Category Archives for Interviews

An Interview with Jeff Gerke

December 27, 2011

Jeff Gerke is CEO and Publisher of Marcher Lord Press, which publishes Christian speculative fiction, and formerly was Senior Fiction Editor at Multnomah Publishers.  In addition to seven books published under his own name, Jeff has also authored six Christian novels and co-authored two nonfiction books (with Ryan Dobson and Clark Gerhart) under the pseudonym of Jefferson Scott.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

SBC Today: How did you get into writing Christian fiction?
Jeff Gerke: I’m a film school grad, and I wanted to make Christian movies. When that wasn’t immediately happening, I thought I’d go to seminary, not only because I wanted to learn the Bible better but also to help bolster my ability to make Christian film. I already had the film part of my Christian film credentials; now I was getting the Christian part.

All through my time at Southwestern, my peers would tell me they were feeling led to become pastors or missionaries or youth ministers. They’d ask me where I was headed, and I’d say I felt that God was leading me to write and make Christian movies. They’d look at me like I’d said I was secretly attending a charismatic miracle service tomorrow night.

Along the way, I got discouraged about making Christian film and decided to convert my screenplay ideas to novels in the meantime. When I graduated, I struck a deal with my wife. I told her I was going to give this Christian fiction publishing thing a go for six months. If nothing had happened by the end of that time, I would get some job. Six months—how naïve I was!

Long story short, I had gotten some nibbles, but at the end of that six months I had no contract. So I got a job as a middle manager at a communications company in Dallas. A few months later, I got a call from the senior fiction editor at Multnomah Publishers saying he really wanted to publish my novels. At that point, I had only six chapters of one book written, but on the strength of that, I got contracts for three novels. (This actually doesn’t happen in publishing—but it happened!)

That contract was for my first three novels—a trilogy of near-future Christian technothrillers—called Virtually Eliminated, Terminal Logic, and Fatal Defect.
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An Interview with Clint Pressley

December 20, 2011

Clint Pressley is the senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. His previous experience includes six years as senior pastor at Dauphin Way Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama.

SBC Today: What do you think are the greatest challenges and opportunities confronting the SBC?
Clint Pressley: I believe the challenges and opportunities facing our convention go hand in hand. We are fortunate that many of the fundamental doctrines we believe to be sacrosanct have been long established at a time when other denominations are struggling with issues like the inerrancy of Scripture and the centrality of the cross. We have long since settled those matters; and as we build on this foundation of strong doctrine, we are poised to continue leading out in other areas.

I do, however, believe the SBC is facing an identity crisis. Are we going to continue doing the same things we have always done (creating more programs, spending more money on bureaucracy) or are we going to adapt to the challenges that face a 21st-century gospel people? Are we going to get serious about the mission of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations or are we going to retreat into our provision, our programs, and our paperwork? We face a choice. It is not a choice that we make one time but a choice that we make every day: Are we going to turn this mighty weapon of God known as the church on our enemy or will our armaments grow tired and rusty while we continue to haggle over things that have no eternal impact?

SBC Today: What are your thoughts about a possible SBC name change?
Clint Pressley: The name change does not bother me. If it is feasible from a legal and financial standpoint and will better identify who we desire to be, then I am in full support.
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An Interview with Tommy Green

December 13, 2011

Dr. Green is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Brandon, Florida, and has served as President of the Florida Baptist Convention and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southern Seminary.

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

Tommy Green: The challenges of the Southern Baptist Convention are in the area of unity and clarity. Our unity has been fostered through cooperation of our churches in world evangelization. This methodology has been weakened through a move toward societal missions that reduces the resources for our total mission endeavors as a Convention. We were challenged at the last Southern Baptist Convention to adopt an unreached people group, plant a church, and increase our Cooperative Program monies in the local church. Each challenge is worthy and needful, but a unified approach by our denominational agencies would enable the churches to determine the priority for our Convention. Unity and clarity would position us to be on the same page working together to accomplish the high calling of the Gospel for the nations. The Conservative Resurgence rendered unity and clarity in the theological realm for our Convention and we were able to move forward. This generation seeks an authentic and genuine focus and will respond to a clear and unified message that is Christ centered and that propels us to world evangelization.  The challenge will be keeping the main thing the main thing and that is the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

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

Tommy Green: The opportunities for the Gospel of Jesus Christ are greater than at any other time in history. We have the resources, accessibility, and opportunity to impact our world on a local and global level. The economic downturn is not a deterrent to our task but a powerful moment for God’s people to demonstrate His faithfulness through His people. The Book of Acts records the obedience of the Apostles and the early church and the 30 years that changed the world. Our generation is uniquely poised to impact and influence our world and we can accomplish this work, if we respond to the call. We can be the ones turning the world upside down through obedience to the Lord. The fields are ripe unto the harvest and we are presented with the opportunity to be laborers in the harvest of souls for the Lord Jesus Christ.

SBC Today: What are your thoughts about a possible SBC name change?

Tommy Green: I support the concept of examining and proposing a name change for the SBC. My support is based on the global expanse of the ministry of our denomination and that a name would reflect the mission of our Convention. Global Baptists would maintain our identity as Baptists and reflect the scope of our ministry together in Christ.
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