Read Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World by Lee Camp Online


What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ today? And are Christians really prepared for the answers? In Mere Discipleship, Lee Camp sets forth his vision of what it means to truly follow Christ, challenging Christians to put obedience to Jesus as Lord ahead of allegiances to all earthly authorities-be they nationalistic, political, economic, or cultural. Camp clearly laWhat does it mean to be a disciple of Christ today? And are Christians really prepared for the answers? In Mere Discipleship, Lee Camp sets forth his vision of what it means to truly follow Christ, challenging Christians to put obedience to Jesus as Lord ahead of allegiances to all earthly authorities-be they nationalistic, political, economic, or cultural. Camp clearly lays out a sound biblical framework of what disciples believe and therefore what they should do. Employing sophisticated yet accessible theology, this book will interest clergy and laypeople alike as they strive to be disciples....

Title : Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World
Author :
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ISBN : 9781587430497
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World Reviews

  • Tom
    2019-06-04 06:04

    Sometimes you read a good book and walk away. Other times you read a great book, but because of just doesn’t get the opportunity to sink in. Yet there are times when you read a great book at the right time and feel refreshed, awakened, challenged and motivated to change some things in your life. This was one of those books and one of those times for me.Professor Camp has written a deeply challenging book entitled Mere Discipleship. The book is broken up into 3 parts. Reenvisioning Discipleship, What Disciples Believe, and What Disciples Do. In part 1 he traces much of the current problem with Christianity back to the Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Simply, according to church father Augustine, this is when the tables began to turn…Christians were persecuted and now were the ones who were able to persecute others. And for many religious right people they simply don’t understand how much of their thinking has been informed by the “Constantian Cataract.” In other words, the church is no longer the dominant voice in society and while many on the religious right want to shout and scream about how unfair this or that is…the church now has the opportunity to reclaim our truly prophetic, counter-cultural voice. In Camp’s words, following God in the way of Jesus now has a chance to be radical again. Instead of clamoring for power and position we can, “be a people marked by the Beatitudes, forsaking all lusts, giving up pursuits of security, refusing to amass wealth, and insisting on love of enemies.” The biggest question that was asked in this section was this: What is our fundamental identity? Citizens of the kingdom of God? Or of our nation-state? Unfortunately too many Christians choose the latter.The second part of his book dives into issues of what is the Gospel (is it really just about getting into heaven?), the cross of Christ (this is what we are to imitate - suffering, bearing injustice and oppression), and the church (here he makes a huge connection for me - the church should expect, and to some extent welcome, persecution. Why? Because Jesus said, “Servants are not greater than their master. If they persecute me, they will persecute you.” - John 15:20 And the church is the body of Christ continuing the mission of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, giving up rights to power and position in order that WE MAY SERVE. Why do so many Christians want the church to be shielded from all persecution - Jesus said it would come, even if we are doing things that will help those around us.)Part 3 deals with things that disciples do. Worship, baptism, prayer, communion, evangelism. This is more of the ’so what’ part of the book. In our worship, we worship God and we give praise and honor to Jesus as we follow Him in His way. But how does this worship inform our thinking? Is it wrong to critize a conservative (even Christian) president? The values of democracy will at times be at odds with the kingdom of God…where is our allegiance? Heresy for the church used to be the highest offense. It seems now in some corners of the world…treason is. In our baptism we are placed into a ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation which puts us at odds with many nationalistic and patrotic ideas. Communion is rooted in the idea of a communal meal of the early church. In which sharing all things happened. When we live in a consumeristic, capitalistic society today what does this principle of communion mean?The book, throughout, asks this one question: Are the teachings of Jesus, the ethics of the kingdom, the values and concerns that God displays in his letter to us…are they to be lived out in the real world? And should they be? So many of us want to keep our faith private and pretend it doesn’t impact every part of our life. Example: I know Jesus said to love our enemies, pray for those who would want to bring us harm…but I can do that in my mind and in my heart while I use my weapon to kill someone. Yet, is it just an inner attitude that we are to have and not an outward expression of that ethic?One area I wish he had touched on a little more was the issue of justice. I understand non-violence and probably lean toward that myself. Yet when is it appropriate to pursue justice? But I understand his argument. Many of us have lost the concept that God doesn’t call us to find our identity in a political group, or even a nation-state…God calls those of us who would follow him in the way of Jesus to identify ourselves with the kingdom of God. And in so doing it will cause us to rethink many of our held positions because following God is radical. When a nation calls me to kill and Jesus calls me to love what happens then? When a nation tells me to consume and save for myself and Jesus calls me to freely give away and share wealth what happens then? When a church or another Christian tells me that a real christian would vote in such and such a way but that way values many ideas that seem to run counter to the kingdom of God and it’s ethics what happens then? As a Christ-follower do I believe that the ethics of the Kingdom of God and of Jesus actually work in the real world and am I called to follow those ethics?

