This is an unusual and striking book – it is described as John Stott’s last, after which he will consciously lay down his pen at the age of 88. This is also a very autobiographical book in which Stott discusses his own vulnerabilities in the ageing process and the insights this has given him into discipleship. The Radical Disciple is neither a strictly expository and exegetical book, nor a comprehensive discipleship manual. It is surprisingly short (140 pages) and avowedly selective in the themes it covers.
It seems as if Stott wanted one last opportunity to emphasise some of his concerns for the spiritual welfare of the contemporary church. He is at his most eloquent and persuasive in the chapters on creation care and simplicity, in which his long-standing convictions about the environment and materialism are strongly focused. In my view, these are vital issues for Christian discipleship and Stott is right to highlight them.
Overall, this is a worthwhile book and gives considerable insight into the convictions which have shaped Stott’s personal journey of discipleship over his long and distinguished career.
HIGH: The personal nature of this book adds weight to its overall emphasis.
LOW: There is not enough consideration given to the community aspect of discipleship.