He wrote much about spiritual transformation and had a wonderful way with words that sounded anything but like an academic speaking.
One thing he said that has stuck with me was his warning to those looking to give their lives to Jesus. He was insistent that they should be told about 'the lions'. A reference that life will be tough following Jesus. He was keen to address the creeping consumerism he identified in Christian formation.
Dallas will be remembered as a humble, self-effacing man who was always looking to grasp ever deeper the reality of the Kingdom of God for his own life. In his book Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God he conveys with a matter of fact-ness, “Few people arise in the morning as hungry for God as they are for cornflakes or toast and eggs.” He did.
I like, many of us in the Vineyard, have been impacted by his classic The Divine Conspiracy. We remain utterly indebted to his life's study and works. We are richer for spending time with his thoughts.
“We must understand that God does not "love" us without liking us - through gritted teeth - as "Christian" love is sometimes thought to do. Rather, out of the eternal freshness of his perpetually self-renewed being, the heavenly Father cherishes the earth and each human being upon it. The fondness, the endearment, the unstintingly affectionate regard of God toward all his creatures is the natural outflow of what he is to the core - which we vainly try to capture with our tired but indispensable old word "love." (The Divine Conspiracy)
There will undoubtedly be many words written in fond and grateful memory of Dallas, but I like, in particular, like what John Ortberg has written yesterday.
Our prayers and thoughts are very much with the Willard family this week.
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