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Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Uncovering the Hidden Kingdom

    Dallas Willard presents here one of his best works, detailed and incisive in logic and practical in application. This large work focuses primarily on the Beatitudes of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount." Willard's title arises from his thesis that Jesus presents God as doing something radical and unexpected in the world. He shows how the whole activity of God in history, as portrayed in the Old Testament and New Testament, is consistent, and these beatitudes express that consistent intention of the Conspiracy.

    Willard declares that the thrust and focus of the "Beatitudes" of Jesus are virtually the opposite of how they have generally been interpreted over the years in popular tradition. Willard then backs up every detail of this claim and its implications through artful exegesis of the passages and related texts in the New Testament. He presents enthralling analysis confirming every detail and captivating life and drama applying the implications.

    This can be considered from several views. Initially we can consider this a Bible study, the topic of which is the Beatitudes. These statements of "blessing" are found in Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" (the popular name from the setting of these teachings in Matthew's Gospel) or the "Sermon on the Plain" (the name often used in scholarship for the setting of the version in Luke's Gospel).

    Willard contends that the reason these "Beatitudes" tend to be so ignored or dismissed is that they have been notoriously misread. They seem unconnected to real life, too fanciful and idealistic to have real application to everyday life. Basically, the problem is that the popular concept generally holds that the groups mentioned as "blessed" are receive the Kingdom of God as a reward for being this way. Or alternatively, this is the character or quality expected of those who coming into the Kingdom of God.

    Willard makes sense of them, consistently and meaningfully, by showing us that these statements focus on groups in society TO WHOM the Good News of the Gospel has come. The "poor in spirit," for instance, are "blessed" because they have such good reason to welcome the Kingdom of God, the personal Rule of God over their lives, because the Rule of God promises vindication and justice. for the exploited and downtrodden.

    Willard's work can also be thus considered Theology. And he is philosophically adept, skilled in logical analysis and critical comparison. But this is not "theology" in the sense of dry, academic, medieval abstraction. This is dynamic, powerful, life-changing interpretation of Divine Power in human contemporary life.

    Willard makes amazing connections at every point with current and common life examples, showing how the intent and meaning of these declarations of the Rule of God among us present a Good News that can restore and integrate our lives.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    Even though it is was first published in 1998 it is one of if not the very best on Christian discipleship

    Willard is a scholar and as such asked the reader to think about why Christians do what they do or why they do not do what they should. Being saved in one thing becoming a Christin is another and Willard challenges the reader regarding what it means to be Christ-like.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Excellent understanding - well organized and thoughtful

    This is an excellent book for anyone wanting to have a deeper relationship with God. The book is written with breaks every page or so - which is good for me. It allows time for me to think about the subject discussed before moving on. Great insights.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    A Must Read for Every Thoughtful Person

    This is the book I've been searching for for years, but didn't think it existed. Dr. Willard superbly reveals the muddled thinking of both the right and the left end of the theological spectrum. Conservative Christians have their works theology of salvation focusing on specific beliefs and attention to avoid doing wrong. Liberal Christians have their version of works theology of salvation with a theology largely focused on sincerity and doing the right thing in society. Willard shows another way. Focusing on the Sermon on the Mount he leads us to a theology and ethic based on the changed heart engendered by the Gospel which only happens through our relationship with God. I encourage thoughtful persons to read this book and allow it to speak deeply to your spirit. Pastor Lou

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant

    I am a huge fan of Willard and find this to be my favorite. This comprehensive and practical study of the Sermon on the Mount marvelously releases the believer to surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees and to live a live of victorious love.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    Intelligent. Meaty. Profoundly insightful. He opened my eyes to understand Scripture and Jesus's teachings in ways I hadn't meditated on before. Dallas Willard has a large place in my library and I share his books with fellow Christians who are committed to live the life Christ died to give us. I also highly recommend another great book he authored "The Great Omission" which underscores and expands on what it means to be a disciple and profess to be Christian. Being a Christian and being a disciple of Christ are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same. "The Divine Conspiracy" shakes us from comfortable, complacent, ineffectual, tepid Christianity and helps us see who we are in Christ and challenges us to recognize, accept and commit to fulfill the purpose for which we were made and placed on this earth at this precise time and place. Dallas Willard, who died just a month or so ago was a brilliant author, a thoughtful Christian thinker and will be greatly missed.
    Other authors I recommend: CS Lewis - (his insight and thoughtfulness are on par with Dallas Willard in my view). I also recommend David Platt (especially "Radical" and "Follow Me"-- his writing is easier to digest in a first reading than Willard or CS Lewis" but equally challenging, insightful and transforming). I buy his books and give them away as well. Really good stuff-- required reading I believe for the church universal.

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