Dissident Discipleship

My mentor and I were trying to decide what book we wanted to read together & I remember coming across Dissident Discipleship earlier & thought it looked intriguing. The subtitle is "A Spirituality of Self-surrender, Love of God, and Love of Neighbor." The premise of the book is that many of us are mired in either mono- or bi- polar spirituality. What is needed - what Jesus calls his followers to - is tri-polar spirituality. This is a spirituality of "radical agape and enemy love", a spirituality which says, "I love God only as I love my enemy."

Dr. Augsburger says, "in tri-polar spirituality, we come to know Christ through participation in the practices of discipleship that express love of others and result in practices of inner depth." The meat of the book is describing the seven practices which embody this tri-polar spirituality, which Dr. Augsburger has taken primarily from the Anabaptist tradition.

The chapter that resonated most with my mentor was the one on habitual humility. Dr. Augsburger talks about folly and that "humility is being gentle with the fool who lives within me." Simply, the ability to laugh at oneself without tearing yourself down is very important.

I found the chapter on radical attachment to be most helpful. It speaks to not only believing in Jesus & about Jesus, but actually believing what Jesus believed. Having an attachment to Jesus is an "actual encounter with the Jesus of the Gospels and engagement with his utterly radical claims on us and on creation." But not only this, but in the model of the tri-polar spirituality, one has a radical attachment to the welfare of others.

I found this book very challenging and thought provoking. A very good, but difficult read.

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