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Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  380 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
At a time when popular atheism books are talking about the irrationality of believing in God, Willard makes a rigorous intellectual case for why it makes sense to believe in God and in Jesus, the Son.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by HarperOne (first published April 21st 2008)
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Mark
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book on knowledge. I'm still grasping some of what he is saying but his argument for the existence of God and thus Jesus is worth the price of the book.
Alexander Velasquez
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dallas Willard's theme in this book is knowledge and the role knowledge plays in the Christian faith. He argues that Christ's Kingdom does not simply rest on what he calls 'blind faith' or a 'leap of faith' of being the correct worldview. Rather, he argues that there is actual knowledge that Christ's Kingdom actually rests its foundations upon.

In Chapter 1, Willard defines knowledge: "We have knowledge of something when we are representing it (thinking about it, speaking of it, treating it) as i
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David
This was the first of three Willard books I read this summer. His purpose in the book is to argue that Christianity, discipleship to Jesus, rests on actual knowledge. Our world tends to reserve “knowledge” for one sort of thing, such as science. Religion, it is said, is mere opinion. Hence people can assert that all religions are the same, since they are all equally devoid of truth or knowledge. But if there is truly spiritual knowledge, truly a way things really are, then religion is more than ...more
Jeff
Feb 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful book by Dallas Willard. "Knowing Christ Today" explains in clear fashion how it is that Christians have available to them knowledge that is not available to those that live within the confines of the modern scientific worldview that dominates Western culture and society. In typically Willardian fashion the author writes with both gentleness and humor as he takes apart so much of what passes for deep-thinking on the part of Christianity's (and other faith's) cultured despisers. ...more
Laurie
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
An excellent intellectual defense of the foundational truths of the Christian worldview, beginning with the logical necessity of postulating a supernatural intelligence as the source of the universe. Willard at his most thorough and understandable. Digest this book, really grapple with the arguments and make them your own, believers! We need to be able to speak persuasively for the truth of what we KNOW..."belief" or "faith" is NOT divorced from knowledge and reality.
Jkanz
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Knowing Christ today by Dallas Willard is a useful, informative understanding of Christian worldview particularly as it pertains to moral knowledge. Willard is a gifted communicator and a clear thinker. In my opinion, chapter 6, "knowledge of Christ in the spiritual life" is worth the price of the book alone.
Eric
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First off, if you are to read Mere Christianity by Lewis and wonder what book should you read next, this would be it.

First, Willard goes after faith and knowledge. Too often people separate the two and live their lives. Willard argues this as a huge fault, and demonstrates how higher ed was held responsible for displaying what knowledge is; including moral knowledge. The church embraced a leap of faith route and became skeptical of knowledge. Well both institutions have failed.

Willard then goes
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Paul
A wisely nuanced, carefully balanced and insightful book. Here Dallas Willard outlines the essential basis that Christianity has in knowledge, not just belief. The book is only lightly apologetic in that sense. The real, and most important, message of the book is in the implications of that knowledge for the way Christians live, think and act toward others; true love of God and others being the primary characteristic. The final chapters on the "Spiritual Life," "Christian Pluralism" and the role ...more
Bryon
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it


Knowing Christ Today
Author: Dallas Willard
New York, HarperCollins, 2009
Number of pages: 212

The universe hangs on the Word of God but knowledge of God is not treated as a credible by contemporary scholars and educators. What can actually be known about God is not even given passing consideration but off-handedly and unfairly relegated to education ghettos by those responsible for educating about what is real and knowable.

"In practical terms, reality is what you rely on... Mistakes about realit
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John M
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Without question, Willard is one of my favorite contemporary theologians, outshining Marcus Borg, Walter Wink, and all of the popular theologians (John Piper, R.C. Sproul, etc.), even sharing a healthy periphery of the limelight held by the sadly shriveling Hans Kung. What distinguishes him from most is his philosophical background; this allows him to actually elucidate theological terms (this for a one-time preacher), but also appears to save him from the rigid mentality of strictly trying to f ...more
Tim
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As always, Dallas Willard is brilliant in this latest book. Unlike most of his books, spiritual formation occupies only one (very good) chapter, while the bulk of this volume deals with the more philosophical question of spiritual knowledge.

