I stood outside the elevator waiting for my turn to go up to the floors above as there was quite a crowd around the door at this conference. Another group of people came towards the elevator with Eugene Peterson. The man-crowd around the elevator turned to face Eugene as if to hear anything that he might say. I watched this from the sidelines, curious as to how this honored man would respond to this obvious interest.Read More Post a comment (0)
Someone once asked me who my pastor was. Without thinking, I immediately responded “Eugene Peterson” even though I have never been in his church and even though I had many fine church pastors in my life. But it was Eugene’s writings that had been and have continued to be a profound source of pastoral help to me in my spiritual journey.Read More Post a comment (0)
As we all grieve the passing of Dallas Willard, who taught with great humility and kindness of the availability of the Kingdom of God, we thought it fitting to share the words of Gary Moon, our Executive Editor and Executive Director of the Martin Institute and Willard Center at Westmont College. Please feel free to share the impact that Dallas and his teaching had on your life, either in the comments or on the Memorial Guest Book that can be found here.
You can also read some of Dallas’s own words that were printed in Volume 8.1 of Conversations Journal, Getting the Elephant Out of the Sanctuary.
* * *
Early on the morning of May 8, 2013, Dallas Albert Willard awakened to a full experience of the reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens he described so beautifully. Fittingly, his last two words were, “Thank you.”
“Thank you” is the feeling I am sure so many have for the contributions he has made to their lives. I believe Dallas Willard has been one of the great reformers of Christian thought of the past century and that his most powerful lessons were taught by how he lived an unhurried life, in love with God.
At the request of the Willard family, we have set up this official online “Memorial Guest Book.” Individuals who wish to offer condolences to the family or to offer a verbal tribute to Dallas Willard concerning how his writing, teaching or friendship has impacted your life may do so here. The Willard Center will make sure that Jane Willard, John Willard, Becky Willard Heatley and Bill Heatley see your words of appreciation and compassion. We invite you to share your reflections, tributes, comments, and condolences here by posting your message in the comments below.
From the Willard family: “We are grateful for Dallas’ life and ministry and for his willingness to live ALL of his life in the present reality of the Kingdom. Many thanks to those who have prayed for Dallas and who stand with him in the continuing Divine Conspiracy. It’s time for us all to support each other in carrying on the good work Dallas has shown us that Christ is doing in us.”
Gary W. Moon
Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College
On my desk resides a Bible.
Each page has two columns; one is the NIV translation and the other is the Message.
I love to read every passage in both translations. Eugene Peterson’s words have a way of making Scripture come alive in my mind and heart. Having both translations open help me when I need deeper understanding and clarity for certain passages.Read More Post a comment (10)
I have read many of Eugene Peterson’s books and have even heard him speak a few times. Out of that corpus, though, are two things that have impressed me deeply. One of them I am not sure I even fully understand well enough to explain. It is based on this poem by Emily Dickinson:Read More Post a comment (0)
The prevailing postmodern milieu has greased the skids for entering into conversations that, only a generation ago, might have been cause either for theological concern or at least “further training.” What I mean are not the “may I speak with you about Jesus?” questions. They’re more the “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual” type conversations. Postmodernism in general with its openness to personal narrative, albeit lacking an over-arching metanarrative, has created a big front door to converse on matters that matter. The interior life has become important again, or at least…acceptable.Read More Post a comment (0)
In a rural southern Michigan community stood a one-room church with stained glass windows that reflected the light in beautiful patterns on the curved oak pews. The people who built this church out in the middle of the flat, rich soil of ancient Lake Erie bottom were mostly farmers. They were simple people but deeply committed to living lives of holiness. That community is the roots of my life in the six great Christian traditions.Read More Post a comment (0)
I gobbled up Richard Foster’s Streams of Living Water soon after it was published. His work gave me a way to name (and appreciate) the various influences which have formed my Christian experience, and affirmed my finding my true home in the contemplative tradition. I have loved learning and growing in this tradition, and it has been a delight to pass along to others what I’ve gained. When my church decided to do a teaching series on the streams of the Christian faith, preaching on the prayer-filled life was natural for me. It’s where I am most at home.Read More Post a comment (0)
My father has always been ahead of his time. As an African American man in the late 60’s early 70’s he was self-employed and while that was rare in my neighborhood it provided my sister and I with some incredible experiences. My father’s faith was and remains one that is a celebration of the joys of all the streams or the six great traditions as my friend Richard Foster calls them.Read More Post a comment (1)
I have been swimming in the evangelical stream all of my life. For instance as a boy I remember going to a conference and seeing a big sign in the front of the worship center that proclaimed “Christ Preeminent”. I was too young at first to know what that big word meant but I grew to understand the implications of that statement as a calling to “trust and obey” Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life.Read More Post a comment (0)