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Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World Paperback – August 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1587432309 ISBN-10: 1587432307 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press; 2 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587432307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587432309
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It is easy to forget that Christianity began as a radical religion, that the assertion "Jesus is Lord" is radical. Camp reminds us of the faith's radical roots. He starts in "the most Christian country in Africa": Rwanda, a land rife with ethnic tension and violence between two ostensibly Christian tribes. He shifts to Nashville, arguably the most Christian city in the U.S., and there, too, is tension, albeit not violence, between the two largest denominations in town, Southern Baptists and Churches of Christ Baptists, longtime antagonists. As Camp sees it, this is wrong. There should be no compartmentalization of faith: you either follow Christ or not. He believes that contemporary Western culture subverts the Christian message, and he suggests a reading of the New Testament that aims to help his readers understand discipleship in a more authentically biblical way. Such practices as worship, baptism, and prayer are God's gifts, he says, rather than things we "must do"--that is, rather than elements of rote ritual. A fascinating and erudite examination of "true" Christianity. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This substantially revised and expanded edition contains added chapter introductions and summaries, an extensive study guide, and a reading guide.

"Part primer in radical discipleship, part Christian manifesto for our times, Mere Discipleship calls believers to a way of life formed by the 'costly grace' of the gospel. The study guide makes this new edition even more accessible and helpful to individuals and congregations. I enthusiastically recommend this book for everyone who is seeking a more faithful and adventurous discipleship."--Charles L. Campbell, Columbia Theological Seminary

"A book for our times. It provides an accessible and reliable account of the biblical Christian message, and a vital critique of the cultural captivity and far-reaching disloyalty to Christ that have so frequently disfigured the church's witness in the world since the days of Constantine. In this lucid and immensely useful book, Lee Camp spells out what faithful discipleship requires of all who claim the name of Christ in this, the twilight of Christendom."--Christopher D. Marshall, Victoria University of Wellington

"This is a blueprint for what would happen if Jesus's followers actually took him seriously today. The inclusion of a study guide in this new edition makes it an even more valuable resource. Read this book, get others to join you, and then step back and watch the sparks fly!"--Michael Frost, coauthor of The Shaping of Things to Come

"This is one of those books that you wear out carrying around, marking up, and loaning out. And the crazy thing is this: the church is actually ready to hear Lee Camp's words. He points us towards a Christianity that is worth believing in."--Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution, coauthor of Jesus for President

"With this book Lee Camp helps us to integrate peacemaking perspectives into what it means to be a disciple in an increasingly violent and belligerent world. This book will challenge--and enhance--prevailing views of what it means to truly follow Jesus in the twenty-first century."--Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways

"This book is for those who long for a Christianity that looks like Christ and seeks to witness to God's dream for creation--the kingdom of God."--Jarrod McKenna, cofounder of The Peace Tree Community, founder of Empowering Peacemakers in Your Community [EPYC]

"Mere Discipleship is the best single book on Christian discipleship I've ever read. Lee Camp insightfully dismantles the Christendom paradigm of Christian living to disclose what being an authentic disciple of Jesus looks like. I couldn't recommend a book more than I recommend this one!"--Gregory A. Boyd, author of The Myth of a Christian Nation

More About the Author

An Alabamian by birth, now a Tennessean happily living in Nashville, Lee is husband of a wonderful wife and father of three active sons--who have been stitched and glued together so many times that there should be a wing at the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital named after him. Lee also teaches at Lipscomb University, loves roots music, and much enjoys writing. Most recently he is the creator and host of Tokens (see TokensShow.com), an old-time radio format show which provides space for the intersection of music, theology, comedy, and author interviews. Lee likes to say that Tokens is like Mark Twain, with all his satire, wit, and social conscience, meeting God, and actually liking the God he meets.