Willard is responding to the pervasive assumption in society and the academy that when it comes to religious faith, a person can believe whatever they want because we can’t really know anything about God (if he even exists). So what does it matter what one be
...more
Jasonlylescampbell
Jun 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a very good book ... not consistently or at least some parts were less interesting than others. His explanation of spiritual life is solid and refreshing and his history of the "disapearance of moral knowledge" is very important. I see in the acknowledgments that this was adapted from 8 talks he gave on the topic and it does feel like that in some parts. BUT, there is much to recommend and as far as something readable like this, I know of no better book to show us some ground to stand o ...more
Noetic_Hatter
Came across this one at the library on an endcap and remembered Willard as a big name for me when I was still into that sort of thing. Had a few hours, so I sat down and read it.

Willard is a lovely writer, though not as complex as he claims to be when he warns readers how complicated and difficult the book will be. He does start out with a thought-provoking discussion about the difference between knowledge, faith, belief, and commitment. And towards the end, he makes a case for a kind of Univer
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Steve
Oct 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual-growth
Audio version: His concept is that there is rational cause to believe that we can know God. While I agree, I don't believe most skeptics would be moved by Willard's reasoning. His explanations are not concise enough to follow easily. I do appreciate his concern about the impact on our society as we move farther away from truth and instead rely on concensus.
I would not recommend the audio version for this book. He uses highly conceptual language that is difficult to piece together. I wish I woul
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Glen Grunau
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Willard makes a persuasive case for how Christians have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the "knowledge institutions" of our modern society. He challenges us to consider why we allow so-called experts to undermine our confidence in legitimate spiritual knowledge with arguments that are clearly outside their area of expertise. Willard makes a strong case that philosophical debate (clearly his area of expertise)is not dead in our post-modern era. I loved the way he breaks down knowledge int ...more
Matthew Green
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Not my favorite of Willard's books. It is by far his most philosophical book amongst his pastoral works and therefore, in a way, the least practical. It is still a practical book in intention, but much of it still seems to be dedicated to staying in your head more than taking action.

The book is also an adaptation of a series of lectures given, and it had that feel to it to some extent. While there was progression from one chapter to the next, it still felt somewhat disjointed in some ways, with
...more
Merv Budd
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dallas Willard was a philosophy teacher at UCLA and his writing reflects this. At times I had to re-read what was written. Yet, I found Willard’s book very encouraging. At times it was prophetic, at times it was profound, and it requires careful reading so as to properly understand the point that he is making and what meaning he pours into certain terms. It would be easy to rip what he says out of context in order to paint him as heretical (as some have tried to do) but this would be to misunder ...more
James Wheeler
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Willard is steaming mad at pomo, relativistic, whatever is true for you is true gooble dee goop. Especially when someone turns that radical perspectival lens on Christianity. What Christianity has is knowledge, good, stable, truthful and reliable knowledge. He deals with popular claims to the contrary, such as, religion breeds intolerance and bigotry. He smacks that down with some solid rebuttal focusing on how the claims of Christ if they are taken and actually applied as true will lead to the ...more
Christina
I actually didn't really enjoy this book very much. Willard makes a very good point that Christianity is often seen in our churches as a religion of faith separate from reason/knowledge. The more "blind faith" we have in God, the more 'Christian' we are. But there is a very crucial link beteween faith and knowledge. One of the main problems I had with this book is that in Willard’s argument against the modern Christian’s dichotomy between belief and knowledge, he seems to express, ironically, hi ...more
D.j. Lang
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I didn't actually read this in one day...more like three days. I just didn't enter it into my Goodreads list for a couple of days. My book publishing date states 2009 and I wish I had read it back then. It's a life changing book. Willard answers the big questions in a logical and empirical way. So, heads up, some folks I know think the writing style is too difficult to read, but my copy is colorful because I've highlighted so much. (I'm so glad I bought the hardbound copy!) I intend on reading t ...more
Frank Peters
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is completely different than all the other Willard books that I have read. This book engages my head fully, but does not engage my heart like his other books. Here, Willard has started something very important. He has taken on the scientism assumptions that undergird our society and has challenged them. Ultimately, this book is about real truth and real knowledge that science is incapable of saying anything about. And the importance of passing on this knowledge, as it has the power to trans ...more
Jeremy
Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
In a world whose barometer of truth measures feelings and sensuality rather than knowledge and good thinking, this is such a timely volume. Willard breaks down common misconceptions of what knowledge is and how we can get it, asserting that knowledge is not just something owned by hard science, but that morality and spirituality have legitimate claims on things we can know. But this is far from a primer in basic epistemology; he masterfully weaves the implications of having such knowledge into d ...more
David
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Willard's central point in this book is that apprentices of Jesus have knowledge—knowledge by acquaintance, in fact—of God and his kingdom, and that this knowledge ought to be described as such if it is to be taken seriously as a guide to what reality is like and how one can live intelligently in it. While I would have framed some of the definitions and arguments differently, I was deeply grateful for Willard's sensible persistence in drawing the reader's attention to what the reality of life in ...more
Jesse
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book makes the important point that scripture is knowledge about God. We anchor our faith in the knowledge that He gives us in His word. We can actually "know" things about God. Renovation of the Heart and Spirit of the Disciplines are better books in my opinion.

