Modern theological education, as generally understood and practiced today, is a wholly Western concept. Yet, over the past century and a half, it has become a global prescription. The reason for this is the successful expansionism of the Western missionary movement.
Discipleship, as a praxis, relies upon gaining the hearts of people first, before shaping their understanding.
Discipleship is, first of all, a matter of allegiance and alliance. Loyalty and faithfulness to a core set of values. Values that may be: incarnated in a patriarchal figure (Jesus; Rev. Moon; Keynes etc.), written in a set of documents (Talmud; Mao’s Red Book; Deming’s Profound Knowledge) or represented by an institution (Vatican; Conservative Party; Google). Some form of discipleship is at the core of all people movements — be they social, political, religious or industrial. Popular (of the people) movements have phenomenal potential to impact and transform societies and nations. Witness the Arab Spring. Or the Revolutions of Russia, France and America. Or Nazism. None of these would have succeeded without becoming popular movements. Or without the making of disciples in the earliest stages of revolution. Read more
Imagine a narrow winding pathway, stretching off into the distance. The sides of the pathway are steep and slippery. On one side of the path is a bog, on the other a desert, from either of which it is most evidently difficult to escape, should you find yourself in them.
The morass to the one side is ruled by powers hostile to God, which demand a definite and increasing control in the lives of those who live there. These powers have agendas to which they demand allegiance. These agendas are promoted through human institutions and systems.