The Kingdom Among Us: The Gospel According to Dallas Willard
This book is the product of Michael Stewart Robb’s PhD dissertation at the University of Aberdeen. After 10 years of researching Dallas Willard’s books and audio recordings, Robb presents a comprehensive overview of Willard’s multifaceted theological vision that combined rhetorical skill; knowledge of philosophy, psychology, and Scripture; and a gospel of spiritual living.
While The Kingdom Among Us is intended for more academic than general readership, it does not require a PhD to understand. The book summarizes key areas of Willard’s thought, such as the importance of preaching the gospel that Jesus himself preached. It will help scholars, theologians, and philosophers alike make sense of Dallas’s dual careers as philosopher and theologian and see how the study of philosophy influenced his Christian teaching.
Michael Stewart Robb is a theologian, writer, and Director of Sanctus: A European Institute for Theology and Spirituality in Munich, Germany. He has a PhD in Systematic Theology from the University of Aberdeen. Mike is also the author of Something to Say: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Dallas Willard, available exclusively through the Sanctus Institute.
This book is a striking work of original theology, effortlessly synthesizing philosophical phenomenology, spirituality, and doctrinal theology. Although it is more readable than most contemporary academic theology, it is simultaneously more profound and more intellectually challenging. It teaches readers what Jesus means by ‘the kingdom of God.’ It was a wonderful experience to hear anew the voice of Dallas Willard in this book, but also a great experience to discover a new, young, and vibrant theologian--the author.
The Kingdom Among Us explores theological foundations of Dallas Willard’s wide-ranging work. A reliable and engaging guide to one of the most influential ‘spiritual’ writers of the late twentieth century.
Dallas Willard was one of the most important and influential Christian philosophers of our time. The beauty of Willard’s work is not only revealed in his intellectual acuity, but also in his deep love for Jesus and his desire to help people come to know Jesus more fully. In this book, Michael Stewart Robb sets out to capture something of the power, beauty, and Christ-centeredness of Willard’s work and to offer it as a gift both to those who know Willard’s work well and to those who may be beginning to move into the rhythm of his words. In providing a deep and thoughtful outline and interpretation of Willard’s thinking, Robb takes us on a journey that touches and moves both the head and the heart. This is a fascinating book that deserves to be read widely.
Robb has rigorously and sympathetically entered Willard’s mind and heart. Scholars will find Robb’s book interesting and thorough. Lay readers will discover a helpful roadmap into the depths of Willard’s thoughts on God and a host of related issues and concerns. Highly recommended.
I pastored one of those early churches where Dallas Willard taught Sunday school. I mean, when I taught, folks might come, but when Dallas taught, they brought their tape recorders! Me too. It was astonishing. It didn’t matter which passage Dallas was teaching from--he always ended up presenting us with a rich biblical Weltanschauung, as the Germans like to say. I marveled to see parishioners studying fifteen, maybe twenty hours to prepare for the next Willard Sunday school class. These were life-transforming sessions. And now with The Kingdom Among Us Michael Stewart Robb gives us insight into the theological foundation of the Willard corpus. I’m delighted.
Dallas Willard is more often quoted than grasped; Willard is read but his overall thought is rarely mined to its depths. Robb has gone to these depths to unveil the logic of Willard’s approach to Scripture, revealing Willard’s long-standing interest in discipleship and life in the kingdom. For anyone looking to understand Willard’s thought, this is a necessary and important contribution.
Michael Stewart Robb may be the leading theologian on the planet when it comes to understanding the ideas of Dallas Willard.
Fortress Press, 2022, 532 pp, ISBN 150648073X