Walt Mueller in his insightful blog learning my lines … draws our attention to a powerful new book by John R.W. Stott called The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of our Calling. He identifies eight aspects, one of which is incredibly surprising – death. Below is an excerpt from Mueller’s blog
“Christianity offers life – eternal life, life to the full. But it makes it plain that the road to life is death. . . Life through death is one of the profoundest paradoxes in both the Christian faith and the Christian life.”
Stott then goes on to describe six areas in which this is true.
There’s death in our salvation. Christ died in our place so that we might have life.
There’s death in discipleship. As Christ’s followers, we are called to take up our cross and die to ourselves.
There’s death in mission. “People receive life through the Gospel, and those who preach the Gospel faithfully suffer for it.”
There’s death in persecution. The history of the church is filled with accounts of physical persecution being the avenue to life.
There’s death in martyrdom. Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Romanian pastor Josef Ton, who told in one of his sermons how the authorities threatened to kill him because of his faith. Ton responded, “Sir, your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying.”
Finally, there’s death in mortality. For the Christian – John Stott included – the best is yet to come.
These are the realities we must contemplate and communicate. They bring great joy, great hope, and great assurance. They prepare us for what is to come.
From Steve: You can read the rest of this article at MUELLER