Remembering Dallas Willard and Geza Vermes

A series of odd events occurred for me today (as I’m sure for others also). After waking up and eating breakfast with my lovely wife, I walk out of the room only to hear her speak out loudly, “I think Dallas Willard died yesterday (May 8th).”images (1)

Those words continued to germinate in my mind as we continued the morning routine and headed to work. Having to push that news aside in order to prepare for the days tasks, I quickly moved towards finding the needed assistance in thinking about our topic for our church bible study – the Letter to Diognetus.  After much deliberation and with much excitement I finally picked Geza Vermes’ Christian Beginnings book that I recently read reviewed by Rowan Williams. Literally within moments of grabbing that book – I open one of the blogs I read and there it is: “Tributes to Dallas Willard and Geza Vermes”. What!?

The death of either of these excellent men may be thought provoking in itself, but both on the same day?

geza-vermesI think any of us who have any background in thinking through topics in spiritual formation can speak of the intense genius of Dallas Willard in that area. Though perhaps less of us (for whatever reasons) have done much reading of Geza Vermes and his various acclaimed (and disputed) works like Jesus the Jew, Authentic Gospel of Jesus, The Resurrection…etc.

All the same. Many would choose not to compare the two men for various reasons of difference in thought, class or field of work. Yet one could say that each (though in very different ways) have provided something new and fresh of how we understand and live in communion with Jesus.

Whatever the personal effect of each of these men on you individually, we might do well to honor each at the very least through reading some thoughts through the eyes of those who knew them well:

John Ortberg (who knew Dallas well) writes here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/may-web-only/man-from-another-time-zone.html?paging=off

And a solid remembrance of Vermes can be found here: http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/geza-vermes-1924-2013.html

In a usurpation of Paul’s words, I can honestly say that “I praise God deeply for each of these men”.

 

Published by Ryan Hayes

Ryan Hayes is a development practitioner, teacher and co-author of his first book of poems, Paralipomenon. Being born in Nairobi, Kenya and living most of his life in Africa, he has a wealth of experience and understanding into the cultural and linguistic factors of South-East Africa. Ryan is happily married to Justine with whom they have begotten three beautiful girls – Amelie, Lily and Rylee. He is a lifelong learner and devoted student of Jesus, mysticism, quantum physics and the human psyche.

One thought on “Remembering Dallas Willard and Geza Vermes

  1. Wow. I did not know this. That is sad indeed. Thanks for the blog post.

    Ben Hayes

    http://hayesmalawi.wordpress.com http://www.namikangomission.org

    From: “R & J [In Kenya]” Reply-To: “R & J [In Kenya]” Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013 3:20 PM To: Ben Hayes Subject: [New post] Remembering Dallas Willard and Geza Vermes

    WordPress.com Ryan posted: “A series of odd events occurred for me today (as Im sure for others also). After waking up and eating breakfast with my lovely wife, I walk out of the room only to hear her speak out loudly, I think Dallas Willard died yesterday (May 8th). Those wor”

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