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DC-Area Lectures Ken is Looking Forward To

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June 30, 2004


jen lemen

ken, i love the evenhandedness of this post.
i'm no philosopher, but in my rudimentary attempts at reading willard's various philosophical works online, i have harbored an uneasy feeling that your observations might be accurate.

i can no longer construct my life, my experience, my mind within these more realist frameworks for whatever reason & feel beyond able to make myself be another way. so i read this post sadly. not quite understanding that either. :(

thanks for putting it so gently and without unnecessary rancor.

Mike Godzwa


Great site and excellent comments on the conference. It is particularly concerning that the tone of the event was so defensive. One has a difficult time convincing another of his/her point by simply bashing a person's foundational views.

Having not attended the conference, I can only hope that much of the extreme nature of the rhetoric was spurred on by "preaching to the choir." I know how an encouraging audience can push your argument to the absurd (in fact I've been pretty absurd myself). While the thought is not entirely comforting, I'm sure the tone would have been different had the venue been more mixed.

Thanks for a great post! I would encourage you to submit the text to the National Faculty Leadership Conference. You're concerns are well founded.


"my strong presumption is that these areas of confusion are likely due to misunderstanding on my side."

I can agree with you here...please study these issues more, and then respond to the bold blog above.
Click on this link. It may clear up a few things for you

Nicolas Nelson

That link to Dallas Willard's article was interesting but not really helpful to me. I also look forward to Willard's nascent book, and hope that it distinguishes between postmodernism as a philosophy and postmodernity as a culture. I find myself more "modernist" or "premodern" in my thinking, but in ministry, my challenge is to instantiate Christ in postmodern hearts and minds. We have no problem with the idea of contextualizing the gospel for tribal peoples. We need to make philosophical debate distinct from missiological strategizing, even as the two will (hopefully) inform each other.

James White


Ha,Ha! It seems that you want to have your cake and eat it too!

You present Dr. Willard's views with language that makes the non-philosophical reader question his integrity and then try to hastily add a final paragraph that will make things "nice" with him.

The truth is this - Dr. Willard is a real believer in the truths of scripture and much of the early creeds of the church. He, and many like him, do not distinguish a healthy orthodoxy (full of good doctrine) from a healthy orthopraxy. Indeed, much of what I read out of McLaren and others (see Emergent leaders here) seems to be rehashed theological liberalism from the 1920's that fellows like J. Gresham Machen wrestled with long ago.

When I read McLaren, I see a person who describes terms such as "conservative" and "evangelical" (and other orthodox views) in terms that actually only metamorph them into liberal constructs...then my mind flashes back to the covers of various magazines (after the last election) which found the Democratic Party asking how the left can win back more people who believe in God and then I seem to understand McLaren's books and website better.


Hello Ken!

I stumbled upon your webblogg almost by accident. I think it is a good thing that you are thinking through what you are reading, not many of us take the time to do that. I would just encourage you to follow up on your studies about the concerns you have about the ideas that seem to so greatly influense Christian philosophers and other "thinking Christians" among those whom you describe as "the Biola crew". Don't hesetate to approach these persons with your questions, they might be of help if stated in a open and friendly manner. May God bless you and guide you onward.

Victor L. Hill

Dear Ken,
You seem to suffering from some confusion of thorught. The first thing you must rememember is that all of us a sinners, or another way to say this is we are all a bit crazy. There are conservatives who think like liberals and visa versa. Ultimately it is not how you view it but how it actually is. If you get too tied up with the subjective and objective views you may conclude that nothing is worthy of being known. This is inherently false. We now only know in part, and we will only known the whole once one is in the presence of God. I am not anti-philosophy, for God did give us a brain with which we think and reason. However philosophy or imply put thinking through experiences has it limitations. No one is perfect except, especially your Earthly mentors. Like in the first century, philosophers tend to get bogged down in rhetoric. Truth is not confusing, only enlightening. Ultimately you must determine for yourself where your philosophical loyalties lie. Satan is the author of confusion and if you are finding confusion in this philosophy then discard it, find another, or construct one of yourself. Trust you instinctive perceptions of reality. Note that not all liberals are bad and not all conservatives are good, for truth is truth regardless of what flag they fly. Use imperical testing to see what works and what is true. Never be too hung up on what any one person or group says. Be your own person and trust God to guide you through to where he want you to be. The writings of Francis Schaeffer is not a bad start, although his use of philosophical terms is sometime amaturish and aimed at a general audience. I hope this helps you in some way, at least this was my intent. Happy exploring.

Matthew Miller

meaning is needed for relationship to exsist. God sent his Son to allow for a re-union of our spirit with his for a relationship. God would not offer relationship without the needed objective meaning for it


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