[featured_image]Alan and Deb Hirsch have written a new book that casts a dynamic vision for mission-shaped discipleship. Untamed is released this month and I’m watching my mailbox daily for my delivery from amazon.com.

In the last four years since I first read The Shaping of Things to Come, I’ve tried to learn all I can from Al. I’ve enjoyed reading his books, hearing him speak, talking over lunch, and dialoguing over all things “missional.” I’ve appreciated his feedback on my own writing, and I’ve invited him to speak to church planters and leaders that I’ve been working with. His perspective as a missiologist has resonated with my own passion as a missionary to the United States.

Most of all, I appreciate his commitment to seeing the church in the 21st century become radical followers of Jesus. That’s why I am looking forward to the new book that he and Deb have just published. According to the back cover, ”

Untamed exposes the idolatrous clutter that fills our lives and seeks to recapture what it means to be authentic followers of Jesus.”

I am passionate about disciplemaking and I long to see every believer as a disciplemaker. I believe that’s what Jesus had in mind when He sent His disciples to go and make disciples. He didn’t expect them to find other followers of Jesus and then spend all their time trying to follow Jesus better. He expected them to go and find those who were not yet following Jesus, and then proclaim to them the gospel of the kingdom.

However, this is not the idea of discipleship that we see in most churches in America. Alan and Deb are calling believers back to the radical nature of discipleship that Jesus intended. They remind us that Jesus was untamed, and that He calls His followers to be the same.

To be a disciple, you have to focus on following Jesus.

Jesus is the key not only because Christian discipleship is about becoming more like Jesus, but also because it is only in and through Jesus that we can get the proper, truly Christ-ian understanding of God. In other words, Jesus gets defining rights in relation to life, discipleship, theology, and everything in between. Not only is he the mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim. 2:5), he is the prism through which we can and must understand God (Col. 1:9-21, Heb, 1:1-3). (p. 35)

To follow Jesus, you have to know Jesus.

You have to commit yourself to studying the Gospels to understand who He really is. You have to imitate Jesus. Alan and Deb note, “…ignorance of Jesus (willful or otherwise) creates a toxic religion that is not only not worth spreading,. but detrimental to the cause of Christ.” (p.34).

I encourage you to get a copy of Untamed and discover how to think and live today as radical followers of Jesus!

Other books by Alan Hirsch: The Shaping of Things to Come (co-authored with Michael Frost), ReJesus (co-authored with Michael Frost), The Forgotten Ways, The Forgotten Ways Handbook.

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