I know that I’m late in acknowledging the passing of Dallas Willard last week, but it’s never too late to pay our respects. Though I don’t claim to have known Mr. Willard, I did have the opportunity to meet and learn from him during a doctoral seminar he gave at the seminary I attend. The wisdom I received that day, along with the wisdom I’ve received since by reading and re-reading his work has been incredibly influential in my life as a disciple of Christ. I’ve been grateful for that experience ever since.
The respectful words of appreciation by Dr. Black regarding the passing of Dallas Willard are appropriate and well taken-
“Today, we mourn the loss of a great and humble man who profoundly impacted our lives and this generation. He taught us to rethink our thinking. He reminded us that God’s kingdom is within reach. He challenged us to pursue the effective reign and rule of God’s will in our lives and confess knowledge of reality, rather than mere profession of religious beliefs. He trained us in the means for spiritual growth and taught us to position ourselves in such a way that we could choose to be transformed into people who easily and naturally live in the “easy yoke” with Jesus, learning to live as he would if he were us. Thank you Dallas for being a voice for direct realism in an age of postmodern constructivism and relativism. Thank you for reminding us time and time again that God exists, we can know that fact, and that he is good, faithful and loving. He speaks to those who listen, and ever the gentleman, reveals himself to those who truly desire to know his ways. Dallas, we honor you today-beloved teacher, mentor and friend… For you, we rejoice in knowing your vision of a God-breathed world is now the air you breathe and the vista you see. We are grateful for your selfless giving, humble spirit, and ongoing encouragement. Our last words to you echo the final words uttered from your lips… Thank you!”