“When Yahweh became a man, he was a homeless vagrant. He walked through Palestine proclaiming that a mysterious kingdom had arrived…He called people to follow him, and that meant walking.” ~ Charles Foster
I was excited to read Foster’s idea on pilgrimage. It’s not a topic about which I’ve studied much, and his credentials seemed sound. However, I never made it through the third chapter. I believe Foster’s interpretation of scripture to be so misguided that I am actually surprised that Thomas Nelson agreed to publish it as a “Christian spiritual growth” title.
In an effort to make his point, Foster defends pilgrimage in the first chapter not with Biblical references, but by showing how important it is to other religions, using Islam and Hindu in his defense. He also appears to ignore scriptures contradictory to his belief. For instance, he states, “And [God] has an alarmingly clear preference for people who can’t keep still,” while not reconciling that belief with Ps. 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Foster also starts to rant about the evils of cities – how they are man’s abandonment of our original role as nomadic people. But, once again, he chooses to ignore contradictory aspects of Scripture, such as the New Jerusalem (which will be called God’s city), or the fact that Jesus grew up in one place, not as a nomad. Foster does not attempt to reconcile these verses with his theory, he simply doesn’t address them.
I could not read further when, on page 53, Foster admits that his belief is based on his experience, not necessarily a Biblical revelation. It does not appear that Foster wrote a book about God’s view of pilgrimage, but rather he used bits of the Bible to justify his own thoughts about it.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”