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The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God's Kingdom on Earth Hardcover – June 17, 2014
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“I know of no more important voice on spiritual truth in our day than that of Dallas Willard. To be able to receive fresh words from him along with Gary Black on the reality of the kingdom in our midst is a priceless gift to every follower of Jesus.” (John Ortberg, author of Who Is This Man?)
“I consider The Divine Conspiracy to be the most important book in the field of Christian spirituality written in my lifetime. In The Divine Conspiracy Continued Dallas Willard and Gary Black Jr. expand and enrich the themes that moved us so deeply.” (Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline)
“The name ‘Dallas Willard’ is one you hear a lot in our house. He’s somewhere between a family member and a saint to us, as we’ve been so deeply, totally shaped by his words and ideas. I’m so thankful for this beautiful book.” (Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine)
“I will return to [this book’s] teachings again and again. May the Kingdom come!” (Joseph Maciariello, The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University)
“For those of us who desire to influence the culture in a distinctively Christian way, this is must reading.” (JP Moreland, author of The Kingdom Triangle)
“The Divine Conspiracy shaped an entire generation. Now Willard and Black have turned their attention to leaders becoming Christ-like disciples instead of institutionalized church members . . . reshaping our thinking at an even wider and deeper level.” (Scot McKnight, Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary)
“For every follower of Christ who seeks to be a light in and through every vocational and professional arena of contemporary life. Willard and Black tell us all how we can live truly significant lives in God’s Kingdom—now.” (Bob Buford, author of Halftime and Drucker & Me)
“Willard and Black offer leaders a hopeful vision that steers the wobbly structures of this world onto the road of love, justice, and truth.” (Richard Swenson, M.D., author of Margin)
“Willard and Black have given us a prophetic writing, so bold that if embraced and embodied might just produce a Christian community that actually is ‘salt and light’ to a world in desperate need of it!” (Keith J. Matthews, Azusa Pacific University)
“Good, new, surprising, and challenging ideas at every turn.” (Robert F. Cochran, Jr., Pepperdine University School of Law)
From the Back Cover
Dallas Willard's bestselling book The Divine Conspiracy revolutionized how we understand Christian discipleship. Jesus is not a remote savior, waiting for us in heaven after we die, Willard taught, but a leader and teacher to whom we apprentice ourselves to fulfill what Jesus had in mind when he declared that the "kingdom of God has come." In The Divine Conspiracy Continued, Willard and theologian Gary Black Jr. lay out the next stage in God's plan as this generation's disciples enter into positions of leadership and transform the world from the inside out. Christians are not called to protect themselves from the world but to step into the world to lead and serve, and in doing so, bring the kingdom of God to earth.
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Some readers who expect another “spiritual formation” book similar to Willard’s previous work may find themselves initially disappointed. Even though it is thoroughly consistent with Dallas’ previous writings, it is also very different. However, the book should be very appropriately be found on the shelves of readers of spiritual formation classics, because it is the most thorough, inspiring, and thought-provoking explanation yet available on how true Christian spiritual formation is always, inevitably for the sake of others. “If there is to be a next stage to the so-called spiritual formation movement, this must be it.” (Kindle loc. 711)
Following Willard’s death, when I first heard that this book was to be released and had been co-authored with Gary Black, Jr., I was initially skeptical. I’m not alone in saying that <i>The Divine Conspiracy</i> transformed my understanding and practice of Christianity, so to have a follow-up to such a masterful book to be co-authored by someone I didn’t know of and released after Dallas’ death made me expect a letdown. However, Black proves himself to be up to the task of coauthoring a book whose title will invite such high expectations. Having been a close friend of Willard, as well as having focused on Willard’s theology for the subject of his PhD studies and first book, <i>The Theology of Dallas Willard</i>, there is no one better qualified.
As anyone familiar with Willard would hope and expect, this book will make the reader think and requires willingness to do mental work and be challenged. It is well worth the effort, though, for it is a gift for all of us who long and hope for the day when the kingdoms of this world will conform to the kingdom of our God and Christ.
Here's the best way I can explain how I feel about this book: There were many times reading where I just kind of went, "Huh? I appreciate or agree with the argument you're making, but I don't really understand why you're making it."
That wasn't all the time, but it happened a lot. I have a couple of key takeaways from this book, but much of the book felt unimpactful. The original book forced me to read it very slowly, and I really appreciated every word that was written. I can appreciate *why* this book is the way it is. Being written by two people, in a rush (due to Willard's failing health) will do that. But that doesn't mean it deserves 5 stars.
I think that Dallas, and many other important Christian scholars, would agree that the Christian gospels consists of Gods 3 step plan for human transformation.
Step 1 - a person believes - a person comes to believe in God, that God is good, that God sent Jesus to help us and finds faith in their heart. They are saved, possibly baptized, and are re-born. Step 1 =s the gospel preached in many churches today - you profess faith, you are saved, you're going to heaven when you die - not hell. In the meantime you should read the bible and watch a lot of TBN. (we've learned about it and decided to play )
Step 2 - a person loves - because of the power of Gods love in us we begin to trust in Jesus more and more and eventually choose to become his disciples. As his students we learn to live within that constant interaction with God/Jesus/ the Holy Spirit - and as a result our spiritual formation, our reliance on the Zoe ,the disciplines and the "with God life", we become vessels that can more accurately reflect Gods grace, light. love and care for others, - we are being transformed into Christ-likeness. The call to, and instructions for this type of interactive discipleship was the subject of most of Dallas previous work. (Hearing from God, Spirit of the Disciplines, Divine Conspiracy, Renovation of the Heart ) God is forming our character with our consent and by our request. It's the second step that makes us ready to be team players
Step 3 - servants lead - The graduates of step 2 who have been tamed and shaped by the spirit are to take their place in Gods grand divine conspiracy, and lead humanity out of the darkness and into eternal life. That's what this book is about - the hope for humanity's future! Could a bunch of spirit filled God lovers, love a people back to life with Gods help? Willard and Black think they can certainly put some effort into it! The good thing about God being in charge - the outcome's his.
If every Christian did what is described in this book, and in Dallas other works on spiritual formation, both their lives, and the lives of many would be dramatically changed! The whole world could be saved. That's going to take a lot of home runs
That's the hope throughout this book. Dallas is summing up the vision he has, the joy that we will experience as we submit our lives, character, and kingdoms to God's! It's basically an instruction manual how to overcome the fallen world system, peacefully, and with Gods support. What more noble pursuit could you possibly be involved in?
This book is much more in your face, straight to the point reading. (If you're afraid of being convicted of your lifestyle/character failures you might want to go back and read some of Dallas' other works first.:) In this Divine Conspiracy there are not many really long sentences that you have to read multiple times over to make sure you've extracted all the information. I like that. I think it's also that in this book Dallas and Gary are pulling out all the stops. If some areas were a little fuzzy before, here they're in sharp focus and you see their application. This is the gospel applied - and if we apply the gospel the way it is prescribed (this book being the prescription) we will most likely become, in very short order, the happiest people on the planet. I say Let's Do This! I'm on it and all in! Be part of the solution and get with the program! Read It. Do It. Live each moment the way it was meant to be lived - with God! I'm pretty certain that I will read this book repeatedly and that like Dallas other works, I will ask God write it on my heart so I can live it.
Most recent customer reviews
1. Just about anything from Dallas Willard, even technically posthumous, gets my attention. I say technically because Dr.Read more