Dallas Willard Diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer
Update (May 8): Dallas Willard has died, days after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Dallas Willard has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, according to a tweet from the author's official Twitter account. Willard, who is a University of Southern California philosophy professor, is 77 years old.
The Dr.s have informed Dallas that he has stage 4 cancer. Please join us in prayers for strength and healing.– Dallas Willard (@DallasAWillard) May 6, 2013
Willard is well known to many Christians from his books on spiritual formation, including The Divine Conspiracy (which Christianity Today selected as Book of the Year in 1998), The Spirit of the Disciplines, Hearing God, and Renovation of the Heart.
Willard has been a provocative Christian thinker since the 1960s, when he abandoned ministry to study philosophy. Since then, he has "devoted [himself] to reestablishing the exalted place moral reasoning once held in the academy."
CT profiled Willard in 2006, and interviewed him in 2005 on the difference between discipleship and spiritual formation. Most recently, Willard contributed to CT in March, when he argued for the importance of renewing the spiritual discipline of silence.
Willard's books always have been Resurrection-focused, calling Christians toward a life of discipline, Cornelius Plantinga Jr. said in an essay for CT in 2006. He wrote,
[Willard's] books all call out, in one way or another: Come on over. It's going to be okay to die first. You have to do it, and you can do it. Not even Jesus got a resurrection without a death, and he'll be at your side when you surrender your old life. Trust me on this. If you die with Jesus Christ, God will walk you out of your tomb into a life of incomparable joy and purpose inside his boundless and competent love.