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The Problem With Vampire Christianity

A Power Beyond Ourselves

Fourth, and finally, for the one who intentionally walks as close to Jesus as possible, there comes the reliable exercise of a power that is beyond them in dealing with the problems and evils that afflict earthly existence. Jesus is actually looking for people he can trust with his power. He knows that otherwise we remain largely helpless in the face of the evils around us and unable to promote his will for good in this world.

However we may understand the details, there can be no doubt on the biblical picture of human life that we were meant to be inhabited by God and live by a power beyond ourselves. Human problems cannot be solved by human means. Human life can never flourish unless it pulses with “his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19 NIV). But only faithful students of Jesus will be empowered to fulfill their calling in this world.

But someone will say, can’t I get into heaven when I die without any of this? Perhaps you can. God’s goodness is so great, I am sure that he will let you in if he can find any basis at all to do so. But you might consider whether you really would be comfortable for eternity in the presence of one whose company you have not found especially desirable for the few hours and days of earthly existence.

This article reprinted with permission of Dallas Willard and the Renovaré Perspective, 1995.

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DALLAS WILLARD was a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He taught at USC, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He also taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1960-1965), and held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984). Dallas Willard passed away on May 8, 2013, at the age of 77.