I remember reading the article, Fight Club, from Jonathan Dodson when it was published by Boundless back in 2008. I read it several times. It's great to see this made into a fuller-length treatment, though it's still only just over 40 pages of text. Jonathan is pastor of Austin City Life.
Fight Clubs is about re-centering discipleship on the gospel in community, not merely individuals. It's a messy, tenacious struggle with honesty and authenticity. Dodson describes the biblical case for the fight, where we go wrong (legalism or license) and how to keep from extremes, the community focus of the fight (fighting with the church instead of against her), and practical advice for applying the gospel to everyday life through fight clubs: "small, simple, biblical, reproducible groups of people who meet together to regularly help one another keep the gospel at the center of their discipleship."
This book is really just a simple book on Gospel transformation, and the means and goal God gives us to fight together the good fight of faith. I love that. The only novel idea in Fight Clubs is the name itself. The concepts are soundly Scriptural. From the book/movie we know that "fight clubs" are about feeling alive again. Dodson picks up on this:
Our spiritual war is a war against the flesh, that lingering vestige of our pre-Christian lives that must be beat to death so that we can live in the fullness of life given to us in Jesus.
Dodson defines "fight clubs" as "2-3 people that meet regularly to help one another beat up the flesh and believe in the promises of God." These groups have 3 rules: "1) Know Your Sin. 2) Fight your Sin. 3) Trust your Savior." For each rule he gives helpful questions and advice for these groups. He describes the group time as working through Text-Theology-Life - a very helpful, practical way to discuss Scripture together.
I really enjoyed Fight Clubs and will be reading it again soon with some in my church as we consider something similar. I want this kind of discipleship for my church. I need this kind of discipleship for my own soul.
Go download and/or buy Fight Clubs. I highly recommend it.