Graduating From the School of Christ

In the beginning of his second epistle, the Apostle Peter lists a set of traits and skills that all mature believers should aspire to acquire. This article discusses those as admirable goals. From Jim Erwin………..

A Holy Tension: Responding to Failed Expectations in the Already and Not Yet

There are many paradoxes in the Christian life that all believers must learn to hold in tension at the same time; that we are already saved and counted as righteous, but we are not yet fully sanctified. This article does a fine job of describing this fact of the Christian life to our benefit. From Beautiful Christian Life…………….

God Uses Our Minds to Communicate with Us — Dallas Willard

Focus your mind on God

If we do not use our ability to turn our minds and thoughts toward God, we do not have contact with God. Undoubtedly God could move into the human realm and invade the mind. If God did act in such a way, what are the chances the receiver would properly interpret such an encounter, if there is no knowledge of God at all? Therefore, what human beings can and must do is progress to the point where we consciously, intentionally focus our minds on God. The minister of the gospel is tasked with the very special and essential calling of directing and illuminating our minds toward the reality of God and his ways.

From The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth. Copyright © 2014 by Dallas Willard amd Gary Black Jr. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Dallas Willard Lists His Essential Scriptures for Discipleship and Kingdom Living

Essential Scriptures

Of course, in all our study the person of Jesus is the center of attention. But He is not really separable, for us, from the written revelatory word, including the Law, the Prophets, the history, and the wisdom of the Old Testament. One who would train disciples “to hear and do” will direct them to all these, still centered on the Person of Jesus.

The twenty-third Psalm is also an exquisite summary of life in the kingdom. The mind of the disciple should have it internalized, to always foster the joy and peace of the kingdom as well as to orient all of his or her actions within it. The Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sermon on the Mount, Romans 8, Colossians 3, Philippians 2–4, and a few other passages of scripture should be frequently meditated on in depth, and much of them memorized. This is an essential part of any training for Christlikeness. Positive engagement with these scriptures will bring kingdom order into our entire personality. This is something you will strongly experience as you go through the process of such study

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

BOOK REVIEW: 30 DAYS TO GROWING IN YOUR FAITH — Enrich Your Life in 15 Minutes a Day by Max Anders Thomas Nelson Publishers; 2021)

The well-known author and Bible scholar Max Anders has produced another helpful and encouraging resource for Christians with 30 Days to Growing in Your Faith. Using the same format he used in the classic work, 30 Days to Understanding Your Bible, this present book consists of 30 short chapters meant to be read in 15 minutes or less and to read one chapter each day for better retention of the material.

Anders directs this book to both newer believers and more seasoned disciples of Jesus, who might feel that their spiritual lives have stagnated or lack passion and energy. This volume builds its knowledge base for the reader in three parts: First, the person has certain fundamental truths they must know to be a Christian. Second, the person takes this knowledge they have gained about God and themselves to be the person God wants them to be. Third, the person is then in the position to live out God’s plan and do the things He has called them to do.

As a skilled seminary professor, Anders uses many tools such as repetition, fill-in-the-blanks, and thought-provoking questions to help the reader more fully engage with the content covered in the book. And he covers a wide range of issues that every Christian faces in their spiritual growth, such as the battle between the inner man and the outer man, renewing the mind, trials and suffering, self-discipline, prayer, trusting God, and discerning God’s will. This resource is one that a reader will actively work with and will want to return to multiple times. Highly recommended!

A Definition of “Disciple” From Dallas Willard

The student resembles the master

Spiritual formation in Christ is the process through which disciples or apprentices of Jesus take on the qualities or characteristics of Christ himself, in every essential dimension of human personality. The overall orientation of their will, the kinds of thoughts and feelings that occupy them, the “automatic” inclinations and “readinesses” of their body in action, the prevailing posture of their relations toward others, and the harmonious wholeness of their soul—these all, through the formative processes undergone by his disciples, increasingly come to resemble the personal dimensions of their master. “A pupil is not above his teacher,” Jesus said, “but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Kingdom Living with Dallas Willard

Where there is a will, there is a way

In the spiritual life it is actually true that “where there is a will there is a way.” This is true because God is involved and makes his help available to those who seek it. On the other hand, where there is no will (firm intentions based on clear vision) there is no way. People who do not intend to be inwardly transformed, so that obedience to Christ “comes naturally,” will not be transformed. God will not pick us up and throw us into transformed kingdom living, into “holiness,” against our will.

From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Thoughts on Christian Living from Dallas Willard

The Path of Liberation Through the Disciplines

Experimental [practical], prayerful implementation of solitude, silence, fasting—and other appropriate practices, such as service, fellowship, worship, and study (there is no such thing as a complete list of spiritual disciplines)—will certainly liberate us into the riches of Kingdom living. They are the key to the keys. We do not have to live under the thumb of our circumstances. For most, it is a considerable test of faith to take control of how they spend their time. But that is up to us. And putting time-tested, biblical disciplines for the spiritual life into sensible practice will soon lead us into an abundance of the life that is eternal in quality and power.

From The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s Essential Teachings on Discipleship. Copyright © 2006 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.