AUTHOR: John Stott
PUBLISHER: Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2011.
- Creation Care
- "Genuine discipleship is wholehearted discipleship." (15)
- Radical discipleship is deeply rooted, where one's opinion 'went to the roots' and is 'thoroughgoing' in commitment. (15)
- It is a discipleship that is non-selective, that it is God who picks and chooses, not us.
"To be mature is to have a mature relationship with Chrsit in which we worship, trust, love, and obey him." (42)
On creation care, Stott points out three fundamental relationships God has made right from the beginning.
- Relationship with God
- Relationship with one another
- Relationship with creation
On simplicity, Stott deals with the issues of money and possessions, primarily through the "Evangelical Commitment to Simple Lifestyle.' Such a lifestyle aims at becoming the new community in God, a personal lifestyle of simple living without the frills, international development to reduce world poverty, participating in positive change in justice and politics, responsible witness and evangelism, and serving the least among us till Christ returns. On balance, the radical disciple grows on the right diet, becomes living stones, and holy priests. He uses six images for growth (97-98).
- as newborn babes we are called to growth;
- as living stones, we are called to fellowship
- as holy priests, we are called to worship
- as God's own people, we are called to witness;
- As aliens and strangers, we are called to holiness;
- As servants of God, we are called to pilgrimate and citizenship.
On death, he presents to readers an interesting paradox where for the Christian, in dying to self there is life in Christ. There are six ways that demonstrate this. Firstly, in salvation, Christ died for us that we may live. Secondly, in discipleship we are called to die to self and live in Christ. In mission, suffering is a given as Stott uses martyrdom to explain the calling to die as a 'means to a life of fruitfulness.' In persecution, as we are aware of physical mortality, we are also acutely aware of spiritual immortality in Christ. The last two is martyrdom and mortality.
This book can only be written by a man who has gone through the school of tough discipleship and disciple making. Admittedly, this book may not be as theologically profound as some of Stott's earlier books. Yet, considering the frail condition that he is in during the final years before he died, this book is simply amazing. This book is a lot more personal to Stott, and also incorporates a lot of editorial assistance, contributions from others, a well as professional editing. While the book has Stott's name, the style of the book appears like it has been pieced together by others. Certainly the ideas resemble the conventional Stott. The convictions are still strong. Just the theological design is not the normal Stott.
Nevertheless, this book is a wake up call and a wise counsel from a very wise man. Let us not continue to neglect these aspects of calling when we are still young. Let us live as radical disciples, now.
Rating: 4 stars of 5.