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The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God Paperback – 5 Oct 1998

49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Collins (5 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006281141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006281146
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Dallas Willard, an acclaimed theologian and professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, fulfils the longing of many Christians who want to live as true disciples of Christ rather than distant dabblers. Likewise, he scoffs at consumer Christians who are simply banking on admittance to heaven as their payoff for attending church. Or worse still, those who use Christianity to advance their political agendas rather than their spiritual ones. But this is not a scolding book. Rather, Willard devotes his efforts to discussing specific and inspiring ways to develop a discipleship to Jesus--not as an act of sacrifice or even one of spiritual luxury--instead, as everyday people committed to the teachings of Christ. "The really good news for Christians is that Jesus is now taking students in the master class of life", writes Willard. "So the message of and about him is specifically a gospel for our life now, not just for dying. It is about living now as his apprentices in kingdom living, not just as consumers of his merits." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

‘I am struck by the comprehensive nature of this book… It provides me with a conceptual philosophy for understanding the meaning and purpose of human existence…’

- Richard Foster, theologian, author, and founder of Renovaré

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the second best book I have ever read. Dallas Willard has captured so much wisdom in one volume that it is amazing. Buy this book if you cant afford it sell your car,house just get a copy, read it and read it again.
Dallas looks in a fresh way at the reason we are alive, he looks at the beatitudes from new and inspirational perspective.
He looks at the key disciplines to becoming a true student of Christ and how to become a person through wholm natural works of rightousness flow, not through effort but as a natural process of a transformed life.
Excellent
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By William Fross VINE VOICE on 27 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has been hailed by many as ground-breaking, classic stuff. I certainly think it's worth reading, but have to be slightly more reserved in my praise; and I don't think it deserves to sit alongside CS Lewis's works, for example.
The book essentially explains Willard's contempt for 'cheap grace': the idea that salvation is all about the afterlife- and once we are 'saved', we can do what we like (an idea which seems to be fairly popular in the States, I think). He turns this on its head, and a large chunk of the book is taken up with looking at the Sermon on the Mount: what is this, asks Willard, but instruction to strive to live a better, more moral life for God- here, before we die?
His look at the Sermon on the Mount is refreshing and engaging, and a lot of people seem to get a lot out of it: it is not at the academic end of the scale, and is very practical (as the Sermon itself is, of course). However, if you want a commentary, I wouldn't get this book.
After reading the book I felt a strong desire to really live out my faith. For this alone, the book is worth commending. But I was slightly worried by Willard's approach on a lot of things; he seems to assume a fair amount about the nature of God, and quotes thinkers who I would have second thoughts about (John Hick, for example). I imagine that anyone solidly focused on the Bible as their final authority might find a couple of problems with this book. And if you are unclear about what the 'gospel' is, this book won't make it any clearer. However, as I've been a Christian for a while, I could ignore these bumps in the road and get a lot out of reading it.
This book will help you to develop as a Christian, if you have been a believer for a while already: but I don't think it will help new Christians very much, to be honest. And it is a bit longer than it really needs to be!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Sept. 1998
Format: Hardcover
The easy yoke, OH! That's what You meant! Duh! What can you say when you have been a "Christian" since you were thirteen, studied at one of the country's best "evangelical" universities, challenge and question everything along the way and wake-up at 42 realizing how little you really UNDERSTAND (but you've got a lot of the "right" answers)? Willard so gently, yet so precisely, retools thinking about things muddled by years of warring, doctrinal-headed Christianity. Bible passages that made no sense, particularly words spoken by Jesus, now do--Jesus was a really brilliant guy. Here, Jesus rises afresh. And that Jesus compels me to come, follow Him in ways I either ignorantly missed these years, never heard, or wasn't ready for, likely all three. From one poor hungry beggar to another, this is the Good News, food for the savagely hungry soul. Eat. Enjoy. Live.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 July 1998
Format: Hardcover
During my apologetics class, professor J.P. Moreland said that we (his students) MUST check out this book. Richard Foster (author of _Celebration of Discipline_ and _Prayer_) calls it "the book I have been searching for all my life" (makes it sound like the "silver bullet book"). I found Divine Conspiracy to definitely live up to this hype.
The title refers to God's conspiracy to undermine evil with good. Among other things, Willard discusses the fundamental problem of nondiscipleship in the church, what it looks like to be Christlike (with an excellent exposition of the beatitudes and sermon on the mount), what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ, how to become disciples of Jesus and how to make disciples of Jesus.
Prior to reading the book, I thought I was well on my way towards becoming a mature disciple of Christ, but after reading it I've discovered that I'm nowhere close to where I thought I was. I realized that I have a real l! ! ong ways to go to becoming the kind of person who routinely automatically blesses those who curse, cheat, or stink-eye me or to grow so secure that I don't seek to find faults and weaknesses with people.
I also have gained tremendous new insight into how I can more effectively make disciples and how local churches coud do the same.
The Divine Conspiracy is a comprehensive, practical, meaty, challenging, and extremely helpful book which I pray will be widely read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jun. 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Williard is an extraordinary teacher. I know of no other book which is so absorbing and well written that brings Jesus Christ alive as if he lived and breathed among us in Middletown, U.S.A. and his exploits were being reported daily on the 6 pm news. (HE is alive today, but the news never covers HIS story). After goring some Christian-claiming fads such as TV evangelists, the author closely examines the life of Jesus of Nazareth and illuminates HIS teachings in a modern perspective. With a stunning breadth of knowledge, he challenges the reader on every page to understand the meaning of Christ's teachings today. To paraphrase noted author Richard J. Foster from the introduction, this book represents the "Sistine Chapel" of Christian writing. The final volume of Prof. Willard's trilogy, it will really restore the joy in your life.
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