This book is a wake up call to those involved in church discipleship. Anderson is straight forward. Discipleship is growing spiritually mature Christians. Discipleship is helping people resolve personal and spiritual conflicts through repentance and faith. Every believer can be involved in discipleship since every believer has the power and authority to do so based on our identity and position in Christ.
If that doesn't describe your discipleship ministry, I recommend you read this book. Anderson firmly believes that every spiritual and personal conflict can be dealt with by repentance and faith. It is the only means that brings lasting results. A good discipler is a good counselor but that does not require a degree in psychology. It does require an understanding of who we are in Christ and the whole gospel.
This book is so refreshing. Anderson really believes God is real and active and that we can and do have real God encounters. That's how people are helped, through the reality of God's power and presence. Anderson believes in the reality of spiritual warfare. We need to know how to engage the battle, how to renew our minds and break strongholds (mental habits).
This book is not a theoretical one. Anderson writes from years of experience and results from his conferences. He adds several testimonies of people set free through this method of discipleship and the information taught in the Freedom in Christ Ministries.
I really liked Anderson's discussion on cognitive behavioral therapy. Anderson has nothing against CBT when conducted by committed Christians using the truth of God's word. However, one important part is the presence of Christ. Without the life of Christ in the midst of the work, it is just trying to apply words and will not be effective. The other important requirement is recognizing the reality of the spiritual world, including the work of the Holy Spirit and deceiving spirits.
This would be an excellent book for any Christian, whether involved in discipleship ministries or not. There is loads of good material in this book that can help when working with others and when working on oneself.
I recommend this book to church leaders too. It is a call to return to helping others become mature Christians through the power and presence of God. I am convinced it is the only way transformation will truly occur.
Most of the material in this book is taken from previous books by Anderson. If you have read many of his books, you'll see information you (should) already know. Nonetheless, this book is a good reminder of the transforming nature of God's power and presence. It is also a good overview of all that Anderson proposes.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Neil T. Anderson was formerly the chairman of the Practical Theology Department at Talbot School of Theology. He founded Freedom in Christ Ministries in 1989. He has five earned degrees, including two doctorates. He and his wife live in Franklin, Tennessee.
Bethany House Publishers, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.