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Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge by Dallas Willard

Think Christianly: Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge by Dallas Willard

Monday, June 1, 2009

Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge by Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard is one of my favorite authors / speakers. Having taught on the spiritual life for decades and having taught philosophy at the University of Southern California give him the conceptual skills and heart to talk about spiritual knowledge in a robust, yet deeply human way. I highly recommend his latest book.

"A spiritual defense of the proposition that faith and reason are not contradictory." (Peter L. Berger, Director, Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, Boston University )

"This is clear, lucid thinking about what matters most, as is desperately needed today. Only Dallas Willard could have written this, but I don't know anyone who doesn't need to read it." (John Ortberg, Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of Faith & Doubt )

"Dallas Willard focuses like a laser beam on the issue of moral knowledge as a legitimate source for understanding reality and applying it to daily life. It is a must read." (Richard Foster )

This book deals with the disastrous effects of divorcing the teachings of Jesus Christ and his people from the domain of human knowledge. Its aim is to reposition the substantial teachings of Christianity ("Mere" Christianity) as a body of knowledge in the contemporary world. In the process it explains what knowledge is, as compared to belief, commitment and profession, and clarifies the difference it makes whether or not an area of thought and practice is regarded as an area of knowledge. Then it proceeds to deal with some of the most basic points of Christian teaching from the viewpoint of knowledge.

It is Dr. Willard's hope that this book will put those who practice Christian discipleship in a different and much stronger position, and that it will be helpful for all areas of education, but especially for Christian schools, colleges and universities.

From the Preface:
"I should alert the reader to the fact that this is not a devotional book, and that it will require considerable mental effort to understand. This lies in the nature of the problems to be dealt with. I have tried to ease the pain as much as possible. One effect of the displacement of faith from knowledge, which we are dealing with in this book, is that many people now believe you do not need to think deeply and carefully to follow Christ. C. S. Lewis has a very penetrating comment to make about this matter: "God has room for people with very little sense, but He wants every one to use what sense they have. The proper motto is not 'Be good, sweet maid, and let who can be clever,' but 'Be good, sweet maid, and don't forget that this involves being as clever as you can.' God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers. If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all…. One reason why it needs no special education to be a Christian is that Christianity is an education itself." (From Mere Christianity)

About the Author

Theologian and scholar Dallas Willard has long been an eloquent voice for the relevance of God in our daily lives. His groundbreaking books Hearing God, Renovation of the Heart, and The Spirit of the Disciplines forever changed the way thousands of Christians experience their faith. He is a professor at the University of Southern California's School of Philosophy and has held visiting appointments at UCLA and the University of Colorado. He lives in southern California.

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