61c7Z5kcBnL._SL1500_Trevor Laurence & Derek E. Radney, Discipleship: An Introduction to Basic Christianity (Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2013).



Discipleship is a work from two pastors in North Carolina writing about how the gospel applies to all people in all areas of life. They write, “We hope to bring this gospel to bear upon every dimension of life so that on a very basic level, we undergo increasing transformation into the image of Christ and his kingdom.” Their book is an “introduction to basic Christianity,” but not a basic introduction, for the book is detailed and deep. While comprehensive rather than exhaustive, the book is still a penetrating look at how to “pass on the faith” to make Christian disciples. From a Reformed and Evangelical perspective, the book thematically centers on the questions “What does it mean to be a Christian?” and “What does this look like?” while topically addressing issues such as the Trinity, Scripture, covenants, justification, sanctification, legalism, prayer, sexuality, and the sacraments.


Themes & Structure:

  • Law. The authors state that the Old Testament Law has three purposes: It drives people to Christ, restrains evil, and teaches proper worship and obedience.
  • Community. The book implicitly calls for community because its information is best experienced alongside a friend, a small group at church, or in family devotions.
  • Book layout. The book is divided into three categories: the Truth, the Way, and the Life. Each aligns organizationally with the primary content in that section: the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer. Another way to phrase this is to say the book subdivides based on doctrine, morality/ethics, and fellowship with God and others.
  • Chapter structure. Each chapter has an italicized section that is geared toward children. The body of the chapters is divided by the specific doctrines or themes. There is a concluding summary followed by a “Further Reading” that lists works providing more depth to the chapter’s concepts.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you agree with the observation that churches have many good programs but rarely have a systematized way of training its people to be Christian disciples? Why or why not?
  2. What are catechisms, and how do their structures match that of Discipleship?
  3. What is the problem with assuming that only pastors and parents train disciples?
  4. “We all believe we are part of a story, but the way we live depends on which story we think is true.” What are some of the stories you’ve encountered in the world?
  5. How do you see the story arc of Scripture—Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration—portrayed in other works such as books and films?
  6. On the authors’ website for their church, Trinity Church of Winston-Salem, the stated mission reads, “A community of Christians seeking to live into the reality that Jesus is Lord.” How does the book align with this?


Click here for a downloadable Word document of this Discussion Guide.