Our life center

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By Dave Henning / February 5, 2015

Souldiagram“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”- Romans 8:6

John Ortberg continues Chapter 2 of Soul Keeping by discussing Dallas Willard’s understanding of the “parts” of the inner life, all integrated by the soul.  Dallas uses a series of concentric circles to illustrate his concept of the soul as our life center.

1.  The will.  The innermost circle is the human will.  The will is good at making simple and large commitments, but incredibly inept at overriding deeply rooted habits, patterns, and attitudes.

2.  The mind.  To people in the ancient world, the mind referred to both one’s thoughts and feelings.  These thoughts and feelings constantly flow through us in habitual patterns that our willpower alone cannot redirect on a sustained basis.

3.  The body.  Pastor Ortberg refers to the body as “our little kingdom”, the one place where our tiny wills have an opportunity to be in charge.  While our bodies are capable of amazing things, our bodies are not the whole story.  There’s more to us than our bodies.

4.  The soul.  According to Dallas Willard, the soul seeks harmony, connection, and integration.  Our soul is the deepest part of us, and it is the whole person.  Pastor Ortberg concludes: “When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul.”

Today’s question: How does Dallas Willard’s illustration expand and/or deepen your understanding of the soul as our life center?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “An unhealthy soul”

About the author

Dave Henning

  • […] In "Our life center", Pastor John Ortberg presents Dallas Willard's understanding of the "parts" of the inner life, all integrated by the soul.  […]


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