Sincere Christians hold divergent ideas about discipleship. Different approaches focus on steps to follow, mentoring, spiritual disciplines, or an intellectual approach, but do they draw definitions from Scripture's big picture? Do they draw enough attention to Jesus' view of discipleship. In A Theology of Mark: The Dynamic Between Christology and Authentic Discipleship Hans Bayerexplores Jesus' approach to discipleship showing how God-perception and self-perception simultaneously shaped the Gospel result in reconciled relationships and radical discipleship.
Hans Bayer places Marks gospel in its biblical context and explores the dynamic relationship between Jesus and his disciplesa process in which Jesus radically transforms them from self-dependent to God-dependent, beginning with their hearts.
Dr. Hans Bayer earned his M.A. and M.Div. from Ashland Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He taught for ten years at the German Theological Seminary in Giessen, where he also planted and copastored a church. Since then, he has served as professor of New Testament at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Bayer has published English and German monographs, essays, and dictionary articles, primarily on the Gospels and the book of Acts.
In customary fashion, Dr. Hans Bayer provides high-level scholarship in accessible form in this, his latest work. For those looking for a fresh way to love Jesus with the mind and the heart, this book provides that rich possibility. I highly recommend it.
A clear, careful, warm, detailed, reflective, humble, personal, and applicable consideration of Marks presentation of Jesus and who we are in relation to him. Bayers disarming gentleness enhances the pointedness of Marks claims about Jesus and about my need to surrender to the Carpenter from Galilee. This is an encouragement toward taking up our crosses as Jesus people, particularly amid the challenges of 21st-century North America and Europe. Use the book in a small group and see what happens.
Having already benefited enormously from his teaching on the subject and seen it deeply impact young Christian leaders in Scotland, I am thrilled to see Hans Bayers material in print and available to a wider audience. I am confident it will become a key resource for us in shaping our theology and practice of discipleship. Paying close attention to the wider literary structures as well as the textual details of Marks Gospel, Hans calls us back to a Biblically and theologically rigorous understanding of discipleship patterned on Jesus example and teaching. This book is unique in framing Jesus call to discipleship in the context of the bigger Biblical picture of redemptive history. The emphasis on radical dependence, heart transformation and the reciprocal nature of disciple-making relationships provide necessary correctives to contemporary approaches that are too often marred by individualism, a focus on activities to the neglect of the heart, and a misuse of power by leaders who are discipling others. This material on discipleship in the Gospel of Mark represents the fruit of many years of deep engagement with the text as well as mature reflection on its application to the reality of living as a disciple of Jesus. Hans is a wise and godly instructor whose life matches his teaching. This book is a deep and rich repository of insight and wisdom that needs to be engaged, wrestled with, and applied by those called to lead within the body of Christ. I am convinced that as we apply the principles Hans Bayer so brilliantly draws out from Mark, we will see not only the transformation of individual disciples, but also the transformation of church and society. Hans points us back to Jesus approach to discipleship why would we ever seek another?
O, the limitations of an endorsement blurb! I could go on and on about Hans Bayers new book, A Theology of Mark. Not only is this the best book I have ever read on the theology of Marks gospel, its also my new favorite on the nature and rhythms of gospel-centered discipleship. My first response after finishing the book was to thank God for Hans informed mind and enflamed heart; for this is exactly what Professor Bayer has given us, as he interacts with the person and work of Jesus, and our call to authentic discipleship. His reflection on Dietrich Bonhoeffers The Cost of Discipleship, is worth the price of the book alone. By all means, buy this book. Its not just a great read, its an important read.
Hans Bayer reads the book of Mark with the mind of a philosopher, the heart of a lover, and the humility of a disciple. His aim is to show how self-perception (both individual and corporate) and God-perception shaped by the Gospel simultaneously result in reconciled relationships and radical discipleship. Here is theology and biblical commentary at its best rooted in powerful textual insights and rigorously applied to contemporary discipleship. The insights are profound; the grace is sweet.
There is a great hunger for Christ-centered discipleship and what better place to be instructed in such grace-centered living than at the feet of Jesus himself. This book, A Theology of Mark, deserves to be studied both as to its theory but even more importantly as to its practice. May it be used by many to strengthen their relationship with Christ and lead them in true Biblical discipleship.
Hans Bayer gives us a remarkable study of the Gospel of Mark. No evangelical scholar is more aware of detailed and scholarly work on the Gospel of Mark than Hans Bayer. In this volume, Dr. Bayer displays his theological and pastoral insights into the Gospel. He deals with a number of major topics: genre, structure and purpose, thematic framework and the person and work of Jesus. This brief work represents decades of study and experience as a follower of Jesus. If you want to step into the theological and practical implications of the Second Gospel, this is the book for you. You will not be disappointed.
Hans Bayers character-shaping tour through Marks Gospel will bring each reader who longs for intimacy with a holy God to an intensely intimate and more dependent encounter with Jesus. Insightful and compelling, Hans Bayer has found a way to help us listen clearly to the very words and actions of the Savior that call us into relationship with Himself and lead toward magnified kingdom impact. Discipleship leaps forward not simply as a duty, but as a passionate desire of God to be near to us.
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