Chapter 9 of Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy is titled, “A Curriculum for Christlikeness,” and as you might imagine it is a meaty one. This is the chapter that many of the people in our TOAG program from Central are asked to read. This is part of my ongoing series of posts about the book. Here are a few of the big ideas that stood out to me.
“So as Jesus’ current assistants in his ongoing program, one important way of characterizing our work of ‘training disciples to do everything I told you’ is ‘bringing them to actually believe all the things they have already heard.'”
“Special experiences, faithfulness to the church, correct doctrine, and external conformity to the teachings of Jesus all come along as appropriate, more or less automatically, when the inner self is transformed. But they do not produce such a transformation.”
“The key, then, to loving God is to see Jesus, to hold him before the mind with as much fullness and clarity as possible. It is to adore him.”
“This is a true situation: nothing has power to tempt me or move me to wrong action that I have not given power by what I permit to be in me. And the most spiritually dangerous things in me are the little habit of thought, feeling, and action that I regard as ‘normal’ because ‘everyone is like that’ and it is ‘only human.'”
“Falling when you step off a platform is not a habit. Cultivated lusting, anger, and so on are. And, generally speaking, those who say they ‘cannot help it’ are either not well informed about life or have not decided to do without ‘it.’ Most likely the latter.”
“In particular, I had learned that intensity is crucial for any progress in spiritual perception and understanding. To dribble a few verses or chapters of scripture on oneself through the week, in church or out, will not reorder one’s mind and spirit–just as one drop of water every five minutes will not get you a shower, no matter how long you keep it up. You need a lot of water at once and for a sufficiently long time. Similarly for the written Word.”