Book Review — Living in Christ’s Presence

Living in Christ’s Presence has Dallas Willard as the author, which is appropriate. It is more a collaboration. The book came to me with a DVD of the sessions given by Dallas Willard and John Ortberg not long before Dallas passed away. The book is a transcript of those lectures by Ortberg and Willard, along with the transcripts of their conversations. It is a treasure.

Reading the words are life-giving to me. I have always had a deep respect for Dallas Willard and John Ortberg. Willard was one of the great Christian thinkers of our time and his work will extend far beyond his lifetime.

The book and DVD are fresh reminders of what Dallas has worked to teach all along in his life. We need to learn to walk in the experiential knowledge of Christ. It is possible.

The gift of watching the DVD is seeing Dallas and hearing his voice one more time and knowing this reality: Dallas is so close to moving on in this walk of eternal life and he is taking us with him as far as we can go. 

There is not much new ground in this work, but solid reminders. What I have learned from Dallas over the years has been I need to keep hearing him because, as Ortberg puts it, his words are “dense.” Dallas Willard makes every word count. He doesn’t waste a word, so it is vital to stay with everything he is saying. I find it helpful to have these things repeated so my thick skull can finally absorb the truth of what Dallas is saying… and seeing.

If you get the book, and you’ve followed Dallas Willard over the years, treat yourself to the DVD as well. The combination sinks the words into the soul better, but the view of Dallas in those last months is priceless. It was hard to hold back the tears for two reasons: knowing this was recorded not long before he died, AND hearing his voice and knowing he was leading as far into heaven as he possibly could. Even through the video there was a true presence of Christ.

IVP sent me the book and DVD for the purposes of review. I am not obligated to give the product a positive review.

(Secretly, I know IVP sent it to me because they knew I would cry when I watched it. Shame on you, IVP! 😉 )


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