Wednesday, March 19

A Very Important Book for the Church

Most people today agree something is seriously wrong with the church, because people in it seem little different than people outside the church. Christiandom today has some pretty major flaws. People have been leaving local churches in droves, and Christian leaders have struggled to know what to do about it. I'm oversimplifying quite a bit, of course, but I think you have an idea of what I'm getting at.

The Great Omission is not only the easiest of Willard's books I have ever read, but I believe one of his most important. That's hard to say, because all of his have been very important. But to me this book, actually a collection of lectures, gets at the heart of Willard's contribution.

He addresses what is wrong with our current understanding and practice of the Gospel, and particularly of Jesus' great commission to make disciples. I think he gives a powerful post-mortem of Christian discipleship, showing we have actually omitted the heart of that, and yet presenting a clarity that should, if we follow it, bring true Christian discipleship back to life.

I think Willard presents some of the clearest teaching on discipleship, what it is, and what it isn't, that I've ever found. I will put it alongside Coleman's Master Plan of Evangelism as my top two books on practical ministry, and see how it holds up. Of course, being written by a philosopher, it's not exactly brimming with practicals. But he lays out the principles so clearly that I would say it's chock full of pointers with very practical implications.

I would love to hear what others of you think of this book. For now, it's going in my top 5 recent books. I think predict it will stay there for a long time...

No comments: