Short Review of Renewing the Christian Mind by Dallas Willard

Dallas Willard. Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews and Talks. ed. Gary Black Jr. (New York, NY: HarperOne, 2016), v + 478. $24.99

In the scope of Willard’s writings, this book is more in the vein of Willard’s The Great Omission. Though a few heavier pieces are included, it is mostly a collection of simpler articles he wrote for lay audiences, most of which WERE available on dwillard.org. The person who has been reading Willard over the years will find very little that is new here, both in terms of content and in terms of previously unavailable material. But as always, Willard is a veteran teacher and his classic insights about Christianity are all here and more.

The biggest criticism one could have of this book is that it now asks the world to pay for articles which Willard himself intentionally made available for free on his personal website while he was alive. Granted it is nice to have a copy-edited, print version on one’s shelf. But the frugal (or poor) disciple of Jesus would be wise to try to find each of the submissions online or elsewhere. For the remaining chapters, one could simply check the book out of the library (as Willard often told his audiences to do with his books)! One could also complain that the editors decided to change a lot of the original titles which Willard gave his writings.

The mini-introductions by Black are nice but unnecessary. They are certainly not worth the price of the book.