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Gospel-Centered Discipleship

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  699 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Everyone’s idea of discipleship is different. Some people emphasize evangelism—sharing their faith. Still others promote a hierarchical system for spiritual growth, a way for older Christians to pass on best practices to younger believers. Yet, both ideas are incomplete. Real discipleship is so much more.

Avoiding extremes and evaluating motives, Jonathan Dodson insists on
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 7th 2012 by Crossway (first published March 1st 2012)
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Shawn Woo
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
What is the difference between evangelism and discipleship? The common answer is that evangelism is converting non-Christians while discipleship is maturing those who are already Christians. However, Jonathan Dodson argues that this is an artificial division, since both evangelism and discipleship are about proclaiming the gospel–that Jesus lived a perfect life, died for our sins, then defeated death in His resurrection, so that we can be justified, sanctified, and glorified in Him. The gospel i ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
A Powder-Keg

Gospel-Centered Discipleship is a small book at roughly one-hundred and fifty pages but it’s a powder-keg of gospel truth. Dodson develops a biblical theology for discipleship centered around the gospel. He exposes what should be the foundation for growing in Christ by reexamining the Great Commission and exposing common pitfalls in discipleship theology. He defines a disciple as “someone who learns the gospel, relates in the gospel, and communicates the gospel. In short, disciples a
Josh Mccoy
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Clear, concise, and to the point. This book has 3 main sections.

1. Covers what the Gospel is and why it is important. Also goes over the other main religious ideas that we commonly believe such as religious moralism and religious license and why they are deadly to the believer.

2. Covers the fundamental concepts of discipleship such as the 'why' the 'theoretical how' and the 'who.' Why = we are commanded to grow as Jesus' disciples and we will be accepted by him by living to the image he purchase
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mission
The idea of gospel-centered discipleship is nothing new. It is a conversation that has become increasingly popular over the past decade. Authors such as Jerry Bridges, Tim Keller, Tim Chester, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Tullian Tchvidjian, and Jeff Vanderstelt have helped us to understand that the gospel's goal is not to simply save us; it is intended to sanctify us as well. Building on this idea, Jonathan helps us to see that the goal of discipleship is not to simply make us more Bible literate (knowle ...more
Matt Mason
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read an article on spiritual community by Dodson several years ago, so I was glad to see that it was expanded into this. Dodson's discussion of the aim of discipleship is extremely helpful. Theologically-nuanced, practical, and encouraging.
Maarten De vries
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ik heb 'Gospel-centered discipleship' samen met 'Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time' van Greg Ogden gelezen. Beide boeken gaan over het belang van kleine groepen voor geestelijke groei als christen. Beide boeken zijn geschreven door mannen. In vergelijking met Ogdens boek is Dodsons boek minder praktisch ingestoken en meer theologisch gemotiveerd.

