For those of you who aren’t familiar with the books of Dallas Willard, or who may have only read a book or two of his, here is a brief guide to his seven essential works by ERB editor Chris Smith.
Which books have you read? Which have impacted you most?
Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ
This book is Dallas Willard’s apologia for spiritual formation, in which he explores the many ways in which Christ is at work transforming us, as we follow him and engage in the disciplines of Christlikeness. “Renovation of the Heart is a realistic guide to discipleship and the real challenges of Christian formation that helps to answer that inquiry. It lays a foundation for understanding the ruin and restoration of humanity, by discussing human nature and its components, how they operate, and how they are renewed. It describes common misunderstandings about our human nature, and the discipleship process. Most importantly, it outlines the general pattern of personal transformation—not as a formula, but as a systematic process that we have the responsibility to undertake as intentional apprentices of Jesus. Only then will our transformation be accomplished, through interaction with the grace of God in Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual treasures stored in the body of Christ.” (dwillard.org)
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The two most influential for me were Renovation of the Heart and The Divine Conspiracy. Both have shaped my ministry as well as the trajectory of my personal life (I am in my current doctoral program in large part due to the change in thinking those two books caused in my life).
Have also read Spirit of the Disciplines, Hearing God and listened to many lectures and talks.
Thanks for sharing, Carl!