An invitation that will make a difference
- Friday, February 9, 2018
- By Dr. John B. MacDonald
Today is not a blog day. It is a newsletter day. So, this is a "bletter" or a "blotter."
I want this invitation to spread wider than my newsletter. My invitation is for you to participate in a life-transforming project.
My title was "An invitation that will make a difference through the Matthew Paradigm." It was too long.
Why this project?
I am developing this project for making disciples of Jesus Christ for all of life – not just the religious bits.
Many, if not most, of the existing discipleship programs restrict themselves to activities such as reading the Bible, praying, going to church, and sharing the Gospel. Don't get me wrong – all these are very important, but they are only part of what Jesus intends for making disciples.
God's purpose in making disciples is to transform people into the likeness of his Son, Jesus Christ (e.g., Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This requires change in every area of our lives. It is about all of life.
Many, if not most, of the existing discipleship programs are designed to be completed in a relatively short time. Making disciples takes a life-time. Again, it is about all of life.
Over more than four decades I have become increasingly disenchanted with most of the discipleship programs available. I explain this disenchantment in "How to make disciples: a better way." A version of that post is scheduled to appear in the March 2018 edition of Love is Moving, a publication of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
This project is The Matthew Paradigm. The aim is to reclaim Matthew's Gospel for making disciples of Jesus Christ for all of life.
How you can participate
Many of you are subscribers to living theology, and have downloaded a free copy of Listening Well to Matthew. This is an introduction to a dynamic, multi-dimensional understanding of Matthew's Gospel, not only for learning, but living.
If you're not part of living theology yet, you can get your free copy of Listening Well to Matthew by clicking here.
Some have been digging into Matthew to discover how they can listen, learn, and live Matthew's Gospel for making disciples.
One person has chosen Matthew 15:1-20 and come up with some amazing insights. Now, that person is pulling the J.P.E.G. findings together (synthesis) in anticipation of discovering how it provides biblically-valid, life-transforming initiatives.
We’ve been learning from each other. It’s invigorating in every sense.
A new website is in the making: matthewparadigm.com. Don’t look, it’s not ‘up’ yet.
What you can do
1. As already mentioned, get a copy of Listening Well to Matthew and read its 44 pages. It is a foretaste of The Matthew Paradigm and sets you on a course for reading Matthew in a whole-new way.
If you are already a subscriber, and haven't downloaded Listening Well to Matthew yet, the link for your free copy is in today's newsletter. You can also write to me, and I'll send you a copy. Just tell me you're already a subscriber.
2. After you've read Listening Well to Matthew, pick a pericope that grabs your attention. A pericope is a unit of text – it's explained in the book(let).
There are over 170 pericopes in Matthew.
I've put together a list of the pericopes for you with a short description. Just click here for your free download of the pericopes.
3. Start to work on the analysis of the pericope you select.
Here’s a link to your free download of a template in Word format for working on your J.P.E.G. analysis. This may help you organize your findings.
4. If you need help or encouragement write me at email@example.com or click here.
It could be help in:
- choosing or confirming a pericope;
- locating the parallel for ‘G’ (you'll know what I mean when you read Listening Well to Matthew);
- digging further into an analysis of an Old Testament quotation used in Matthew;
- pulling together your findings (synthesis);
- discovering how your synthesis translates into living in your ‘here and now’; or,
5. Once you’ve worked through your chosen pericope, send it to me. I want to hear your stories. How has your J.P.E.G. analysis enriched your journey as a growing disciple, and how does it equip you for making disciples?
Your findings and stories may then be added to matthewparadigm.com for the benefit of others.
Again, if you haven't got your copy of Listening Well to Matthew, just click here.
Are you ready?
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