Friday, December 28, 2012

Get into Heaven Before You Die!

Dallas Willard's book, The Divine Conspiracy, has been an extremely helpful and formative book for me.  Willard paints a beautiful picture of Kingdom of God and what Kingdom-life, in the here and now, looks like. 
"When Jesus directs us to pray, “Thy kingdom come,” he does not mean we should pray for it to come into existence. Rather, we pray for it to take over at all points in the personal, social, and political order where it is now excluded: “on earth as it is in heaven.” With this prayer, we are invoking it, as in faith we are acting it, into the real world of our daily existence...Within his overarching dominion, God has created us and has given each of us, like him, a range of will – beginning from our minds and bodies and extending outward.... His intent is for us to learn to mesh our kingdom with the kingdoms of others. Love of neighbor, rightly understood, will make this happen. But if we can only love adequately by taking as our primary aim the integration of our rules with God’s. That is why love of neighbor is the second, not the first, commandment and why we are told to seek first the kingdom, or rule, of God." ~ Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy

Here's a clip from John Ortberg interview with  Dallas Willard at last year's Catalyst West about what the church is getting wrong today. In a nutshell, Willard says we're getting the Gospel wrong.  Many people view the message of Christianity is getting into heaven when you die; Willard argues that Christianity is about getting into heaven before we die...

“Any new testament scholar would tell you, I believe, “What did Jesus preach?” They would say the Kingdom of God.  That’s not quite right, because what He preached was, the availability of the Kingdom of God; to everyone, where ever they were, and whoever they were. And so he announces this, and by His own presence makes it available.  And once you get that idea, you read the Gospel and say, ‘Hey that’s what’s happening....The important thing to understand is the Kingdom of God, is God in action.  That happens to turn out to be the same thing as Grace. So Grace now becomes a part of our lives. And we experience it with us, by faith.  We have to learn how to do this, because we’re usually in charge of what’s happening, and we have to learn how to turn loose of that, and how to live with God being in charge.”  ~ Dallas Willard

No comments:

Post a Comment