Book Review | Gospel-Centered Discipleship J.K. Dodson

23 April, 2015 § 2 Comments

9928_large_imageA disciple of Jesus, then, is someone who learns the gospel, relates in the gospel, and communicates the gospel. This definition of disciple shows us that the gospel both makes and matures disciples. (Ch. 1)

After agreeing to take on the discipleship equipping ministry at my local church, I find myself a little lost as to how to move forward with training my brothers and sisters how to disciple one another.


Jonathan K. Dodson (Author)

In Jonathan Dodson’s, “Gospel-Centered Discipleship,” Dodson give’s his own model for discipleship that comes in the form of support groups called, “fight clubs”. The book itself is incredibly digestible (I read it easily in two days), and His modes and methods for working out your own salvation along side others are fresh and invigorating as is his philosophical understanding of how we tick as human beings. However, I found myself at times agreeing with his conclusions but perhaps not being totally there with him in how he reached those conclusions. For instance, I’m all for being gospel-centered in my discipleship but Dodson doesn’t explicitly define the gospel we are to be centered around. His ample use of the methods and theologies of men who have painstakingly worked out their own salvation with fear and trembling leaves me nervous that Dodson may have centered not only on the gospel (it would be untrue to say he hadn’t) but also on the wisdom of man about the gospel in a sort of Gospel+ model–not less than the gospel but not alone either.

Making disciples requires not only, “sharing our faith,” but also sharing our lives–failures and successes, disobedience and obedience. (Intro)

I admit that I’m playing the devil’s advocate on this one, but in practical theology you have to be clear. If you are not clear you flirt with disaster. If I raise my (or another’s) story to the life transformation status of God’s story I am in a world of trouble. But this sentiment is inconsistent with the rest of the book and so I must conclude that it is not the author’s intention in his writing to purport a gospel+ model.

I would have liked it to be clearer, but his intent was spot on. I will definitely be using aspects of Dodson’s, “Gospel-Centered Discipleship,” in the future.


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§ 2 Responses to Book Review | Gospel-Centered Discipleship J.K. Dodson

  • Daniel Waltz says:

    It sounds interesting. I’m currently reading ‘Celebration of Discipline’ by Richard Foster. I’m really enjoying it but it’s a really heavy read so I’m looking to also pick something up that’s a little lighter for those late hours.

    • Daniel Bacon says:

      I’ll have to check that one out. Dodds admittedly wrote “Gospel-Centered Discipleship,” with a both theology practicality in mind so I think that you will find it to be lighter. Thanks for stopping in!

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