Practices, Reflections

Dallas Willard offers wisdom with John Ortberg

CATALYST PODCAST

EPISODE 124

Dallas Willard and John Ortberg

On this annual Catalyst West Roadtrip Episode, listen in on a conversation between Dallas Willard and John Ortberg from Catalyst West one year ago in 2010. Plus some helpful tips on making your Catalyst West experience a great one.

Skip the Catalyst bantering to 17:45 to hear the conversation. The following quotes from Dallas Willard are worth pondering (the times are indicated for your convenience).

  • Thesis of THE SPIRIT OF THE DISCIPLINES: “Authentic transformation really is possible if we are willing to do one thing, that is, to rearrange our lives around those practices that Jesus engaged in in order to receive life and power from the Father” (19:00).
  • The church is not getting right at this time: The gospel is not the minimal amount to get into heaven after you die. “The gospel is about how to get into heaven before you die.” Jesus preached the availability of the Kingdom of God to everyone right here, right now (22:00).
  • The effect of the kingdom of God is God in action. This is grace! Grace is not a synonym for the forgiveness of sin. Grace is for life, not just forgiveness. Grace enables us to live with God as a part of our lives. The sinner does not use much grace. The saint uses grace like a 747 on takeoff because everything they do is the result of grace (24:00).
  • “Grace is God acting in your life to accomplish what you cannot accomplish on your own.” (27:30)
  • How should we think about heaven: “Think of heaven as God’s presence (i.e. grace).”
  • Thinking about spiritual disciplines: “Grace is not opposed to effort. Grace is opposed to earning. Effort is action while earning is attitude.” Spiritual disciplines are those things we do to enable us to do that which cannot do by direct effort (e.g. we need discipline to learn a foreign language). “Discipline is essentially practice” (30:00).
  • There is a difference between trying to do something and training to do something. If at first you don’t succeed, fix what went wrong and then try again (32:00).
  • The place to start on the spiritual journey is “to do the next right thing you think you ought to do” (33:00).
  • The spiritual disciplines are not deeds of righteousness. They are wisdom. So you should approach them experimentally (34:30).
  • If you undertake a spiritual discipline and fail it is not a sin (38:00).