I am reading Willard’s Hearing God and I have found it to be a book full of good thoughts and strong ideas. I have also found it to abound in his beliefs, which he sets against other beliefs (such as mine) or which he doesn’t even seem to realize might not be universal.
For example, on page 152 he quotes Eph. 5:25-27. “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
I have never seen this verse presented as baptism doesn’t make you clean but God’s word, the Bible, makes you clean. Yet that seems to be what Willard is saying.
“These impurities and distractions, which in fact do not automatically disappear at the additional birth, limit and attack both individual spiritual growth and the role intended for Christ’s followers as the light of the world.”
“The word of God-primarily the gospel of his kingdom and of the life and death of Jesus on our behalf-enters our mind and brings new life thorugh faith.”
That is not how either of the commentaries I looked at, just the first two on Google (Clarke and Matthew Henry), present it either.
It doesn’t mean it is wrong, just because I’ve never heard it before. Neither does it mean it is right just because he’s presenting it in the context of hearing God.
This is one he seems to take for granted as obvious.
Maybe because I am tired or because the Cars (remember them??) are blaring in the background, but I can not understand what this man is even saying…
Maybe if I read the quotes in context, but then maybe it is because I like nice simple sentences.
BTW – have you read any of the Message translation? We are doing a bible study that quotes it. It seems way out there on a few of the verses quoted in the study. Almost to the point of changing the meaning.