Waar Ogdens boek meer nadruk legt op 'how-to' en op probleemoplossing, legt Dodsons boek meer nadruk op het waarom (motivatie)
Harold Cameron
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In his book, Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Pastor Jonathan Dodson takes a bold new and innovative look at the issue of discipleship and the church. I really like and believe wholeheartedly what he writes in the foreword of his book, “Over the years, I have become painfully aware that people tend to drift away from the gospel soon after their conversion and begin to try their hand at sanctification. In other words, they operate as if the gospel saves them but doesn’t play a role in sanctifying th ...more
Andrew Ivester
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Unlike other discipling books, Dodson tries to wed the theology and practice of discipleship in a simplified way. The intent of the book seems to be the practical next steps, but the value of the book definitely lies within the theology portion. He grasps the ‘why’ of discipleship and lays it out in layman’s terms, which gives the book great value from a pastoral/teaching perspective. This is certainly a book that can be given to those in the pew. His analysis of gospel-centered and how believer ...more
Jeremiah Whiteman
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's a good book. He does a good job of pointing out inconsistencies in Discipleship, and pointing to what seems like a proper way of gospel centered discipleship. Only thing I didn't like was how modern he tried to be with his explanation of things such as a 'vertical' or 'horizontal' relationship, the three 'conversions' which were "Christ, church, and mission." Otherwise, I'd say it's a good book to go to on what Discipleship should look like personally, and for discipling one another.
Tyler Eason
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dodson does a great job at keeping the gospel at the heart of discipleship. While, at times, he uses over-the-top language, he speaks clearly and passionately about the importance of pursuing Christ with other believers by the power of the Spirit.
Sean Brereton
Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity, kindle
Good book for those who are new to the gospel and having community be missional. Vision casting, but not a lot of new things for people who have already bought in to the vision of gospel-centered, family on mission.
Grayson Pope
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Felt eerily similar to my own thoughts on discipleship. Really good stuff.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
While the writing is annoying at times, the message is definitely worth the read.
Edward Smith
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing wrong with the premise the author puts across it's just that 80% of the book is an argument to support his statement. I was on board at the 20% mark.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed Dodson's approach to discipleship. Clear, well thought through, and helpful for those thinking through this important aspect of every Christian's life.
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
A book of 2 halves for me. First half (Chapter 1-4) were really excellent in providing a paradigm for solid gospel-centred discipleship. Second half (chapters 5-8), not so much. Some useful stuff - for sure, but felt his practices were too much raised to the level of biblical principles.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my passions and interests is to help people grow as disciples of Christ. I also really like the gospel. So when I saw a book called Gospel Centered Discipleship coming down the pike, I just knew I had to review it. Jonathan Dodson, pastor of Austin City Life Church (located conveniently in Austin) has written a thought provoking book addressing what discipleship properly centered on the gospel is. In part 1 he defines discipleship, in part 2 he addresses the motivation and power behind di ...more
Josue Manriquez
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I would give this a 3.5 if I could.

