Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard (1935-2013) was a philosopher, teacher, and writer with over 30 publications.  The excerpt for this week's study is taken from an appendix to his book The Spirit of the Disciplines and deals with the problem of "undisciplined disciples."

Here are some quotes from this devotional classic:

"So far as visible Christian institutions of our day are concerned, discipleship clearly is optional - Churches are filled with 'undisciplined disciples'...Most problems in contemporary churches can be explained by the fact that members have not yet decided to follow Christ."

"...we omit the making of disciples or enrolling people as Christ's students when we should let all else wait for that.  We also omit the step of taking our converts through training that will bring them ever increasingly to do what Jesus directed."

The most interesting and challenging part of this devotional lesson for me was Willard's discussion of the cost of nondiscipleship.  "...nondiscipleship costs abiding peace, a life penetrated throughout by love, faith that sees everything in the light of God's overriding governance for good,,hopefulness that stands firm in the most discouraging of circumstances, power to do what is right and withstand the forces of evil.  In short, it costs exactly that abundance of life Jesus said he came to bring."


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