Author: Preston Sprinkle
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Publisher: NavPress Publishing Group
Provided by: Tyndale
Subjects: Religion, Church, Christianity
Disciple-making is a passion of many, as it should be. It is, after all, our great commission. But much of contemporary discipleship is informed by instinct, and as such it is vulnerable to the whims and trends of the broader culture, which can take us further away from our biblical model and mandate.
Drawing on a 2015 Barna Group study of the state of discipleship in the United States commissioned by The Navigators, bestselling author Preston Sprinkle provides a holistic, biblical response for discipleship, providing accessible tools for all those who are engaged in making Christ-followers in the 21st century. Sprinkle points pastors, church leaders, and frankly, all Christ-followers, to a discipleship that is responsive to this most current research and accountable to the model of Jesus and his earliest followers, who counted making disciples as their most important work.
In an extremely practical fashion, Go helps us to discern, from the Scriptures and from exemplary disciple-making ministries, what discipleship is and is not, what it has become and what it can still be.
Alright. I knew this author through a collaboration book he wrote with Francis Chan. I expected radical ideas and a lot of blunt language.
That book was Erasing Hell. I really did enjoy that book however it takes a very specific person to enjoy a book on unfavorable eternal destinations, if you understand what I mean.
So, after reading it there are things I liked and things that make me cringe. I wouldnt share this with a friend and I didnt see anything which really stood out to me that I would want to quote.
Lets start with the strong points:
1) Faith is for everyday and not just Sunday morning. If your faith is only on Sunday mornings, that is called tradition, not faith. Faith is a lifestyle.
1.5) Faith has to relate to our "secular lives" such as our careers, hobbies, and sources of entertainment.
2) People who dont go to church arent going because they are busy, they are going because they dont want to go.
(This is a cool point I want to talk about in a separate post)
3) The author also pointed out that many churches are almost entirely middle class write people. Christianity is not just for the middle class white people.
There was something I found confusing part way through; the author had said that faith is a communal thing and not merely a private interest. This make sense to me and seems similar to the passage in the Bible which said that faith without love isnt faith.
But the way that the author expressed this was to say that reading your Bible on your own or praying privately is a bad thing. These are not bad ideas and praying and reading one's Bible shouldnt be discouraged!!
I'm not sure how the author or editor connected these two ideas at all.
In the end, I think the author does a fairly good job of connecting with the audience through the book.
To me, the target audience seems to be people who already do go to church and believe Christian beliefs. The book vaguely mentioned gay relationships but only in one line and there is only an implied message.
I can see people who dont have a "Christian mindset" appreciating the parts of the book which point out flaws of the church, but also being alienated by the Christian jargon.
That said, it might also make people with a traditional mindset mad as well. If you think Christianity is just for the rich and white, or you would only like people who fit those criteria in your church, this book could make you very upset.
I think that this book would be great for readers who connect with any of the above enumerated ideas and would like to read more. If you would like, you can order a copy from Amazon here.
About the author
Preston was born and raised in California, but God has taken him to different parts of the world. After graduating from college (2000) and seminary (2003), he and his wife ventured to Scotland where where Preston completed his PhD in New Testament from Aberdeen University. While in the UK, Preston held a brief teaching stint at Nottingham University and then came back to the States where he taught Biblical Studies at Cedarville University in Ohio. In June 2009, he moved back to southern California, where he currently teaches at Eternity Bible College and attends Anthem Church in Thousand Oaks. Preston is happily married to his beautiful and energetic wife, Christine, and has three daughters and one son. In addition to his love for baseball and surfing, his family and he also enjoys the outdoors (hiking, camping, having fun in the sun) and hanging out with college students.