Theology, or the study of the nature of God and religious belief, has been a lifelong pursuit of mine. Growing up in a Southern Baptist, North Carolina, home – we talked about God a lot. God was involved in everything, all the time. There was no circumstance in which God was not present, prevalent, and purposed.
As I grew in my understanding of Scripture, and the bearing that the truths within held on my life, I wanted to know more about the nature of God. I wanted to know more about how I should respond to God and what it meant for me to truly follow such a being.
I made the decision in college to become a follower of Jesus. I had prayed a prayer when I was a young boy and had a few emotional cry fests in high school youth camp – but it wasn’t under I understood that Jesus calls us to a life of surrender that I believe I truly made the decision on my own. Since this time, it’s become clear to me that the call of Christ to come and die to self in order to experience a new life in Him is central to the Christian worldview. A Christianity without this call to die is not Christianity at but a secularize self-help religion that looks nothing like the Church, established in the New Testament.
The gospel of Matthew records Jesus parting words, before ascending to heaven, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
Disciples. A disciple is one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. Jesus called these men his disciples because their focus was to accept his teaching and spread them to the ends of the earth. In other words: I am not a disciple unless my disciples have made disciples. Discipleship is a multiplication process, thus the understanding and living out of the accepted truths is essential.
Theology As Discipleship by Keith Johnson is an exploration into the theological truths Jesus taught. He helps the reader understand that in order to follow Christ completely we must have an accurate understanding of the his teachings. Our theology is essential to how we live our lives. An improper or incomplete view of God and theology spawns a skewed view of life and how we should live it. Thus theology is of utmost importance to our lives.
Links related to Theology as Discipleship:
- Themelios: Theology as Discipleship
- Western Theological Seminary: Episode 6: Keith Johnson on “Theology as Discipleship”
- InterVarsity Press: Theology as Discipleship