I remember where I was when I received and read my first Dallas Willard book. I was sitting by the window in my buddy Trent Henderson‘s office (which is now my office…for another week) at Highland Baptist Church in Waco, TX.
Trent asked me if I had read The Divine Conspiracy (DC) and I said no. He immediately rolled over to his computer, clicked on Amazon.com and ordered Willard’s complete works for me.
The books came in to Trent’s office two days later and I picked them up there and began reading DC. I have read it over and again in that same office. I have quotes from DC posted on my wall. I think about, talk about them, and have written about them at length. He has greatly informed my theology and my approach to pastoral ministry. Needless to say, I am a Willard fan.
So I was sad yesterday to hear of his passing. He was a great mind for the Kingdom and a great teacher for those of us who are passionate about making disciples of Jesus Christ. If you have not read anything he has written, may I suggest that you begin with The Great Omission and then work your way to DC and then Renovation of The Heart.
In light of his passing, I want to share my five favorite Willard quotes from his writings:
- “Central to the understanding and proclamation of the Christian gospel today, as in Jesus’ day, is a re-visioning of what God’s own life is like and how the physical cosmos fits into it.” – The Divine Conspiracy
- “We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.” ― Hearing God
- “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.” ― The Great Omission
- “The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.” ― The Great Omission
- “The true saint burns grace like a 747 burns fuel on takeoff.” – The Great Omission