  • Robert Durough, Jr.
    2019-06-04 04:49

    It’s a shame that I’ve taken this long to pick up and read a copy of Lee C. Camp’s first book Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World, now it it’s 2nd edition. I studied Political Theology under Camp’s in 2011 at Lipscomb University, and it was the most challenging and time consuming course in all my graduate studies, partly because I was quite ignorant in the ways of politics and felt like I noob. I was, however, already a pacifist, convinced of the necessity to love our enemies and witness to the sacrificial way of the cross as commanded by our Lord, Jesus; but I what I lacked was a fuller understanding of multiple arguments, typical jargon, and a better way to articulate my beliefs. It was unfortunate for class dialogue that every student in the class was already against any form of just war theory, though I did consider it an encouragement and joy to wrestle with all of our differing perspectives on politics as a whole. It was also in this course that I was introduced to John Howard Yoder, whose arguments upon which the book at hand is based. Following in the footsteps of C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, Camp wrote Mere Discipleship after Yoder’s passing to honor his work. It should be noted that this is note merely a work based on Yoder; it is also in line with Camp’s own convictions. So, let’s now (finally) turn to the book!If you’re looking for a step-by-step book on how to “disciple” (mentor) someone, as it is often called in evangelical circles, this is not that book. Again, Mere Discipleship is like Mere Christianity in that it addresses several contexts and how one ought to be a disciple therein. Given the focus on Yoder’s teachings, it is highly political, and rightly so! Being a disciple of Christ includes a holistic approach to life, not a sectarian approach. As such, all of life must been seen through one’s position as a citizen in the kingdom of God with Jesus as Lord. Any other perspective betrays one’s allegiance to something other than Christ, whether it’s a job, family, country, etc. (A book I previously reviewed, The Myth of a Christian Nation, quotes heavily from works of Yoder and this book.)Camp structures the work into three parts: 1) what we mean when we talk about “discipleship,” 2) what disciples believe (gospel, savior, church), and finally 3) what disciples do (worship, baptism, prayer, communion, evangelism). Taking us from the first century, through the Constantinian shift of the church becoming the state (convert or die!), and to today whereby there has been a complete separation of church and state in more recent centuries so that we now (wrongly) perceive our lives in compartments: I have duties to God and duties to the state and they are mutually exclusive. This has been detrimental in living as true disciples of Christ, wherein our lives ought to holistically pursue Christ in the way of the cross (it’s never just politics, business is never just business, etc.).Included in the 2nd edition is a wonderful, in-depth study guide by Joshua Graves for personal and groups use. This is not simply a collection of questions to ponder! A guide for each chapter contains a serious synopsis hitting the big points, a list of important terms and definitions found within the chapter, questions on content, questions relating the material to discipleship, and then a list of relevant bibliography for further reading; truly one of the best study guides you could hope for in a book!This may end up being a bit more academic for the liking of some, but I still highly recommend it for all.

