A high school student reared in a Christian home turns to drugs and alcohol. A woman tries to stop criticizing others, for ten years. A father knows he needs more patience with his children, but his efforts seem in vain. What do these people have in common? They are all in desperate need of further renovation of the heart, of transformation of the ...Read MoreA high school student reared in a Christian home turns to drugs and alcohol. A woman tries to stop criticizing others, for ten years. A father knows he needs more patience with his children, but his efforts seem in vain. What do these people have in common? They are all in desperate need of further renovation of the heart, of transformation of the spirit. But just what is this transformation? Author Dallas Willard explains that its ideal end is when "all of the essential parts of the human self are effectively organized around God, as they are restored and sustained by Him. Spiritual transformation in Christ is the process leading to that ideal end, and its result is love of God with all of the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and of the neighbor as oneself." Although you may acknowledge this as the ideal, you may still wonder how to get there? Renovation of the Heart 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 important, 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. We aren't born again to stay the way we are. But how many times have we looked around us in dismay at the lack of spiritual maturity in fellow believers? There's good news. You can experience significant growth in your Christian walk, shed sinful habits, and increasingly take on the character of Christ. Willard calls this "the transformation of the spirit,"a divine process that "bringsRead Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-15 Willard (The Divine Conspiracy), a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California who is also a Southern Baptist minister, here tackles the central Christian question of how to be more like Christ. He claims that the church's failures throughout history are a result of Christians' reading biblical passages that adjure them to Christ-like perfection and then trying to reach that perfection by behaving more perfectly. Instead, he argues that believers should allow God to transform them internally so that their actions, though never quite perfect, will at least be more aligned with God. Willard delineates six areas of such transformation thought, feeling, will, body, social context and soul and delineates a general process toward transforming each. The book's chapters are divided into very short subsections, which, especially in the first four chapters, are inchoate as Willard struggles to explain exactly what the "heart" is and why it is important. Though trained as a philosopher, he does not explicate philosophical discussions over, for example, human nature, settling instead for saying that "we cannot deal with [them] here." Such a position contributes to the book's early incoherence and to a consistent lack of support, and, therefore, power. However, many evangelicals will appreciate his fresh and less guilt-ridden approach to Christian spiritual growth. The book is heavily Bible-based, provides discussion questions and includes a chapter on spiritually transforming congregations as well as individuals. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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