А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я Ё
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Выберите необходимое действие:
Меню
Свернуть
Скачать книгу The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth

The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth

Автор:
Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>

Читать онлайн «The Divine Conspiracy Continued: Fulfilling God’s Kingdom on Earth»

     
“The Divine Conspiracy Continued is a continuation of the divine conspiracy to implement kingdom principles in the professions and to influence the structure of our institutions for good and for God. In my search for evidence of kingdom practices in business, I have found them in the exemplary practices of many executives in the U.S. So I know this can be done just as Willard and Black describe. The question is, ‘how to proceed?’ I believe it must start in the church and much effort should be devoted to mentoring lay leaders in the kingdom principles as described in this book. I will return to its teachings again and again. May the kingdom come!”

—Joseph Maciariello, The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University

“The Divine Conspiracy is a Christian classic that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with Augustine’s Confessions and Brother Lawrence’s Practicing the Presence of God. For years, I have longed for a sequel. Unfortunately, Dallas—a genuine treasure to the body of Christ—passed away. However, unknown to me, Gary Black Jr., who did his doctoral dissertation on Willard’s thought and knows as much about Willard’s ideas as anyone living, and who spent considerable time with Dallas before his departure, gathered Dallas’s ideas, added his own, and has produced a truly coauthored book that satisfies the hunger of so many of us. The Divine Conspiracy Continued focuses on extending important ideas about the Kingdom of God into the areas of spiritual, moral, and cultural leadership, and into the spheres of education, economics, and politics. For those of us who desire to influence the culture in a distinctively Christian way, this is must-reading. I thank God for its release.”

—J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University and author of The Kingdom Triangle

“The Divine Conspiracy shaped an entire generation. Now Willard and Black have turned their attention to leaders becoming Christlike disciples instead of institutionalized church members . . . reshaping our thinking at an even wider and deeper level.”

—Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

“If I could have one spiritual guide alongside me in life’s deeper waters, it would be Dallas Willard. Dallas, and his protеgе Gary Black Jr., have given us all a guide in The Divine Conspiracy Continued. Picking up where Dallas last left us in The Divine Conspiracy, this sequel lays out a sweeping vision of what we as leaders can and must do both within our fields of influence but also in our own hearts. This is the book for every follower of Christ who seeks to be a light in and through every vocational and professional arena of contemporary life. Willard and Black tell us all how we can live truly significant lives in God’s Kingdom—now. The Divine Conspiracy Continued is a must-read.”

—Bob Buford, cable-TV pioneer, philanthropist, founder of Leadership Network, and author of Halftime and Drucker & Me

“Willard and Black offer leaders a hopeful vision that steers the wobbly structures of this world onto the road of love, justice, and truth.”

—Richard Swenson, M.D., author of Margin

“You hold in your hand a deep and compelling continuation of The Divine Conspiracy. The outworking of an individual’s life in the kingdom of God is the effect of one’s calling for the greater good of the world and the glory of God. Willard and Black have given us a prophetic writing, so bold that if embraced and embodied might just produce a Christian community that actually is ‘salt and light’ to a world in desperate need of it! I recommend this book with great enthusiasm.”

—Keith J. Matthews, chair and professor of Spiritual Formation & Contemporary Culture, Graduate School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University

“It is not very often that I encounter a new idea, but The Divine Conspiracy Continued has good, new, surprising, and challenging ideas at every turn. Willard and Black help move serious Christians from ‘renovation of the heart’ to renovation of their professions to renovation of their cultures. If lawyers, doctors, teachers, and ministers take this book to heart it will go a long way toward making our world, in John Calvin’s lovely phrase, a ‘theater for the glory of God.’”

—Robert F. Cochran Jr., Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law and Director, Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics, Pepperdine University School of Law

“This is a fantastic book that provides a grand masterpiece for how we pursue and embrace personal transformation in order to be God’s transforming agents in the world. These pages are filled with the great themes that call us to pursue and embrace the with-God life that is life indeed.”

