Conversatio Divina

Part 2 of 4

Spiritual Reality: God and the Human Soul

Dallas Willard

Long before Gary Moon wrote Becoming Dallas Willard and launched Conversatio Divina, he founded the Institute of Clinical Theology at Regent University. For their first conference, he invited an author he had discovered only a few years previous, Dallas Willard.

This series, for which the attendees are ministers, mental health professionals and a few professors, has some special moments. For one, Dallas has a lot to say about the soul. What will stand out to those who know what he writes 10 years later in Renovation of the Heart is that in 1992 his view was different. Soul in this series functions more to describe the unity of the invisible part of the person as connected to their visible body. This helps him raise some philosophical issues which plague those working in psychology, such as is there such a thing as the spiritual.

Given what he has to say about the soul and the gospel of Jesus, Dallas then moves to offer instruction about how a Christian should approach counseling or spiritual guidance, particularly in one-on-one settings. This is a topic which occupied Dallas for the rest of his life and this series has some of his earliest attempts to share what he had learned.