Archive for the ‘Jonathan Dodson’ Category

The missional church seeks to join Jesus on his mission. This series by Jonathan Dodson focuses on three wrong approaches to being a missional church.

  1. Event-Driven
  2. Evangelism-Driven
  3. Social Action-Driven

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Great list of resources by Jonathan Dodson:



  • Sacred Marriage (Gary Thomas) – argues that marriage is for holiness as much as it is for happiness. Love this quote: “We don’t fall out of love as much as we fall out of repentance.”
  • When Sinners Say I Do (Harvey) – heavy on the gospel-centered dynamic between husband and wife
  • God, Marriage, & Family (Kostenberger) – uber-biblical, with a twist of practical. Great for reference and finer concerns.
  • The Momentary Marriage/free ebook (Piper) – God-centered, biblical, and practical. I really enjoyed this new book by Piper that sets your marriage in the larger context of the glory of God and the mission of the church.
  • The Mystery of Marriage (Mason) – more philosophical reflections on marriage. Our copy of this book is legendary. We read it in 2000 and keep bumping into people who have read our copy, and say they love the book. Weird.
  • Love that Lasts Riccucis – marital wisdom for a lifetime. The Riccucis are transparent and helpful.

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Really nice piece in The Austin Statesman by Jonathan Dodson:

When I hear the word gospel, I hear overtones of creation, of Jesus making all things new. This is especially good news because, if polar bears and the Amazon need to be renewed, I, a broken, very imperfect sinner also need to be renewed. In fact, it is humanity that has wrecked so much of creation. The Gospel holds out hope not just for a broken creation, but for a broken humanity.

Check out the whole thing here.

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Fight Clubs are gatherings of 2-3 men or 2-3 women who study the Scriptures together in order to fight sin and follow Jesus.

One of the most difficult parts of our fight against sin is the need to bring our God-scandalizing patterns of thinking, feeling and action out of the darkness and into the light through confession. Jonathan Dodson explains why owning up to our sin and sinfulness is so hard and how we find the courage to fight:

In response to the Fight Clubs book, I recently received an inquiry about a particular sentence I wrote in the introduction:

“I can tell people my sins because my identity doesn’t hang on what they think of me.”

I wrote up a response, which Boundless published on their blog. In it I argue that most people approach others from one of two places, above (strong pride) or below (weak pride). Self-doubt sets us off in search of approval and pride sets us up for applause. We need something to free us from our search of approval and applause in order to confess our sin. Here is an excerpt and you can read the rest here.

When our identity is hung up on what people think of us, it becomes difficult to be honest with them. Some of us approach others from below, fearing their rejection or disapproval. In order to keep their approval intact, we refrain from allowing them to see the real, broken us. We may not lie to them (though we probably do), but we certainly don’t confess our sin to them. Why? Because we treasure their approval more than we treasure Christ.

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When our staff at the church was developing an environment for life-on-life discipleship, conversations with Jonathan Dodson were critical in helping us shape what eventually became Fight Clubs. After beta-testing the groups this spring, we’re rolling them out with a major push this fall.

Fortunately for us – and for you – Jonathan has put all of his thoughts in a book entitled Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship. You would do well to pick up a copy and seriously consider adopting this model. For us, it provides an organic process for people to follow Jesus together – using the Scriptures to find and fight sin by placing our faith daily in Christ.

I have a great deal of admiration for Jonathan and the work he’s doing in Austin – this is a gift to the Church that you should enjoy.


If you’ve struggled to follow Jesus by veering away from the gospel into duty-bound legalism or moralistic indifference, then this book is for you! Fight Clubs is a radical call to fight the fight of faith in the strength of the gospel. Jonathan Dodson calls us to join the fight against sin, legalism, and license by looking to Christ and His gospel. Fight Clubs equips us to fight the fight of faith by exposing the fleeting promises of sin and drawing us into the grace-saturated promises of God. Displacing defective forms of discipleship, Dodson keeps the gospel central by tapping into various layers of biblical motivations that promote joyful obedience to Christ. The book also provides a strategy to fight sin as the church—small fighting communities called Fight Clubs. Read this book; form a fight club; and start fighting in the strength of the gospel.

Table of Contents


1. Why Fight?: The Call to Fight

2. Fighting for the Church: The Failure of Accountability

3. How to Fight: Motivations for Discipleship

4. Fighting with the Church: The Three Conversions of the Church

5. Fight Club: Practical Gospel-centered Discipleship

Appendix 1: Gospel-centered Questions to Ask

Appendix 2: Gospel-centered Resources

Get the Book

Download the e-book in PDF format

Buy the book

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From Jonathan Dodson:

In this article, Tim Keller lays out three perspectives on the gospel (Doctrinal, Personal, Social). We have taken his observations and worked them out quite a bit in order to set up a holistic, gospel framework. We use the word “dimensions” instead of “perspectives” to emphasize that each dimension is non-negotiable. If we receive and reflect only one-dimension, we distort both the gospel and our lives. Very often, Christians pick one or two dimensions and end up dishonoring Christ and his gospel. Our hope is that in understanding the fullness of a three-dimensional gospel, we will more profoundly live it out.

If you want to grow in your comprehension and reflection of the gospel, I highly recommend that you take advantage of these resources:

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Jonathan Dodson with some news:

I am finishing up the book(let) Fight Club: Gospel-centered Discipleship. Thanks to all who voted on covers. I have also posted a table of contents here.

The first chapter lays out a brief biblcial thelogy of fighting leading us to the hope of having the Divine Warrior fight with and for us in the fight of faith. The second chapter shows how we have fought incorrectly as the church, fighting as wimps or bullies via cheap grace or legalism. A gospel-centered approach to following Jesus is offfered that emphasizes the role of the Spirit in making us like Christ. The final two chapters emphasize the role of community and actual practice of forming a Fight Club.

For more information on Fight Club, look at this.

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