The last part of the book where he ventures into speculation about people who have never heard about Christ was unnecessary and irresponsible. This part of the book literally ruined it for me and is why I love Willard but will neve
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John Wilson
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The fact that the Lord has taken Dallas Willard home to be with him is a testament to Willard's finished work for the sake of Christ and his kingdom. In "knowing Christ Today" Dallas Willard gives us perhaps his most important work today--teaching and showing that Christian knowledge can truly be known and that knowledge of Christ deserves and must be recognized as truth in the public domain of knowledge world wide. An amazing and poignant read!
Luis A R Branco
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lidos-em-2014
Dallas Willard is always a great writer to read. This is another of his fantastic books. Dallas Willard speaks about the very base of Christian beliefs and challenges the writer to apply all that he learns in his personal life. I like what he says about Christian institutions of high education, but I also think that we as Christian need to cause more than just present Christ in our institutions we need to enter the secular institutions and change it from inside.
Shep
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Willard's book is largely unhelpful. His apologetic method is a weak version of Thomism, he appears to argue for religious pluralism, and he makes a number of pseudo-Gnostic sorts of statements. I disagreed with Willard a lot and found his arguments and his methods of arguing unpersuasive and floppy. Overall I was disappointed in this book, which seems content to lead its readers to a vague theistic version of Christianity rather than to truly "Knowing Christ Today."
Keith
Jun 19, 2016 rated it liked it
At first i had a hard time with the opening emphasis on epistemic knowledge. It seemed all a little to modernistic to me, but Willard then takes knowledge beyond mere empirical boundaries to a deeper knowing firmly based on genuine practical and lived experience. The truth we know must be a truth we are able to live, which is confirmed not by mere belief, but in the laboratory of everyday life. Only then is it authentic and persuasive.
Meshach Kanyion
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book presents a very convincing argument on knowledge of Christ: what it is, what it isn't, and why it is important. You must come prepared to learn and think. I'd recommend reading it with a notebook where you can track your thoughts. In my opinion it is the long version of chapter 1 from The Divine Conspiracy. It is worth your time and effort.
Paul Lee
Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theolgyish
A good book for the 21st century Christian, especially anyone in higher education. Willard addresses how following Jesus does not have to be just mere faith or commitment that is void of knowledge. He also has a good section on pluralism and good insight into what Christian pluralism should look like.
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DALLAS WILLARD was a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He taught at USC from 1965, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1960-1965), and has held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984).

His undergraduate studies wer
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“Jesus is the human face on the kingdom of God. He makes it concretely accessible.” 2 likes
“the revelation of God in Jesus Christ (which is the object of Christian faith) is something very different from religion.”5 Religion has many critics, but Jesus very few. He is a self-authenticating reality beyond the myriad social cocoons. He belongs to humanity. He called himself “Son of Man.” 2 likes
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