"This book is a striking work of original theology, effortlessly synthesizing philosophical phenomenology, spirituality, and doctrinal theology. Although it is more readable than most contemporary academic theology, it is simultaneously more profound and more intellectually challenging. It teaches readers what Jesus means by 'the kingdom of God.' It was a wonderful experience to hear anew the voice of Dallas Willard in this book, but also a great experience to discover a new, young, and vibrant theologian--the author."
Despite perennial attraction to his teachings, Dallas Willard's theology has not been easy for his readers and colleagues to figure out or piece together. His approach to theology was an odd one. His five bestselling books on the Christian life were a "side job" to his quiet career as a professional philosopher.
To what, if not to his profession, can one attribute the lasting attraction of his books? On one hand, it is Willard's rhetorical skill and his cross-disciplinary knowledge--philosophical, psychological, biblical--regarding the central issues of human life. But more importantly, his books all proclaim a gospel which in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries can be especially hard to hear. Willard spoke of this gospel in biblical terms, "the gospel of the kingdom," a gospel of spiritual living.
The Kingdom Among Us presents a comprehensive account of that gospel. But it is much more than mere interpretation. By examining both Willard's writings and hundreds of hours of audio recordings, Michael Steward Robb both recovers and expands Willard's theological vision.
The book will help long time readers of Willard's books make sense of his position in professional theology and philosophy. Robb's reconstruction of a gospel of spiritual living will help scholars, theologians, and philosophers make sense of Willard's "side job." But all readers will encounter in these pages the most complete picture available of one of the giants of modern Christian spirituality.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- Format Hardcover
- ISBN 9781506480732
- eBook ISBN 9781506480749
- Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
- Pages 522
- Publication Date September 27, 2022
Francesca Murphy, professor of systematic theology at the University of Notre Dame
"The Kingdom Among Us explores theological foundations of Dallas Willard's wide-ranging work. A reliable and engaging guide to one of the most influential 'spiritual' writers of the late twentieth century."
Miroslav Volf, Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology, Yale Divinity School
"Dallas Willard was one of the most important and influential Christian philosophers of our time. The beauty of Willard's work is not only revealed in his intellectual acuity, but also in his deep love for Jesus and his desire to help people come to know Jesus more fully. In this book, Michael Stewart Robb sets out to capture something of the power, beauty, and Christ-centeredness of Willard's work and to offer it as a gift both to those who know Willard's work well and to those who may be beginning to move into the rhythm of his words. In providing a deep and thoughtful outline and interpretation of Willard's thinking, Robb takes us on a journey that touches and moves both the head and the heart. This is a fascinating book that deserves to be read widely."
John Swinton, professor in practical theology and pastoral care, University of Aberdeen
"To my knowledge, Michael Robb's The Kingdom Among Us is the first book-length academic study of the thought of Dallas Willard. Robb has rigorously and sympathetically entered Willard's mind and heart. Scholars will find Robb's book interesting and thorough. Lay readers will discover a helpful roadmap into the depths of Willard's thoughts on God and a host of related issues and concerns. Highly recommended."
Christopher Hall, distinguished professor of theology emeritus, Eastern University
"I pastored one of those early churches where Dallas Willard taught Sunday school. I mean, when I taught, folks might come, but when Dallas taught, they brought their tape recorders! Me too. It was astonishing. It didn't matter which passage Dallas was teaching from--he always ended up presenting us with a rich biblical Weltanschauung, as the Germans like to say. I marveled to see parishioners studying fifteen, maybe twenty hours to prepare for the next Willard Sunday school class. These were life-transforming sessions. And now with The Kingdom Among Us Michael Stewart Robb gives us insight into the theological foundation of the Willard corpus. I'm delighted."
Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and Sanctuary of the Soul
"Dallas Willard is more often quoted than grasped; Willard is read but his overall thought is rarely mined to its depths. Robb has gone to these depths to unveil the logic of Willard's approach to Scripture, revealing Willard's long-standing interest in discipleship and life in the kingdom. For anyone looking to understand Willard's thought, this is a necessary and important contribution."
Kyle Strobel, associate professor of spiritual theology, Biola University
"Michael Stewart Robb may be the leading theologian on the planet when it comes to understanding the ideas of Dallas Willard."
Gary W. Moon, author of Becoming Dallas Willard