12 December 2006

Renovation of the Heart

Non-fiction: Hardback from NavPress Publishing Group. Published in 2002. 269 pages. On loan from the Kent District Library

I might as well go ahead and admit that Dallas Willard is difficult for me to understand without a LOT of rereading. In a style similar to C. S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, he starts off with the deep theological "stuff" then moves on to the more practical "how to's". (My husband informed me the other day that this mirrors one of the NT writers. Sadly, I can't even remember who he said it was from two days ago.) I mostly had to just read the theological stuff without really internalizing it and got more from the later sections of the book. Even knowing that I probably did not understand a good portion of what Willard has to say, I'd still heartily recommend this book! It's not your typical spiritual disciplines book, but rather a discourse more on what you are hoping to end up at through spiritual disciplines. As an aside, since finishing the book I've discovered that there is a version for teens (Renovation of the Heart: An Interactive Student Edition: Putting on the Character of Christ) and a paraphrase (Revolution of Character: Discovering Christ's Pattern for Spiritual Transformation) that are probably easier to ingest. I'm considering getting one of them to use with my teens in school this upcoming year. If anyone has experience with either edition I'd be happy to hear your thoughts.

Publisher's summary:
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? It is evident in the rising rate of divorces among Christian couples. We find it in the high percentages of Christians, even pastors, who regularly view pornography. And we face it each time a well-known leader in the Christian community is found in sexual sin or handling finances dishonestly. Perhaps you have struggled with your own character issues for years, even decades, to little avail.

There's good news. You can experience significant growth in your Christian walk, shed sinful habits, and increasingly take on the character of Christ. In Renovation of the Heart, best-selling author Dallas Willard calls it "the transformation of the spirit"––a divine process that "brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God or the kingdom of God." In the transformation of our spirits, we become apprentices of Jesus Christ.

Willard suggests that many Christians today are crying out, "Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart." If that is your heart's cry, this book is the tool to take you to the next level in your quest for true, inward Christlikeness.

Online book shopping:
Powell's: Renovation of the Heart
amazon.co.uk: Renovation of the Heart
amazon.com: Renovation of the Heart
Audible.com: Not available from Audible. You can find it unabridged at Christian Audio: Renovation of the Heart

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