Willard Legacy Update - November 2019
Continuing the Work of Dallas Willard: November 2019 Update
Continuing the Work of Dallas Willard
November 2019 Update
Dear Fellow Pilgrims,
One afternoon, as my father was stretching out on the sofa to take a nap, he told me that one of the nice things about writing books is that “they’re out there working while you’re taking a nap.” Our friend Jason recently contacted DWM to tell us how a copy of Life Without Lack went to work in his life, and is allowing us to share the blessing of his story with you:
On March 31st of 2018 I was arrested and subsequently served 12 days in jail for a DUI. I thank God regularly that no one was seriously or irreparably hurt that day, but I also continually thank Him for the means in which He made His presence known through that experience. Leading up to that point I was trapped in a 3-year vicious cycle of depression and anxiety that I medicated with alcohol. I had consistent thoughts of suicide and, despite the outward appearance of having a good job, an amazing wife, and a beautiful son, the darkness never seemed to go away and I was trapped in a mental prison. And then I got arrested. Instead of the same negative thoughts that were always pervasive, all I could feel in the back of the patrol car was a feeling of peace and all I could hear was a voice saying, "Relax, it's finally over." Words that have never been my own. My brain doesn't work like that. I'm thoroughly convinced my brain wants me dead.
After jail, I checked into a 90-day residential treatment center where I was given a copy of Life Without Lack from my wonderful Mother-in-Law. Every word seemed to jump out at me and resonate on a deeply personal and spiritual level. The good news of the spiritual transformation that comes from living out the "with-God life" has made an indescribable impact on my life for the better. In that residential treatment center, I was also introduced to the 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. A program where spiritually and emotionally bankrupt people, such as myself, are afforded the opportunity to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him." Through the words of Dallas Willard, I now have a road map to effectively carry that out with the accompanying scripture of Psalm 23 that has brought an inconceivable amount of peace in my life.
I don't deserve an ounce of the grace I have been given in my life, but I will live forever grateful of the redemptive power of the cross and the merciful shepherd.
Through God’s grace and mercy Dallas’s books continue to be “out there working;” touching many people’s lives. We are honored to be a part of how God is reaching people and making a difference. Jason’s story is truly a gift, and a beautiful reminder of why we continue our efforts to broaden the availability of Dallas’s teaching in every way possible.
As part of our efforts to widen the reach of Dallas’s books and teaching about Jesus and His kingdom we are pleased to offer a new 2-day seminar entitled, “Taking Discipleship Seriously: Understanding the Writings of Dallas Willard.” This is the first of several seminars and retreats we are designing to bring to interested churches and communities. Please see the Taking Discipleship Seriously flyer for details, and we invite you to contact us at DWMinistries@DWillard.org if you would like to host a seminar at your location.
Moral Knowledge Initiative Update:
Our next Moral Knowledge symposium is scheduled for February 3-4, 2020. “Knowing What’s True, Doing What’s Good” is being hosted by Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California, and is co-sponsored by Westmont College. Be watching for more information about live-streaming of the sessions, and please let us know if you would like to join us as part of the audience during the symposium.
The first “Disappearance of Moral Knowledge” symposium held May 14-15 was a great success. The Willard family and DWM Board extend many thanks to the symposium planners and participants who contributed to the discussion and for the donations that made it possible. A summary of the symposium presentations is available on our website, including links to copies of all of the papers that were presented. Videos of each of the presentations are available on the DWM YouTube channel.
Another moral knowledge resource that we encourage you to read is Steve Porter’s article, “The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge: Exploring Dallas Willard’s parting diagnosis of our cultural moment,” in Talbot Magazine. This is an insightful overview of the book and how it applies to our lives today.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a copy of The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge, members of the Evangelical Philosophical Society are now eligible for a 20% discount on the purchase price. Becoming an EPS member would also give you a subscription to the EPS journal, Philosophia Christi, so that’s a good deal!
New Free Resources Available Online:
Conversatio Divina is an online resource that makes available an abundance of teaching from Dallas on pathways of Christlikeness. The staff of Westmont College’s Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Resource Center have spent years gathering audio of Dallas’s teaching and cleaning up old cassette recordings to bring us a nearly comprehensive collection of his recordings. We are grateful for the time and talent invested in this effort and encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful new resource.
- The Good Question – Explains the differences and functions of the brain and soul. This little piece, written for Christianity Today in 2002, is even more relevant today than when it was originally written.
- Living in the Depths of Life with God – Written in 1997 for Voice of the Vineyard.
- The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge in the 20th Century – Notes from Dallas’s presentation at Wheaton College in 2001. A link to the audio is included.
- Becoming the Kind of Leaders Who Can Do the Job – Originally written for Cutting Edge magazine in 1999, this article can now be found in Renewing the Christian Mind (chapter 38), and is posted on our site with special permission from the editor.
- On What to Make of the Republic, Book 1 – An excerpt from Dallas’s “History of Ethics to 1900” syllabus, Spring 2011.
- The Marks of a Profession – This is a handout Dallas used in his USC course, "The Professions and the Public Interest in American Life."
- Spirituality and Reality Today – The syllabus from the Freshman Seminar Dallas taught in the Spring semester of 2012.
Mark Your New 2020 Calendar For These Upcoming Conferences:
- February 1, 2020 – This year’s annual All Shall Be Well conference is themed “Rethinking God’s Opinion of Me.” Hosted by Bel Air Church (Bel Air, CA), the conference brings together a number of speakers and authors in the field of spiritual formation and will feature Jan Johnson as keynote speaker. Note: Early bird registration ends December 12.
- September 24-26, 2020 – The Apprentice Institute will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Apprentice Gathering hosted by Friends University (Wichita, KS). Visit the conference website to see the amazing list of speakers.
As our country turns to a focus of gratitude during the season of Thanksgiving, we want you to know how grateful we are for each of you. Your notes of encouragement, your prayers, and your financial gifts are very precious to us. Like Jason, many of you have intentionally let us know how our efforts have provided you with resources that are deepening your relationship with Christ, and we are so thankful! We encourage you to stay in touch with us, let us know how our resource offerings can be most helpful for you, and keep us on the right track. We love hearing from you!
As a non-profit organization, our work is supported entirely by charitable donations. We gratefully accept tax deductible contributions through the "Donate" button below, or by check written to Dallas Willard Ministries sent to 5158 Clareton Drive #1859, Agoura Hills, CA 91376. We appreciate your consideration as you evaluate your year-end charitable giving. And here’s a fun thought: your contributions will be “out there working” while you nap!
On behalf of Dallas Willard Ministries and the entire Willard family,
I wish you a joyous holiday season filled with beauty, goodness and truth.
Rebecca Willard Heatley