Book Review: The Radical Disciple
John Stott is legendary in his role in Christian thinking and teaching, and my first experience with him was in his book Between Two Worlds which talks about the delicate task of preaching. Stott has always walked the fine line between being technical enough to engage the mind but conversational enough to engage the heart.
The Radical Disciple is a concise, to the point, and well-ordered discussion on (as the subtitle indicates) "some neglected aspects of our calling" as disciples of Jesus. Stott uses the introduction "Disciples or Christians?" to highlight some of the challenges that the book will address, clarifying his beliefs on the nature and direction of discipleship.
During his three years of public ministry the Twelve were disciples before ether were apostles, and as disciples they were under the instruction of their teacher and Lord. (14)
The book covers eight aspects of the life of a follower of Jesus: nonconformity, Christlikeness, maturity, creation care, simplicity, balance, dependence, and death. Throughout these eight chapters, Stott masterfully creates a dance - a duet if you will - between Biblical principle and contemporary theology and application of those Biblical principles. He moves away from the present-day battles over doctrine and is generous to various positions with his "Christlikeness" chapter being much more like conservative Christianity and his "Creation Care" chapter being more progressive in it's analysis of environmental concerns.
I credit much of Stott's insight and balance to his obvious relationship with the Scriptures as well as his contentment with being faithful rather than winning debates.
This book is a great primer and challenge for anyone at any stage in their relationship with Christ. I highly recommend it and at 134 pages it reads in one sitting for most people.
See you on Monday!