Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review for THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY by Dallas Willard

The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God
By Dallas Willard
ISBN 0-06-06333-9
HarperCollins Publishers
Reviewed by Clint Walker

In many Christian leadership circles, Dallas Willard's name is well-known. Dallas is extremely well-written and well-spoken. One of the things that Dallas Willard is best known for is advocating for a life of discipleship and spiritual formation.

Perhaps the most well-known and well-respected books by Dallas Willard is his fifteen year old book The Divine Conspiracy. Most of Willard's book is about how to live the "kingdom of the heavens" kind of life right now. A majority of the text reflects upon the Sermon on the Mount as a guide for apprenticing ourselves to Jesus.

The main point of The Divine Conspiracy is that the "kingdom of the heavens" kind of life is easily and simply available to any believers that open themselves to it. He argues that is in not complicated way of living, but very few people are truly committed to living in the Way of Jesus. Most of us settle for a "gospel of sin-management" that separates justification from sanctification, and creates a false dichotomy between salvation and discipleship. Willard goes to great lengths to show how conservatives and liberals, evangelicals and social gospellers all fail to understand the gospel "wholistically".

The whole text, is extensive, well-footnoted, and thoughtful. At times, such as with Willard's understanding of the beatitudes, I tended to disagree with Willard. In other chapters, such as "The Community of Prayerful Love", I was challenged and moved to understand and live the truth of the gospel more fully. Either way, this a great read. I believe in will be a classic in Christian books for generations to come.

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