I am sure there many ways in which Dallas Willard will be remembered but to me he will always be a qentle soul who is a God-seeker. Most of his writings, teaching and preaching may be considered to be about spiritual formation but actually the core of Dallas' teachings is on seeking God. That is in essence what is spiritual formation.
I was seeking to learn more about spiritual formation and I found a kindred soul in Dallas when I first come across his writings and later in person in a conference in Los Angeles. At that time, spiritual formation was not widely known and was viewed with suspicion by the evangelical community. Yet Dallas was eager to share his understanding of what spiritual formation is, using psychosocial terms to describe a complex subject.
Dallas is a prolific written.His books stand proud on my bookshelf. I know I will always value them (especially the autographed ones) and refer to them again and again.
1988. The spirit of the
disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives. New York: HarperCollins.
The divine conspiracy: Rediscovering our
hidden life in God. New York:
Hearing God: Developing a conversational
relationship with God. Downers
Renovation of the heart: Putting on the
character of Christ. Colorado Springs,
2006. The great omission: Reclaiming
Jesus’s essential teachings on discipleship. New York: HarperCollins.
Dallas, and D. Simpson. 2005. Revolution
of character: Discovering Christ’s pattern for spiritual transformation. Colorado Springs, CO:
In a sense, Dallas is a pioneer, bringing us back to the wilderness of spiritual growth and Christian spiritualities. He had opened up a path to a better understanding of Christian spiritualities and discipleship in spiritual formation. He had blazed a trail for others to follow and to expand on the subject. May we be worthy to follow his lead.
Labels: Absent Friends