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Posted October 4, 2009
Hull, Bill, Jesus Christ: Disciple-Maker, Colorado Strings, CO: NavPress Publications, 1984. 215pp.
Bill Hull has authored several Christian books and pastored for more than twenty years. He is founder of T-Net International, which is a ministry that helps churches transform into disciple-making churches. Hull has earned a B.S. from Oral Roberts University and a M.Div. from Talbot Theological Seminary.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The ultimate plan of the church, said Hull, drawn from the "Great Commission" is to make disciple. He indicates that the majority of churches have evolved into centers that basis are upon worldliness. "Discipleship is the primary thrust of the commission we have been given, we must stop tacking it on our existing structure as a subordinate program in order to ease our guilt. Discipleship must function as the heart of church ministry (10). The importance of discipleship stems from a statement made from Jesus the final night that He spent with the Apostles. From John 15: 7-8 derives vital characteristics describing discipleship: remain, to walk consistently with Jesus where growth is experienced; obedience to the "Great Commission," bearing fruit in attitude and actions; and glorifying God as the foremost objective of all Christians.
The book has four parts where Hull contends that there were four different aspects of Jesus' training of the disciples. The evangelizing, an invitation to "Come and See," which was not the point of an actual calling into the ministry. However, it was a position to allow their curiosity to be aroused. It was here where Jesus changed Peter's name to Cephas (Rock). Hull expressed Jesus' insight to see us, as we will become. This introductory period consisted of Jesus indentifying himself (John 9:39) to the disciples, who felt that everyone would have the same enthusiasm for the Messiah. The disciples witness the first miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding feast. They saw Jesus teaching in the temple during His first of four Passover feasts and witnessed Jesus' infamous 'cleansing of the temple.' Emphasis shows that the disciples were aware of David's psalm of the corruption in the temple. Next, the feeding of the five thousand showed Jesus' indifference to popularity, and Hull illustrates how the miracle distracted the message. Lastly, the disciples witnessed taboo confrontations with Nicodemus and a Samaritan woman.
The second part, establishing, or "Come and Follow Me" has allowed the disciple to break from the training to marinate upon what they had seen thus far. Jesus meets up with the disciples having returned to their fishing occupation and performs the miracle of 'the record catch.' At this point Jesus requests the company of the disciple. Hull describes that the discipling effort gave the followers the opportunity to reject the request. Jesus exposed them to more teaching that included the synagogues. "They were watching closer and taking mental notes because, for the first time, they could see themselves doing the same kind of ministries someday (73)." By now, Jesus' popularity had increased immensely. Everywhere they went, large crowds followed. On a visit to Peter's house, his mother-in-law was ill with fever, when Jesus entered the house the fever immediately left. The next morning Jesus stole away before the people rose for the day. Later the disciple found Jesus in a remote area praying showing them the importance of communicating with God and ministry. The disciples could clearly see that Jesus was compassionate without partiality. Learning experiences were being elevated to inc