Discipleship is Messy…

-Book Four -Chapter Nineteen -Many years ago my wife and I went out to dinner with a visiting Presbyterian pastor and his wife. They had a couple children younger than ours, and the topic was brought up on how to reach the lost of this world for Christ. Without realizing I was broaching a subject […]

Discipleship Involves Earnest Love & Hospitality…

-Book Four -Chapter Eighteen -In the Apostle Peter’s first letter, he talks quite graphically of how those outside of the church live and what they, “want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same […]

When Disciples Need to be Rebuked…

-Book Four -Chapter Seventeen Growing up in an evangelical Christian community, I can’t count how many times I was chastised, corrected, rebuked, and reproached by my parents and the Christians around me. Of course, most of it I brought on myself, since I’ve always been a pretty miserable and regular sinner. Fortunately, I also have […]

Discipleship is For Misfits…

-Book Four -Chapter Sixteen -One of the early recollections I have of church sermons as a youth, was a message given by a pastor about the type of disciples that Jesus chose; instead of choosing men who were part of the popular crowd, Jesus literally chose young men at the bottom of Jewish society. There […]

Discipleship That Bears Burdens…

-Book Four -Chapter Fifteen “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” [Galatians 6:1-3] The Apostle Paul’s admonishment to the church in Galatia […]

Discipleship is NOT Psychological Counseling…

-Book Four -Chapter Thirteen -The American Civil War divided the nation unlike anything before. In the years preceding and during the war, all of the major Christian denominations experienced massive church splits due to slavery and the politics involved; the Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches experienced North-South division. When the war finally ended, the […]

Abandoning Retirement to Make Disciples…

-Book Four -Chapter Eleven -For nearly twenty years, Pastor Pohly made an indelible mark on my life. Though he was fifty-two years older than me, I could never imagine wanting to spend time with someone else, more, than I wanted to spend time with him when he was alive. I was sixteen when I met […]

True Discipleship is Immersed in the Culture

-Book Four -Chapter Nine -I’ve made a habit of regularly visiting Latin America throughout my adult life. In those travels I’ve learned a LOT about how different people are from one another across the globe. Just as Americans who live in the rural South are vastly different than Americans who live in Urban Chicago where […]

When Discipleship and Drug Addiction Collide…

-Book Four -Chapter Eight -The parable of the prodigal son told by Jesus is one of the more well known biblical stories. People are usually endeared by the love of the father, who against all expectations received his son back into the family with no questions asked. Often lost in the story is the principles […]

When Christian Children are the Disciples of Pagans..

-Book Four -Chapter Seven -Many years ago, as a young twenty-something about to have his first child, I spent a lot of time considering what God’s word had to say to parents about how to raise their children. No other text in holy writ influenced me more than the Shema Yisrael in the book of […]