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Preface

PREFACE

This book did not come from any plan or desire to write a book for the sake of writing a book. Rather, it grew out of an effort to add­ress certain situat­ions in our churches. In our churches we had non-Christ­ians who were con­tem­pla­ting bap­tism and wanted to know how to live the Christian life. But we also had Christ­ians who, despite hav­ing been bap­tized, did not know what it means to be a Christ­ian in the biblical sense. They were living in spiritual defeat and making no head­way in their “Christ­ian” walk because they did not know what it means to follow the Lord Jesus.

These Christians come from all walks of life and every type of reli­gious upbringing but there is a common denominator to their spiritual malaise: a lack of commitment to God. A Christian who is not com­mitted to God is like a soldier who is not loyal to his own country or a family member who doesn’t care about the welfare of his family. With­out commitment to God, the Christian life simply does not work.

To help this situation, we set up a Bible training called Commit­ment Train­ing (CT) which is still ongoing in our churches (Christian Disci­ples Church). The present book, which is based on the CT and edited for a wider audience, can be used beneficially by all churches be­cause it deals with universal issues that confront many in the body of Christ.

CT has since been given to over a thousand people, many of whom were non-Christians seek­ing to be baptized. Thankfully, most of them have gone on to committing themselves to God. A minority, however, felt that the cost of disciple­ship is too high, and deferred making the com­mit­ment of faith.

The first CT was given in English in Hong Kong, a city in which English is not the mother tongue of most people. Hence we used a simple style of Eng­lish to con­duct the training. This was for clarity but also for facilitating translat­ion, in­cluding the translation later used in the CTs giv­en in Thailand, India, Nepal, Myan­mar, and Indonesia. But even among the trans­lators, the level of English is not necessarily high. And as for the trainees, some are not well edu­cated even in their own lang­uages. Here is where simpli­city of lang­uage is useful, and where we see God’s wis­dom in having the New Testam­ent composed in the Koine Greek of the common people as dis­tinct from the literary Greek of the educated.

The 15 chapters in this book correspond to the 15 CT sessions, each orig­inally an hour long. Most people can, however, read through a chap­ter of this book in far less time.

The thought of publishing the CT sessions was not originally in our minds. But by God’s grace, many have found them helpful over the years, so the question was repeatedly asked as to why they should not be pub­lished.

The first edition of this book was published in 2001. This 2015 revised edition improves the flow of writing (e.g. by removing the repetit­ion which is natural and effective in speech but is not needed in writing) and adds supplementary para­graphs here and there (e.g. to explain commit­ment in the light of bibli­cal mono­theism).

We hope that all who read this book will be in­spired to com­mit to the one true God as we follow in the steps of His Son Jesus Christ, who lived in obedience and total commitment to his God and Father.

Eric Chang
Montreal, July 1, 2000

Bentley Chan
Montreal, October 13, 2015
biblicalmonotheism@gmail.com

 

(c) 2012 Christian Disciples Church