- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: NavPress; 10th Anniversary ed. edition (June 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1615216324
- ISBN-13: 978-1615216321
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ Paperback – June 14, 2012
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From the Back Cover
Renovation of the Heart lays a biblical foundation for understanding what best-selling author Dallas Willard calls the “transformation of the spirit”––a divine process that “brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God.” This fresh approach to spiritual growth explains the biblical reasons why Christians need to undergo change in six aspects of life: thought, feeling, will, body, social context, and soul. Willard also outlines a general pattern of transformation in each area, not as a sterile formula but rather as a practical process that can be followed without the guilt or perfectionism so many Christians wrestle with.
Don’t settle for complacency. Accept the challenge Renovation of the Heart offers to become an intentional apprentice of Jesus Christ, changing daily as you walk with Him.
About the Author
the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern
California. He received his PhD from the University of
Wisconsin and is the best-selling author of more than
thirty publications, including The Divine Conspiracy,
The Spirit of the Disciplines,
and Hearing God.
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Top Customer Reviews
Willard’s book is essentially divided into two major sections. The first section begins by defining authentic spiritual formation. Willard emphasizes how true spiritual formation is not just about the external, but it is more about inward obedience and conformity to Christ (Chapter 1, Location 215). In setting up the second half of the book, Willard states that the major obstacle to spiritual formation is self-worship, whereas self-denial is the foundation of its renovation (Chapter 5, Location 983). For spiritual formation to be effective, this self-denial needs to happen in one’s whole self – namely, these six areas: spirit, mind, body, social context, and soul (Chapter 2, Location 330). As a result, a strategy to transform each of these essential dimensions to Christlikeness composes the second section of his book.
I love how Willard focuses on the change that needs to happen in the inner world of the individual, instead of merely trying to focus on changing one’s behavior. It is powerful when he mentions what has already happened in Western Christianity because of our overt focus on the external – all of the “notorious failures of Christian leaders.” (Chapter 5, Location 1013). This point is especially relevant to me as I tend to have very legalistic tendencies, coupled with a love to please others and look good in front of others. In order to not be one of those “notorious Christian leaders,” I need to keep the vision of the Kingdom of God in front of me constantly. In addition to the right vision, I need to have the intention to obey Jesus, and also develop the means to change my inner being “until it is substantially like his, characterized by his thoughts, feelings, habits, and relationship to the Father.” (Chapter 5, Location 1186). I love how all the means for spiritual formation are not under my control; I need to constantly depend on God’s grace, believing that he is the one enacting this formative process in me (Chapter 5, Location 1062).
Rather than haphazardly referring to individuals as needing spiritual transformation and then giving suggestions on how to do so, I appreciate how Willard divides the six areas of one’s life and presents a plan for spiritual formation within each of these areas. By differentiating these six areas in an individual, Willard faced the potential to present a compartmentalized path to spiritual formation, though I am not convinced he did so. He differentiated these six areas, while noting that each of these areas need to work in an integrative and holistic manner for spiritual formation to truly occur. Consequently, I find this book to be so beneficial for ministry as it provides a simple and comprehensive guide to discipleship that one can lead another individual through to grow in Christlikeness.
Dallas Willard is also a very good writer. In this book, he lays out spiritual formation - an endlessly dynamic process - in terms that I could understand. The book is not academic but still a fairly challenging read so I went through it slowly trying to understand some of these deep, true concepts.
One thing about this book that I noted in my own life is that; it is so comprehensive (at least for a beginner)!
I have been a Christian for 10 years and have struggled a lot to understand some of these processes. Especially in the last 2 years as I have read literature on spiritual formation that gave me small snippets but never a broad view of the sanctification, these years have been particularly tough (I think, because taking pieces of spiritual formation without the whole - can be very dangerous - for whatever reasons).
Going through book has been one the most profound turning points in my Christian life. I am ordering multiple copies and starting a book study with some friends.
I can't recommend this book enough!