All posts tagged Dallas Willard

  • Water To Wine (Some of My Story)


    Water To Wine
    Brian Zahnd

    Ten years later it’s time to tell some of my story…

    I was halfway to ninety, midway through life, and I’d reached a full-blown crisis. Call it a garden variety mid-life crisis if you want, but it was something more than that. You might say it was a theological crisis, though that makes it sound too cerebral. The unease I felt came from a deeper place than a mental file labeled “theology.” My life was like that U2 song stuck on repeat — I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. I was wrestling with an uneasy feeling that the kind of Christianity I had built my life around was somehow deficient. Not wrong, but lacking. It seemed watery and weak. In my most honest moments I couldn’t help but notice that the Christianity I knew seemed to lack the kind of robust authenticity that made Jesus so fascinating. And I’d always been utterly fascinated by Jesus. Jesus wasn’t in question, but Christianity American style was.

    I became a committed Christian during the Jesus Movement. I was the high school “Jesus freak” and by the tender age of twenty-two I had founded a church — as ridiculous as that sounds now! After a prolonged slow start I eventually enjoyed what most would call a “successful ministry.” At one point during the 1990’s our church was dubbed “one of the twenty fastest growing churches in America.” I was a success. Ta-da!

    But by 2003, now in my mid-forties, I had become, what shall I say?…bored, restless, discontent. From a certain perspective things couldn’t have been better. I had a large church with a large staff supported by a large budget worshiping in a large complex. I was large and in charge! I had made it to the big time. But I had become increasingly dissatisfied. I was weary of the tired clichés of bumper-sticker evangelicalism. I was disenchanted by a paper-thin Christianity propped up by cheap certitude. The politicized faith of the Religious Right was driving me crazy. I was yearning for something deeper, richer, fuller. Let me say it this way — I was in Cana and the wine had run out. I needed Jesus to perform a miracle.
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  • The Divine Conspirator: My Dallas Willard Story


    Dallas Willard
    (September 4, 1935 — May 8, 2013)

    In another lifetime, before I became the man I am today, I was searching…searching for I didn’t quite know what. I was utterly weary of a paper-thin Christianity propped up by cheap certitude recycling tired clichés. I was yearning for something deeper, richer, fuller. Yes, I was searching, but I hardly knew where to look. I was embarrassingly ignorant of “the good stuff.” With nowhere else to turn I began reading the Early Church Fathers, philosophy, and classic literature. Maximus the Confessor, Søren Kierkegaard, and Fyodor Dostoevsky were a big help, but I needed something contemporary — I needed a well dug in my own time.

    One afternoon I was in my library. I was deliberately looking for a book that would “give me a breakthrough.” I couldn’t settle on anything. So I prayed: “God, show me what to read.” And I sensed…nothing. I went downstairs feeling a bit agitated and slumped into a chair. Within a minute or two Peri walked into the room, handed me a book and said, “I think you should read this.” She knew nothing of my moments ago prayer, but she had just handed me a book, and told me to read it. This was my Augustine-like “take and read” moment. It sent chills down my spine. The book was Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy. The strange thing was Peri had not read it and had no more idea who Dallas Willard was than I did. Neither of us were sure how the book had even made its way into our house. But, oh my, was it ever an answer to prayer!
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  • Evangelical Manifesto

    On May 7, 2008 an Evangelical Manifesto was published in Washington D.C. by a consortium of Evangelical thinkers and leaders. It is addressed not only to Christians and Evangelicals but to American citizens of all faiths and no faith. I would describe it as an attempt to re-identify, re-position, and perhaps re-energize Evangelicals in the contemporary American landscape. Most importantly though, I would say the Evangelical Manifesto is an an attempt to untangle American Evangelicals from the apparatus of partisan politics — something I have come to feel increasingly passionate about.

    Here’s my take on it.
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  • Lists

    Lists are part of my madness and my madness is a part of who I am.

    So this is a blog of lists.

    (It’s also an answer to several emailers.)

    OK, let’s go…
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