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Dallas Willard: The Divine Conspiracy

 

Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco, 1998), 428 pages.

I look forward each year to the April issue of Christianity Today that features the 25 best books published in the past year. Reading through that list becomes my passion until the next list appears.

This year’s list proclaimed Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy to be the best of the best, and so it is—a must read for everyone who is a serious citizen of the Kingdom of God. Willard presents the Sermon on the Mount to the reader in a superbly reasoned order that I found too overwhelming to absorb except in short bites. I found myself constantly provoked to stop and ponder the blessings, meditating on the believer’s heritage which Willard puts forth so well in a profound, but simple way.

I made reading this book part of my daily early morning devotional time with the Lord, and I constantly found that I would use the ideas that Willard presented throughout the day as I interfaced with others.

Dallas A. Willard (1935 – 2013)
Image: Dieter Zander / dwillard.org

Willard likens life in the kingdom of man to flying an airplane upside down, compared to the informed citizens of the Kingdom of God who by natural choice and superior knowledge fly their planes right side up. Willard finds reality in the invisible world and unreality in the visible world. At one point he writes that “nothing fundamental has changed in the knowledge of ultimate reality and the human life since the days of Jesus” He goes on to say that “The number of theories, ideas and teachings that have emerged in recent centuries have not the least logical bearing on the ultimate issues of life and existence.”

Willard states the obvious but often ignored fact that Jesus is the smartest person to ever live on this earth; He is more than a nice person who spoke quotable pretty words. Indeed Jesus is competent to be trusted in every human endeavor, in every matter you will ever face. There is no one else to rely upon for better research and knowledge. Jesus has the best information on everything and is by far the most reliable resource on the things that matter most to you.

Willard builds on the foundation; Jesus, the only rock worth standing on. He then unpacks, examines, grapples with and applies what Jesus said we are to do. Let me put it this way, “You cannot do what I do, unless you do what I do.” If you aspire to be like Jesus, The Divine Conspiracy will be an immense help in seeing what true Christlikeness is all about.

Reviewed by H. Murray Hohns

 

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Category: Fall 1999, Living the Faith

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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