Category Archives: discipleship

Let Him Write

From Dave Black Online:

Jesus writes in the sand. Why? To show that He remains above the angry mood of the crowd. By remaining in total control of Himself, He broke the momentum of the moment. Is Jesus writing in the sand of your life? Or in your family? Or in your denomination? Yes, Jesus can even speak to a denomination if we will listen. Composure in the midst of crisis. Serenity in the midst of silliness. Let Him write, Baptists, let Him write, Methodists, let Him write!

Christian America?

Andrew Thompson at GenXRising has written about the idea of Christian America and recent studies that suggest we’re becoming less Christian.

The post and the entire comment thread are worth reading, but let me quote the following:

The gist of it is this: There never was such a thing as ‘Christian America.’ And the Christians in America shouldn’t worry about that.

There cannot be such a ‘Christian America,’ in fact, because citizenship and discipleship can never be synonymous terms. Christians owe an allegiance to Jesus Christ above the allegiance to the nation. And that means that a Christian’s primary frame of social reference is not society at large but rather the church.

Dave Black, author of the forthcoming book for which this site is named, commented in the thread:

I’m enjoying this thread, Andrew. If I understand the New Testament correctly, the church is to take on a nonconformist and prophetic identity over against the structures of the world. This is not to say that I am unconcerned about politics or about the improvement of society through legislation. Such improvements are, however, questionable if they proceed from an assumption that they will issue in a Christian America. My concern is that the church be the church, and to do that it must proclaim victory not through a political agenda but through the Christian Gospel. The Christianity of the New Testament presents not simply a more demanding ethic but rather a cross that means the death of our desire for prosperity and power. I therefore view my participation in the culture wars not in terms of calling for a macro-political utopia but in terms of the church’s calling to be the conscience and critic of culture. I’ve tried to make this point in my forthcoming book, The Jesus Paradigm.

http://www.energionpubs.com/ep_detail.php?sku=1893729567

In our foreign policy America must use its military power reasonably and with a scrupulous concern for peace. A superpatriotism that calls for unfettered power is both un-American and un-Christian in my opinion.

I would in turn link this to my own post asking just how often our answer to any question or solution to any problem is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I certainly hope this discussion will grow in the blogosphere.

Not About Us

To build the kind of church Jesus envisioned in John 17 we must help our people realize that it is not about us or about our church. It’s about His kingdom, a kingdom that centers around Christ’s glorious act of self-sacrifice. If we think we can present the Gospel without surrendering and forsaking everything in us, then we have not understood the Gospel.

Discipleship far beyond Mere Lip Service

From DaveBlackOnline (April 8, 2009, 7:52 AM):

The basic thesis of my new book The Jesus Paradigm is that discipleship goes far beyond mere lip service. Like Bonhoeffer, I seek to emphasize Nachfolge — the German title of Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship. The German word simply means discipleship. Followers of Jesus Christ are expected to, well, “follow” Him! As Bonhoeffer puts it, “Only the believer is obedient, and only the obedient person believes.” (The German original is fantastic: “Nur der Glaubende ist gehorsam, und nur der Gehorsame glaubt.”) Declared righteousness ALWAYS produces practical righteousness if it is genuine.