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Feb
05

Knowing Christ Today by Dallas Willard

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Since the days of Jesus, Christians have wrestled with the problem of how to answer questions of faith on the basis on knowledge. Many Christians over the past two millennia have been content to think in two distinct hemispheres: faith and knowledge. With passive resignation believers have left matters of faith to faith and matters of knowledge to science, as though they are completely incompatible and unrelated.

Dallas Willard has written to challenge that assumption.

Right from the start let me confess that Willard is my favorite author. A professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Philosophy, Willard has written powerfully on the subjects of Spiritual Disciplines and the Kingdom of God. My well worn copy of The Divine Conspiracy is my all time favorite, being one of the very few books that I’ve read more than once.

Willard is concerned that people of faith become people of knowledge, and has written Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge to help believers understand how faith and knowledge relate in a compatible way. The book is not written for those who are looking for quick reads. It’s written with the stated purpose of challenging the Christian reader to become a thinking reader…to use the mind to bolster faith. His premise is that faith is derived from knowledge and in the pages of the book he explains how the two are intertwined. In the introduction, for example, he writes, “Belief cannot reliably govern life and action except in its proper connection with knowledge and with the truth and evidence knowledge involves.” So, instead of reckoning faith and knowledge as opposing forces, Willard demonstrates that knowledge and faith are friends, and that “knowledge is essential to faith and our relationship with God in the spiritual life.”

I think this is possibly the most important book written in the 21st century. Rather than argue that point, let me simply encourage you to read it. Twice.

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