Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Conversation With James Emery White

The following links lead to a three part conversation with author and new president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary James Emery White. The interview is done by Tim Ellsworth and was originally posted on his blog site, which I check daily. The interview is a bit lengthy, which is why it is divided up into 3 parts, but it is definitely worth the read. White offers some amazing insight on topics like education, mega-churches, culture, worldview, and the angle churches can take to make guests feel more comfortable. Here are the links to the interview:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Let me also recommend a few other resources connected with James Emery White. He has a website called Serious Times which is dedicated to answering the question How can you make a difference in the world today? He also has written several books, not the least of which is a book called Rethinking the Church, which is a must read for anyone involved in ministry in the local church, lay or professional. I read it in college and it is great! There is a link to the left where you can buy that book. A more recent book by White is called Serious Times, and I am intrigued enough by the Title and subtitle that I want to read the book and consider leading a series with my Youth Group on it. Check all of this out and give me feedback! Here are some quotes from the interview:

A third major challenge in relation to those two is that this means the church must think creatively about ministry and about outreach. We must think creatively about how we proclaim the truth of Scripture. Now, please notice how I said that. We don’t water down the message. We don’t compromise anything. This isn’t about transforming something. It is about translating something. We have a tendency to confuse tradition with orthodoxy. Tradition is fine, traditionalism isn’t.

The church is the great revolution on this planet and there is no ministry outside of her umbrella. We must recapture a deep sense of ecclesiology and realize that is where our first and best fruits are to be given. That’s the front line of the fight. Any Christian not aligned with the church is outside of God’s ideal will for their life.

I am all for the mega-church movement. I was a mega-church pastor, still am at this point. I believe in that. I believe in it biblically. I believe that’s how God chose to birth the church at Pentecost — 3,000 people in one day — that’s a mega church. Let’s not forget that. That’s how the Holy Spirit pleased to birth the church, was through a mega-church. So this anti-mega-church rhetoric is not even biblical. The mega-church is a wonderful God thing[.]

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