The author of The Spirit of the Disciplines presents a revolutionary way for Christians to experience God, challenging readers to follow the teachings of Christ to embrace the true meaning of Christian discipleship.
A renowned teacher and writer of the acclaimed The Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard, one of today's most brilliant Christian thinkers now offers a timely and challenging call back to the true meaning of Christian discipleship. In The Divine Conspiracy, Willard gracefully weaves biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice into a tour de force that shows the necessity of profound changes in how we view our lives and faith. In an era when many Christians consider Jesus a beloved but remote savior, Willard argues compellingly for the relevance of God to every aspect of our existence. Masterfully capturing the central insights of Christ's teachings in a fresh way for today's seekers, he helps us to explore a revolutionary way to experience God--by knowing Him as an essential part of the here and now, rather than only as a part of the hereafter.
"The most telling thing about the contemporary Christian," Willard writes, "is that he or she has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teachings of Christ is of any vital importance to their] life, and certainly not that it is in any way essential . . . Such obedience is regarded as just out of the question or impossible." Christians, he says, for the most part consider the primary function of Christianity to be admittance to heaven. But, as Willard clearly shows, a faith that guarantees a satisfactory afterlife, yet has absolutely no impact on life in the here and now, is nothing more than "consumer Christianity" and "bumper-sticker faith."
Willard refutes this "fire escape" mentality by exploring the true nature of the teachings of Jesus, who intended that His followers become His disciples, and taught that we have access now to the life we are only too eager to relegate to the hereafter. The author calls us into a more authentic faith and offers a practical plan by which we can become Christ-like. He challenges us to step aside from the politics and pieties of contemporary Christian practice and inspires us to reject the all too common lukewarm faith of our times by embracing the true meaning of Christian discipleship.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.5"
Weight: 1.35 lbs.
Release Date Mar 24, 1998
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Availability 8 units.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|Beyond excellent Mar 26, 2007|
|A few years back I was told by a well-known preacher that "all" he reads is "Dallas Willard's Divine Conspiracy." I soon purchased this book - and I read it continuously - literally, over and over. I have read hundreds of books about the Christian life - but this book has blown me away! I am reading it again now. Willard's interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount is nothing less than fabulous. I will never again be able to view the Sermon in the same light. I beg you, whoever you are, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK...|
|More Than Redemption Mar 23, 2007|
|Like all of Willard's writing, The Divine Conspiracy reminds readers that Christianity is much more than a "bar code ticket to heaven." It is a life--to be lived now indwelt and empowered by the Spirit of God. The title itself references God's "conspiracy" to defeat evil with good. |
The core of the book surrounds Willard's exposition of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In vivid color and practical application, Willard outlines what it looks like to be Christ's disciple. The undiscipled life, according to the author, is an aberration. Willard writes to urge believers to uncover the new life that already abides within.
Richard Foster calls it "a masterpiece and a wonder . . . the book I have been searching for all my life." High praise from a master spiritual director.
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and "Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
|A Great Help Feb 23, 2007|
|Since reading this book, I have felt a much greater sense of peace and faith. I feel like I "get it" about the Christian life now, in a way that I never quite took to heart before.|
Willard contrasts the popular notion of Christian salvation of "bar-code faith" that gives us our "ticket to Heaven" (God scans our "bar code" at death, sees that we gave mental assent to the Gospel, and lets us into Heaven regardless of what kind of fruit we display), vs. an idea that the Gospel is also about redeeming our total life, every moment and every thought. We are not to be just "converts" but "disciples" or "apprentices" of Jesus, intentionally seeking to learn Christ's nature and live in constant collaboration with Him in all our daily thoughts, acts, and attitude. This is not to replace or supplant the Gospel but is instead a deeper understanding of what the Gospel can accomplish in our lives, if we truly commit to Jesus as Savior AND Lord. As Martin Luther once said, "we do not do good works to BECOME saved, but because WE ARE saved" and we WANT to.
Willard does a study of the Sermon on the Mount, Lord's Prayer, and other passages, illustrating his insight that Jesus was telling us how "Life in the Kingdom of the Heavens" is supposed to be, or what holiness looks like. Instead of legalistically following "laws", or making things like the Beatitudes into new laws, we must focus on Christ, seeking His nature within our thoughts, and then we will live in such a way that our life will glorify Him like a city on a hill, or a lamp that cannot be hid.
Willard states that there is no one "program" to follow to accomplish the development of holiness in one's life, but that it begins with our grateful response to God's grace, meditating on God's majesty and control in all creation, and by that grace to intentionally say "yes" to God and constantly seek to submit our lives to him. Willard suggests that good practices to do this are through intentionally making time for solitude and silence, "sabbath rest" where we pray, read/meditate on Scripture, fasting, etc. Through these practices, we can allow God to indwell our daily thoughts and internalize His thoughts and give Him greater influence in our lives. As Willard says, God will not intrude into our lives if we don't want Him, He waits to be asked.
As holiness and sanctification slowly develops in us over time, it affects our lives and causes us to manifest more fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc. even to those who do evil to us. We become more attuned to God's activity in the world and God begins to use us more effectively in His work. We do not have to wait for death to experience the benefits of our salvation, but can begin to actively participate in "the Kingdom of the Heavens" right now in this life. As Jesus said, "the Kingdom of Heaven is among you."
One particularly helpful section to me was the idea that we do not have to fear death, because for us death will not exist, we will not experience it, for "he who lives and believes in me will never see death, but has passed from death to life." Being attuned to the presence of the Kingdom of the Heavens in our life, we will merely have our eyes further opened when that moment comes for us to stand before the open presence of God.
This book may be a little heavy reading for some, and I had to intentionally read slowly, stop, reread sections, etc. to make sure that I fully absorbed all Willard was saying. It is well worth the effort. This book has helped me more than dozens of other books.
|Not your usual discipleship book Jan 18, 2007|
|Read this book and it will reallign all your understandings about discipleship. This is one example:|
I have read many discipleship books and go through some discipleship training program. Most of them tackle the issue by a recipe approach, namely, try this; try that; read the Bible more, pray more frequently, don't sin, be good. They are not bad advices but they never create a new life changing experience because the focus is on deeds, which is much easier to change, and not mind-sets. Dallas Willard is very plain on this. Before going to any discipleship training which talks about deeds, we need to make sure our heart is correct. We must be willing to commit to the truth that God is so precious that it is worthy for us to give up everything (our family, our career, our money and even our life) for Him. Even though this sounds like a no-brainer, hard to believe is that many come to training without the heart.
|A must read for all Christians Jan 3, 2007|
|Willard hits the nail on the head on what it really means to be a disciple of Christ. I don't think you could write a more well-thought out book, that doesn't rely on slogans or conventional wisdom. Willard is not afraid to confront many accepted dogmas of the Christian faith and take them to task for not thinking through issues more clearly. This is one of the top 5 Christian books I have read. Do yourself a favor and add this to you library and start applying the principles to your walk with Christ! |
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