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Max Lucado Interview Part 2

  • Rich Shipe
  • Published Dec 06, 2000
Max Lucado Interview Part 2
Read part 1 here.

Crosswalk.com: What type of advice/counsel do you have for Christian teens?

Lucado: Theres a verse thats meant a lot to me ever since I was in my early 20s. 2 Timothy 2:8, Paul told Timothy to remember Jesus Christ, descended from David and raised from the dead. Thats a good principle, that if my theology, my whole life can be focused on remembering Jesus. Just trying to remember who He is, what He did, being strong in what He did and what He accomplished. Our tendency is to be converted to church and not to Christ. To be active in a church social life or church activities or even a church mission to help the hungry or reach the poor, but really our dedication has to be born out of an infatuation with Jesus. I think thats the advice I try to give people. Were studying in Philippians, and Im trying to figure out this passage, Paul says I want to know Christ. What does that mean? See, hes fascinated by Jesus. I think thats a desire Id like to have on my heart, to know more about Jesus.

Crosswalk.com: What type of advice do you have for aspiring Christian writers?

Lucado: First, listen carefully to the feedback your readers give you. Dont write unless people want you to write, a lot of people write just because they want to write. Gods given us all strengths and gifts. If you get a lot of good feedback from people, thats a sign that you have a strength or gift in writing, if not ... try singing. We get a lot of unsolicited manuscripts here. Im not even a publisher, but we get several a week. I dont read them, but I do glance through some of them, and some people dont need to be writing, they have something else. I think theres just this mystique of writing a book that appeals to people. A person has to really check their motives and say, Am I really being called by God to do this? Or is this just something that would look neat in my funeral? I dont mean to be harsh but I think a person really needs to, so they wont be disappointed.

Crosswalk.com: How did your relationship with your parents influence your writing? Do you have a most precious or encouraging memory in regards to your parents that you want to share?

Lucado: How my relationship with my parents influenced my writing, really not at all. My dad was a mechanic, my mom a nurse. I was never really lead by them and didnt sense any leading from the Lord to go into writing. I never told anybody I wanted to write, I kind of fell into it backwards. I noticed people would read these short articles I was assigned to write for our church bulletin and they would say, Boy, thats good stuff. I got letters from people around the country saying, Thats really good. And I thought, Is it really? I remember enjoying writing those, theres two clues of a gift: you enjoy doing it and people enjoy you doing it. My parents, they were good, godly people, but they never said, You need to write. I have a lot of special memories with my parents but my toughest one is, I had, as a teenager, a pretty insatiable appetite for beer. The first time I got drunk my father found me throwing up in the bathroom. I was 15, maybe 16, and the disappointment in his voice, I can hear it to this day, and the sorrow that that brought to him. He just felt like a failure as a father, and Id give anything to take that day back because that was so hard on him. In time, my life got better, and his did too, but that was really memorable, one of those memories Id like to forget.

Crosswalk.com: I had a friend who once asked me, Why do Christians believe that their religion is the only one that is valid? How would you respond to this question?

Lucado: Theres some inherently unique characteristics of Christianity, the chief of which is that Christianity teaches that we are saved by what Christ has done for us, instead of we are saved by what we do for God. Christianity teaches salvation by grace through faith, every other religion teaches salvation through works and merit. So, there is no religion like Christianity, it is not one religion among others, it is completely different, its mixing apples and oranges. Every other religion is a salvation by self, Christianity is a salvation by Christ. It, in and of itself, sets itself apart inherently, and so, for somebody to say, Well it just seems to me like you can pick between all these religions and still have the same thing. Its kind of like somebody saying, You could pick between 80 bananas and one apple and say you have a banana. You cant call that apple a banana.

Crosswalk.com: What kind of books or study would you recommend for Christian apologetics?

Lucado: I think the current book is by Lee Strobel, its called A Case for Christ. Then a second great book that just came out this year from Ravi Zacharis, a scholar from India, and its called Jesus Among Other Gods. I havent read that one, but I know Ravi really well, and I know its a good book.

Crosswalk.com: Whats on your nightstand right now? What other books, besides the Bible, have inspired your life?

Lucado: Those are kind of two different questions. The book on my nightstand right now isnt anything that inspired me, but it entertained me. I read a book on Labor Day, it was a holiday, and I have three daughters, and we all went to the shopping mall and I sat on the bench and read a book while they shopped, it was called The Greatest Golfer there Ever Was, it was a great book, easy to read and entertaining. Thats usually what I gravitate to, I read The Perfect Storm, then I read Into Thin Air a few weeks ago. I havent read it yet, but I picked up this book called Blue Mountain, supposed to be a really good book on the Civil War. I work in theology and Christian books all day long, when Im studying, so its just kind of nice to pick up something different. The books that have influenced me, theres not just one book that was a watershed, although Mere Christianity was as much as any. I really enjoyed reading the writings of Fredrick Buechner, I havent read anything by him in probably a decade but about 20 years ago I read four or five books of his and it helped me. He kind of loosened me up, hes got a little irreverency to him and I have a little too much reverancy. He kind of loosened up my clerical collar, you might say.

Crosswalk.com: Was Mere Christianity a book that influenced you earlier on in your life?

Lucado: I was about 21 when I read that, and my faith was really being shaken during those days. Its a great, classic book.

Crosswalk.com: How do you do it all? Between pastor, father, husband, author?

Lucado: A couple of things have helped. One is that I dont travel any, that takes a lot of time from peoples schedules, if they travel, so I dont travel. Very, very rarely will I leave San Antonio to speak somewhere else. I used to do that, and it just about wore me out, so I quit traveling. I have a great staff at the church; they protect me and allow me to focus on more of what I do best.

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