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The Great Omission

Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship

by Dallas Willard

The word dis­ci­ple occurs 269 times in the New Tes­ta­ment,” writes Dal­las Willard in The Great Omis­sion. Chris­t­ian is found three times and was first intro­duced to refer pre­cise­ly to dis­ci­ples of Jesus.… The New Tes­ta­ment is a book about dis­ci­ples, by dis­ci­ples, and for dis­ci­ples of Jesus Christ. But the point is not mere­ly ver­bal. What is more impor­tant is that the kind of life we see in the ear­li­est church is that of a spe­cial type of per­son. All of the assur­ances and ben­e­fits offered to humankind in the gospel evi­dent­ly pre­sup­pose such a life and do not make real­is­tic sense apart from it. The dis­ci­ple of Jesus is not the deluxe or heavy-duty mod­el of the Chris­t­ian – espe­cial­ly padded, tex­tured, stream­lined, and empow­ered for the fast lane on the straight and nar­row way. He or she stands on the pages of the New Tes­ta­ment as the first lev­el of basic trans­porta­tion in the King­dom of God.” Willard bold­ly chal­lenges the thought that we can be Chris­tians with­out being dis­ci­ples, or call our­selves Chris­tians with­out apply­ing this under­stand­ing of life in the King­dom of God to every aspect of life on earth. He calls on believ­ers to restore what should be the heart of Chris­tian­i­ty – being active dis­ci­ples of Jesus Christ. Willard shows us that in the school of life, we are appren­tices of the Teacher whose bril­liance encour­ages us to rise above tra­di­tion­al church under­stand­ing and embrace the true mean­ing of dis­ci­ple­ship – an active, con­crete, 247 life with Jesus.

2014

Recommendations

The Great Omis­sion is, sim­ply put, great. I rec­om­mend it highly.
Richard J. Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline

About the Author