The Meanings of Discipleship
Author Andrew Hayes & Stephen Cherry (eds.)
Publisher SCMP £35
Discipleship is an ecclesial work: it is not a purely solitary exercise in becoming more Christlike. Of course one of the outcomes of being a disciple is to become more like Christ; however that should not be an end in itself. If, as Rachel Mann argues, discipleship is about becoming your true self, then that true self should be better equipped to live a fuller and more creative life in Christ, which must surely benefit others as well as yourself. Each chapter conveys a different picture of discipleship, which might leave an individual reader somewhat confused as to which route they should be following. Could it be discipleship as gardening, as the chapter by Sam Ewell proposes, or might a social action approach as argued by Anthony Reddie be your way forward? Perhaps this book would be best used as a group resource, for example by a parish ministry team, for whom a clearer idea about the breadth and depth of discipleship might give them a new understanding of God’s calling in their particular context.
Reviewed by MARION GRAY