Ernest Best on Discipleship

When I was a PhD student in Durham (UK), I remember having a conversation with one of my advisors (Stephen Barton) and I had brought up an article by Ernest Best. I spent a few minutes referring to this “Ernest Best” and Stephen kept giving me a quizzical look. Finally he said, “Do you mean Paddy?” Apparently “Paddy” is a nickname for an noble irishman, which Best was indeed (Oh the things we learn along the way about insider lingo when we join the guild!). As I was researching for an essay today, I came across this gem of a quote from “Paddy” (deceased, 1917-2004)

What does it then mean to follow Jesus? It means to drop in behind him, to be ready to go to the cross as he did, to write oneself off in terms of any kind of importance, privilege or right, and to spend one’s time only in the service of the needs of others. — E. Best

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7 thoughts on “Ernest Best on Discipleship

    • So cool. Two of my favorite moments living in Durham: (1) having tea with “Kingsley” Barrett after he gave a sermon at church, and (2) visiting Charles Cranfield at his home to chat about Romans. Both men were in their 90s when I was there. Like you, I am sure, I feel deeply privileged to have had the experiences I have!

  1. “Paddy” probably has many meanings and connotations, but here are several provided at thefreedictionary.com: “Offensive Slang”; “used as a disparaging term for a person, especially a man, of Irish birth or descent”; “an informal, often derogatory, name for an Irishman.” I wonder how Stephen was using it!

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