Written by Dallas Willard; 384 pages, hardcover from Harper, San Francisco, 1997
“Is Jesus part of your daily life—here and now? Or, by failing to take him seriously, have you relegated him to the realm of the ‘hereafter’?”
In this book, Dallas Willard handles a topic many of talk about, but few have up and running in their lives. The biggest problem we have with discipleship is that we really don’t know – have knowledge about, that is – what it looks like.
But Willard is confident that with some knowledge our faith can be strengthened and feelings that have a limiting effect on us can be mastered, instead of our masters. We can develop a practical plan to help us become more Christ-like.
Here are Willard's main points:
- Christians for the most part consider the primary function of Christianity to be admittance to heaven.
- Faith that guarantees a satisfactory afterlife, but lacks impact in the here and now, is "consumer Christianity" or "bumper-sticker faith.
- We must step aside from the politics and pieties of church-ianity and embrace true Christian discipleship.
- "[A]ctual discipleship or apprenticeship to Jesus is, in our day, no longer thought of as in any way essential to faith in him. It is regarded as a costly option, a spiritual luxury, or possibly even as an evasion. Why bother with discipleship, it is widely thought, or, for that matter, with a conversational relationship with God? Let us get on with what we have to do."
- Being a disciple of Jesus is the very heart of the gospel.
The Christian life is about living in the present as Jesus’s apprentice in Kingdom living. We were never intended to only be consumers of His merits. We are invited to take part in a conspiracy – a divine conspiracy – with God as He invades this present darkness.
If you’re looking to make some difficult decisions or want to unburden yourself of habits that hold you back, read this book. Soak in its concepts and take on its challenges. It's both compelling and attractive.