Friday, November 2, 2012


Is there a difference between being a Christian and being a disciple? Well, in our world, there is. But I am not so certain the disparity was as large in the 1st Century. Jesus said to count the costs associated with following Him. And there were costs. Taking up one's cross was not just a metaphor about some challenge in your life you might face, but being willing to physically carry one's own cross towards their own appointment with death - just as our Savior did.

That is obedience.

And it is to this obedience we are called. Am I willing to be that obedient. I certainly hope so, but I must admit that I am thankful that I live in a country that was founded on religious freedom, and I have not had to face that challenge specifically yet. However, many people throughout our world today do have to make such a decision. It is rare in the United States though not unheard of (e.g. Rachel Scott, Cassie Bernall), but quite common in some countries today.

Yet, many Christians in the US coast through life without truly following Christ. Does this mean their faith is not real? I cannot know. For some, I am sure it is. For others, perhaps not. Either way, only God knows for sure. Regardless, the concept of obedience is a missing component for many in our modern concept of Christianity. Of course, this isn't new information. But a resurgence in the idea of true discipleship is currently swelling up among many Christian leaders. (If you don't believe me, look at the number of new books on discipleship.)

I decided that as I spend some time focusing on this area of Kingdom building, I would focus my attention on a couple of key thinkers in this area. The two individuals are Dallas Willard and Bill Hull. Certainly, these two are not the only two, and you may disagree with my selection. However, these two have been considering this topic for many more years than I will likely have occasion to. Specifically, Hull desires for churches to return to their roots, while Willard, as a philosopher, continually challenges his readers to consider how to take their faith seriously.  Thus, while their may be others who are as qualified, perhaps there are not two who are more qualified.

In the subsequent posts over the next few weeks, my intention is to provide an insight on the reading for a day and the make comments. I know that this is not near to sitting at the feet of the Master disciple-maker, but it will have to suffice for me. I look forward to reflecting and sharing their insights in the weeks to come.