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Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God Paperback – April 20, 2012
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"In this volume he lays out a needed and balanced view of a God who not only listens to his children but speaks to them as well. The problem is not that God is voiceless but that we simply do not listen to his voice and that is because we don't know how to listen." (Jim Miller Book Review, January 23, 2008)
"Few books have challenged me like this one. I would urge every serious-minded Christian to read it . . . at your own risk." (Bill Hybels, author of Too Busy Not to Pray)
"The best book on divine guidance I have ever read. I recommend it highly." (Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline)
"Willard wonderfully encourages us to listen for God's voice, and then to respond and obey. This is a book of great encouragement and helpful insights into the arena of God's direction in our daily living." (Ted W. Engstrom, president emeritus, World Vision)
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On the other hand, there are some who insist that God can only speak through His Word, the Bible. Anyone who believes otherwise is wrong.
Dallas Willard provides a good middle way in his book "Hearing God." While upholding Scripture as the ultimate authority and the standard by which all else must be tested, he acknowledges that God speaks to us today and gives guidelines for discerning His voice.
The first half of the book is mostly a defense of the idea that God continues to speak to His people. The second half of the book is a practical guide to hearing God.
I still have questions about how God speaks to us today and am still somewhat wary because of the many abuses of hearing God that happen in evangelicalism, but this book was a gentle guide that helped me crack open the door to what has already been a rewarding aspect of my life with God.
He does make the case why we should hear from God, which will be a revelation to those seeking God and new believers, but obvious and redundant to mature believers. Mr. Willard is a college professor, and this book reads like a doctorate paper. The author is a philosophy professor, and the tone and temper of this book reads like it. He's happy to share experiences of others hearing from God, but not really his own, so it was not personal enough for me. But honestly, I give him one star for this single reason: he clearly does not revere the Word of God, but instead he puts in a his proverbial petrie dish and observes it, then patronizes it along the way. Calling Jesus' disciples "his little band of followers" is corny and disrespectful, and speaking to the idea that conservative Christianity and a liberal Christianity co-exist as normal and acceptable dogma was troubling.
If you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ this book will not make much sense. If you are and you are a student of the Bible this book will form an intense calling to you to find the life that God wants with you.
Willard used his experienced to try and figure out what are the questions people ask when they wrestle with hearing God, and brought this in a very logic way to the reader.
It is not a book to scan through quickly - its recommended to read it patiently for a month with a scribble book close by, as there are so many questions asked for reflection and self observation. I have grown in a lot of wisdom through this book. approaching Willard in this way, you will gain the most of the time spent as if sitting in his study and listening to him.
Recommended for spiritual directors, coaches, ministers, christian counselors or every one who wants to grow and learn more about listening to God, conversation with God and what discernment could look like.
I've never been a cessationist myself, but I have gone round and round thinking I'm doomed if God wants me to do one thing and I deviate from that thing! I've been tossed about by the wind playing games to hear his voice, this book brings clarity and Christ centered wisdom to the matter and encourages all believers to live a life talking with God.