In his acclaimed books, renowned writer, speaker, and philosophy professor Dallas Willard explored the nature of Christian life in God's Kingdom. Yet one topic remained undisclosed: Willard's understanding of heaven and eternal life. In the months before his death, Willard engaged in moving and insightful conversations about the meaning of life and the life to come with close friend and theologian Gary Black Jr. These inspiring dialogues were steeped in biblical theology as well as practical wisdom grounded in the here-and-now.
In Preparing for Heaven Black reveals not only Willard's profound and liberating vision of life after death, he also deftly unpacks the implications these realities hold for our lives today. Black shows how Willard understood our mortal lives as preparation for what comes next—that death is not the end of one life and the beginning of another, but rather a transition through which we continue the transformational work begun on Earth. Informative, challenging, and poignant, Willard and Black's conversations and insights challenge us to reconsider our beliefs—that perhaps the line separating the afterlife from this life is not as absolute as we think, and that there is work to be done both now and in the glorious life to come. As a result we will find that our faith is more vibrant—and eternal—than we have dared to imagine.
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About the Author
Gary Black Jr. is a professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University. He is the author of The Theology of Dallas Willard, and coauthor of The Divine Conspiracy Continued.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Eternity in a Peach Box xiii
Introduction: Preparing for Evermore 1
Part 1 The Problem: What We Misunderstand About Heaven 11
Chapter 1 Beyond the Cosmic Car Wash 13
Chapter 2 A Good Death? 41
Chapter 3 Why We Exist 63
Chapter 4 The Substance of Spirit 93
Chapter 5 Choosing Eternal Life 121
Part 2 The Solution: Heaven at Hand 135
Chapter 6 Honesty 137
Chapter 7 Fearlessness 159
Chapter 8 Power 185
Chapter 9 Beneficial Relationships 213
Chapter 10 Joy 235
Conclusion: Final Things 257
About the Book 293