Dallas Willard writes to say there’s something missing in the…picture [too many have of the Christian life]. Extending a line of thought that runs through such Christian writers as Teresa of Avila, William Law, Jonathan Edwards, C. S. Lewis, and Richard Foster, Willard calls us to want and to plan for something much more ambitious, namely “thoroughgoing inner transformation through Christ” to “clean the inside of the cup.” To rejoice in our forgiveness, teach right doctrine, and yearn for heaven are wonderful things. But, as Willard testifies in his classics The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines, and most recently in The Great Omission (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006), God has much bigger things in mind for us.
He wants us to join his mighty project. That’s a main reason we need thoroughgoing transformation. He wants people like us to become fit enough to follow Jesus inside “the infinite rule of God,” becoming searchers for his kingdom, agents within it, witnesses to it, and models of it. We now have little kingdoms of our own, just as God intended. Depending on our age and level of responsibility, we have a small realm “where our choice determines what happens.” God wants us “to mesh our kingdoms with the kingdoms of others,” all inside his master kingdom, “which pervades and governs the whole of the physical universe.”