Participating in kingdom shalom: rediscovering the practice of integral discipleship among Bolivian Baptists
LE3 .A278 2023
Master of Arts
Acadia Divinity College
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between compassionate care toward the poor and discipleship practice within the Bolivian Baptist context. A review of relevant literature is carried out, revealing a theological basis for an integral approach to discipleship that inspires kingdom shalom. This is followed by a historical overview of theological developments affecting conflicting discipleship practice in Latin America with a focus on Bolivia. These include an integral approach to discipleship presented by Latin American theologians as well as the outside theological influence of premillennial dispensationalism. Finally, eight Bolivian Baptist who offer examples of healthy, integral discipleship were chosen to participate in semi-structured interviews. The qualitative data shows that disciples who are actively engaged in compassionate, justice-seeking service to those in poverty experience a deeply wholistic discipleship contributing to personal transformation and healthy, fruitful ministry. Their stories provide helpful insight into the components of integral discipleship in the following ways. First, genuine, intentional relationships with core qualifiers of longevity, mutuality, and reciprocity. Second, a less structured but intentional approach. Third, relationships with the poor that include holistic care. Fourth, active participation in holistic discipleship beyond receiving trainings.
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