Alright friends, this is it. My review of the last chapter of Dallas Willard’s book, Divine Conspiracy. You can see my review for all 10 chapters here. This has been a great book, albeit far longer (and wordier) than necessary. My hope in blogging through each chapter is that I have provided a reader’s digest version for those of you who don’t have the desire to plow through the entire thing.
One of the things that Willard develops brilliantly throughout the book is the motive behind our actions. Often in Christianity we talk of things that we should do without examining why we should do them. This produces legalism at best and at worst it becomes a stale set of rules that disengages the person from the living God. In fact, the reality is that the things we do to get closer to God often become the things that actually drive us farther away from Him. If it doesn’t stem from the right reasons, the actions themselves can be have the opposite effect as desired. Again, as Willard describes it:
“For the problem, once again, is in the human heart. Until it fully engages with the rule of God, the good that we feel must be cannot come. It will at a certain point be defeated by the very means implemented to produce it.”
The book was definitely theologically rich. For a lot of people, this is something that is of no interest. For most of us, we care to a certain point. I think it is necessary for every believer in Christ to spend at least a fair amount of effort asking the bigger questions in life and wrestling with how God’s truth intercepts them. This doesn’t mean that you have to go and read all the Left Behind books (sorry if that touches a nerve… I read the first one and decided it was enough for me). It does mean that God’s Spirit in your life should cause you to see the world differently as you wait on His Spirit to guide you through understanding.
“Meaning is not a luxury for us. It is a kind of spiritual oxygen, we might say, that enables our souls to live. It is a ‘going beyond,’ a transcendence of whatever state we are in toward that which completes it.”