—Gayle Beebe, president, Westmont College

I read this book with a group of people from different vocations and professions. The conversations we had were absolutely riveting. The book created a space where we could wrestle with dangerous, paradigm-shifting questions. The process reminded me how the people in our churches long to know how to live out the reality of the kingdom of God and ‘be genuinely good’ in the complicated and conflictual situations of their vocational life. This book speaks marvelously to this longing. It is an invaluable resource that can help pastors enter more fully into their congregation’s world and discover together the wisdom of Jesus and the way to real life.”

—Mike Lueken, coauthor of Renovation of the Church

“The Divine Conspiracy Continued brilliantly combines the legacies of Dallas Willard the disciple-maker and Dr. Willard the scholar. He helped us grasp the nature of truth and justice, and illuminated the deeper causes of the transformations unfolding in both Western culture and in the human heart. In this book, Willard has joined forces with theologian Gary Black Jr. to help us know better how leaders can mobilize as disciples of Christ to renew truth and justice within the modern world. Don’t miss this book.”

—Greg Forster, program director, Kern Family Foundation, and author of Joy for the World

“Dallas once said ‘True social activists are those who live as apprentices of Jesus in their ordinary relationships.’ While many try to change society by laws, Willard and Black illustrate that changing society requires leaders, in every area of life, to live a Christlike life.”

—Ihab Beblawi, M.D.

FOREWORD (#ulink_a4541810-7fdf-5893-8069-3c3217d64f6b)

Remembering Dallas (#ulink_a4541810-7fdf-5893-8069-3c3217d64f6b)

DALLAS WILLARD SUCCUMBED to the effects of pancreatic cancer prior to the publication of this work. His death has proven to be one of the most significant losses I have experienced, a fact I accept with equal measures of foreboding and gratefulness. I was wholly unprepared for losing Dallas as a mentor, guide, and friend. I was also unaware of how his loss would cause me to discover how deeply our relationship and his teachings affected me.

Although Dallas was candid with me about his illness and I was aware of the difficult challenges of pancreatic cancer, we remained optimistic about his ability to finish this project until only shortly before his death. Therefore, from the beginning of our work together we were both under the impression, and there were reasonable signs of hope, that his condition would improve enough that he would be able to at least finish the manuscript together. Perhaps I didn’t allow myself to seriously consider the alternatives. Nevertheless, even up to the final few days of his life, we were progressing toward that goal. However, as events transpired, I found myself needing to do what I hoped would be not be necessary, which is to describe some of the overarching vision that motivated Dallas to create this work and how I came to be involved as a coauthor.

I will begin near the end. On May 5, 2013, I received a phone call from Jane Willard, Dallas’s wife, at about nine thirty in the morning. She told me how Dallas’s health was deteriorating and asked if I would be able to stay a few days to help him get around the house. He needed assistance moving from place to place safely. She and I had talked a few weeks earlier about the possibility of my staying in the guesthouse and working on the book projects we had in process. I had previously mentioned that I was with my grandmother as she succumbed to pancreatic cancer, and I offered to help in any way I could. Jane asked if there was any wisdom or experience that I could relay about the issues they might face toward the end of Dallas’s life. I told her all I knew. Like my grandmother, Dallas was experiencing the highs and lows, times of strength and clarity followed by moments of significant weakness. When Jane called that Sunday morning, she was characteristically deferential in her request, making me promise nothing would inconvenience my family. I told her we were all happy to help.

As I packed an overnight bag, my wife gathered our two teenage daughters to pray with me before I left. It was difficult for me to tell my children about Dallas’s prognosis, and I struggled with my emotions as I discussed what might lie ahead. My elder daughter asked me, “Dad, what is it about Dallas that has had such a strong impact on you?” As I looked into my daughter’s eyes, my mind raced back some twenty-five years to my first encounter with Dallas. For a person who often can’t recall exactly what he had for breakfast the day before, for some reason I have been able to maintain a vivid memory of that first introduction. Even now, whenever the weight of that distant memory hits my heart, tears are not far behind. For me and countless others, God saw fit to use Dallas and his teachings to spark a foundational shift in our lives, our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and our awareness of the grand purposes God has for humanity in and through his kingdom. Though unknown to me at the time, my daughter’s question can serve us well as a means to both explain my participation in this work and start our journey into the objectives and hopes we have for this book.

