The Radical Disciple – A Review

John R. W. Stott. The Radical Disciple. IVP Books, 2010. 144 pp. $10.20.

 

                                    John Stott is a name that has been well known in Christian ministry and teaching for many, many years. In The Radical Disciple, Stott addresses eight aspects of our Christian lives that he believes need to be more strongly emphasized in Christian living. These aspects include:

 

1. Non-conformity

2. Christlikeness

3. Maturity

4. Creation-care

5. Simplicity

6. Balance

7. Dependence

8. Death

 

Positives

 

            Stott writes with a clarity and eloquence that are not often present in our more modern, more breezy works. His use of language is solid, making the pages of this book fly by.

 

            Stott’s handling of the Christian’s need for maturity, non-conformity, suffering, and dependence especially resonated with me. Stott, writing in his late eighties, expresses a very mature, very God-honoring understanding of death, suffering, and dependence upon others.

 

Negatives

 

            While I enjoyed this work in general, the middle chapters of this book were not as helpful. Stott’s calls for creation care and simplicity, while important calls in general, were not his best argued points. The author parrots the popular environmental issues of global warming, ozone layer protection, and population growth without seeming to question the findings of secular scientists. Similarly, in the chapter ron simplicity, Stott rightly argues for our need to simplify our lives in order to be able to give more, but does not offer much by way of practical help to accomplish this.

 

Conclusion

 

            The Radical Disciple has some very important lessons for Christians to hear. In some places, Stott brings forth real gems of thought. In others, however, his ideas are not as inspiring.

 

Audio

 

            I received a free download of this book as part of Christian Audio’s reviewers program. The audio version, read by Grover Gardner, is simply excellent, meeting Christian Audio’s clearly high standards.

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