The premise of this book is that the spirit, mind, body, social context, and soul of an individual needs to be spiritually transformed into Christlikeness, by relying on the grace of God, and having and implementing the appropriate vision, intention, and means to Christlikeness.
Willard’s book is essentially divided into two major sections. The first section begins by defining authentic spiritual formation. Willard emphasizes how true spiritual formation is not just about the external, but it is more about inward obedience and conformity to Christ (Chapter 1, Location 215). In setting up the second half of the book, Willard states that the major obstacle to spiritual formation is self-worship, whereas self-denial is the foundation of its renovation (Chapter 5, Location 983). For spiritual formation to be effective, this self-denial needs to happen in one’s whole self – namely, these six areas: spirit, mind, body, social context, and soul (Chapter…
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