Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I just started reading The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship by Dallas Willard. I'm a huge fan of everything Dallas has written, the level of fan-dom comparable to Jon's love of Martha Stewart.

The idea of Discipleship is something that I've had a new take on this year as I've tried to incorporate spiritual disciplines into my life and have been seeing transformation that I've never seen before. At our youth group camp this summer, one of the big theme's was discipleship, and as a result, I'm leading a small group of high school/college guys around discipleship and spiritual formation. We started out looking at Peter's journey as a disciple, and we've recently been digging into spiritual disciplines. It's one thing to be trying to learn and do some of this, it's a whole other thing to try and lead a small group like this. I feel like I'm one step ahead of the kids in figuring some of this out.

Anyways, back to the book. The book is a collection of his writings on the subject of being a disciple of Jesus. In my opinion, Dallas is one of the smartest and ballsiest guys in the world. He says it like it is:
There is absolutely nothing in what Jesus himself or his early followers taught that suggests you can decide just to enjoy forgiveness at Jesus's expense and having nothing more to do with him.
Dallas calls this a "Vampire Christianity"
One in effect says to Jesus, "I'd like a little of your blood, please. But I don't care to be your student or have your character. In fact, won't you just excuse me while I get on with my life, and I'll see you in heaven."

And when you stop to think about it, how could one actually trust him for forgiveness of sins while not trust him for much more than that? You can't trust him without believing that he was right about everything, and that he alone has the key to every aspect of our lives here on earth. But if you believe that, you will naturally want to stay just as close to him as you can, in every aspect of your life.
I'm thinking a lot about this, trying to understand just how much of my life I really trust Jesus with, and why I don't. I made a big 'ol list yesterday of those areas and spent some time reflecting on them. I've got a long way to go, but I've seen some cool progress recently.

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