Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Book: Cost of Discipleship

Being in mission means being a Christian and displaying grace.

As Boenhoeffer suggests grace costs....

One of the most important theologians of the twentieth century illuminates the relationship between ourselves and the teachings of Jesus
What can the call to discipleship, the adherence to the word of Jesus, mean today to the businessman, the soldier, the laborer, or the aristocrat? What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us today? Drawing on the Sermon on the Mount, Dietrich Bonhoeffer answers these timeless questions by providing a seminal reading of the dichotomy between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." "Cheap grace," Bonhoeffer wrote, "is the grace we bestow on ourselves...grace without discipleship....Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the girl which must be asked for, the door at which a man must know....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life."
The Cost of Discipleship is a compelling statement of the demands of sacrifice and ethical consistency from a man whose life and thought were exemplary articulations of a new type of leadership inspired by the Gospel, and imbued with the spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty.

What people say about it"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." With these words, in The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer gave powerful voice to the millions of Christians who believe personal sacrifice is an essential component of faith. Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian, was an exemplar of sacrificial faith: he opposed the Nazis from the first and was eventually imprisoned in Buchenwald and hung by the Gestapo in 1945. The Cost of Discipleship, first published in German in 1937, was Bonhoeffer's answer to the questions, "What did Jesus mean to say to us? What is his will for us to-day?" Bonhoeffer's answers are rooted in Lutheran grace and derived from Christian scripture (almost a third of the book consists of an extended meditation on the Sermon on the Mount). The book builds to a stunning conclusion: its closing chapter, "The Image of Christ," describes the believer's spiritual life as participation in Christ's incarnation, with a rare and epigrammatic confidence: "Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord," Bonhoeffer writes, "we recover our true humanity, and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with the whole human race." --Michael Joseph Gross Book

Monday, December 04, 2006

Book: When choice matters

Why are we recommending an ethics book?

What has it to do with mission?

Well many people are looking for answers about life, how to live???

Many ethics books simply tell us what to do!!!

This book written by the Lutheran pastor and academic Dr Mark Worthing, focusses not so much on the issues but rather helps us explore and understand the framework and foundation for making decisions as Christians.

It is an easy to read book, ideal for small groups, people wanting to explore decision making as a Christian and desiring to find a gracious God in the midst of difficult decisions.

Chapters include:
What is ethics
What is Christian ethics?
Major ethical systems
Ethics of Jesus
Role of the bible in Christian ethics
Ethics and the Christian community
Law and Gospel
Christian Liberty
Sanctification and Good works
Christianity and culture
Ethics of Vocation and work
Money Money Money
Marriage and sexuality
Decision making and the will of God
Resources for Christian decision making
coping with controversy

plus bonus material

Friday, December 01, 2006

Web site: Centred Life

The Centred Life's slogan is connecting Sunday to Monday..

Centred Life mainly focuses on helping congregations help indivduals in discovering, nurturing and living out their calling.

Centered Life is an initiative for congregations that share the belief that the mission of the church is to nurture, equip, and send forth their members to see their whole lives as ministry. Members:

  • are helped to discover their strengths and their calling.
  • are encouraged to use their strengths to live out their calling in their homes, communities, work, and congregation.
  • discover meaning, purpose, and identity as faith becomes relevant to all aspects of their lives.
  • are drawn to regular attendance and participation in worship and congregational life as the primary source of nurture, sustenance, and growth in faith and life.

The Centred Life is not about living a different life, but living life differently.
Your calling is your life, it's in the work you do every day—as a parent, child, neighbor, caregiver, volunteer, worker, or however you spend your time.

To know your calling is to know:

  • meaning and purpose
  • identity and belonging
  • freedom and hope

"...I always thought I came into this world to go to church; now I see that I'm in the church to go into the world." - Nelvin Vos, Seven Days a Week

It offers ways and ideas on how you and others can discover their callings, many resources some free and some at a price.

Why not venture into the site and see what it may offer your congregation