Freedom of Simplicity is a classic and a must read for everyone interested in seeking out the simple life in the 21st century. Few people will have written so thoughtfully and drawn so deeply from the wells of Christian experience than Foster.
He focuses as much on the inner life of simplicity as he does on its outward expression, correctly recognising that if we do not have peace and contentment on the inside then what we do on the outside will lack authenticity and integrity, it will lack the vital connection that we need.
I do sometimes find Foster too thoughtful, he goes to great pains to find language that is reflective, considered and balanced but perhaps in doing so he lacks the punch that is at times needed. For me, when reading a book that is designed to challenge then there must be moments of clarity where the writing is like splashing ice cool water onto a hot, tired and dusty face, the result is an intake of breath, a stinging experience but one that is ultimately refreshing and one that sharpens the senses. Foster is too gentle for me, even when he makes his most stinging rebukes of contemporary Christianity and modern society.
However having said all of that, there is so much to think about in this book, so much to draw on, so much to revisit and think about that probably one reading is not enough. But to gain the ‘single eye’ where our focus is on seeking the kingdom then this is a helpful and essential guide.