Theological grit: The convergence of deliberate practice and Christian discipleship

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My aim in this essay is to demonstrate how recent research on the concept of “grit” enhances our understanding of the cultivation of Christian virtue and the practice of Christian discipleship. My primary thesis is that the creation of embodied participants in God’s kingdom—Christian disciples—requires the formation and practice of “theological grit.” I develop this thesis through four integrated steps. First, I examine the nature of union with Christ as it is developed in Paul’s argument in Romans 6 to create an exegetical foundation for a theological conception of grit. Second, I offer a proposal for the way in which the language of grit as developed in the modern psychological analysis of Angela Duckworth can be adapted constructively for use in analyses of Christian discipleship. Third, I evaluate the role of practice in the formation of theological grit. Fourth, I propose that theological grit is not merely an individual characteristic but a corporate practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5–25
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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