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"SERIOUS AND THOUGHTFUL CHRISTIANS today find themselves in a quandry....In the context of modern life and thought, they are urged to treat their central belief as something other than knowledge—somethig, in fact, far short of knowledge. Those beliefs are to be relegated to the categories of sincere opinion, emotion, blind commitment, or behavior traditional for their social group. And yet they cannot escape the awareness that those beliefs do most certainly come into conflict with what is regarded as knowledge ...
"SERIOUS AND THOUGHTFUL CHRISTIANS today find themselves in a quandry....In the context of modern life and thought, they are urged to treat their central belief as something other than knowledge—somethig, in fact, far short of knowledge. Those beliefs are to be relegated to the categories of sincere opinion, emotion, blind commitment, or behavior traditional for their social group. And yet they cannot escape the awareness that those beliefs do most certainly come into conflict with what is regarded as knowledge in educational and professional circles of public life. This conflict has profound effect upon how they hold and practice religious beliefs and how they present them to others." —from the Introduction
In this groundbreaking book, the renowned philosopher, teacher, and bestselling author Dallas Willard answers the central questions facing the church today—is the Gospel true? Willard argues that Christian spiritual ideals, while unique, are truths comparable to other intellectual disciplines such as science and philosophy. When treated as such, Christian beliefs become something more than merely personal opinion or personal preference—they become a reliable source of knowledge that should be granted the same authority as those other disciplines. Willard address the difficult questions of Christian pluralism (the challenge of other faiths) and how we can know God exists.
In Knowing Christ Today, Willard has written the definitive defense of the faith for our time. He takes stock of our cultural definition of "knowledge" and "morality" and reveals how the poor regard for religion and truth have more to do with bias and prejudice than with rational arguments. Restoring faith and morality to issues of truth, Willard challenges us to overcome this ignorance and reclaim our faith and morality as people of God.
In prose that is both decisive and austere, Willard (The Spirit of the Disciplines) throws down the gauntlet to those in both the secular and religious realms who claim it is impossible to know Christian truths. A professor at the University of Southern California's School of Philosophy, Willard attempts to demonstrate how knowledge and faith can support each other. Arguing that the "standard of knowledge is truth and proper evidence," the writer leads readers through his proofs for the existence of God, the resurrection of Jesus, God's ongoing intervention in the world and the then logical possibility of a vital spiritual practice centered on "interactive life with Christ." Christian discipleship, as the author sees it, includes such crucial elements as humility, intent to be inwardly transformed, the practice of the presence of Christ and obedience. As Willard admits in his introduction, the book is a mental workout-even the questions at the end of the chapters are challenging. Woven through with the ideas of classical and contemporary philosophers, theologians and sociologists, this volume will engage readers who are willing to follow Willard on his self-assured way, and trust him as a guide. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Reverend Rodriguez (pres., Natl. Hispanic Christian Leadership Conf.) shot to prominence recently, having participated in President Obama's inaugural worship service. In his latest book, as he shrewdly remarks, he attempts to steer a middle course between Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. The "path" he has in mind is strewn with obstacles that make believers stronger, preparing them for God's wonders; his is perhaps the least dubious of the gospels of prosperity, and his book should find a wide readership.
Willard (Sch. of Philosophy, Univ. of Southern California; Divine Conspiracy) urges us to embrace Christian belief as a form of reliable knowledge and to use it to engage the world and other forms of knowledge, including science. His assertions, and his flaccid style here, however, do not make his case, although those who've enjoyed his previous books will want to read this one as well.
In an era that increasingly eschews devils and hells, Xenos Christian Fellowship founder and pastor McCallum provides a startling glimpse of Christianities past. He views this life as a field of spiritual warfare, with satanic temptations particular to the Christian and the pastor, and he seasons his book heavily with scriptural references. His best advice, however, is to resist and think on God. For larger collections.
1 Can Faith Ever Be Knowledge? 13
2 Exactly How We Perish for Lack of Knowledge 37
3 How Moral Knowledge Disappeared 65
4 Can We Know That God Exists? On the Way Back to Christ 95
5 The Miraculous, and Christ's Presence in Our World 117
6 Knowledge of Christ in the Spiritual Life 139
7 Knowledge of Christ and Christian Pluralism 169
8 Pastors as Teachers of the Nations 193
Subject Index 233
Scripture Index 243
Dallas Willard has taken a few years to produce another book in the area of spiritual formation. This book crosses a bit from spiritual formation to philosophy. It is an apologetic for spiritual knowledge. He has a passion for Christians to think.
His books are ones I must read at least twice and this one is no exception. He challenges my thinking in a couple of key areas: 1. He tackles the non-threat of evolution. He puts this matter in such a light that the reader SHOULD come away thinking twice about the matter of evolution. Is it really a threat to true Christianity? His answer is "no."
2. He opens the discussion on "Christian pluralism." This is a messy subject and I wish he had left it alone. Once I plowed through what he was saying, I think I understood what his point was. Again, I will need to re-read to see if I am understanding it properly. The problem is many Christians may not re-read and think, "Willard is a universalist." He is not, but reading this chapter may bring one to that conclusion.
A challenging read, as always.
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Posted December 18, 2010
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Posted January 27, 2010
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