Following Jesus, the Servant King: A Biblical Theology of Covenantal Discipleship by Jonathan Lunde came to me at an interesting time. Just as my interest in honoring the call of our Lord Jesus to radical discipleship has piqued, this book provided a much needed survey of the progression of the covenants in God’s Holy Writ. The author takes on the task of demonstrating something the mainstream church has shown to be lacking for quite some time, a historical and practical demonstration of true obedience. The exemplary servitude of Jesus Christ comes as a focal point and example in which the author demonstrates is the filter in which all obedience to God’s word must be understood. Jonathan Lunde takes a practical approach to this by cleverly and systematically approaching three questions,
- Why: Why should I be concerned to obey all of Jesus’ commands if I have been saved by grace?
- What: What is it that Jesus demands of his disciples?
- How: How can the disciple obey Jesus’ high demand, while experiencing his “yoke” as “light” and “easy”?
What I have enjoyed about this book is its repetitious nature. Many books cover key points and move on. Jonathan Lunde has done due diligence in emphasizing the recurrence of key points in each chapter, how it relates to the last, and how he will approach it in the next. All this comes in light of the application drawn by answering the Why, What, and How questions originally set forth in the beginning of this book. Because this book is a bit higher on the level of difficulty, the reminders are Lunde’s points and purposes are extremely helpful. The benefits of this method along with the content of the book culminates the central focus on Christ’s servant/King status and the call to discipleship. While making no attempt to ultimately correlate the teaching of the law according to Christ and its relationship to the same course of doctrine in Paul, Lunde brings the two together well and spends just enough emphasis on the topic to show their ultimate reconciliation with each other in light of the covenants of God.
According to quite a few reviews previously written concerning this book, the author neglects much of the epistles and their teaching concerning discipleship if you will. Those who have pointed this out state that Paul and the other letters have appropriate content related to the premise of Covenantal Discipleship. I could not agree with their findings and have complete satisfaction in the supreme demonstration of discipleship according to thee supreme example, Jesus Christ. Everything else really is ancillary, Christ and his teaching should always come first, and the rest must follow in agreement, or be cast out. This does not say the epistles are not relevant, but it does demonstrate something I believe this book does well, revitalize a call to covenant discipleship through the Lord Jesus Christ and a call to obedience in him and his word. I did not have any expectations of this book, therefore there was not disappointment on this end.
I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for an unbiased view. I would highly recommend purchasing this book and giving it a read!