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

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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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

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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: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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.
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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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In Mere Discipleship Lee Camp grabs Christians by the scruff of the neck and gives them a good shaking. While American Christianity increasingly worships at the altar of convenience and ease, Mere Discipleship effectively tears down the high places reserved for worship of easy believeism, and Christianity without discipleship.

Being a Christian involves more than a trip to heaven upon death, for real Christianity must move from a personal private spirituality into the realm of the real world where issues, and problems abound. Camp cuts through pop-Christianity, and drives us to a Biblical understanding of what it really means to be a Christian in todays world.

In Part One of his book Camp elucidates what real Christianity looks like. The "Constantinian Cataract" [page 21] that has impacted our view of the world is clearly delineated. Christianity is not a religion for private worship only, but rather realizes that the kingdom of God has broken in to all areas of life, political, social, and religious. As followers of Jesus Christians are pledging allegiance to a new kingdom, not following after the spoils of this world, with its promise that more power, wealth, and social standing equal success. Camp emphasizes that true Christianity is found in radical discipleship, the willingness to give up all and follow after Jesus in building the kingdom of God in our context.

In Part Two, Camp moves on to what disciples believe. With the plethora of Christian literature available today, one would think that orthodoxy would be easily accessible. Unfortunately, this is not the case today. The gospel has been reduced to a fire insurance policy, with no real relevance to life in the here and now.
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