Archive for the ‘Dallas Willard’ Category

And they … wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.- Luke 8:25B

The world presents a false picture of Christ we dare not accept. He is presented as a religious figure, and maybe a very good one of his day but uneducated and unaware of modern science, day-to-day stresses of today’s life and jobs. The idea he is smart enough to direct how run a business, answer scientific problems, or conduct daily affairs is not even considered.

Don’t accept that!

Dallas Willard, Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, has a different take!

He is not just nice, he is brilliant. He is the smartest man who ever lived. He is now supervising the entire course of world history (Rev. 1:5) while simultaneously preparing the rest of the universe for our future role in it (John 14:2). He always has the best information on everything and certainly also on the things that matter most in human life. — The Divine Conspiracy (p. 95)

Soundbite: “The Lord of the universe is not stupid!”
Prayer: “Jesus, you are smart enough be my boss! Amen!”

– fritz@langgang.com

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Dallas Willard surfaces an interesting fact.

“We cannot just choose our feelings”1

But, he says,

“you can evoke and to some degree control feelings by directing your thoughts.

Our power over our thoughts is of great and indispensable assistance in directing and controlling our feelings, which themselves are not directly under the guidance of our will.”1

Perhaps this is why the bible says

“whatsoever things are true, … honest, … just, … pure, … lovely, … of good report; … think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

– fritz
1 – Renovation of the Heart, by Dallas Willard, page 104

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The idea that you can trust Christ and not intend to obey him is an illusion generated by the prevalence of an unbelieving “Christian culture.” In fact, you can no more trust Jesus and not intend to obey him than you could trust your doctor and your auto mechanic and not intend to follow their advice. If you don’t intend to follow their advice, you simply don’t trust them. Period.

– Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart, Pg. 95

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“Those who are not genuinely convinced that the only real bargain in life is surrendering ourselves to Jesus and his cause, abandoning all that we love to him and for him, cannot learn the other lessons Jesus has to teach us…

Not that he will not let us, but that we simply cannot succeed.

If I tell you that you cannot drive an automobile unless you can see, I am not saying I will not let you, but that you cannot succeed even if I do.”1

– Dallas Willard

1 – Renovation of the Heart, pg 71

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Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. – 1st Corinthians 6:13b-14

“THE HUMAN BODY is … created for spiritual life in the kingdom of God and to be honored—indeed, glorified—in that context. But when taken out of that context and made the central focus of human experience and endeavor, it is betrayed—robbed of the spiritual resources meant to sustain its life and proper functioning—and in turn it then betrays those who center their life on it.

The sense of this betrayal is what lies at the heart of youth worship in Western societies.

It also is the source of the fear, shame, disgust, and even the anger directed at fat, old age (or just aging), and death and dying that dominate our culture.

An outlook focused entirely on the body finds the body’s failure and cessation to be, of course, the ultimate insult from which there is no recovery.

You have to understand this if you want to understand Western life and culture” – Dallas Willard1

– fritz

1 – Renovation of the Heart, NavPress, copyright 1992, page 184

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Multitudes of people have come to a full knowledge of God because in a moment of complete hopelessness they prayed “The Atheist’s Prayer” or something like it: “O God, if there is a God, save my soul if I have a soul.” When that is the true cry of the heart, of the inmost spirit of the individual, who has no longer any hope other than God, God hears and responds without fail.

– Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, pg 161

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“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” – Proverbs 23:7a

“Heart” doesn’t just mean a blood pump, it means the core of one’s being. We use the term similarly all the time. It refers to our motives and deep desires which are sometimes unknown even to ourselves.

This arena is not found with microscopes, stethoscopes, or telescopes. It is, in that sense, “spiritual” instead of “physical” though some say it is the result of our physical composition.

Also in that sense, everyone has a spiritual formation – be they preachers, businessmen, terrorists, world leaders, dictators or the unemployed – and it is here where change must, and can take place.

“Indeed, the only hope of humanity lies in the fact that, as our spiritual dimension has been formed, so it also can be transformed. Now and throughout the ages this has been acknowledged by everyone who has thought deeply about our condition—from Moses, Solomon, Socrates, and Spinoza, to Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Oprah, and current feminists and environmentalists. … Disagreements have only to do with what in our spirit needs to be changed and how that change can be brought about. AND ON THESE TWO points lies the inescapable relevance of Jesus to human life.”1

– fritz
1 – Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, NavPress, pg. 14

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