The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

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9780007596546: The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God

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.

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Review:

Dallas Willard, an acclaimed theologian and professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, fulfills 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

From the Back Cover:

"I am struck by many things in The Divine Conspiracy...

First, 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...The breadth of the issues covered is astonishing: from the soul's redemption and justification to discipleship and our growth in grace to death and the state of our existence in heaven...

Second, I am struck by the accessibility of this book. I'm fully aware that the issues discussed here are of immense importance, yet it is all so understandable, so readable, so applicable...

Third, I am struck by the depth of this book. Willard is a master at capturing the central insight of Jesus' teachings. Perhaps this is because he takes Jesus seriously as an intelligent, fully competent Teacher. He writes, 'Jesus is not just bright, he is brilliant.'...

My fourth and final observation...I am struck by the warmth of this book. Rarely have I found an author with so penetrating an intellect combined with so generous a spirit. Clearly he has descended with the mind into the heart and from this place he touches us, both mind and heart."--From the foreword by Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline

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