Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Reflections on Discipleship

I am preparing to teach a course on Evangelism and Discipleship at Guido Bible Institute in Metter, so I have been trying to absorb some "new to me" books on those two topics to help enrich the class lectures. I came across a book by N.T. Wright entitled Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship and soaked it up in about a week. It is essentially a collection of sermons/lectures he has given around this theme. As with anything I have read by Wright I was challenged to expand my understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. I was also encouraged by what God is doing in and through me, as I am shaped on the anvil of Christ. Below are two comments that have really stuck with me.

Let's make no mistake about it; until you learn to live without fear you won't find it easy to follow Jesus. p. 67

The answer to temptation is to find out, perhaps painfully and over a long period, what it is about you that is at the moment out of shape, distorted, in pain. Then one may begin to find out, again often painfully, how it is that God longs to help you to get what is distorted back into focus; to get what is crooked back into shape; to get what is bruised and hurt back into health. p. 88 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Letters From A Skeptic

I finished reading Letters From A Skeptic recently and I was reminded of the power of honest questions and answers in helping a person discover Jesus. The book is a composite of letters between a father and son (Ed Boyd and Greg Boyd) as the father slowly makes a journey toward faith and belief in Jesus. His questions about Christianity are honest and straightforward for his son, who is a minister and theologian. Greg Boyd offers his dad, well thought-out answers, not patent Sunday school answers in an effort to be authentic. In the letters the reader sees the growth of the relationship between father and son in addition to the necessary spiritual growth of the senior Boyd.

This is a great resource for someone who is wrestling with questions about Christianity, the Bible, and Jesus. Because the letter format is preserved, the material comes across as genuine rather than academic, ethereal discussions about key doctrines and finer points of theology.

If you have a family member or friend who is struggling with certain aspects of Christianity this book is a great resource to give them. Read it with them and discuss the topics that the Boyd's cover.