Category Archives for Interviews

An Interview with Keven Newsome

January 31, 2012

Keven Newsome is a graduate student at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology. He is the author of supernatural thriller Winter, published by Splashdown Darkwater. He also is the founder and administrator of The New Authors’ Fellowship and produces music and video through Newsome Creative.

SBC Today: How did you get into writing Christian fiction?

Keven Newsome: Fifth grade was a pivotal year for me, and looking back I can see how God was shaping me that year. That was the year I began my formal training in music, which is my first degree. It was the year I first put a pencil to paper to write a story. And it was also the year I gave my life to Christ. All the elements of what God had in store for my life came together that year.

Writing itself has been a journey and a process for me. Back in that fifth grade year my first attempt at a story was fantasy fan fiction based off a popular video game . . . complete with King James English, because after all that’s how they spoke in the game. My attention span wouldn’t suffer it. I took to drawing my stories instead. By junior high drawing stories wasn’t enough any more. There was too much to tell. I would tell these stories to my friends, and at some point I decided to write them down.

High school was when I became serious about writing. I wrote several short stories and began an awful fantasy novel full of teen angst and anachronistic dialogue. But something was nagging me. How could I do this for God? I gave up on that novel and went to college, discouraged with the direction of my writing. Thanks to the influence of a growing number of speculative Christian writers, I realized how I could make the stories I wanted to write glorify God. That’s when I began in earnest . . . learning the craft and writing constantly.

SBC Today: Would it be accurate to describe the genre of your writing as dark supernatural/paranormal Christian fiction? If not, how would you describe it?

Keven Newsome: That would certainly describe my style of writing, though the genre varies depending on the project. My style is a very edgy, intense, realistic portrayal of events. I want to write about life in all its grit and emotion. I’ve been called a Christian Horror writer by some, and I’m not opposed to that. I don’t do the slasher/bloody stuff … but life is horror. When life is portrayed properly, it comes out rather dark. Take a look inside the emotional state of most people, and you’ll see quiet despair, secret depression, and some very scary thoughts. The difference between my writing and the writing of secular writers of a similar nature is that I know where the Light is . . . and I make sure the Light pierces the darkness of the lives of my characters. By doing so, I hope to make the Light pierce through the darkness within my readers.
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An Interview with Jerry Vines

January 24, 2012

Dr. Jerry Vines served as Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 23 years, and was previous Pastor of Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He has served as President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and now continues to minister through Jerry Vines Ministries. He is known as one of the best expository preachers in America, and is co-author with Jim Shaddix of Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons.

SBC Today: What do you think are the greatest challenges confronting the SBC?

Jerry Vines: Theologically, will the issue of Calvinism create further division in the SBC. I have been a SBC preacher over 50 years. I have worked quite well with my Calvinist friends, many of whom I invited to preach for me. I have no desire to run all Calvinists out of the SBC; I think it would be divisive and wrong. But, current attempts to move the SBC to a Calvinistic soteriology are divisive and wrong. As long as groups and individuals seek to force Calvinism upon others in the Convention, there will be problems. There is a form of Calvinism that is militant, hostile and aggressive that I strongly oppose. I have stated before, so it’s not new news, that should the SBC move toward five-point Calvinism it will be a move away from, not toward, the gospel. I agree with Dr. David Allen’s assessments at the end of his chapter on Limited Atonement in the book Whosoever Will.

Methodologically, will the SBC try to be like the world to reach the world, or realize the church has the most influence on the world when it is least like the world. I am just astonished and saddened at the Howard Stern approach I am seeing in some of our churches. Holiness and separation seem to be missing in many of our churches.

Denominationally, will the SBC return to the societal method of supporting its work or continue to work together cooperatively to do together what we cannot do separately.

SBC Today: What do you see as the greatest opportunities open to the SBC?

Jerry Vines: Preparing to reach the nations that are literally coming to our doorstep, utilizing the breathtaking advances in technology that allow us to touch the world with the gospel, and responding to the willingness of thousands of our committed young people who want to go to the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not believe we will fulfill Matthew 24:14 in our age. That will be done during the Great Tribulation. But, we should certainly try to lessen the workload of the 144,000!
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An Interview with Hayes Wicker

January 17, 2012

Dr. Hayes Wicker, has been in ministry for over 41 years and has served as senior pastor at First Baptist Church, Naples, Florida since 1992.  He earned a B.A degree from Grand Canyon University and the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served as President of the Florida Baptist Convention.

SBC Today: What do you think are the greatest challenges confronting the SBC?

Hayes Wicker: We are dealing with what appears to be a “generation gorge” and not just a “gap.” Those who are younger and who tend to be more innovative must respect those who are proven leaders, while older traditionalists must honor those who love Jesus even though they may adopt different approaches to sharing the gospel.

Denominations tend to become institutionalized, then fossilized and no longer a dynamic, organic Body. Bureaucracy must not replace the local church. At the same time, we must be cooperative and recognize that we still have the most workable denomination in history. Leaders at all levels must not lose touch with the local church, listening to local ministers of churches of all sizes.

We need genuine revival and repentance. We must seek brokenness as we humble ourselves before the Lord, admitting our pride and tendency toward self-sufficiency. Prayer must become a new priority.

As I was meditating on God’s unique message to pastors in 2 Timothy this morning, the Lord seemed to apply these principles to the SBC:

  • We need a new sense of urgency concerning “the last days,” realizing that we must swim against the current of the world (2 Timothy 3:1-5) and return to teaching eschatology.
  • We must not in any way dilute “the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) but “guard God’s treasure” of doctrinal truth and “sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 1:14; 4:3).
  • We should resist being “entangled” in the current world system (2 Timothy 2:4).
  • Local church pastors must recover preaching and teaching of the Word of God, not seeing this as old fashioned or irrelevant. There must be recommitment to expository preaching which takes seriously God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 17), seeing each text as a wellspring and not a springboard.
  • Pastors and church leaders must toughen up and man up as we “endure hardship” (2 Timothy 4:5). We are called to be warriors, not wimps. Things will get worse.
  • Each of us need to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). I am deeply concerned that we are losing the emphasis on personal evangelism and the training and reproduction of soul-winners. The Pastor must set the pace as a personal evangelist.

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