In 2008 I was working at the Lambeth Conference, in Canterbury. When not on duty I had lots of time for reading, and the nature of the event provided for a wealth of booksellers, with lots of interesting stuff on Christian spirituality and practice.
One of the books I picked up was Brian McLaren's 'Finding our way again-the return of the Ancient Practices' which looked at seven spiritual practices that Christians have followed from the beginning (building on Jewish practices). The whole purpose of the book is explained in the first chapter, that Brian feels that as followers of Jesus we need to “rediscover our faith as a way of life, not simply as a system of belief”. These spiritual practices are also followed by people of other faiths, and give a vital interface for dialogue and sharing.. The seven practices are: a rhythm of prayer, observing 'Sabbath' rest, fasting, the sacred meal, pilgrimage, the liturgical year and tithing.
The intention of the publisher was to release a book for each theme over the next couple of years, as part of 'The Ancient Practices series'. I noticed that the book on the first of the seven had also been published, so I bought a copy of 'In Constant Prayer' as well, so that I could see if the series lived up to the introductory book.
And so I was introduced to the world and the writing of Robert Benson…