“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”—–Colossians 2:8
Who is Dallas Willard?? And more importantly, what does Dallas Willard believe and teach?? Some of you may know and follow Dallas Willard and for those that have heard very little or don’t know him at all, you may encounter his teachings at some point. The reason why it is important to make you aware of Willard is because he has and is continuing to become a prominent figure within many churches today. I have been following him for some time and have many red flags about what he considers to be true Christianity. Many may disagree, but allow me to point out some things here.
Most of the time I don’t refer to older material unless it applies to things happening currently. This is the case here with Dallas Willard so that there is a foundation of who he is, what his background is, and the direction he is going. An article published by Christianity Today written in 2006 gives us some good information about the history of Dallas Willard. I don’t want to rehash much of what they wrote there, but take notice of Willard’s bent towards philosophy, who he surrounds himself with (i.e.. Richard Foster, etc.), and what he means by “transformation”. You can find the article here: A Divine Conspirator
What I have found is the more you dive into what Willard teaches, the more foggy things become. Instead of seeking clarity, he often uses language filled with illustrations, analogies, metaphors, etc. that do more to confuse than bring any real understanding and meaning. It seems like what he tries to do is present some type of “deeper” spiritual nugget when really you are left wondering what he is really saying or even if it is Biblical. Much of what he ends up teaching is this Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) which is currently being embraced and sought after by many today. Willard also uses Christian terminology which makes it even more difficult for people that are not grounded in Scripture to have to wade through.
Below I have posted a video from Todd Friel of Wretched showing us the problems of Willard using Willard’s own words. It may at first seem like he may be taking things out of context, but you can follow-up by reading the other 2 articles posted below and listening to an interview of Willard with the apologetics of Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith. If these don’t at least cause you to question Willard, do some research yourself and see more of what he believes, teaches, and those he surrounds himself with and endorses.
That again leads us to ask, what does Dallas Willard really believe?? Is he really a Biblical Christian or much more of a worldly philosopher?? It seems by all accounts he is deceiving many by pointing people into experience rather than the Word and his personal mix of theology/philosophy over the Truth. Let’s keep discerning, clinging to the Word, and not getting swept away by those that seek to take us captive by their deceptions.