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Choose the Life: Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship Paperback – May 1, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

Choose the Life: Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship + Growing True Disciples: New Strategies for Producing Genuine Followers of Christ + The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ (The Navigators Reference Library)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (May 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064708
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ."--Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Get ready to explore a faith that does not separate salvation from discipleship, but embraces the seamless journey from conversion to transformation.

In Choose the Life, discipleship expert Bill Hull breaks new ground, challenging what we've made of the gospel. He believes that the Great Commission has more to do with spiritual depth than strategies and structures. Jesus is calling us to choose the life of thinking as he thought, living as he lived, loving as he loved, ministering as he ministered, and leading as he led. Anything less is Christ-less Christianity.

"This book is worth the price simply for Bill's elegant, comprehensive, penetrating five-fold definition of what a disciple is."--Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian

"Bill Hull reminds us that being a Christian and being Christlike are synonymous. Choose the Life pinpoints the missing pieces of contemporary discipleship and delivers a compelling call to become a community of obedient, transparent disciples."--Judith Hougen, assistant professor of English, Northwestern College

"Bill takes seriously the challenge to believe, live, love, serve, and lead like Jesus."--Alan Andrews, U. S. director, The Navigators

"Through the experiences of his own journey Bill Hull challenges and, I believe, effectively guides us to see our lives formed through obediently following Jesus as opposed to a myriad of hollow options."--Bill Thrall, founding partner, Leadership Catalyst, Inc.

About the Author

Bill Hull is a writer and discipleship evangelist, as well as the founder of T.N.E.T. International, a ministry devoted to transforming churches into disciple making churches. He has spent twenty years as a pastor and is the author of ten books, including Jesus Christ: Disciplemaker, The Disciple Making Pastor and The DiscipleMaking Church. He and his wife, Jane, live in Long Beach, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book is quite motivational.
Brian
The accompanying study guide and video help reinforce the principle's discussed in the book.
Amazon Customer
I have been a long-time fan of Bill Hull's writings and his passion for disciplemaking.
Richard Higgins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Richard Higgins on May 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
"Choose the Life" addresses fundamental reasons why many discipleship programs fail to work. Bill Hull's thesis is as follows, "A transformed life is needed, a life of depth of true disciples who have chosen to follow the life that Jesus lived. The reason the mission languishes is the acceptance of a nondiscipleship Christianity that creates shallow believers with hollow lives who don't affect those around them. This has led to the marginalization of the gospel and has retarded its spread because of its lack of authenticity and power" (215).
I have been a long-time fan of Bill Hull's writings and his passion for disciplemaking. With stark vulnerability, Hull reveals his own weaknesses and reasons why disciplemaking wasn't working as he desired at his Church. Hull asserts that character is formed in community and the New Testament model of discipleship should have the following characteristics:
1. A disciple submits to a teacher who teaches him or her how to follow Jesus.
2. A disciple learns Jesus' words.
3. A disciple learns Jesus' way of ministry.
4. A disciple imitates Jesus' life and character.
5. A disciple finds and teaches other disciples for Jesus.
Hull states, "The reason characteristics 2 through 4 are most common is that they are the least challenging of the five. Frankly, people can do these without having to change. It goes back to the indictment that we have found ways to be Christian without becoming Christlike. Items 1 and 5 make it all work" (37).
"Choose the Life" goes far beyond methodology to the underlying principles of how discipleship can be effective to transform others. Throughout the book, Hull emphasizes the necessity of relationships of trust in an environment of grace.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on June 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Hull has made an important contribution to twenty-first-century disciple-making. Whereas much twentieth-century writing on discipleship focused on the product and the purpose, "Choose the Life" rightly moves us back to the process and the people.

Hull returns us to the ancient paths reminding us that God's way focuses upon character developed in community based upon content that leads to competence. In other words, we start with the heart (character) developed in the home (community) based upon the head (biblical content) resulting in hands (competence to do the work of the ministry).

"Choose the Life" provides the biblical and psychological (in the biblical sense of that word) foundation necessary for effective discipleship. It is a refreshing return to Jesus' model of ministry. Though not "programmatic," it is still practical for real world ministry.

Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction," "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Sacred Friendships: Listening to the Voices of Women Soul Care-Givers and Spiritual Directors."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Phillip H. Steiger VINE VOICE on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think what I liked best about this book is that is far from a "how to" manual on discipleship or church leadership full of "tips and tricks" on how to implement programs or get people to do things. Hull is honest about his own journey, and is compelling when he encourages the reader to choose a life of genuine discipleship. Hull identifies one of the primary problems in our churches as a lack of genuine discipleship, or Christ-likeness in the lives of average believers. The solution, he argues, is to become "intolerant of fringe Christianity." He then uses a five-fold rubric to structure his vision of discipleship: transformed mind, character, relationships, service, and influence.

One of Hull's more gripping arguments is that evangelism begins with a deepening church. Disciples given over to Christ and who have a God-like love for the world will make the best evangelists. In order to extend the branches of the church, it first must strengthen its roots. In addition, Hull argues, evangelism must be a call to a whole life. We should no longer get away with momentary decisions. We must model, encourage, and produce a structure where believers at all maturity levels can find their lives aimed toward Christ.

I am convinced of Hull's basic argument that the Church needs to recapture a robust notion of discipleship. His argument that, "discipleship...is the primary and exclusive work of the church" is right on the money (pg. 29). If you want to be motivated to find out what that means as an individual or even as a leader, this is a tremendous work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joel S. Frady on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bill Hull has written an insightful book about the failings of the church. His thesis is summed up on page 31, "The awful truth is that we are making very little impact on culture because we are shallow. And we are shallow because we have separated salvation from discipleship." Hull defines discipleship as a five step process wherein one submits to a mentor, learns of the words, ministry and life of Jesus and then finds others and makes disciples of Jesus. Hull says that the first and last steps are often neglected with the result that genuine discipleship is rare.

The last half of the book, where the life of discipleship is discussed in the context of the mind, relationships, submission and leadership is outstanding. I could quote in this review dozens of sentences I highlighted in these chapters. Choose the Life is a book I will be revisiting often as I seek to follow Christ.
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