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The Sacred Journey: A Book Review

Dan

 

This was probably THE hardest book to read and review! (Sorry BookSneeze, I've been holding out on you!) I had to put it down numerous times for several reasons: boredom, disagreement, tough vocabulary that annoyed me, boredom, and did I say boredom... Now I know that every book I pick up shouldn't be all about pleasing me and keeping my attention, but this was a straight up struggle!

Charles Foster wrote The Sacred Journey as part of the Ancient Practices Series with the intention of explaining the theology and importance of pilgrimage and what it means when Jesus says, "Follow Me". He begins the book with a warning that he is probably going to offend the reader - and he did to some degree. For me, it came in chapter 2 when he took time to talk about how the term "Christian" had to go. In his words, "we've wrecked the word"... And though I agree with him to a degree, I'm not sure what that has to do with pilgrimage.  

Foster does do a good job at recounting the historical pilgrims from Scripture including Cain & Abel, Abraham, Mary & Joseph, the Disciples, and of course, Jesus. He also recounts many of his own stories and times as a pilgrim, a wanderer.  This book isn't so much about the "how to's" in becoming a pilgrim but more about the importance and the difficulties of the practice of pilgrimage. He explains the basics of going on a pilgrimage - like leaving all the excess behind. Foster reminds us that pilgrimage isn't about hoping on a plane and heading to a far away place that holds some sort of Biblical significance - while that might be part of it - it's a process, a physical one and a spiritual one, and most importantly, it's a way of life.  I will say that I agreed with him as he shared about the difference between a pilgram and a tourist. 

If you want to read it, go ahead - but be forewarned - it's different and challenging on many levels. But that's just my personal opinion. 

*This book was given to me by BookSneeze, a blogging program by Thomas Nelson Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review, obviously. The opinions I have expressed are my own.