Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard: Jesus’ Message Not Religious

“The strongest impression on my mind has always been the person and teachings of Jesus Christ… I’ve never moved away from the basic project of “knowing Him and making Him known.” This is not a particularly religious project; it’s a human need. It is out of love of my neighbor, as well as love of God that I feel the imperative to do this.

And I believe the way to do it is not by being especially religious in the sense that people would normally understand that, but by just being an honest, open, thoughtful human being living among other human beings, depending on the grace of God.”
— Dallas Willard (source)

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Which One Is Right?

PiperBellMcLarenPlantingaZachariasMichaelWillard

Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop every motor and halt all activity for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder for a few minutes on what it is all about, why they are living, and what they really want.”

–James Truslow Adams

It would be good to have an overall view of things, like an aerial view, so that I can fit any aspect of life into the bigger picture. This seems easy but is actually incredibly difficult, especially if you read a lot of books. Eight years ago I had more direction than I have today, simply because I didn’t know much, and if you don’t know much than you can’t be too confused. But because I’ve learned so much the past few years, it’s very confusing trying to piece all of these things together.

John Piper has based his life and ministry around enjoying God. Rob Bell and the Mars Hill Community make it their aim to put Jesus on display. These are different. If they weren’t, then John Piper’s ministry would be called “Putting Jesus on Display Ministries” rather than “Desiring God Ministries,” and Mars Hill wouldn’t be called a “Jesus Community” it would be called a “Desiring God Community.”

Brian McLaren wrote a book series about a new kind of Christian. Cornelius Plantinga bases his theology around a Creation-Fall-Redemption model.

Can you be a new kind of Christian who puts Jesus on display within a Creation-Fall-Redemption model while desiring God?

Ravi Zacharias’ ministry is called “Let My People Think.” We don’t think enough. Boaz Michael and the folks over at First Fruits of Zion focus on bringing Christians back to the Torah and obeying its instructions. We’re not obeying God like the Bible commands. Dallas Willard believes what’s missing in Christians’ lives is discipline. We’re not being disciples of Jesus like we should be.

This is just seven ministries. There are thousands more who focus on different things. All of these different focuses cause confusion in a guy like me who simply wants the big idea. Is there even a big idea? Of course all of these people and their ministries are in agreement on a lot of things, but apparently not enough that they explain their thoughts on life and God in a similar way, otherwise we wouldn’t have seven different names and agendas from seven different men, plus thousands more, would we?

So if we stopped the world for an hour and let everybody think about what it’s all about and why they are living, how many different answers would we get? Ask seven Christians with big ministries and you get seven different answers.

It’s very confusing. I think I’m getting C.ADD – Christianity Attention Deficit Disorder. Maybe I’ll go watch Joel Osteen.

Osteen

Dallas Willard on Living

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“How the disciple lives naturally comes out of who the disciple is.”
–Dallas Willard

This is profound, and here’s why:

Matthew 12.34

Whatever is in your heart determines what you say. (NLT)

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (ESV)

Your words show what is in your hearts. (CEV)

The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. (KJV)

Some Of My Favorite Quotes From 2006

These weren’t necessarily said or written in 2006, but I read or heard them in 2006:

Wonder

If we truly understood the growth of a grain of wheat, we would die of wonder.
–Martin Luther

Creativity

Creativity is more important than knowledge.
–Albert Einstein

Imagination

Imagination may be the hardest work of the human mind. And perhaps the most God-like. It is the closest we get to creation out of nothing.
–John Piper

Mystery

As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.
–Albert Schweitzer

Time

The way you spend your days is, of course, the way you spend your life.
–Annie Dillard

Choices

What we choose in selecting among our desires for fulfillment determines what kinds of persons we become. What we decide to seek in life is the key to our character, and further determines what our character will be.
–Dallas Willard

It can be proved from the Torah, the Prophets and the other sacred writings, that man is led along the road he wishes to follow.
–Talmud