Customer Reviews

The book is firmly grounded in scripture.
Starrider7777
The basic idea of the book is that since Constantine, Christians have been all too willing to compartmentalize their faith.
Oddsfish
This book will challenge how you understand Christianity.
Kerry R. Butts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jarrod McKenna on April 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Christian book market is constantly flooded with material that leaves people neither shaken nor stirred; books that call us to nothing beyond our confined consumerist lifestyles of comfort and conformity. In the flood of mass-marketed easy answers, this little book, 'Mere Discipleship', trusts God enough to ask hard questions. In the flood of apologetics that are not well thought through, 'Mere Discipleship' is a book you don't feel you have to apologize for. In the flood of takes on Christianity that are remembered for power games rather than the empowerment of the marginalised; that are remembered for genocide rather than lifestyles of generosity; that are remembered for the violence of the State rather than the nonviolence of the crucified Christ, we might rightly feel embarrassed about our faith. Yet upon this ocean of despair floats this little faithful vessel, 'Mere Discipleship', that reminds us that, although we may be horrified by a history of Christianity that looks nothing like Christ, we need not be ashamed of the gospel. Amidst the waters of unthinking fundamentalism and unengaged liberalism, 'Mere Discipleship' is a lucid, intelligent yet simple read which has shaken, inspired and moved me to embody the teachings and life of Christ in my person and in my community--and to do so in Resurrection power.
Don't read it unless you are ready to hear the call, "follow me."
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ron O on August 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is not a review but a response to another reviewer. I'm not sure exactly what "doug dm" has in mind when he faults Camp and Brazos Press for not taking Paul and Romans 13 seriously, but I imagine individuals like Camp, Hauerwas, Richard Hays and John Howard Yoder might welcome the chance to point out the following:

With its command that every soul be subject to the governing authorities, and its declaration that God has ordained the sword in the hands of rulers to punish evil, Romans 13 has been cited countless times throughout history as an argument for believers to join in acts of violence for the sake of social order. Martin Luther, for example, cited Romans 13 when he encouraged German princes to "knock down, strangle, and stab" starving peasants revolting in 1525. A more careful reading of the text, however, points toward a radically different Christian ethic. Chapter 13 is part of the same literary unit as Chapter 12, which ends with these words: "Repay no evil for evil... Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, `Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. Therefore: `If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.' Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (v.17-21). Next come the so often (mis)quoted instructions about submitting to earthly authorities. But lest there be any doubt on the matter, in Chapter 13:7-10, Paul returns to the theme of Christian nonviolence, driving his point home with systematic rigor. First, he instructs believers to render to all their due (v.7). Then he tells us that believers should owe no one anything except love (v.8).
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gilstrap on December 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tired of the same ol' pablum one usually finds in popularly written evangelical spirituality? Check out this gem! An outstanding tour de force that strikes at the root (literal meaning of 'radical') of much of popular Christianity. Dr. Camp is a Biblical scholar that pleads for a Christianity that is at once true to its founding AND focused on contemporary culture AND life-changing. Springing from an independent tradition, Mere Discipleship challenges readers to think deeply about the fundamentals of their personal practice of religion.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kerry R. Butts on September 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book will challenge how you understand Christianity. In short, the author is calling on the readers to be more than christendom Christians -- he is calling for a return to authentic discipleship. The wonderful thing about the book, for those of us forunate enough to know the author, is that he strives to live out what he so eloquently articulates in this book. Enjoy and be transformed!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've been hearing a lot about this book since it's currently the book students are passing from hand to hand at the college I live near. It's a dangerous thing; people's hearts and lives are changing because of this book.

The basic idea of the book is that since Constantine, Christians have been all too willing to compartmentalize their faith. The gospel, rather than being a radical call that shapes the way a Christian lives life, has been forced inward, to the point that it only shapes attitudes and not the complete life of the Christian. Camp's call is to decompartmentalize that faith. He urges a reexamination of the sort of life to which Christians are called and into which Christians have been baptized. And to take seriously that call to follow Christ would truly demands a reevaluation of our society and our place in it. In Mere Discipleship, Camp begins that sort of reevaluation.

As others have noted, readers of Stanley Hauerwas or John Howard Yoder will not find much that's new here. Nevertheless, Camp has quite an aptitude for presenting those ideas in a clear and compelling manner, and it is certainly worth a read. For others, there is enormous potential for this book to radically change lives. I'll be recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know.
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