Renovation of the HeartRenovation of the Heart
Putting on the Character of Christ

Take on the character of Christ through the transformation of your spirit.

We aren't born again to stay the way we are. But how many times have we looked around us in dismay at the lack of spiritual maturity in fellow believers?  It is evident in the rising rate of divorces among Christian couples. We find it in the high percentages of Christians, even pastors, who regularly view pornography. And we face it each time a well-known leader in the Christian community is found in sexual sin or handling finances dishonestly. Perhaps you have struggled with your own character issues for years, even decades, to little avail.

There's good news. You CAN experience significant growth in your Christian walk, shed sinful habits, and take on the character of Christ. In Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard calls it "the transformation of the spirit"—a divine process that "brings every element in our being, working from inside out, into harmony with the will of God".  As we become apprentices of Jesus our spirits are transformed.

But just what is this transformation?  Dr. Willard explains that its ideal end is when "all of the essential parts of the human self are effectively organized around God, as they are restored and sustained by him. Spiritual transformation in Christ is the process leading to that ideal end, and its result is love of God with all of the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and of the neighbor as oneself."

Although you may acknowledge this as the ideal, you may still wonder: "How do I get there"?  Renovation of the Heart is a realistic guide to discipleship and the real challenges of Christian formation that helps to answer that inquiry. It lays a foundation for understanding the ruin and restoration of humanity, by discussing human nature and its components, how they operate, and how they are renewed. It describes common misunderstandings about our human nature, and the discipleship process. Most importantly, it outlines the general pattern of personal transformation—not as a formula, but as a systematic process that we have the responsibility to undertake as intentional apprentices of Jesus. Only then will our transformation be accomplished, through interaction with the grace of God in Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual treasures stored in the body of Christ.

272 pages, hardcover from NavPress.


Renovation of the Heart in Daily PracticeRenovation of the Heart in Daily Practice:
Experiments in Spiritual Transformation
Jan Johnson presents us with 61 devotional readings which guide us in applying the teachings of Renovation of the Heart in our daily living. Think of this as a lab manual to help with the most important renovation project we'll ever get to work on—our hearts. Jan's creative ideas and daily experiments will help move us all further along the path to becoming like Christ. See Jan's website for more information and to order a copy, or you can find it at your local Christian bookstore or on

Renovation of the Heart Student EditionAn Interactive Student Edition of Renovation of the Heart, by pastor and author Randy Frazee, is available in bookstores and at Ideally formatted for High School and College ages, this interactive book provides opportunities for students to discuss ways to put on the character of Christ and live as He would live in their place. [Contents]

A Renovation of the Heart DVD Curriculum of the Student Edition is also available, with lesson outlines and worksheets for six weeks of group discussion.

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introducing Spiritual Formation:
Chapter 1: The "Beyond Within" and the Way of Jesus 
Chapter 2: The Heart in the System of Human Life 
Chapter 3: The Radical Evil in the Ruined Soul 
Chapter 4: Radical Goodness Restored to the Soul 
Chapter 5: Spiritual Change: The Reliable Pattern 

Chapter 6: Transforming the Mind: The Thought Life 
Chapter 7: Transforming the Mind: Sensation and Emotion 
Chapter 8: Transforming Will and Character (the "Heart") 
Chapter 9: Transforming the Body 
Chapter 10: Transforming the Social Context 
Chapter 11: Transforming the Soul 
Chapter 12: The Children of Light and the Light of the World 
Chapter 13: Spiritual Formation in the Local Congregation


See for a chapter by chapter summary.

Learn about the Renovation of the Heart video curriculum, and see part of it on YouTube.

BLOGS: Jeremy Lucarelli, Eugene Roberts

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Dr. Willard's books are available at most bookstores and can be found on-line at Christian Book Distributors, Barnes and Noble, or