Saturday, August 29, 2009


I am a disciple

In many ways and with respect to many disciplines, I am a disciple. A disciple is one who is a student of a discipline and who is instructed into the knowledge, skills and values of that system by a master or teacher.

Discipleship involves being exposed to the whole system or discipline and learning to participate in the whole system. In some cases, it includes becoming a master or teacher of that system and passing it on to others by making them a disciple.

Internalizing the knowledge, skills and values of a system takes time and commitment. One must consider the costs of discipleship. But there are also benefits of becoming a disciple.

I am a disciple

I have been a disciple to systems that I decided were not worth continuing. I have been a disciple of several systems that make me who I am today. This blog is my reflections on my experience as a disciple of those systems and how they inform and constrain my struggle to relate to God and man. I hope it will help other disciples and cause some to become disciples.

A discipline is a system. It may be an academic major like philosophy or psychology, a religion like Judaism or Christianity, a human art or activity such as painting or music, or it may be a discipline like cooking, sailing or a martial art. In each case there is a history, understanding, and structure that are passed from master to disciple and from teacher to student. The relationship between the master and disciple is an intersection between the discipline itself and the personality and experiences of those in the discipleship relationship and community. Because of this, our discipleship is both communal and unique. We can be benefited by both what we have in common and what makes us differ.

I am a disciple

As I complete my 60th year of life, I am reflecting more on what life is and how I have navigated it as a child and adult, as a conformists and rebel, as a tortured soul and a man of faith. Some of these were sequential, others were and are simultaneous. Some have resolved and others push at me for attention. I search for answers are in the disciplines that I have been taught and can use and in the relational communities where I learned them. They are:

Academic: Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology

Fine Arts: Instrumental and vocal music

Marital Arts: Judo and Ju-Jitsu

Religion: Judeo-Christianity (Judaism and Christianity)

Activity: Sailing

Each of these disciplines shape and inform me. Each contributes unevenly to who I am. Each give me tools to mange life and each prevent me from seeing life through other disciplines that I do not know.

I am a disciple

So here go my reflections. I will talk about all issues and aspects of life through an eclectic perspective given to me by my personality, life circumstances, and these disciplines. I say eclectic but that is not completely true. I have come to the place that the religious discipleship is primary. The others I attempt to put into proper relationship with it. I will explain that as I go but hope to respond to fellow disciples and seekers (cynical and sincere) who are willing to read and respond.

I expect to blog at least weekly (perhaps weakly) but that will remain an open question. I will start with some definitions so I am understood and move to struggle and where possible, conclusion. I welcome observers and participants.

I am a disciple.


  1. I look forward to the dialogue this blog will surly spur on! Excellent definition on discipleship!

  2. Good to see your blog, I expect good from it.

  3. Good luck to you Bruce! I'm not much for 'Blogging' but will check in on you to see how this is progressing.
    It will help you to do good works, I am sure.
    Always, Cath

  4. I am excited to see this. I look forwrad to checking in on this often.