I was first introduced to Dallas’s work in 1991. I had been out of college for two years and had two years of marriage under my belt. My wife and I were living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I was attempting to establish a business career in the “real world.” As my new bride and I were settling into our cramped little apartment and the challenges of adulthood, we also began to attend a local Covenant Church. There I met a fresh-faced associate pastor named Keith Matthews, who soon invited me to an early morning breakfast. After pleasantries and personal histories were exchanged, he suggested we consider a regular one-on-one breakfast session during which we would discuss a chosen book. Keith was then, as he is now, encouraging, energetic, and intentional about discipleship to Jesus, and I was beginning to miss all the deep, late-night conversations about God and the meaning and purposes of life that I so enjoyed during my university days. So I agreed.

The next week Keith handed me Dallas’s first book, In Search of Guidance:Developing a Conversational Relationship with God (available today as Hearing God). I remember immediately balking at the title.

“Developing a conversational relationship with God?” I asked incredulously.

Keith only smiled. He told me Willard was a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California and also a Southern Baptist minister. Keith was toying with me now. He knew of my deep Southern Baptist roots, and we had previously discussed some of my growing discomfort with the eccentricities of modern evangelicalism. Having studied postmodernism briefly in college, I was familiar with some of the emerging ideas in epistemology that conflicted with the traditional modern conceptions of knowledge used to underpin many Christian doctrines. I assumed Keith had to be mistaken.

“You don’t mean the USC, as in the Trojans’ USC?” I asked.

He assured me I had understood him accurately.

My head was spinning. An ordained Southern Baptist minister who taught philosophy at one of the most prestigious secular universities in the country? I was more than a little intrigued at the iconoclastic possibilities. That little rеsumе, along with the title of the book, caused a surge of hope and excitement to stir within my heart. Could someone possibly have found a way to break out of the Christian bubble I felt closing in around me? I agreed to read the book.

As it turned out, In Search of Guidance, which was followed by TheSpirit of the Disciplines, began to reveal a spiritual life that was significantly foreign to my previous Christian experience. Little did I know at the time, but those two seminal works allowed me to take the first steps on a journey that I had been yearning to take, even though I was not fully aware of my longing. I am not alone. Increasing numbers of Christians are looking for a reality that is as big as the beliefs we profess. I knew, I just knew, there had to be more to my faith than mental assent to a set of doctrines and practices. I knew that reality was not limited to all that I saw around me. I hoped against hope that there was more to this life and to life in the kingdom of God than hanging on by my fingernails until I died and entered eternity. I knew there had to be a greater purpose for both my life and all of creation than was currently being realized. I was a closet, hopeless, C. S. Lewis–esque romantic who deeply longed to find a Narnia. And just when I was about to let go of that lingering sense of what the world could be, to begin rationalizing away my dreams and longings as nothing more than misplaced exuberance and youthful naivetе, God used Dallas’s insights and wisdom to stoke those fading embers of hope in my heart and mind.

Still, this transformation wasn’t easy or quick. Keith was a willing and able guide, and together we waded purposefully and sometimes painfully through the pages of Willard’s work—often staying stuck on one idea for weeks on end. Keith was patient and committed, despite my stubborn resistance to the revolutionary ideas I was encountering. What was most compelling to me, then as now, was the level of courageous critique I discovered in Willard’s writing combined with an encouragement to seek a deep level of personal authenticity. This blend of critical analysis and a vision for change was missing in most other Christian authors of the time and more accurately reflected the style, rigor, and insight of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s works. Still, my traditional evangelical roots kept me mildly skeptical of Willard’s description and use of the spiritual disciplines. It all sounded a little too “Catholic” or works-centered for my “Protestant” grace-first tradition.

A short time after finishing The Spirit of the Disciplines, Keith invited Dallas to come to our church to speak at a weekend retreat and then preach the following Sunday morning. I eagerly anticipated meeting Dallas. To say the retreat was influential would be the height of understatement. I would learn later that Dallas was lecturing from notes that would eventually become The Divine Conspiracy. I was captivated by his lectures. Dallas solved the grace-versus-works dilemma in the first half hour. His words seemed to tax every inch of my being. My mind hurt from the challenge of wrestling his elusive ideas to the ground. My heart ached from both the level and degree of inspiration. My body was fatigued because I was not used to this level of exercise of the spiritual muscles of contemplation, meditation, focus, and study.

