01 August 2006

Dallas Willard

On Sunday morning this week, my husband and I had church at home (where two or more are gathered…). We listened to a Dallas Willard talk then spent an hour or so praying and meditating, thinking on the nature of God, reading the ancient creeds together. But this post isn't about our Sunday worship, it is about Willard's lecture.
In his talk, Willard examines the four “great questions of existence,” including the nature of reality, what the good life is, who a good person is, and the how of becoming this good person. Willard recalled the Rodney King question that has become our cultural catch-phrase. “Why can’t we all just get along?” We can’t, he argues, because we all want our own way, our own kingdom to advance. When you fix your reference of the nature of reality on humans, you end up with competing wills. The question of ultimate reality begins with and centers on God. The only way to harmonize the good we desire, justice (social, moral, or otherwise), grace, love, is to become part of God’s kingdom, who is justice, mercy, grace, love, forgiveness, righteousness, good. The only way to harmonize each other, to get along, is within His kingdom.
As Hegel argues, God remains transcendent but is also fully involved in human history. It is God who overcomes human divisiveness and human suffering.
This view of salvation, this gospel presentation, I may term it, is compelling, outside of ourselves and yet inclusive of ourselves. It is victorious of the evil in our lives and the evil in the world. It reminded me of Donald Miller’s view in Blue Like Jazz.
Of course, these are only my reflections of one hearing of this lecture. I highly recommend listening to it yourself here. (There are also PowerPoint slides available.)


Beyond Words said...

Dallas Willard stretches me in ways I want to grow and addresses many of the things that bother me about evangelical Christianity as we know it. Thanks for the link.

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