What does it mean to be a Christian?

After reading my answer to “What is Christian Transhumanism?” a few days ago, someone followed up by asking what it means to be a Christian. This is a great question.

Contrary to what we might assume, the Bible doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about this. Instead, it simply tells us that the term “Christian” refers to disciples.

So what is a disciple?

A disciple is a student or follower. Someone who tries to learn from and imitate their teacher. Someone who goes where their teacher goes.

When Jesus calls his first disciples, he tells them simply, “Come, follow me.” Knowing very little, and understanding even less, these people followed Jesus, and became his disciples.

The disciples don’t automatically start behaving well, or even understand much of what is going on — the Gospels make this clear.

But they follow, and so become disciples.

According to the Bible, this is what it means to be a Christian: to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. It’s not about having attained perfection, or having figured everything out.

Being a Christian — being a disciple—is committing to follow and learn from and become like Christ.


That’s how I see it. What do you think?

Thanks to Bart Connelly for asking this question! I’ll be sharing more thoughts over the next few days and weeks. Follow along here or on my email list to explore these subjects more in-depth.

If you know someone who might find this interesting, please recommend it. And feel free to comment below — I’d love to know your thoughts and questions!