He uses as his text the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:16-20:
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)
Note that this text does not say that we are to go and make converts. It specifically says that we are to go and make disciples. If you by into his premise, and I do, then the church has been putting the emphasis in the wrong place. We talk about how many professions of faith we have each year--not about how many disciples we have made. In his understanding you cannot equate disciple and convert. They are two different critters. Now, you can't make a disciple until someone is converted, but conversion is not the end of the process. It is merely the beginning step. The church celebrates conversions, though, as if that is the ultimate step in our relationship with God. Again, it is a crucial step, but only the first step.
Come back for the next post and see how I try to define the word disciple.
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