I’ve read a lot chapters in books on Making Disciples. In fact, over the years, I’ve probably read hundreds. Those of you who know me, know that I’m hooked on the topic of Making Disciples. I’ve even created and have been co-managing the Facebook Page “Making Disciples,” for several years now. I’d invite you to like that page by Clicking Here. Every once and a while I come across a chapter in one of those books that makes me go back and read it more than once. Recently, I’ve come across one of those chapters. Because this is the first post in what I hope will be an ongoing series, I don’t want to insinuate that this first post represents the “best of the best,” but it is the single best chapter on disciple making that I’ve read in some time. It’s from the book “Gospel Centered Discipleship” by Jonathan Dodson. This chapter is called “Part 1: Defining Discipleship.”
These quotes were both refreshing and provocative:
“The attempt to clarify discipleship by separating it from evangelism actually muddies the waters.” 1
“The separation of evangelism from discipleship implies that “sharing the gospel” with non-Christians is an activity that is unnecessary with Christians. It intimates that the gospel doesn’t need to be shared with disciples. This dichotomy surfaces a false view of the gospel, namely that the gospel has the power to save but not to sanctify.” 2
“Christ-centered repentance and forgiveness is something to be heard and applied, not just once, but for the entirety of a disciple’s life.” 3
“The gospel isn’t just for evangelism, the initial making of disciples. It is also for discipleship, the continual making of disciples. Jesus’s view of discipleship is radically gospel centered. The gospel is for not-yet disciples and already disciples.” 4
“Jesus’s Commission is not mission centered but gospel centered.” 5
“Christians who internalize the gospel of grace more and more are compelled to spread the gospel more and more. The problem, however, is that very often the gospel we preach and teach is malnourished. In evangelism, the gospel is frequently reduced to a spiritual ticket to guarantee a reservation in heaven. This view of the gospel makes joining the mission of God or submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord optional. It teaches us that the gospel is all we need to cash in the ticket when death comes knocking at our door.” 6
“A disciple of Jesus, then, is someone who learns the gospel, relates in the gospel, and communicates the gospel. In short, disciples are gospel centered. 7
I found these quotes refreshing because they address a subject about which there is much confusion within the body of Christ. Namely, the unhealthy and unbiblical separation of evangelism and discipleship. They are provacative because Mr. Dodson boldly lays out definitions without hesitation, and these definitions are actionable. A few questions:
What chapters from which books on Disciple Making should I include in this series?
Do you see a biblically warranted distinction between evangelism & discipleship?
What is your favorite “Gospel Presentation” in the Bible?
For Related Posts, see:
All references are from Dodson, Jonathan K. (2012-03-07). Gospel-Centered Discipleship (Re: Lit Books) Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition. I read Kindle Editions (Ebooks) because I’m a missionary, along with my wife, in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains Cloud Forest Region and “real” books are hard to get and hard to keep because they mold. I’d be happy to review any chapter from any book on Making Disciples, Evangelism, The Gospel, or Mission and include them in this series.
1. (Kindle Locations 360-361)
2. (Kindle Locations 362-365)
3. (Kindle Locations 459-460)
4. (Kindle Locations 465-466)
5. (Kindle Location 474)
6. (Kindle Locations 484-487)
7. (Kindle Locations 502-504)