Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

For the last several years, THE question I've been wrestling out loud with anyone who is even remotely interested has been: "What does first century Jesus-like disciplemaking look like in a twenty-first century Western culture?" I love wrestling this question... and trying to apply what I'm learning.

However, note that this question requires one to study first century Jesus-like disciplemaking. Of course, this requires reading and studying the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But, since I'm a product of the 21st century West, I also realized that I needed some help to tune into first century Eastern Jesus disciplemaking. But what resource should I consult? (And one should be careful on this point as there are some popular but not-so-reputable sources out there.)

Enter: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

If you've gotten lost in the conversation about Jesus as a rabbi and what his Jewishness means for Christians, this book is probably one of your best tickets to a basic understanding of Rabbi Jesus. For the most part it's enlightening, interesting, well-researched and well-written. It's not necessarily an easy read, but neither is it laden with academic speak. Theologically, the authors are Evangelical with expertise in first century Jewish culture. The glossary of terms in the back of the book could be worth the price of the book.

My favorite chapters are chapter 2 "Why a Jewish Rabbi," chapter 4 "Following the Rabbi," and chapter 5 "Get Yourself Some Haverim" (see, you need the glossary right now to know what Haverim is). Here are a few quotes I found stimulating—to give you a small taste of what you will find if you read the book for yourself:

"...a rabbi's greatest goal was to raise up disciples who would carry on his teaching." —page 33

"The mission of the rabbi was to become a living example of what it means to apply God's Word to one's life." —page 33

"To follow a rabbi meant something other than sitting in a classroom and absorbing his lectures. Rather, it involved a literal kind of following in which the disciples often traveled with, lived with, and imitated their rabbis, learning not only from what they said, but from what they did—from their reactions to everyday life as well as from the manner in which they lived. The task of the disciple was to become as much like the rabbi as possible. This approach to teaching is much more like a traditional apprenticeship than a modern classroom. This approach involves not just information but transformation." —page 51

"God's goal isn't simply to fill the world with people who believe the right things. It is to fill the world with people who shine with the brilliance of Christ." —page 64

Overall, I give it 4 on a 5 point scale. Having said that, let me say that Cadre Ministries is making it required reading for anyone in our Disciplemaking Learning Communities and any trainer that we train to lead Disciplemaking Is Relationships.




A Cracker Jack Moment
If you're still reading, here's a reward for you: to get a FREE PDF sample chapter download of the book, GO HERE.

For a FREE PDF downloadable study guide to accompany each chapter of the book, go here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stuff only God can do: Join me for a Woot Woot moment

Check out the pictures. Read the stories. It's stuff only God can do. Ain't it fun (though not necessarily easy) to be along for His ride? In the words of my teenagers: "Woot! Woot!" I encourage you to breathe your own prayers of "Woot! Woot!" to God as you read. Click any image below to enlarge for reading. To download this two page ministry update for reading, printing, or sharing, GO HERE.

Your prayers and financial support are much-needed and much-appreciated! For more information about how you can partner with God, the Allisons, and Cadre Ministries, GO HERE. To make a secure online tax-deductible donation, GO HERE.