Dallas Willard, a prominent philosopher on a “quiet quest to subvert nominal Christianity” (according to a 2006 CT profile), died today after losing a battle with cancer. He was 77. . . .
According to Gary Moon, executive director of the Dallas Willard Center at Westmont College, Willard died early Wednesday morning, but “awakened to a full experience of the reality of the Kingdom of the Heavens he described so beautifully. Fittingly, his last two words were, “‘Thank you.’”
Writing on the necessity of inner transformation in 2006, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. had this to say of Willard:
The first thing to do is to trust our Christian friends who have died with Jesus Christ when they tell us it’s going to be okay if we do it, too. This, in my judgment, is one of the greatest services offered to the church by our Christian friend Dallas Willard.
He is a brilliant, modest, immensely experienced Christian older brother, calling to us from the Resurrection side of things. His books all call out, in one way or another: Come on over. It’s going to be okay to die first. You have to do it, and you can do it. Not even Jesus got a resurrection without a death, and he’ll be at your side when you surrender your old life. Trust me on this. If you die with Jesus Christ, God will walk you out of your tomb into a life of incomparable joy and purpose inside his boundless and competent love.