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This paper was written by Jon Ruthven.Visit the author's website
Jon Ruthven is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
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||Articles > Charismatic Theology > The "Imitation of Christ" in Christian Tradition
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This paper should not be construed as an
attempt to deny that normative NT discipleship contains none of
the elements traditionally associated with the term today.
Certainly, piety, meditation, self-sacrifice and moral behavior
are legitimate expressions of an imitatio Christi.
Nevertheless, the foregoing should indicate that a thorough
review of the NT will demonstrate that our somewhat docetic
traditional Christology as well as our unbiblical, evidentialist
view of miracles, has contributed to an understanding of
Christian discipleship that is shorn of its intended spiritual
depth and power. Nothing is more crucial for the outcome of the
Church than our understanding of the mission of Christ Jesus and
our relation to it. Our view of the goals of discipleship has
immediate implications for the direction in Christian development
that we take ourselves, for our parishioners and for those in
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