Moderator: Dave Roberts
Hauerwas' complaint that the free church understanding of church has ceased to be distinctive and offer opportunities to create disciplined communities … instead they mirror society in practising church as autonomous individual persons who resist any notion of authority or obedience in the name of a skewed understanding of rights and freedom.
Discipleship is not just a nice notion of church membership or church education, but it entails a resituating of our lives. The disciples of Jesus are the ones who follow their master and who are able to follow their master because they have been instructed in his way of life, both his aim and his practice of embodying that aim. Note well that the disciple is one who is in sync with the master-teacher, a profoundly undemocratic notion, for the relation consists in yielding, submitting, relinquishing to the will and purpose of another.
Discipleship fundamentally entails a set of disciplines, habits and practices that are undertaken as regular, concrete, daily practices. Such daily disciplines are not very exciting or immediately productive, but like the acquiring of any new competence, require such regimen, not unlike the learning of a new language by practicing the paradigm of verbs, not unlike the learning of piano by practicing the scales, not unlike the maintenance of good health by tenacity in jogging, not unlike every intentional habit that makes new dimensions of life possible. The church is a community engaged in disciplines that make following the master-teacher possible and sustainable'
Brueggemann offers this as a possible set of disciplines: teaching (catechesis), fellowship, eating together, prayer, fasting, recovery of Sabbath. He goes on to say that first, 'it is clear that these disciplines, if taken seriously, are immensely inconvenient ...
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