DALLAS WILLARD, a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles since 1965, has authored several books which were awarded Christianity Today’s Book Awards. His work includes Knowing Christ Today (2009), The Great Omission (2006), Renovation of the Heart (2002), The Divine Conspiracy (1998), The Spirit of the Disciplines (1988), and Hearing God (1999).
He is one of today’s most brilliant thinkers. His books are filled with passage that one must carefully consider and process. He sees the complacency and passivity of church as a major problem. This concept might be best summarized in a quote from his article, Live Life to the Full, which appeared in The Christian Herald (UK) in 2001:
The path of spiritual growth in the riches of Christ is not a passive one. Grace is not opposed to effort. It is opposed to earning. Effort is action. Earning is attitude. You have never seen people more active than those who have been set on fire by the grace of God.
His books challenge the reader to be a true disciple of Jesus which he calls being “an apprentice” of Jesus. This would entail spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fellowship, service, study, simplicity, chastity, solitude, fasting. This is not to say that Willard is legalistic or believes in a formulaic Christianity. He is truly a messenger of grace and calls the church back to spiritual disciplines that have stood the test of time.