Here are some of my favorite ideas from chapter 2 of Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy.
“But, to be quite frank, grace is cheap from the point of view of those who need it.”
“Helmut Thielicke points out that we often wonder if the celebrities who advertise foods and beverages actually consume what they are selling. He goes on to say that this is the very question most pressing for those of us who speak for Christ. Surely something has gone wrong when moral failures are so massive and widespread among us. Perhaps we are not eating what we are selling. More likely, I think, what we are ‘selling’ is irrelevant to our real existence and without power over daily life.”
“But we get a totally different picture of salvation, faith, and forgiveness if we regard having life from the kingdom of the heavens now–the eternal kind of life–as the target. The words and acts of Jesus naturally suggest that this is indeed salvation, with discipleship, forgiveness, and heaven to come as natural parts.”
“Right at the heart of this alienation lies the absence of Jesus the teacher from our lives. Strangely, we seem prepared to learn how to live from almost anyone but him.”
“We who profess Christianity will believe what is constantly presented to us as gospel. If gospels of sin management are preached, they are what Christians will believe. And those in the wider world who reject those gospels will believe that what they have rejected is the gospel of Jesus Christ himself–when, in fact, they haven’t yet heard it.”
“We must develop a straightforward presentation, in word and life, of the reality of life now under God’s rule, through reliance upon the word and person of Jesus. In this way we can naturally become his students or apprentices. We can learn from him how to live our lives as he would live them if he were we. We can enter his eternal kind of life now.”