Yet the most compelling and memorable aspect of that weekend was the effect that the authority and power of his teachings on the nature of the kingdom of God had on my vision and understanding of the purposes God had for my life. Dallas was the first teacher or minister I had met who inspired me to pursue the idea that I could know Jesus—really know him, and be convinced of that fact—in an experiential and relational way.

When Dallas spoke, I sensed that I had encountered a man who knew Jesus just as completely as the original disciples—John, Peter, or even James, Jesus’s brother. There was an undeniable authenticity in his teaching that emanated from a unique combination of the way he spoke and what he described; he almost seemed to reminisce about Jesus as if he had just moments before been on the Sea of Galilee with the other disciples, rowing along in Peter’s fishing boat, telling stories, hearing new teachings, and witnessing miracles. The nature of the testimony Dallas gave of his experience of the kingdom of God was so fresh, it was as if I could still smell the aroma of fish on his clothes and hands. Of course it wasn’t fish; it was, instead, the savory essence of authentic relationship. It was then, for the first time in my life, that I believed Jesus was actually knowable in much the same way I knew any other person. Not as a myth, an elusive mirage, or a historical relic, but as a living, talking, engaging, personal reality. Dallas helped me to discover something more grand, far beyond just religion or profession of belief. Dallas introduced me to the possibility and benefits of knowing and loving Jesus as he actually is, in the minute-by-minute experience of my existence.

Dallas’s objective for that retreat, and the many other retreats and conferences that I attended over the years, was to open the doors of the kingdom of God and invite everyone in. I remember remarking to my wife after that first evening of lectures that Dallas reminded me of Willie Wonka in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not that Dallas was silly or fanciful. In fact, he appeared quite the opposite. But the Wonka analogy came from the similar way that Willard stood at the threshold of the kingdom of God and, with glee and the kind of excitement that comes only from encouraging the hopeful anticipation of children, invited us into the most wonderfully delicious experiences that life could ever offer. And I, like Charlie, was awestruck—not by Willard, but by the tales he told of his experience inside God’s amazing castle of wonders. Willard invited us in, all of us, telling us and showing us we have nothing to fear and everything to gain.

In the many years since, I’ve listened to numerous stories similar to mine. People from all walks of life, often deeply steeped in a particular faith tradition, tell of sensing that Dallas was revealing the gospel for the first time as “good news” and not simply the opposite of “bad news.” Congregants, students, doctoral candidates, pastors, philosophers, and psychologists alike were routinely stunned to see how Dallas was able to use well-known and familiar scriptures and weave an altogether different theological conclusion from them. I routinely watched Dallas, like no one I had encountered before or since, wipe clean people’s vision of who God was, what his Son did and why, and what the Holy Spirit wishes to do in and through his church and then replace it with an all-consuming, hope-filled, grace-empowered, joy-seeking, love-giving gospel of God’s boundless goodness and power. All the while he never manipulated emotions, overcame people’s will, or used fear as a motivator.

I can’t remember the number of occasions I’ve been asked when I was “saved.” Since meeting Dallas I have several ways I can answer that question. One answer is that Jesus saves me from myself nearly every day. Another is to tell of the day when, as an eight-year-old boy, I realized and confessed my need for a savior. In that manner I can consider myself “saved” very early in life. But that is certainly not the only time God has saved me. I have been saved so many more times in my life than that original decision would suggest. One of those miraculous saving events occurred during that retreat. God corrected my view of him. He opened a window into the eternal reality of life, life as I had hoped it could be or thought at times it should be. Dallas confirmed that those deep instincts were even more grand than I could expect or imagine. And the God who created and called me into that life stood with open, loving arms and the offer, “Whosoever will may come.”

In the decade that followed I gradually lost sight of that early vision of God and his kingdom. Like the weeds that grew up and choked off the seed, my desires for my professional career began to take precedence in my heart and pull me away from the easy yoke of Christ. Mercifully, it was during this period that, while in the waiting room at my doctor’s office, I came across a Christianity Today article discussing The Divine Conspiracy. I raced to the bookstore, bought it, and read it cover to cover that weekend. And the hope and grace that had become a fleeting memory started to gradually flood into my heart once again. All those distant longings for wonder and excitement began to percolate toward the surface. I read it over and over during the next several months. In many ways The Divine Conspiracy introduced me to a Jesus that was so much more than my religious stereotyping had allowed. Dallas knew a Jesus far grander than I had assumed him to be and as a result my love and respect for Christ grew exponentially. The weeding had started.