I think Dodson could have been more clear in his explanation of what it means to "teach everything that Jesus commanded" (cf. Matt. 28:19-20). I get that the gospel permeates everything. I get that "the teaching is gospel including the breadth of the redemptive, Christ-centered story and the depth of later doctrinal reflection on that story..." (ch. 1). Yet to claim that "the Great Commission commands us to learn the gospel by the gospel" doesn't clarify this v
Mike Phay
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am going through this book a second time with a small group - "fight club," as Dodson would call it - of men, and we are re-centering our discipling relationship in the Gospel. This is a helpful and practical book for that, and I am looking to how it will equip us to be men who will speak the Gospel into the lives of others.
Dodson writes, "The fight to be who we are in Christ is what this book is all about," and points us to a Gospel that is so central and all encompassing, that it cannot be
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Discipleship is about relationships and from them you have the spread of the Gospel which is evangelism. This book is written in a foundation that is built up in how to form Gospel-Centered relationships. Many times our motives are twisted with legalism or license to sin, and thus distort the gospel. One of the things that was impressed upon me was the working of the Holy Spirit or as he likes to quote Francis Chan, the forgotten God. I have read that book, but I felt like his teaching was more ...more
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: faith-ministry
This book taught me that discipleship must be authentic. It taught me practical ways to start practicing biblical discipleship - intentionally and regularly spending time with one or two other guys who are serious about fighting sin with the promises of scripture. I thought the section on the Holy Spirit was extremely spot-on and what I needed to hear (it helped that I was reading Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit at the same time as that chapter). Reading this book ...more
Matt Chapman
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Dodson is very clear in showing how gospel-centred living is not driven by license or legalism but instead delight in, and devotion to, Christ. Chapters 1-4 are superb. Chapter 5 on the Holy Spirit is very good although I'm not totally sure about his emphasis on praying to the Spirit to the degree he advocates. Chapter 6 was the problem chapter for me - I agree with many of his conclusions but I'm doubtful about some of the hermeneutics he used to get there. Chap
Brian Daniel
Dec 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would recommend this to two different groups. (1) Anyone looking for a practical form of discipleship, how it works, and how to find a more personal and effective discipleship experience (2) Those looking for an alternative to their current group life. Dodson does a great job at laying down both a foundation and rationale for what he calls Fight Clubs. These are small-groups of 2-3 individuals (perhaps more) that essentially "fight" for their faith. More than accountability, the author advocat ...more
Bob T
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This is a great book for a church that desires to help with the spiritual growth of its other words every church! Dodson lays out a practical, easy to understand path of discipleship, primarily through what he calls "fight clubs" or fighting sin groups. The way he goes about explaining his view appeals more to millennials, perhaps. However the underlying concepts apply to anyone who has a desire to grow in the great commandment. Some may say it's a pretty bold approach to church. But ...more
Philip Mcduffie
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discipleship
Chapter five was the most helpful chapter in the entire book. Throughout the entire chapter Jonathan dealt with the role of the Holy Spirit in being a disciple of Christ. We, as westerners, often mistake the presence of the Holy Spirit for our own conscience or "enlightened" reason. This misunderstanding leads us to be disobedient to the Spirit's promptings. Although chapter five was my favorite, the rest of the book was very Christ centered and extremely applicable as it deals with gospel cente ...more
Nick Moklestad
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that explains clearly what it means and looks like to keep the gospel central in all of our discipleship endeavors. The author does a good job of deconstructing a lot of flawed ways of thinking. He is also very honest about his own failures in the past, and gives very helpful and practical advice on what these concepts look like being actually applied in the context of real life in the church. Highly recommend it! I read it once through, then went through it a second time underlin ...more
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith
May 2013 - Gospel-Centered Discipleship is practical, easily read, and Gospel soaked. Particularly helpful to me was the reminder of the freedom the Gospel gives us to fight hard against sin, without being "hung up" on trying to present ourselves as better than we are, despair over being too bad for Christ, or deceive ourselves into thinking that we've got everything together. Definitely a great book to read as a church family!
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My wife got me this book for my birthday last year and I finally finished it. I was very encouraged and helped by this book. It contains so many encouraging reminders and truths about the gospel and its implications in our lives. I was particularly blessed and challenged by Dodson's chapter on the Holy Spirit and his appendix of gospel-centered questions to ask. I commend this book to your reading!
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Overall, this book was encouraging to read and served as a good reminder regarding what should be the focus in discipleship. Here and there, there were points I didn't completely agree with but that's usually typical of any Christian-life book. I really liked how Dodson addressed both legalism and using salvation as a license to sin. I feel that Christians lean toward one extreme or the other, and I wish believers understood living pure lives in humility. Myself included.
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Unfortunately, after I began this book I had a couple of months this summer where I couldn't read it. When I picked it back up, though, I found myself excited about the ideas Dodson presented on discipleship. I love the idea of fight clubs to help fellow men to know each others' sins, to fight sin, and to help each other trust in the Savior. Fight clubs seem like they are easy to implement. I'll definitely bring this idea to my church.
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Jonathan K. Dodson (M.Div, Th.M) is happy husband to Robie, and proud father to Owen, Ellie & Rosamund. He is the lead pastor of City Life Church and a leader in PlantR and Gospel Centered Jonathan is also author of Gospel-Centered Discipleship, Raised? Finding Jesus by Doubting the Resurrection and The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing (September, 2014). He ...more
More about Jonathan K. Dodson
“We need relationships that are so shaped by the gospel that we will exhort and encourage one another to trust Jesus every single day. We need gospel-centered discipleship.” 4 likes
“The gospel calls us back to look at Jesus over and over again. A disciple of Jesus is a person who so looks at Jesus that he or she actually begins to reflect his beauty in everyday life. The gospel gives us the eyes to see Jesus as well as the power to look like him.” 3 likes
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