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The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship Hardcover – June 13, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


“Dallas Willard keeps calling us to take this life of Jesus seriously as disciples, as apprentices to a Master.” (Eugene Peterson, author of The Message)

“There is NO one like Dallas. Finding more of his words is like getting hidden treasure. Read and grow!” (John Ortberg, author of God Is Closer Than You Think)

“This is vintage Willard, and it must be read by all who hunger to grow as Jesus’s disciple.” (J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, and author of Love Your God With All Your Mind)

“If you have any desire to find the life God offers you, read this book.” (John Eldredge, author of Captivating)

“Every leader, whether professional or lay, who cares about the church of Jesus Christ, should read this book.” (Paul D. Robbins, President, Christianity Today International)

“I know no one like Dallas Willard who can express profound things so simply and simple things so profoundly.” (Os Guinness, author of The Call and Unspeakable)

“Dallas Willard reminds us that a relationship with Jesus only makes sense when we choose to become his apprentices.” (Alan Andrews, U.S. President of the Navigators)

“The Great Omission may be Dallas’s most important work yet.” (Ruth Haley Barton, president, Transforming Center, author of Sacred Rhythms)

“Another classic from the pen of this remarkable writer. Incisive and insightful...” (Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University)

“The Great Omission is, simply put, great. I recommend it highly.” (Richard J. Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline)

“There are few better thinkers or students of Jesus than Dallas Willard.” (Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and The Secret)

“It is no accident that one of the most fruitful lives I’ve been privileged to observe offers this valuable resource.” (J. Stanley Mattson, founder and president, C.S. Lewis Foundation)

“...Willard speaks his truth in such an eloquent, passionate, and powerful way...” (Library Journal)

“Dallas Willard is a brilliant, modest, immensely experienced Christian older brother, calling to us.” (Christianity Today)

From the Back Cover

In his earlier books Dallas Willard has laid out the principal ideas for a revolutionary understanding of what the Christian life is really about. This volume collects articles, talks, and interviews where Willard explains the practical application of his ideas. He answers such questions as what does it mean to be Jesus’ disciple? How does God teach us? How do we know what God wants for us? How do we explain Jesus to others? And much more.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (June 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060882433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060882433
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

147 of 152 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Dubuc on July 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dallas Willard's latest book is a collection of previous writings and lectures surrounding the importance of discipleship for Christians. This book is a great introduction to Willard's other books and a stirring exposition of his chief concern: That becoming a disciple of Christ is seen as optional in most churches today. It is enough that a person accept Christ as savior and affirm certain beliefs to be a Christian. While these things are absolutely essential, they are not enough and they only partially fulfill the teachings of scripture and the commands of Jesus.

When many people consider discipleship, or spiritual formation, they think of what it costs (a la Bonhoeffer). This is a valid perspective, but Willard asks us to take a look from the other side: The cost of nondiscipleship:

"Nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith
that sees everything in the light of God's overriding governance for good, hopefulness
that stands firm in the most discouraging circumstances, power to do what is right
and withstand the forces of evil. In short, nondiscipleship costs you exactly the
abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring (John 10:10)."

Discipleship is essential for every Christian, not just for the "super Christians." There is nothing in the teaching of scripture that suggests that being forgiven and "saved" is all there is to being a Christian. To the contrary, Willard shows that Christians need to be undergoing a profound transformation in character becoming more like Christ from the heart. How does this happen? By the faithful acceptance of everyday problems, interaction with God's Spirit in and around us and spiritual disciplines.
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Five Contemplative Stars! This very absorbing book is a compendium of individual writings and speeches on discipleship from 1980 to 2004 by the awesome Christian idealogue and writer, Dr. Dallas Willard. In this book, some deeply acerbic questions are asked, while providing straight answers to those adhering to Christianity. No shortcuts, no easy way out, and no really radical thoughts. He appears to me to be right on target based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, but he's looking deeper than most as he develops his topics in the book.

The book's title references Jesus' "Great Commission" to his disciples just before He ascended to Heaven. Willard feels that for many Christians there has been a "Great Omission" in achieving the true goals of Christianity. He even takes issue with the term "Christian" early on, which he says is mentioned only a few times in the Bible and originally was a way of differentiating Jews from Jesus' jewish and non-jewish followers. Indeed, Dr. Willard finds a "Great Disparity" (my caps) between the life Christians should be living and the secular life that many actually live, which is also certainly being observed by those who are not Christian and who see no difference between lifestyles of Christians and non-Christians. He urges that we make disciples of ourselves first, before making disciples of the Church and the world.

Dr. Wiliard rationally makes a powerful case for a new Christian discipleship and tells those disciples how to live in this age of confusion and temptation. Spiritual formation, living one's life as if Jesus was in their place, changing our mindset, and the critical role of "grace" leads us to the literally change our feelings. Other too-seldom heard relevant terms like "piety" abound in this book to flesh out Wiliard's concepts.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By T. Johnson on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since most of this book is a collection of previous articles and speeches from the past twenty-six years, it testifies to the consistency with which Dallas Willard has articulated the need that believers be disciples - learners and apprentices to Christ. Wordplay on the Great Commission seems flippant - but is his attempt to draw attention to what Jesus really commanded regarding teaching in Matt 28. The disciplines are the key to inward transformation - experiencing the new life in the Spirit that Jesus promises. Not doctrine. Not experiences. Not works. Grace is not opposed to effort but to earning. Discipleship is not trying but training - obeying Christ to all we do. The first half of the book contains restatements of ideas and ideals found in The Spirit of the Disciplines and The Divine Conspiracy. The latter part includes some broader considerations, and includes five book reviews of classical books on spirituality, highlighting their value to the apprentice of Christ.

There is a theological challenge here - "Dare I tell ... believers without discipleship that they are at peace with God and God with them?" (p 11) And "A gospel of justification alone does not generate disciples.
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