From the Editor-In-Chief
February 1, 2014 – 6:01 pm | No Comment

by Jin Hee Han

Our first issue of this year sets the course for the year, centering on the theme of the DISCIPLE. Our authors in this issue guide us through many transforming venues in which we find ourselves as learners of the way of heaven. Jesus’ unparalleled teaching of loving enemies and his life-giving sacrifice on the cross abide as the mark and price of being a faithful DISCIPLE.

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Biblical Reflections, Featured, Pastoral Reflections »

Deadly Connections: Idolatry, Addiction, Economics, and Politics
February 1, 2014 – 6:16 pm | No Comment

NRSV

Hos 12:7–9, and Rom 1:24–25, together can help us to understand the connections among idolatry, addiction, economics, and politics. While neither text refers directly to addiction, the problems associated with addiction can be teased out of Hosea’s historical context. Other parts of the book of Hosea deal with idolatry, as do the focal verses in Romans. The powerful connections among idolatry, addiction, economics, and politics constitute a serious malady today, which could also be observed in biblical times.

While the term “addiction” often connotes drugs, alcohol, or other abusive substances, the word actually encompasses any compulsively destructive behavior such as indiscriminative sex, gluttony, or excessive accumulation of wealth. The ancient world was different from today in many respects, but addictive behavior has been a human problem for many centuries.

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Discipleship as the Subversive Way of Jesus
February 1, 2014 – 6:15 pm | No Comment
Discipleship as the Subversive Way of Jesus

by Sang Meyng Lee

The Gospel of Mark concentrates on how Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant on his journey to the cross. It is a crucial irony that Jesus is not only the suffering servant, but he is also the Son of God. The true disciple understands this irony in relation to Jesus’ identity.

Is There Discipline in Our Discipleship?
February 1, 2014 – 6:14 pm | No Comment
Is There Discipline in Our Discipleship?

by Joseph Crockett

Important for transforming non-adherents into students, followers, and apprentices of a leader, discipline is a necessary, though not the only important, task in the life of a disciple. Jesus and others make clear the crucial connections between discipline and discipleship.

“Follow Me”…“He Is Going before You to Galilee”
February 1, 2014 – 6:12 pm | No Comment
“Follow Me”…“He Is Going before You to Galilee”

by Jae Won Lee

Human beings are born out of relationships, live in relationship to others, and are remembered through those relationships. Christian discipleship urges us to return to the foundational relationship between Jesus and his disciples, to reflect upon it in our social locations, and embody it in our daily life.

Journeying With Jesus: Discipleship in the Context of Diversity and Transnationalism
February 1, 2014 – 6:11 pm | No Comment
Journeying With Jesus:  Discipleship in the Context of Diversity and Transnationalism

by Moses O. Biney

In an era of cultural and religious diversity and transnationalism, how can faithful discipleship accommodate or at least co-exist with cultural and religious differences? This perennial question calls for new answers, and this article is a move in that direction.

Imitation Is the Most Sincere Form of…Discipleship
February 1, 2014 – 6:10 pm | No Comment
Imitation Is the Most Sincere Form of…Discipleship

by Christopher S. Peet

The author’s “hermeneutic of suspicion” is aroused when reading a text that seems to demand unquestioning obedience. However, while Dietrich Bonhoeffer makes it clear that in his opinion unquestioning obedience is at the heart of true discipleship, the author offers other suggestions.

Call and Discipleship
February 1, 2014 – 6:09 pm | No Comment
Call and Discipleship

by Jennifer M. van Zandt

There are growing numbers of “Spiritual but Not Religious” people leaving the institutional church for their own rituals and ways of relating to God. Too many people in formal churches are assisting in this slow death by focusing on Attendance, Budget, and Children instead of making Disciples.

Keeping the Faith: Suggestions for Parents and Church Leaders
February 1, 2014 – 6:08 pm | No Comment
Keeping the Faith: Suggestions for Parents and Church Leaders

by Martha Flavell

When students leave home for college or a job, it has been shown that many fall away from their faith. What can parents and church leaders do to help them realize that sticking to their faith is important? The author offers a thoughtful program for all concerned.

A Flourishing Life of Love
February 1, 2014 – 6:07 pm | No Comment
A Flourishing Life of Love

by Charlie Self

As we aim to love God and do God’s work in the world, we need a new vision of what it means to “make disciples.” This flourishing life described by Moses and Micah, Jesus and the Apostle Paul, is not merely a set of rules or series of programs. A flourishing life of love will grow, as we understand the outcomes of walking with the Lord.

Being and Making Disciples of Jesus Christ
February 1, 2014 – 6:06 pm | No Comment
Being and Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

by Pamela Dilmore

The author notes that we are called to make disciples—to inspire, and to encourage others to follow Jesus, and to live according to his teachings. She wonders if we take the call to “make disciples” for granted and points out that in the Greek New Testament, words translated as “disciple,” have constellations of meaning that revolve around following, learning, and teaching. This is a tall order; this is our calling!

Authentic Discipleship
February 1, 2014 – 6:05 pm | No Comment
Authentic Discipleship

by Kimberly Credit

Today in America, it is common for many people to identify themselves as Christians yet they may rarely attend a church, read the Bible, or live a true Christian life. Can a person be a Christian without being an authentic disciple of Christ? This article explores this question in the live of individuals and churches.

Book Review
February 1, 2014 – 6:04 pm | No Comment
Book Review

by Neal Presa

Charlie Self, Flourishing Churches and Communities: A Pentecostal Primer on Faith, Work, and Economics for Spirit-Empowered Discipleship (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian’s Library Press, 2013).

Lectionary Year A February 2, 2014 through April 27, 2014
February 1, 2014 – 6:03 pm | No Comment
Lectionary Year A February 2, 2014 through April 27, 2014

by Remington Slone

Here are useful insights for pastors and others into all the Scripture selections from the Revised Common Lectionary for the period cited above.