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The Great Omission: Rediscovering Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship [Hardcover]

By Dallas Willard (Author)
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Item description for The Great Omission: Rediscovering Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard...

Presents an approach to understanding the implications of a Christian life and the meaning of true discipleship in Jesus, in a study of what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

Publishers Description

The last command Jesus gave the church before he ascended to heaven was the Great Commission, the call for Christians to "make disciples of all the nations." But Christians have responded by making "Christians," not "disciples." This, according to brilliant scholar and renowned Christian thinker Dallas Willard, has been the church's Great Omission.

"The word disciple occurs 269 times in the New Testament," writes Willard. "Christian is found three times and was first introduced to refer precisely to disciples of Jesus. . . . The New Testament is a book about disciples, by disciples, and for disciples of Jesus Christ. But the point is not merely verbal. What is more important is that the kind of life we see in the earliest church is that of a special type of person. All of the assurances and benefits offered to humankind in the gospel evidently presuppose such a life and do not make realistic sense apart from it. The disciple of Jesus is not the deluxe or heavy-duty model of the Christian -- especially padded, textured, streamlined, and empowered for the fast lane on the straight and narrow way. He or she stands on the pages of the New Testament as the first level of basic transportation in the Kingdom of God."

Willard boldly challenges the thought that we can be Christians without being disciples, or call ourselves Christians without applying this understanding of life in the Kingdom of God to every aspect of life on earth. He calls on believers to restore what should be the heart of Christianity -- being active disciples of Jesus Christ. Willard shows us that in the school of life, we are apprentices of the Teacher whose brilliance encourages us to rise above traditional church understanding and embrace the true meaning of discipleship -- an active, concrete, 24/7 life with Jesus.

Awards and Recognitions
The Great Omission: Rediscovering Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • Christianity Today Book Award - 2007 Award of Merit - Christian Living category

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Great Omission: Rediscovering Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 07/01/2006 page 86

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   237
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.7" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jun 13, 2006
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060882433  
ISBN13  9780060882433  

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More About Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard Dallas Albert Willard was born in Buffalo, Missouri, USA, September 4, 1935. He married Jane Lakes of Macon, Georgia, in 1955. They live in Southern California, where Jane is a Marriage and Family Therapist. They have two children, John and Becky (married to Bill Heatley), and a granddaughter, Larissa

DALLAS WILLARD is a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has taught at USC since 1965, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1960-1965), and has held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984).

His undergraduate studies were at William Jewell College, Tennessee Temple College (B.A., 1956, Psychology) and Baylor University (B.A., 1957, Philosophy and Religion); and his Graduate education was at Baylor University and the University of Wisconsin (Ph. D., 1964: Major in Philosophy, Minor in the History of Science).

His philosophical publications are mainly in the areas of epistemology, the philosophy of mind and of logic, and on the philosophy of Edmund Husserl, including extensive translations of Husserl's early writings from German into English. His English translation and edition of Edmund Husserl's Philosophy of Arithmetic was released in September, 2003. His Logic and the Objectivity of Knowledge, a study of Husserl's early philosophy, appeared in 1984, and his Early Writings in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics (1993) makes available to the English reader nearly all of the shorter philosophical works that Husserl produced on the way to the phenomenological breakthrough recorded in his Logical Investigations of 1900-1901.

He also lectures and publishes in religion. His most recent book, Knowing Christ Today, was published in May 2009. The Great Omission, which was published in 2006, received a Christianity Today annual Book Award in the Christian Living category in 2007. Renovation of the Heart was published in May 2002, and received Christianity Today's 2003 Book Award in the category of Spirituality. The Divine Conspiracy was released in 1998 and selected Christianity Today's "Book of the Year" for 1999. The Spirit of the Disciplines appeared in 1988, and Hearing God (1999) first appeared as In Search of Guidance in 1984 (2nd edition in 1993).

Dallas Willard lived in Chatsworth, in the state of California. Dallas Willard was born in 1935 and died in 2013.