But habits are hard to break, and transformation can be slow, especially for a stiff-necked person like me. It wasn’t until nearly another decade had passed that I fully relinquished myself to God’s call on my life. I retired from my career in the financial services industry and entered seminary. It was also around that time I was able to reconnect with both Keith and Dallas. What amazing grace those two reunions represent in my life.

My seminary experience helped me to place Dallas’s theology in context and recognize his insights were more than just another commentary on Christian doctrine, a program of discipleship, or plan for spiritual formation. I realized Dallas was articulating and advocating an understanding of the gospel that was often significantly at odds with the theology taught in the institutions and traditions of mainstream evangelical religion in America. As a result only a few pastors, and even fewer theologians, were critically engaging Dallas’s work. Once again with Keith’s guidance and Dallas’s encouragement, I began to recognize the need and opportunity to introduce Dallas’s theology and understanding of pastoral leadership more deeply into theological education. After completing my seminary degree, I entered a Ph.D. program in the United Kingdom, where I completed my dissertation on “Willardian” theology, hoping to offer some insight into and remedy for this situation.

During those years Dallas offered tremendous assistance. He spent countless hours with me, patiently enduring my endless inquiries, sharing materials, e-mails, phone calls, encouragement, wisdom, and prayer. He faithfully read through each chapter of my dissertation and my revisions, as I endeavored to accurately portray his theology and its effects. I completed my degree in April 2012, and accepted a position in the Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University.

A wonderful benefit of moving to southern California was the opportunity to be closer to Dallas. We took advantage of that proximity during the last year of his life. One of my most treasured moments was presenting Dallas and Jane with a bound edition of my dissertation and news of a publishing contract to adapt the dissertation for a wider audience. We shared a wonderful afternoon together reminiscing about all God had done for us in the twenty years since we first met. Those were good times.

It was in June 2011, when, in passing, I first suggested to Dallas that he should consider writing a follow-up to TheDivine Conspiracy. As I was combing through his writings, interviews, and lectures for my dissertation, it seemed to me there was a collection of insights, explanations, and applications he had developed related to the kingdom of God that had not been given ample treatment in his other published works. I thought readers could benefit from the way he had expounded on several issues and realities of contemporary life in the years since The Divine Conspiracy was published. We kicked around some ideas and potential chapter topics over the next several months. Eventually he agreed about the potential benefit of such a book. It was only when his medical condition was not improving as rapidly as he hoped that he suggested the idea of coauthoring the book. By January 2013, we had formatted the basic structure of what eventually became the final product.

In March 2013, his health continued to weaken. By then we had formal outlines of each chapter, discussed particular examples, and made a myriad of choices about what to include and what to omit. Before his death, we had several chapters complete and a clear understanding of what was left to finish. We tried diligently to finish the manuscript before he passed. We were very close. As it turns out we were only six weeks short. It was just a few days after we had arrived at our completed outline for the final chapter that I received that fateful call from Jane and kissed my family good-bye to join Dallas as he began his final journey into eternity. What I would have given for just six more weeks. We tried.

As I drove to the Willard home, I had a feeling this was the beginning of the end of his life. In some ways that drive allowed me to prepare. I didn’t know what exactly the next days or weeks held, but I did have a sense that difficulty and sorrow were ahead. Yet I also sensed that there would be a significant blessing as a result.

I spent the next four days with Jane and the family watching over Dallas’s final hours. It was a very sacred time, one I will treasure for the rest of my life. We talked about many things and were able to conclude some of our conversations we had engaged in off and on for months, if not years. Some of these discussions were very intimate and private, and will remain so. Yet, as Dallas was coming to grips with his own physical death, and our talks tended to naturally turn toward the subject of our life and hope after death, heaven, and eternity, we also began to discuss how our character developed here on earth continues into eternity and all the implications that fact might carry for our life both now and then. As our conversations developed, Dallas and I began to realize others might benefit from the fruit of these interactions. Therefore, before his death he encouraged me to continue thinking and writing on these topics. I promised him I would. It was his final request of me. I am hopeful that work should become available in the near future.

