Deadly Connections: Idolatry, Addiction, Economics, and Politics
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
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?
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”
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.
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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).