06 May 2010

the radical disciple

John Stott, The Radical Disciple (Downers Grove: IVP, 2010).

"As I lay down my pen for the last time at the age of eighty-eight . . ."

One of the most influential Christian leaders of the Twentieth Century has given us his final work, and is retiring from public service in the kingdom. He does so having made an extensive contribution to the worldwide church, as a pastor and church leader as well as a scholar and theologian.

This book is a brief statement on the nature of the Christian life, which is an appropriate place for Stott to close out his career. Although it is small in size, there is great challenge found in this volume. Its subtitle is Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling - a presentation of those areas which define the church, but which have often gone unnoticed and under-emphasized. There are eight chapters, which each take a particular area for investigation and challenge: Nonconformity, Christlikeness, Maturity, Creation Care, Simplicity, Balance, Dependence, Death.

The overall focus of the book fits with the title, and is geared to move the reader to a more dedicated commitment to the demands of kingdom life and growth. While there might be points at which the modern reader would choose to part company with Mr Stott (his assumption of the impact of anthropogenic global warming might not be so readily accepted by those of us who know that the facts are not supportive of the theory), overall his emphasis and message is good.

This is among the final fruits of a life given to the service of the kingdom, given to us by one who himself has chosen to be - every step of the way - a radical disciple.

1 comment:

Fresh Air for Christ said...

There are differences between disciples and professed Christians, very possibly the difference between walking the wide road and breaching the narrow gate in Matthew 7:13,14. These are radical times. Apathetic or lukewarm Christians are in great spiritual danger. The key is Matthew 6:33, seek first His Kingdom…