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The Radical Disciple by John Stott–Audiobook Review

18/04/2011

I am thankful to christianaudio.com Reviewers Program for the opportunity to review this work.

The Radical Disciple
Author: John R.W. Stott
Narrator: Grover Gardner

This is the the last work The last book by the leading evangelical churchman of the 20th century, John Stott. 

It seems that the current theme in Christendom is ‘radical’ and it is clear that John Stott capitalized on that title as well.  Mr. Stott challenges the listener with a call to be a radical disciple (deep-rooted and whole-hearted).  It is a simple, clear presentation of basics, a classic picture of what it means to follow Christ.  He outlines eight ways in which we can become radical disciples and organizes the book with these eight topics.

The preface hits us hard right of the top with: Disciples or Christians?

  1. Nonconformity
  2. Christlikeness
  3. Maturity
  4. Creation Care
  5. Simplicity
  6. Balance
  7. Dependence
  8. Death
  9. and the conclusion brings it all together with: “You call me teacher and Lord.”

    Mr. Stott does a great job of breaking all of these eight topics down for us and I found #1, 3, 6, 7 and 8 to be the most helpful chapters.  Why?  There is not much challenging so called ‘disciples’ today when it comes to believers who look like the world and speak for the rest of us who are trying to live holy lives. 
    To non-conform, Stott, points out four areas in which we need to refuse to conform: pluralism, ethical relativism, materialism, and narcissism (or self-absorption).  His exposition of Colossians 1:28-29 http://www.esvapi.org/assets/play.swf?myUrl=hw%2F51001028-51001029(ESV), in chapter 3 outlines what it means to be mature, and I found his statement about the church today being one that was filled with much ‘growth but no depth’ right on time.  I agree, there are many large churches but even less disciples.  One can spend a few moments in Christian social networking circles and have this confirmed in a matter of moments.  In chapter six, Stott exegetes 1 Peter 2:1-17 http://www.esvapi.org/assets/play.swf?myUrl=hw%2F60002001-60002017(ESV) and brings out three areas to hold in balance:  1) Both individual discipleship and corporate fellowship, 2) Both worship and work and 3) both pilgrimage and citizenship.  Chapter seven is about dependence on Christ and how we come into this world dependent and spend the rest of our time here trying to be independent to a fault with it comes to being a radical disciple.  The final chapter, regarding death covers a myriad of topics regarding death, however, the time spent on the disciple dying to self in light of the Cross and God’s holiness is quite powerful and well done.

I have not read too many of John Stott’s books, however, I did read Basic Christianity, The Cross of Christ and have consulted his commentaries from time to time, and I would say that this is a fantastic bookend to his lifetime of work and achievements and is worthy of recommending to all who are starting, growing, and need to be reminded in the faith.   The narrator of the audio made the book well worth the time and I listened to it a couple times before writing this review.  I also believe that John Stott did an excellent job of going out with a bang by challenging us with this book and I highly recommend it.

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