  • Rebecca
    2019-06-18 04:55

    it's lee camp. you can either read this book or take 5 classes from the man.

  • Doug
    2019-06-04 07:12

    I've been trying to find a treatment of "the way of the cross" that works across denominational traditions, especially something that might help conservative Reformed types. This one is very good, but it will still spook those in my circles, less than others, though. The middle part of this book, Part 2, is the strongest and most recommended. Camp gets so many things right. Of course, I part ways with him in his rejection of infant baptism, but he even says some interesting things there. There's so much good and strong in this book. I wish more would at least give it a hearing and not dismiss it with a pharisaical hand wave.

  • Laura
    2019-06-22 06:42

    We used this book in my senior bible class for discussions and class-related material. It had some interesting points about christianity and I thought it did a good job of touching on relevant subjects and issues. I really enjoyed the class and thought the discussions and presentations provided a firm sounding-board to voice our opinions and argue what we believed. It also opened my mind to a couple of different viewpoints that I hadn't considered before. I'd probably recommend this book.*Taken from my book reviews blog:

  • Jill
    2019-06-06 04:05

    I thought the author made some good points about the intended transformative nature of Christianity. I especially liked the look at the "Constantinian cataract" and the idea of the Lord's Supper being representative of community and sharing. However, the writing is extremely repetitive. Not in a good, reemphasizing-a-previous-point kind of way. In an I've-already-read-almost-that-exact-samesentence-three-times-this-chatper kind of way.

  • Robyn
    2019-06-26 23:42

    Helpful for US Evangelical Christians who are prepared to ask serious questions of their faith. Those exploring Christianity (without an evangelical background) will find it interesting, but not pitched to appeal to them.Christians who are already socially and politically engaged will likely find this book shallow, unsurprising, and a little onerous.

  • Gwyneth
    2019-06-16 07:10

    Another book read for our Faith and Action class. Delves in to being a Christian as your primary identity, before your nationality. Strong thoughts on pacifism which provided some interesting discussions.

  • Nathan
    2019-06-24 00:50

    Mere Discipleship has the potential to completely change how you understand Christianity and what it means to be Christian. Camp offers solid rationale in rethinking the Gospel, Jesus, and discipleship. It is a must-read for any thinking Christian, especially those in the South.

  • Raborn
    2019-06-11 00:09

    LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! If you want to read the Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder but feel intimidated, this book is for you! Camp studied under Yoder and seems to really make Yoder's thoughts accessible to everyone.

  • Chet Duke
    2019-06-04 06:12

    This was a challenging book. It identifies a Constantinian cataract behind American Christian practices. I hope more Christians will read this book and find useful the challenging message of radical discipleship.

  • Naomi
    2019-06-05 06:11

    I think I would have enjoyed this book more if it weren't so repetitive and full of fluff, but he made some good points... when he wasn't being redundant.

  • Jonathan Huggins
    2019-06-05 23:08

    Yes, yes, yes!

  • Oscar Hicks
    2019-06-19 04:48

    As a Historian, I cannot abide by any author who seeks to quote historical assumption as Historical fact. Such poorly researched material dilutes the over all worth of this message.

  • Charlesia
    2019-06-23 02:59

    230.97 Camp

  • Carl A
    2019-06-25 22:48

    Very good challenging book. If you think you've got it all figured out, read this book and you will probably realize you don't.

  • Timothy Sipes
    2019-05-30 03:08

    Very challenging! A need to read for anyone!

  • Jansen
    2019-06-24 23:56

    A nice challenge to belief versus action, but I had problems agreeing that his view would solve the problems he brought up.

  • Randy
    2019-05-30 23:53

    Anyone serious about what it means to actually follow Jesus in post-christendom postmodern America should read and reread this together in conversation with other serious disciples

  • Eric
    2019-06-28 05:58

    I can't believe that I haven't added this to my Read list before. It was by far the best book I read in I think 2004. I can't recommend it highly enough.