The Sacred Journey by Charles Foster
A promising premise—a call for the restoration of the spiritual journey—is fumbled by the author’s frequent foray into the territory of moral equivalence. Why Foster feels the need to make Hindu or Buddhist pilgrimage practice an example for Christians to follow escaped me as I read this volume. The frequent parallels give the book an uncomfortable tone and tend to overshadow the paragraphs in which Jesus actually makes an appearance.
Mr. Foster does make an important point regarding to Jesus that benefits the reader if it can be extracted from the text. The Lord was not sedentary, situating himself in the Temple and demanding that people ‘come to me’. Rather, He is a Lord of movement, of pilgrimage. His command is to “follow me”. He moves forward, taking message and the reality of the Kingdom to His chosen destination.
The Sacred Journey is a weak entry in The Ancient Practices series of books. Perhaps Mr. Foster was not the author to develop this volume, as his journeys appear to involve a lot of observation but little purpose other than some vaguely alluded to spiritual cleansing. As a travelogue, Anthony Bourdain’s viewers will enjoy the subtle mockery, but as a spiritual guide it brings nothing new to the conversation.
I’m grateful to Thomas Nelson publishers who provided this copy for review.