The Great Omission
Rediscovering Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship
By Dallas Willard
(HarperOne, Hardcover, 9780060882433, 237pp.)
Publication Date: June 2006
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The last command Jesus gave the church before he ascended to heaven was the Great Commission, the call for Christians to "make disciples of all the nations." But Christians have responded by making "Christians," not "disciples." This, according to brilliant scholar and renowned Christian thinker Dallas Willard, has been the church's Great Omission.
"The word disciple occurs 269 times in the New Testament," writes Willard. "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, 24/7 life with Jesus.
“Dallas Willard keeps calling us to take this life of Jesus seriously as disciples, as apprentices to a Master.”
-Eugene Peterson, author of The Message
“There is NO one like Dallas. Finding more of his words is like getting hidden treasure. Read and grow!”
-John Ortberg, author of God Is Closer Than You Think
“This is vintage Willard, and it must be read by all who hunger to grow as Jesus’s disciple.”
-J.P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, and author of Love Your God With All Your Mind
“If you have any desire to find the life God offers you, read this book.”
-John Eldredge, author of Captivating
“Every leader, whether professional or lay, who cares about the church of Jesus Christ, should read this book.”
-Paul D. Robbins, President, Christianity Today International
“I know no one like Dallas Willard who can express profound things so simply and simple things so profoundly.”
-Os Guinness, author of The Call and Unspeakable
“Dallas Willard reminds us that a relationship with Jesus only makes sense when we choose to become his apprentices.”
-Alan Andrews, U.S. President of the Navigators
“The Great Omission may be Dallas’s most important work yet.”
-Ruth Haley Barton, president, Transforming Center, author of Sacred Rhythms
“Another classic from the pen of this remarkable writer. Incisive and insightful...”
-Alister E. McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University
“The Great Omission is, simply put, great. I recommend it highly.”
-Richard J. Foster, author of The Celebration of Discipline
“There are few better thinkers or students of Jesus than Dallas Willard.”
-Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and The Secret
“It is no accident that one of the most fruitful lives I’ve been privileged to observe offers this valuable resource.”
-J. Stanley Mattson, founder and president, C.S. Lewis Foundation
“...Willard speaks his truth in such an eloquent, passionate, and powerful way...”
“Dallas Willard is a brilliant, modest, immensely experienced Christian older brother, calling to us.”