Next to my dad, Dallas Willard has been the most influential man in my life—especially in the last ten years or so. His writings came into my life at a time when I was re-thinking the basics of what it means to be a “christian” and what the nature and role of the Church should/could be. Then, by the grace of God and as a great, great gift to me, for two years (2010 through 2012) I was fortunate to sit under his teaching and first-hand receive from his head and from his heart.
In Dallas I saw someone who blended loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength like no one before. When Dallas walked into the room, you felt and saw the nature and presence of Christ at work. Dallas gave me hope that I could become like Jesus and renewed my hope in and for the church.
Some say history will one day record that Dallas has had as much effect on the Church as other notable thinkers, saints, and reformers like Calvin, Luther, Augustine, and many others before him. I don’t think that’s an overstatement.
Dallas’ passing only renews my commitment to be a thinker, writer, leader, teacher, shepherd—but most of all a lover of God and an apprentice of Christ. It is also my renewed commitment that within whatever years of life I have left, to faithfully influence others into the things Dallas taught me—both in his writings and his life.
My prayer is God give us more men and women like Dallas Willard!
A man who is truly missed!