The Allure of Gentleness by Dallas Willard–A Review

Product Details

 The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus by Dallas Willard (HarperOne, 2015), 187 pages.

Based on talks and lectures on apologetics given by the renowned professor and author and edited by his daughter after his death. “Dallas Willard not only assures us of the truth and reasonableness of the Christian faith, but also explores why reason and logic are not enough to explain Jesus’s message, we must also be like Jesus, characterized by love, humility, and gentleness.” (inside the book cover)

Willard explained the nature of apologetics. “A biblical apologetic is the best use of our natural faculties of thought in submission to the Holy Spirit to remove doubts and problems that hinder a trustful, energetic participation in a life of personal relationship with God.. . . Now, this goes all the way from believing in God to believing the right things about God.” (page 39) “The ultimate apologetic is the life of the individual who is living out of the resources of the kingdom of God.” (page 143).

His closing comment on apologetics is as follows:

“We must help others all the way through this process in a way that goes beyond traditional apologetics—presenting arguments responding to presuppose objections. We must adopt a teaching posture that presupposed inquiry to arrive at knowledge and the will to communicate, a posture of joint discovery and of understanding together. These are natural and essential parts of living in community with others. So maintain a teaching posture as you go, and work with those around you in the gentle manner of Jesus. If you do, it will indeed be a service to all to carry out the work of apologetics.” (page 170)

As I read the book, I liked his emphasis on gentleness and joint discovery of understanding. I found interesting his discussion of reason, the myth of the big band, the myth of cosmic evolution, and the problem of evil and suffering. I had a hard time following his discussion of God speaking to us. I found his Renovation of the Heart very helpful.