I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this, but I think I’d ‘like’ it if someone posted it as a Facebook status.

The acid test for any theology is this: Is the God presented one that can be loved, heart, soul, mind and strength? If the thoughtful, honest answer is; “Not really,” then we need to look elsewhere or deeper. It does not really matter how sophisticated intellectually or doctrinally our approach is. If it fails to set a loveable God — a radiant, happy, friendly, accessible, and totally competent being — before ordinary people, we have gone wrong. We should not keep going in the same direction, but turn around and take another road.

– Dallas Willard


2 Comments on Jul 14th 2011

2 Responses to “Willard’s Theological ‘Acid Test’”

  1. Michael Haggard says:

    Though it sounds nice, it is juvenile and pedestrian. :)

    The God who is totally sovereign is not going to make everyone jump up and down for joy. The rebel will see no love in a fully just God and the authoritarian will see no kindness in a fully merciful God. The depravity of sin, even when it is not total, blinds us to God’s nature. Even the elect cannot fathom His action and sometime cry out to Him in what is seemingly his injustices and pragmatic plan. But we just don’t understand; like a toddler being held down by mommy at the doctors office because it hurts, we can’t know the meaning and purpose of the pain. We view the doctor as unloving, cold and impersonal. It is only maturity that changes that. So, yes, God is loving… but to only present him in a way that the masses of the blind will SEE Him as loving will deny presenting Him fully as a God of omniscience and omnipotence.

    In the end, though it is my goal to teach a loving God, what I will read from the Bible will bring seekers and sinner to ask, “How can that be love?” because we are terrible judges of what love really is. The beginning of wisdom is not love… it is respect (fear) and then the perfect love LATER casts out all fear.

  2. Darren says:

    Sorry but calling Willard’s statement “juvenile and pedestrian” is juvenile and pedestrian. :)

    The aspects of an omniscient, omnipotent, and a totally just God in no way change the God of love who extends his grace to us. +1 for Willard

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