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(Review) Theology As Discipleship by Keith L. Johnson

Publication Date: November 2015.
Publisher: InterVarsity Press Books.
Genre: Nonfiction, Theology, Christian Life.
Pages: 192.
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.

Link for more info @ InterVarsity Press. 
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5. ESV. 
Theology-The Study of religious faith, practice, and experience; the study of God and God's relation to the world. From Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Theology As Discipleship began in dialogue with Johnson's theology students at Wheaton College. The ability to define theology is easier than knowing how to live out theology. Theology As Discipleship developed as a way of explaining how to apply theology in our lives.

The six chapters are "Recovering Theology," "Being in Christ," "Partnership with Christ," "The Word of God," "Hearing the Word of God," "The Mind of Christ," and "Theology in Christ."

Theology As Discipleship is one of those amazing books I'd love to memorize in full. From the first page to the last, I did not want to stop reading. I took several pages of notes, writing several quotes on index cards, in order to re-read them near where I sit to read and study each day.

1. The first reason leading me to give Theology As Discipleship 5 stars for excellent is Johnson's gift of teaching. A gifted teacher will encourage, through their words and demeanor, a students motivation to learn, as well as to grasp the message. Johnson illustrates a message cutting to the heart.
For example,
Follow me! When Jesus Christ speaks these words to his disciples, he not only is calling them to a life of faith and obedience, but he also is unveiling their eternal destiny. The way of discipleship leads to eternal life with God because Jesus Christ is the incarnate Son of God. He shows us the truth about God and his plan for history by making us participants in God's wisdom and partners in this plan. The practice of theology is one form of this participation and partnership. Chapter 2, page 37. 
2. Over the past few years I've prayed to see through Jesus's lens-His perspective. On page 51, Johnson states, "When we see the world through the lens of Christ, we see the truth about reality."
Through Jesus we see He is "head over all things," because He is Creator and in control.
This point resonated with me. Bible verse from Ephesians 1:22.

3. Chapter 4 is titled, "The Word of God." Johnson explains as a disciple of Christ, "we learn how to read Scripture rightly in the same way: the Spirit of Christ teaches us how to understand Scripture. He does so, in part by giving us a share in the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16)." Page 104.
Pages 104-106 is one of my favorite sections in the book. "Spiritual instruction." God changes our lives from the inside out through His Word! Through God's Word His Spirit directs us, makes the content clear, tests us, and shows us whether we are in the right or wrong.

4. The word "partner" is used throughout the book. I've never thought of my walk with the Lord as being in partnership. When I think about this word, I think about two individuals who shake hands in agreement about a certain decision. However, the word partnership between the Lord and myself is a perfect descriptive word. I made a decision to believe, follow, and abide in Christ Jesus. He and I are in partnership with every aspect of life.

5. I believe there are Christians who can not explain what they believe about God or why. Theology As Discipleship explains in lay-terms any Christian can understand and more importantly carry out in their lives.

6. Lastly, chapter 7 holds two points that jumped off the pages at me: humility and patience. These are two words sadly lacking in modern society. Just drive on a freeway and look for patience.
Johnson explains humility means do not argue with people about who is right or wrong in order to "win an argument or be superior." Page 167.
And,
We demonstrate patience when we persist in seeking the knowledge of God even when it is difficult and discouraging. We do so because we know that our pursuit of theology is not about our own happiness or security but about God's call that we use our work to enrich and equip others. Page 169. 
Scripture links courtesy of Bible Gateway.

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