A few months ago, I saw this book show up as a pre-buy on Amazon and immediately purchased it. To say that I could not wait for it to come was a bit of an understatement. Yesterday, I saw that it was out for delivery and I couldn't wait to get home and get started.
The Allure of Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus (2015) by the late Dallas Willard is an exceptionally good book. It is unusual for me to be sad when I have finished a book, though I wish this one had kept going.
Willard, a former philosophy professor from the University of Southern California, offered this book as a gentle pushback on the apologetics engine that occupies much of Christianity. Apologetics, or the defense of the faith, has unfortunately become an adversarial enterprise where the goal is to win the argument rather than love the person. Willard calls us to something more; he calls us to love others with the compassion and wisdom of Jesus. He also rightly makes the argument that our lives and the outworking of our faith is essential to our defense of the faith.
Hints of his previous books--Spirit of the Disciplines, Hearing God, and the Divine Conspiracy, to name a few--find their way into the pages of this book, yet this book stands alone as a unique, important, and much welcome offering from Willard.
May our lives of love reflect our message of truth.