Dallas Willard has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Ministeriales
  2. Designed for Influence
  3. Renovare Resources
  4. Th1nk LifeChange
  5. Through the Year Devotionals
  6. Veritas Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( W ) > Willard, Dallas
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Discipleship
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Christology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > General Studies > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship?

An easy to understand anthology   Feb 23, 2007
This book is a collection of Dallas Willard's articles, lectures, and essays regarding the main idea expressed in his book THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY - that as Christians we should focus on being "disciples" or "apprentices" of Jesus, allowing God's grace to develop Christ's nature in our lives and internally transform us to bear fruits of holiness in response to our salvation. We do this by saying "yes" to God, accepting His Gospel grace and submitting to Him as Lord, intentionally setting aside time for regular solitude, Bible reading, meditation, prayer, etc. and seeking to conform all our thoughts and actions to Christ's nature. As such it is a much more dynamic version of "What Would Jesus Do?", without becoming a legalistic "law" that we follow artificially.

The chapters are short, easy to read, and the repetition on the main idea helps one to understand it and absorb what Willard is saying. If you found THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY a little challenging, this book expresses the main ideas in a little easier format. I also enjoyed the many references to other books and resources that Willard used to develop his ideas, I plan to read some of those also.
Remembering the Scriptural Mandate  Jan 18, 2007
Dallas Willard's "The Great Omission" is a well-written and powerful work on a subject that the Western church has chosen to ignore for over a century. Our bend towards easy-believism in the American church has caused us to ignore what our Lord commanded us to do. Rather than seeking to make disciples, we have sought to follow our own path of watered-down half-hearted commitment to the gospel of our Lord. Willard's words resonate with Bonhoeffer's demanding call to biblical discipleship in his classic "The Cost of Discipleship". He challenges us to follow the example of our Lord and to obey His call to each of us. This is a must read for any who are earnestly desiring to seek to lead the church towards proper course of biblical christianity.
Great place to start  Jan 11, 2007
This may be a good book to sample Dallas Willard's work. This is a collection of writings that are concerning Jesus practical teachings on daily life as a christian.
Dallas Willard is one of the best current authors on spiritual discipline and has other titles that have more detailed treatment on some of the subjects that are discussed here.
This is a great place to start due to the fact that in these essays he presents the reasons that we can expect a closer walk with Christ through practicing the spiritual disciplines. A teaching which seems to be missing from many Gospel messages today.
Crucial read for hungry Christians  Jan 10, 2007
Some of the chapters in this book are better than others, but those chapters are so amazing, that I couldn't give the book any less than a perfect rating. Dallas Willard is more in tune with reality than almost anyone I'm aware of who is alive today. If the body of Christ only understood the things Willard speaks of in this book, this world would truly be a lot better off. This book contains a profound expression of the heart and mind of God toward our generation. Its an extremely practical book meant for those who are zealous to do whatever it takes to please their Lord.
Willard's Omissions  Jan 9, 2007
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. A revision to the "Invitation System" needs to be addressed. The church at large has miserably failed in presenting the Gospel when people are simply called to come down front and pray a prayer. Jesus did not do this, He called people to follow Him as disciples from the very beginning. The whole "invitation system" needs to be completely changed to fit the call of the Great Commission. What an important thing to discuss if we are to take the author seriously in making disciples instead of converts.

3. The "relational" part of discipleship missing. Discipleship cannot be effectively carried out by programming. The unique relationship between the one who does discipline and the one being discipled is critical to it being authentic. But, this was not addressed.

4. Explicit "discipleship" passages missing from the discussion. It would seem appropriate that any real discussion on discipleship should include those passages that are explicitly in disciple language - like "bearing the cross, denying your self," and so on.

This may seem like a pretty critical review, however, these are my feelings and expectations, and I (like the author and you I'm sure) am passionate about resolving the disparity and inadequacies in our churches when it comes to our presenting (and living) the life-transforming power of the God's truth. It was my expectation that the author would have made more of a contribution toward this end. I welcome comments from any readers of this review.

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