In terms of worldly fame, Dallas was not what most would consider a “famous” man. Although he maintained a very faithful following, there are still many devoted Christians who have never heard of Dallas or his ideas—a surprising fact I routinely encountered as I was researching his theology. Undoubtedly he had earned respect and acclaim in certain arenas such as academic philosophy and the field of spiritual formation. But his notoriety did not reach as far as those who love Dallas and are familiar with his works often presume. Much of his work and a good majority of his ideas remain relatively unknown to a wide spectrum of Christian readers. Therefore, it is likely this work will find itself in the hands of those previously unaware of Dallas and his unique, life-giving perspectives on the gospel.

The book before you is an attempt to extend a set of proposals and perspectives on the kingdom of God and the gospel of Jesus first published in The Divine Conspiracy (1998). The Divine Conspiracy was originally conceived as a set of teachings Dallas started developing during his time at the University of Wisconsin while completing his doctoral work. In summary, The Divine Conspiracy is an articulation of the intent and effect of the gospel of the kingdom of God, which Jesus revealed most pointedly in the Sermon on the Mount. In laying out Jesus’s plan for attaining life to the full, Dallas not only deconstructed some significant alterations to Jesus’s original message contained in both liberal and conservative forms of contemporary Christianity; he also simultaneously reconstructed a positive and hopeful vision of the kind of existence human beings were created to experience under the loving and grace-filled reign of God.

The widespread acceptance and appreciation of The Divine Conspiracy hit a significant chord with many readers seeking a more robust and authentic vision of Christian faith. It became Dallas’s most recognized and celebrated work, achieving Christianity Today’s award for Book of the Year. Scot McKnight, a New Testament scholar and professor who has tracked the movements of contemporary evangelical Christianity for decades now, suggests that when historians look back at the key influencers of the twenty-first century, Dallas will arguably be among the few names mentioned as offering significant influence on the Christian faith.

Long before becoming the director of the Dallas Willard Institute at Westmont College, Gary Moon argued Dallas’s thoughts and insights should be considered as revolutionary and catalytic as those of Martin Luther. John Ortberg, a leading preacher, psychologist, and writer, has stated that, in his considered opinion, no one has been able to articulate the power and depth of the gospel better than Dallas.

In large measure, the success of The Divine Conspiracy stems from Dallas’s unique, life-giving, and commonsense description of the intents and purposes of God for human life, both individually and collectively. Questions such as, “Why are we here? What are God’s purposes for human life? What is the purpose of the church?” are the kinds of philosophical and theological questions that Dallas brought the full force of his mind to bear upon. He knew God had called him to preach the gospel, the good news, or, as he sometimes called it, “the benevolent knowledge of the way things really are” to answer these crucial, essential human questions. The Divine Conspiracy and his later work Knowing Christ Today focus on helping human beings grasp the nature and reality of God and his kingdom ways.

Although The Divine Conspiracy was a revolutionary work of inestimable value in its own right, one need not have read The Divine Conspiracy in order to understand the perspectives presented in this sequel. Those familiar with Dallas’s previous publications and ministry will recognize this work as a consistent application and continuation of his vision, ideas, and concepts. What is new here are the situations and circumstances of contemporary society we chose to engage and overlay that original vision upon.

Our desire for this work was to cast and articulate a broader vision for the way the gospel must move first in and then through the church. The church is the means God uses to bring his kingdom to fruition. Such a transformation from the kingdoms of our world into the kingdom of Christ can best occur when discipled leaders of all types and in all contexts are poised to influence and direct the institutions and systems of government, education, economics, commerce, law, medicine, and religion. When this occurs, Dallas believed, the “kingdom of goodness and blessing” would begin to permeate every arena of life, every family, every street corner, every neighborhood, every city, and every citizen throughout the world. This was Dallas’s understanding of purposes behind the Great Commission.

Dallas believed God’s kingdom is firmly established and grown when followers of Jesus incarnate the virtues, faith, wisdom, power, and godly character enough to infect the world with an insatiable virus of goodwill. This is the primary thesis of this book.
<< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>