25 Dallas Willard From The Wise Christian Academic

Take a moment and gain some wisdom with our Dallas Willard quotes. 

Dallas Willard won over the hearts of many with his passionate writings and lectures.

Find out more about this interesting academic with our Dallas Willard quotes.

Who was Dallas Willard?

Dallas Willard was an American philosopher whose work focused on phenomenology and Christian spiritual formation.

The works of Edmund Husserl heavily influenced him. 

Some of Willard’s most popular books are:

  • Hearing God
  • The Divine Conspiracy
  • The Spirit of the Disciplines

What is Dallas Willard known for?

Aside from being an author and passionate man of faith, Willard was a philosopher and thinker. 

He was a professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California from 1965 to 2013. 

He is known for his work concerning the philosophy of mind and logic, better known as epistemology.

Edmund Husserl is recognized as the father of phenomenology, and Willard was the one to translate his works into English. 

This is not your run-of-the-mill Bible lecturing;

These ideas cover everything from intention, time, consciousness, thought, and intuition. 

His work has impacted the minds of countless students and readers. 

In his honor, Westmost College even established the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Center for Spiritual Formation. 

What was Willard like at home?

Willard comes from an intelligent family.

His brother is a tenured professor at the University of Nebraska. 

It is no secret that Willard struggled to balance his academic life with his career. 

He once remarked, “I have not been a wise husband or father, and this has cost us dearly.”

He was passionate about his studies, lectures, and Christianity. 

This did not always leave him time to be a present family member. 

To learn more, check out our Dallas Willard quotes below. 

Short Dallas Willard quotes about God, grace, and greatness

1. “We may well be challenged by our burdensome habits of dwelling on things less than God.” — Dallas Willard 

2. “If God is the great longing of our souls, He will become the polestar of our inward beings” — Dallas Willard  

3. “A new grace-filled habit can be developed.” — Dallas Willard  

4. “We believe something when we act as if it were true.” — Dallas Willard 

5. “But these are habits, not the law of gravity, and can be broken.” — Dallas Willard  

The best Dallas Willard quotes about Jesus

Jesus is the main inspiration for Willard’s gospel. 

6. “Jesus matters because of what he brought and what he still brings to ordinary human beings, living their ordinary lives and coping daily with their surroundings.” — Dallas Willard 

7. “Jesus does not call us to do what he did, but to be as he was, permeated with love.” — Dallas Willard 

8. “Then the doing of what Jesus did and said becomes the natural expression of who we are in him.” — Dallas Willard 

9. “He promises wholeness for their lives.” — Dallas Willard 

10. “In sharing our weaknesses, he gives us strength and imparts through his companionship a life that has the quality of eternity.” — Dallas Willard  

11. “A carefully cultivated heart will, assisted by the grace of God, foresee, forestall, or transform most of the painful situations before which others stand like helpless children saying, why?” — Dallas Willard 

Famous Dallas Willard quotes about church and prayer

Here, Willard opens up about his connection to God and the church

12. “Stop doing anything except to simply be your naked self before God and be found by him.” — Dallas Willard 

13. “Churches only have to ask two questions: What is your plan for making disciples? How is that plan going?” — Dallas Willard  

14. “The first and most basic thing we can and must do is to keep God before our minds… to direct and redirect our minds constantly to Him.” — Dallas Willard 

15. “In solitude and silence, you’re learning to stop doing, stop producing, stop pleasing people, stop entertaining yourself, stop obsessing.” — Dallas Willard  

The top Dallas Willard quotes about intelligence and stupidity

16. “We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than the one who believes.” — Dallas Willard 

17. “If we allow everything access to our mind, we are simply asking to be kept in a state of mental turmoil or bondage.” — Dallas Willard 

18. “The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character.” — Dallas Willard  

19. “What is thinking? It is the activity of searching out what must be true, or cannot be true, in the light of the given facts or assumptions.” — Dallas Willard 

20. “You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt.” — Dallas Willard 

Dallas Willard quotes and sayings about belief, good, and evil

We close our list with these thought-provoking quotes from Dallas Willard. 

21. “For nothing enters the mind without having an effect for good or evil.” — Dallas Willard 

22. “Great faith, like great strength in general, is revealed by the ease of its workings.” — Dallas Willard 

23. “Suppose our failures occur, not in spite of what we are doing, but precisely because of it.” — Dallas Willard 

24. “We don’t believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it.” — Dallas Willard 

25. “Most of what we think we see as the struggle of faith is really the struggle to act as if we had faith when, in fact, we do not.” — Dallas Willard 

Free will is the key

One of Willard’s most remarkable quotes is the following:

He asks, “Why doesn’t God just force us to do the things he knows to be right?”

He answers, “It is because that would lose precisely that which he has intended in our creation: freely chosen character.” 

Willard knew we must tap into our free will to feel empowered.

Do you have a favorite Dallas Willard quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments. 

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Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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