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The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship Paperback – May 13, 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reprint edition (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062311751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062311757
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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Format: Hardcover
When I first picked up this book I had certain expectations and hope based on the author's long standing reputation. This subject has been a high priority for me as I am most concerned to do all that is possible to engage people in authentic Biblical transformation. This has been the passion and pursuit of many leaders in the Body of Christ. I feel the author has underestimated many of the called of God who have tackled this disparity, who have drawn similar conclusions, and who have indeed laid out plans to genuinely "make disciples," not just converts.

Certainly Mr. Willard communicates his passion and thinking about this subject well. I feel that I most benefitted from his definitions of "spiritual formation," and his presentation of the idea that "Grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning." The most exciting chapter was his presentation of "Jesus the Logician." This chapter would be great for all believers to strengthen their understanding of Jesus and their appreciation for His participation is every part of their life.
I find it ironic that what the title of this book suggests the author has seemed to have done himself. I feel a few things have been "omitted" by the Mr. Willard.

1. He failed to present a model of discipleship. One of Willard's complaints was that he has not yet found a church that has a master plan for accomplishing the call to make disciples. It would seem that since we are all called to this task that the author himself must be discipling people. How does he accomplish this great task? This could have been a significant contribution to the thinking and life of his readers had he presented some kind of solution to the problem discussed. Just emphasizing spiritual formation doesn't cut it.

2.
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