Christianity, as a body of knowledge, offers knowledge to the questions that "secular"ism cannot. We can answer, according to knowledge, the big questions like; What is real? Who is well off? etc.
I really enjoyed Willard's talk and I am now really excited to read his latest book Knowing Christ Today where he discusses all these issues at length.
After listening Dallas talk I went to a Panel Discussion with Dr. Craig Keen, Father Aloysius Ezeonyeka, Dr. Andrea Ivanov-Craig, and Dr. Carole Lambert called "The Sacraments and Grace." It was a discussion from Protestant and Catholic perspectives on the sacraments. Since I am quite fond of Eucharistic theology and anything sacramental, including ecclesiology as such, and Craig Keen was a huge influence on me in my final semesters at APU, the discussion was interesting and almost therapeutic. It could have been a point of tention for any other four people but these four, three Catholics and a Protestant, harmonized the conversation into a beautiful tapestry.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the discussion:
Sacrament is a "means of grace... an action ordained by God by means of which we wait on God." (John Wesley). This is an "active waiting" (Father Ezeonyeka).
"I think it is a mistake that some protestants have limited the sacraments to two or three... I think it's a mistake that Catholics have limited them to seven. Saint Augustine listed 20 sacraments... and that too may have also been a mistake..." (Craig Keen)
Grace is "God, the Holy Spirit" (John Wesley)
"When God moves, we who are embodied (in bodies), will work" (Keen on works and grace)
"Grace is the supernatural life of God within us that allows us to live our lives the way God would want us to live." (Father Ezeonyeka)