Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Disciple, a Review

I selected Bill Clem's Disciple: Getting Your Identity from Jesus because I thought the book was about discipleship groups, mentors/mentees, etc. and practical applications for modern life. Instead, I found myself reading a book about what it means to be a Christian for the first 3/4 of the book. I almost get the feeling that Clem would prefer to use the word Disciple instead of Christian, though that is pure speculation. Nevertheless, Disciple proved to be a mostly interesting and thought provoking book. 

Divided into 12 chapters, the book alternates between the biblical ideal of the chapter's topic (such as Community), followed by a chapter with how we've distorted it. I really enjoyed the layout like this, and as I progressed through the book it was obvious how much latter chapters built off the previous ones. I also liked that each chapter ended with a "homework assignment." Clem gives the reader Scripture to read and ponder over, and often challenges us to act on these verses. 

As for the last chapters, this is really where practical thoughts on discipleship came up. I suppose a foundation must first be established before application can be described, and Clem definitely built off his groundwork. 

The art of discipleship and mentoring is neglected by many today. Too often we distort the very definition of "disciple," thinking that it's a stagnant "relationship." We replace Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28, "Go and make disciples" with "Go and make converts." It's obvious Clem has a heart for loving on people and investing in them, and he backs this imperative with plenty of Scripture. He wants the reader to make disciples (as well as be discipled), not coverts. 

All in all, I enjoyed a lot of what Bill Clem was saying in Disciple, and I think it would be especially helpful for young Christians. The first majority of the book reads as a sort of "Christian Essentials" text. I was more interested in the latter half, and indeed Clem has some worthwhile things to say there, though I wish this part were longer.


Anonymous said...

i like how unusual that cover is. on reader, seeing the pic, i thought this a video game.

logankstewart said...

Y'know, I kind of see that, now that you mention it. Looks very much "Call of Duty" or something.