Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Spirit of the Disciplines - Reissue: Understanding How God Changes Lives
by Dallas Willard
288 pages
Publisher: HarperOne (December 7, 1990)

Author: Professor and past director of the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California; from wikipedia "(September 4, 1935 - ) is an American philosophy professor and author born in Buffalo, Missouri. His work in philosophy has been primarily in phenomenology, particularly the work of Edmund Husserl. His more popular work has been in the area of Christian spiritual formation, within the various expressions of historic Christian orthodoxy." Willard's website.

Intention: to show that Christians can become like Christ by following his overall style of life, to "clarify and exemplify realistic methods of human transformation" (ix).

Structure: The book is divided into eleven chapters and an epilogue.
  • Chapters one through six clarify spiritual life as embodied existence and explain how the body is a resource for spiritual formation.
  • Chapters seven and eight provide further explanation of the nature and history of spiritual disciplines.
  • Chapters nine through eleven explain some specific disciplines and make the case for their practice leading to transforming our world.
  • The book concludes with an epilogue that points the reader to a life of obedience out of love.
  • Appendix I: Jeremy Taylor's Counsel on the Application of Rules for Holy Living
  • Appendix II: Discipleship: For Super Christians Only?
  • Bibliography
  • Indexes: Name, Subject, and Scripture
  • Chapter end notes (reference and explanatory)

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