Sunday, 12 May 2013

Practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word

John Ortberg writes a eulogy for Dallas Willard. He was an intellectual that was big on spiritual formation. It mattered not just what we believe, but our character is major importance. Who we are matters, and winning others not the argument also matters.
In one of his classes a student challenged him with statements that were both offensive and incorrect. Dallas paused and told the class that that was a good place to end their discussion. Somebody asked Dallas afterward why he had not countered the students' argument and put him in his place. "I'm practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word.

"This is part of why Dallas would never debate non-believers. He would engage in a mutual conversation where both parties could seek for truth together. He would often say: "I'm sure Jesus is the kind of person who would be the first to say you must ruthlessly follow the truth wherever it leads." Through the last week of his life he was still hoping to help believers engage non-believers by looking together at questions where people get stuck in their actual lives rather than by trying to win arguments.
Hat tip: Wesleyan Arminian

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