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Diet of Discipleship (Non-Book)

Brooke Lark/Unsplash

I'm currently reading through Rediscipling the White Church by David Swanson. One of the first things established is a definition of discipleship. Swanson quotes Dallas Willard from The Divine Conspiracy in saying that a disciple is a person "who has decided to be with another person, under appropriate conditions, in order to become capable of doing what that person does or to become what that person is.”

Discipleship isn't uniquely Christian, and it's much more holistic than what I've gathered in some of my church experience. As I've said before, us American Christians like to dissect and compartmentalize, so I've found in some books and culture that discipleship is the verbal imparting of mostly correct theological knowledge, with occasional applications for daily living. I even once saw a Reformed Christian ridicule another Christian on Twitter for "conflating" evangelism and discipleship, as if they were mutually exclusive. And discipleship, by definition, is much more inclusive as well. Simply put, you're not only discipled by your church leaders, Christian teachers and favorite sermon recordings and devotional books. You're discipled by (for example but not limited to) your office supervisors, leaders of a particular fandom (e.g. sports teams, comic books), the media you choose to watch, and even the culture of your village. Any effort on your part, whether conscious or unconscious, to imitate someone or something, is your receiving discipleship, spiritual or otherwise.

With that in mind, it's good to take an honest look about how you've been discipled in your life. Discipleship isn't uniquely Christian, so there are types of discipleship we need to unlearn. Can you identify any of them? How does your diet of discipleship match with Scripture?

It's very important to have a balanced diet, dominantly containing legitimate, nourishing, non-toxic, but sometimes-cleansing elements whose healthfulness isn't contingent on outward circumstances. Myself? Below is a list of people I read and/or listen to online:

John Fea. Professor of History at Messiah College.

David French. Lawyer, veteran, Republican.

Albert Tate. Senior Pastor of Fellowship Monrovia (California).

GetReligion. Covering religious stories with journalistic integrity when the press doesn't.

The Holy Post. Phil Vischer (Christian media-maker), Skye Jethani (pastor/author) and Christian Taylor (voice artist, filmmaker) discuss Scripture and culture.

Theology in the Raw. Preston Sprinkle discusses Scripture and culture.

I'll add to this list as time goes on, but I'd recommend these to any American for their diet of discipleship.


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