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The Divine Conspiracy Unabridged Cd: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Dallas Willard
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 25 2007

In The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard gracefully weaves biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice into a tour de force that shows the necessity of profound changes in how we view our lives and faith.

In an era when many Christians consider Jesus a beloved but remote savior, Willard argues compellingly for the relevance of God to every aspect of our existence. Masterfully capturing the central insights of Christ's teachings in a fresh way for today's seekers, he helps us to explore a revolutionary way to experience God—by knowing Him as an essential part of the here and now.

Willard explores the true nature of the teachings of Jesus, who intended that His followers become His disciples, and taught that we have access now to the life we are only too eager to relegate to the hereafter. The author calls us into a more authentic faith and offers a practical plan by which we can become Christ-like. He challenges us to step aside from the politics and pieties of contemporary Christian practice and inspires us to embrace the true meaning of Christian discipleship.

Read by Thomas Anthony Penny


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Dallas Willard, an acclaimed theologian and professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, fulfills the longing of many Christians who want to live as true disciples of Christ rather than distant dabblers. Likewise, he scoffs at consumer Christians who are simply banking on admittance to heaven as their payoff for attending church. Or worse still, those who use Christianity to advance their political agendas rather than their spiritual ones. But this is not a scolding book. Rather, Willard devotes his efforts to discussing specific and inspiring ways to develop a discipleship to Jesus--not as an act of sacrifice or even one of spiritual luxury--instead, as everyday people committed to the teachings of Christ. "The really good news for Christians is that Jesus is now taking students in the master class of life," writes Willard. "So the message of and about him is specifically a gospel for our life now, not just for dying. It is about living now as his apprentices in kingdom living, not just as consumers of his merits." --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Willard (philosophy, Univ. of Southern California) considers popular Christian belief to be missing out on the essence and origin of its true meaning. Since "consumer Christianity" mistakes the logo for the logos, today's brand-name Christians have jumped on a bandwagon that has run off without its true leader. The imitation of Christ has lost its central importance in Christianity, according to Willard. He examines reasons why this is so and sets out a detailed plan for reawakening such commitment, which requires a genuine willingness to die to self in contrast with mere consumption of Jesus' merits as an insurance against death. Willard's passionate insights are thoroughly argued, though not all may agree with his curriculum for changing people's beliefs. Most suitable for pastoral collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This book was recommended to me. If it was not, I probably wouldn't have made it through - for two reasons:
First, the beginning chapters deal with topics that I believe have been covered better by others. Secondly, the theology on the Beatitudes (Blessed is the...etc.) is inaccurate. His interpretation just doesn't fit the text. He is a philosopher, not a theologian, and it shows.
However, as the book progresses, it really improves. His emphasis on discipleship is right on. If you can get through the first half of the book, you will be rewarded. There are some great insights and challenges. It will make you really think about the life you are living and whether it really fits within God's will for you.
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Format:Hardcover
Deep waters so get out your waders and put on your thinking cap -- this is NOT trivial reading. But if you're serious about understanding the Christian life, the Divine Conspriracy is possibly THE book to read. Among many other things, Willard turns the common interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount, i.e., another set of standards we must attain to in order to please God, on its head. Contrary to what we've misunderstood, it is not a narrowing funnel of higher achievements we have to meet, but a real life illustration of who the kingdom is ALSO available to. In New Testament society the meek, the poor in spirit, etc. were looked down upon and considered "less than". Jesus points to these people and says, "No, blessed are these." Willard makes this so easy to see, you just want to sigh with relief.
I also liked what he has to say about Jesus being the smartest man in the world.
Willard's prose is beautiful and . . . he has a nutty sense of humor as well. You'll like the ending he coins for The Lord's Prayer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly the Best Book I Have Ever Read March 27 2004
Format:Hardcover
My mother bought this book for me about a year ago when she attended a teacher's conference in California. She heard Willard speak and decided that since I was into philosophy, that she would buy it for me. I neglected to read the book until about a month ago. Since then I have found a book that has truly brought back joy into my life as a Christian. It is so easy, in this ungodly world that we live in, to only see your Christian walk as something that only gets you into heaven and forget the fact that Jesus tought us exactly what to do while we are waiting. Willard has constructed here a work that i would place on my shelf of honor along with C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity and Thomas A'Kempis' Imitation of Christ. This book is truly one of the classics in Christian literature. If you are a Christian already then don't let this great opportunity pass you by. This book will open your mind on how to be a direct apprentice to your King and Savior and bring untold amounts of joy into your life!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Venture on 'the kingdom of the heavens'. Feb. 24 2004
