading it, I'm glad to have found someone of like mind!!!