The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God Paperback – 5 Oct 1998
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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.
‘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 RenovaréSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
I confess I gave the book to a friend who enjoys and understands thealogical books of this standard.
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.
I found the writing style hard to follow. There were frequent instances where sentences could be construed in more than one way, and the language was flowery where it didn't need to be.
In places, ideas were backed up with little or no evidence. The American cultural references and assumptions about reality made it difficult to relate at times. Most of the ideas in this book are not new, just rehashed from other sources.
It's a shame because I absolutely loved Chapter 3. It was eye-opening and really blew me away. However, the rest of the book was challenging, and not in a good sense. Read with an open mind.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Massively, over-hyped. I found it inspiring in places, and a little bit quirky in others. All in all, I was glad I had read it and it will have a good effect on my spiritual life,... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Raymond Adams
A book everyone in church leadership should read and understand. It is important that others understand how to develop the practice of discipleshipPublished on 5 Jun. 2014 by Bob Mathews
A very thoughtful book by a man of faith who is prepared to intellectually examine the idea of God and where we stand in relationship to a supreme being.Published on 29 Jan. 2014 by B. E. Gottsche
This is the first book by Dallas Willard I have read. It is a fresh look at Christianity from this practical philosopher, rather than a theologian. Read morePublished on 16 Jan. 2014 by K. Slater
I am impressed by this book, it has really helped to be able to rethink what is important as I get older. A good overview.Published on 13 Sept. 2013 by learner
I am still reading this powerful volume, very slowing. It is a tome of well thought out ideas, , concepts and overall truth. Read morePublished on 4 July 2013 by Amazon Customer