Format:Hardcover
Dallas Willard is rightly seen as one of the finest theologians of our day. Philosopher (USC) and philologist, he is a sagacious student and teacher of Christ's invitation to immediate citizenship in The Kingdom Among Us, "the kingdom of the heavens."
"The Divine Conspiracy" may be one of the most powerful and accessible works of exegesis written in the past century. As Richard Foster has said of the book, it may, in some sense, stand with even the great works of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas. Such praise seems too lofty until one has ventured into Willard's exposition. The book is rigorously and beautifully organized, and astonishingly broad in scope. To be sure, this has more than a little to do with Willard's logic and language skills, but mostly it is because he does such a wonderful job of examining and explaining Christ's teachings, particularly focusing on the so-call Sermon on the Mount. (After previewing Christ's manner of teaching and describing the topography of the location, Willard refers to it as The Discourse on the Hill). Willard wisely leads the reader toward the mysterious profundity of the Discourse by first explaining the serious inadequacies of the "sin management" poles of the Christian "right" (Bible-thumpin', bumper-sticker faith) and "left" (the exclusively material, social gospel). This alone is a highly important treatment, but Willard is only prefacing a journey into deeper waters. Before traveling into the Discourse, the author's significant philological insights illuminate certain poor translations of scripture and, most particularly, what rightly was (and is) meant in language concerning a God of/in "the heavens", and "the kingdom of the heavens.
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4.0 out of 5 stars quite good Oct. 8 2003
Format:Hardcover
Why does it take the most brilliant theologians to point out the simplest truths?
Willard's main point is that if we really believe Jesus is God, why don't we believe he's smart enough to teach us a thing or two? He encourages us to enlist in an advanced course on Life and the Living Of It taught by the Son of God himself.
How simple is that?
The middle of the book is an excellent exposition of the Sermon on the Mount (here called the Discourse on the Hill) with that goal in mind. Some of it I don't buy, but most of it is truly profound, well thought-out and presented.
The end of this book is a treatise on discipleship. It divides the gospel -- and in such, the ends of discipleship, into two parts: 1. Believe that God is good, loving, and not messing up your life, and 2. Give up your old habits and learn some new ones. Basically, though he never says so, an exposition of "Repent and believe, for the Kingdom of God is near."
Who should read this book?
1. Those tired of religious fluff and warmed over sermons put in writing and published. (Willard is so much meatier. The bibliography alone is a treasure chest.)
2. Those who are studying, have studied, or want to study the Sermon on the Mount. I was leading a summer study on that passage as I was reading this, and it was immensely helpful.
3. Those who are thinking about discipling others in one form or another, but aren't sure how to go about it. The last third, while not terribly practical, lays down excellent guidelines for discipleship that will give you direction and purpose.
One more note: Willard seems to translate the Bible himself for use in his scriptural examples. The results are fantastic, strong and direct quotes. I know nothing about greek or translation, so I can't comment on their reliability, but they certainly make me wish Mr. Willard would take on a full translation. It would be fantastic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
delivered on time with good quality. We use it in our bible study group.
Published 2 months ago by Lenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure christian faith and understanding of it
Why has christianity, liberal AND evangelical, has lost it's christ? This reading, although dating back to a few decades, reminds Christians of their true Christ and invites non... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jacques Dumouchel
5.0 out of 5 stars Calls religious dogma to account
I may differ in some of my views from Mr Willard. but he puts paid to many traditional beliefs about God and what He is doing. We can all stand to be shaken out of our complacency.
Published 10 months ago by Noelle Lucas
4.0 out of 5 stars Great insights overall although uneven in places
Willard is a great Christian thinker, and he shows why in this volume of incredible breadth and depth. Read more
Published on Dec 1 2010 by Rodge
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes deep...but gives the credit to whom it belongs....
Be prepared to search your soul...the journey is well worth the effort. If you savor this book and read for "understanding" of not only the words but of how they apply to... Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by Gaylen
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep Truths in an Easy to Read Format
I like Dallas Willard. He couples philosophy with theology and offers a Christian voice of amazing depth to our sometimes shallow world. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read
...for points to consider; whether you're Christian or not.
Published on Feb. 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserving of all praise
This is a vastly rewarding book. I have already started re-reading the last two chapters where Willard gives the best advice I've ever come across on how we are to "live in... Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2003 by Jim Hale
4.0 out of 5 stars Jesus: Not Just Nice--Brilliant
Paul wrote to the church at Colossae that "in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2003 by David Mitchel
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