Sermon Resources: The Whole Soul

On June 4th, we kicked off our summer sermon series, Becoming Whole. During this series, John is defining wholeness as an undivided, integrated life.  We are considering what it means to be broken — or what happens when our public, exterior life is divided from our interior emotional and spiritual lives — and how we become whole again by living with God from the inside out. This past Sunday (July 30th), John preached on the importance of giving our heart, will and spirit to God in order to become whole.


Here the quote from the sermon:

“With other presidents, we sometimes struggled to find nuggets of news in an interview; with Mr. Trump we were overwhelmed. After the session on Wednesday, I have now interviewed seven presidents — some in office, some after they left — and with Mr. Trump the experience is strikingly different in almost every respect Unlike with other presidents, though, there was no need to knock him off the script. He happily answered every question we asked, even if it would ultimately overshadow the designated messages of the day — in this case health care and made-in-America economics.”



Here’s the image on Willard’s description of the parts of a person:




Dallas Willard on the soul:


“The soul is that dimension of the person that interrelates all of the other dimensions so that they form one life. It is like a meta-dimension or higher-level dimension because its direct field of play consists of the other dimensions (thought, body, and so on), and through them it reaches ever deeper into the person’s vast environment of God and his creation. It has been said that each soul is a star in the spiritual universe— or so it was meant to be (Matthew 13: 43). And there can be no doubt that this is the biblical view, understanding that “soul” here is a term that refers to the whole person through its most profound dimension. Because the soul encompasses and “organizes” the whole person, it is frequently taken to be the person. We naturally treat persons as “souls.” But of course the soul is not the person. It is, rather, the deepest part of the self in terms of overall operations; and like the body, it has the capacity to operate (and does, largely, operate) without conscious supervision.”

From Renovation of the Heart, p. 37


Here’s the video of Dallas Willard talking about his soul, from which John showed a clip:


Larry Crabb on the importance of confession in Christian community:

“Ever since the reformers properly reacted against the manipulative and heretical excesses of the medieval confessional, Protestants have tended to devalue and mostly abandon the practice of formal confession. A few moments once a month of private self-examination before receiving communion, for many a token and not terribly upsetting look at themselves, is about all that’s left.

Those matters that need to be confessed, the secrets we harbor and the internal struggles we endure in our never-ending fight against sin, have been removed from church community and taken to the counselor’s office…C.G. Jung once observed that modern psychotherapy arose partly in response to the void in Christian community left by the Protestant insistence on private confession…

We rarely share in a way that requires the gospel for the community to survive and for meaningful bonding to occur. The masks remain in place; we tell only parts of our stories; we deal (a bit proudly) with emotion laden struggles that don’t disturb our final commitment to independence; we find ways to connect that don’t require the depths of Christian grace.” ~ Larry Crabb, Connecting



Additional Reading Resources:

  • Crabb, Larry. Connecting
  • Palmer, Parker. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life.
  • Richardson, Ronald. Creating a Healthier Church.
  • Siegel and Bryson. The Whole Brained Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.
  • Thompson, Curt. Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections Between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices that can Transform your Life and Relationships.
  • Willard, Dallas. Renovation of the Heart

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