Conversatio Divina

Dallas’s Last Conference

Living in Christ’s Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God

This 7-part series was filmed at a conference held February 21 to 23, 2013 in Santa Barbara, California. It was the last conference in which Dallas would take part. The conference was born through conversations with Dallas and John Ortberg. The primary passion was to provide an overview of Dallas’s writings and ministry, his most impassioned ideas. The conference was built around the theme “Knowing Christ Today” and as a way to present the golden thread that runs through all of Dallas Willard’s primary Christian writing, that it is possible to intimately know the Trinity and step into their glorious kingdom. We present to you the sessions in full, editing out only material dealing directly with the conference setting such as instructions to refer to the conference brochure. At points you may notice these edited transitions.

Dallas is joined by his longtime friend, John Ortberg. John is a gifted author and speaker, and—at the time—senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. Each session ends with a conversation about the content.

The conference was sponsored by the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and Dallas Willard Center for Christian Formation (MIDWC). The MIDWC exists because of the vision and generosity of Eff and Patty Martin.

Shortly after the filming of this series, Gary Moon wrote a discussion guide which we’ve made available to you at no cost at the link below.

If you would like to purchase the book which resulted from the conference, please follow this link to IVP’s website.

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Session 01: The Expectation of Christian Maturity

The first session of the 2024 Martin Institute Christian Formation Workshop involved a presentation by Dr. Nijay Gupta (Northern Seminary) and comments by Dr. James Samra (Calvary Church, Grand Rapids, MI). The session was hosted by Dr. Holly Beers (Westmont College). Dr. Gupta’s paper was titled “To Be a Christian ‘Grown-Up’: Formation as a Goal, Not Just a Practice.” This session set the conceptual stage for our workshop by contending for the biblical expectation of Christian maturation.

In this short video, Dr. Gupta summarizes the points of his paper. A video of Dr. Samra’s response follows.

Click the link below to watch a video about Dr. Gupta’s paper, followed by a summary, key quotes, and application questions.