Dallas Willard’s Diganosis

i’m foregoing the excerpt from Fr Thomas Hopko’s book for the time being.  I wanted to go ahead and post this first.  Plus it’s a little shorter and rings quite true.  At least in my life. :)

In this month’s Christianity Today, Cornelius Plantinga Jr. speaks about the philosophy of Dallas Willard  and his diagnosis on today’s Christianity:

“we’re afraid to follow Jesus, bcasue then we’d have to die and rise with Him.  We’d have to mortify our old self with it’s “fondest lusts,” as Jonathan Edwards described them.  Then we’d have to vivify Jesus’ excellent virtues in their place.  The truth is, we’re mildly attracted to His virtues, but we’re strongly attracted to our vices.  We wouldn’t like to lose them because they please us, and the prospect of a significant life with Jesus doesn’t so much.  Do we expect a new Christian life will just happen without our having to make inconvenient changes in how we live Monday to Sunday?  If so, we are like people who want to be solvent and who also  max out thir credit cards.  Or people who want to be sexually pure and who also bookmark porn sites.  Or people who want to speak Japanese without all the tiresome study that’s normally required.  Here’s Williard’s devastating summary:

The general human failing is to want what is right ad important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy.  It is the feature of human character that explains why the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Taken from Christianity Today, Sept 2006 article, “Dr Willard’s Diganosis”, pg 49-51.


4 thoughts on “Dallas Willard’s Diganosis

  1. The quote “we’re mildly attracted to his virtues, but we’re strongly attracted to our vices” is devastating, as well as true–isn’t it? Willard seems to me to be trying to encourage people to actually meet Jesus; as though He is actually alive (which He is), rather than simply acting as though we believe the doctrinal statement, while really believing in the truth from Hollywood, or wherever. BZ

  2. that’s the exact line that hit me like a rock. and yes, it is too true. there’s a lot more in the article about being afraid of dying to the old self that is really good.

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