CANCELLED “The Kingdom of God,” “The Kingdom of Heaven” and “Grace” in Dallas Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy: Indications of Their Conceptual Adequacy in Relation to the Letter to the Ephesians
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In his magnum opus, The Divine Conspiracy—an account of the gospel within the life-view presented in Scripture as a whole, primarily based on an exposition of Jesus’ own teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and the Pauline writings—the eminent philosopher and lay theologian Dallas Willard presents notably different construals of “the kingdom of God” and “the kingdom of heaven.” Relatedly, he argues for a definition of “grace” that is at once a corrective to—and broader and more focused than—that found in conventional theological explanations.
We will sketch Willard’s definitions of these key theological concepts and briefly relate them to several important features in the portrayal of the structure of reality and salvation-history set forth in the Epistle to the Ephesians. A modification to his definition of “grace” will be provided. The overall exercise suggests that these conceptual distinctions are helpful heuristic tools for interpreting Scripture theologically, in relation to the ontological reality to which it attests. As such, they explicate “the logic of scriptural discourse” (David Yeago) in a way that also readily lends itself to the practice of discernment in Christian living.
Regent College, Room 100
Paid parking available at Regent College and UBC.