Welcome. This online guestbook is an area to share any thoughts or memories of Dallas.
Dallas you will be missed. Even though I wasn’t a student of yours, you always made time to meet with me and gave me your fatherly advice and guidance. I will always remember your warm presence.
O fair friend
mentor in all things
true, good and beautiful
the hole that is left open
is filled not
but with memories fond
by the grace that flowed
effortlessly it seemed
from tongue and touch and teaching
again and again
again and again
with mind steeled heart softened
by the same true Light
held forth in lectern and pulpit and pen
so take joy, apprentice
for all who take joy in you
It was a joy to take some of your classes. It was a joy to hear you speak at events. I was immeasurably pleased that you were here at USC. I count my contact with you as one of the great gifts that God allowed during my time here.
May God bless and comfort the Willard family. May Dallas’ memory be an example and a strength to us all.
Prayers and love to Jane, John, Becky, Bill, and Larissa as you continue to morn the loss of Dallas.
Dallas was my shepherd at USC. Dallas taught me knowledge of the Kingdom of God, and brought multiple experiences and manifestations of the Kingdom through his words, prayers, and eyes. Dallas created events by being an instrument of God’s grace that has deeply impacted and radically changed me forever. I was a regular in his office hours at USC because I would experience the Kingdom of God at hand with the Holy Spirit filling his office.
I write this knowing that I am one of most blessed Christians on the face of the earth, and I cant stop asking the question: “Why me God?” Why has God blessed me with a personal relationship with such a giant like Dallas? Why has God allowed me the experience of having Dallas grasp my hands with his big hands and will blessings and prayers into my life? I don’t know why, other than I am certain that I would not have survived my studies at USC without his professorship, mentorship, and friendship.
Dallas became the Christian father that I always wanted, someone I could talk with and ask anything. Dallas was the Christian grandfather I always needed, someone who loved and encouraged me. We talked about everything, ranging from philosophy, the gospel message, religious studies, spiritual disciplines, girls (especially the difference between love and desire), sports, work, ministry, reading, church, and fun stuff in his office – like his picture of John Wooden and him.
I had the privilege of taking four philosophy classes with him, and maximized his office hours weekly. I would follow him on campus when he would speak at the various Christian ministries. I want everyone to know that Dallas had an incredibly gifted intellect, but his heart and love for people was even greater. Dallas’ heart was so much greater than his mind. His heart was so special, that he became someone in my walk that I pray that God will change and transform my heart into something like Dallas’ – someday.
I am committed to carrying on Dallas’ work for what he wrote in The Divine Conspiracy concerning the ultimate truth of the gospel message, and the heart of the gospel is discipleship to Jesus for human life in the here and now. I am convinced that Dallas is onto something, because the gospel message is more than “sin management” for death to get us into heaven (what conservative Christians preach) and much more than liberation theology and social action (what liberal Christians preach). Dallas was one of a kind with his thoughts concerning problems with the message of the church, and I admire him for it!
Dallas would always seem like he had all the time in the world for me, never rushed or hurried. Dallas had kind words of encouragement and loved on me when I needed it the most. I am thankful I got to thank Dallas and say goodbye to him in Claremont at the Veritas forum back in February. I would not have graduated without him! Fight On!!
Miss you Dallas and can’t wait to have more chats with you in the ultimate kingdom! Thank you Dallas for praying and blessing goodness into my life, especially before my mission trips to Australia and Mexico. Thanks for making me a Disciple of THE WAY!!
I know life is going to be filled with regrets (I honestly don’t think it’s a realistic possibility to live one without them), so for sure I regret never personally speaking to you, Professor Willard, in the window of time I had from 2010 – 2012. A deep sadness permeates my so heart at this realization.
I should have eeked out some time in my schedule starting the moment I entered USC to become a game (artist) developer to at least take a class that he was teaching (Philosophy of Religion at the very least my Freshman year). I’m barely making up for that loss in PHIL 101 in my senior year at USC now.
I will remark that of all the humans I’ve listened to in person or through a video of some sort, Willard’s the one who’s impressed upon me and clarified what it means to be a disciple/friend/whatever of Christ. Of course there’s the fantastic work done in apologetics, philosphy, philosophy of science, but I think Willard’s finally . . . elucidated after about 20 years of being Christian to compelling me to follow instead of just knowing. To “be,” as it were. And reiterating how challenging that road is to walk.
I’m writing this right after the memorial service, and right now, I feel the \ sobering realization again that time is fleeting, and I hope that I become as dedicated to this narrow journey Professor Willard pursued himself, even if our careers touch upon somewhat vastly different sectors of life.
Godspeed, Professor. I pray that your family is kept in warm hands, and hope your final book is completed with grace and veritas.
I can’t help but feel the candles of this fragile world are being snuffed, but in my eucatastrophic outlook, I suppose firestorms are being lit in their place by your dedicated work towards the Great Commission.
A kind man and engaging speaker that I feel privileged to have met.
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