Author Interview with Glenn Kreider

This week’s author inter­view is with Glenn R. Krei­der. He is the author of God with Us: Explor­ing God’s Per­sonal Inter­ac­tions with His Peo­ple through­out the Bible.

Kreider_Glenn

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I grew up on a dairy farm in south­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia. My dad was a hard work­ing farmer; I was lazy and unim­pressed with the ben­e­fits of hard work. I did, how­ever, excel in school. After grad­u­a­tion from high school, I mar­ried my high school sweet­heart who increas­ingly has become my best friend. After sev­eral years as an insur­ance agent, I returned to school, com­plet­ing an under­grad­u­ate degree before attend­ing sem­i­nary where I com­pleted a ThM and a PhD. I have had the incred­i­ble priv­i­lege of teach­ing the­ol­ogy courses for over two decades.

We have two grown chil­dren, a son in law, and the world’s cutest grand­daugh­ter (born Jan­u­ary 2015). My wife and I enjoy trav­el­ing, read­ing, lis­ten­ing to live music, and watch­ing good movies.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

In God with Us, I explain how a short para­graph from a ser­mon changed the way I read the Bible. Cor­nelius Planti­nga asserted that Jesus’ humil­ity, his con­de­scen­sion to become human for the sake of rebel­lious human­ity, was not some new and never-before seen action of God. Rather, Jesus was act­ing like his Father, doing what the God of Abra­ham, Isaac, and Jacob has always done. As I began to read the Bible with this insight, I began to notice divine con­de­scen­sion every­where in the bib­li­cal story. I trace this theme through the canon in this book.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?

My doc­toral research focused on Jonathan Edwards and his the­o­log­i­cal method, par­tic­u­larly how he read and used the Scrip­tures in his the­ol­ogy. I return to the writ­ings of Edwards more than any other author. From Edwards’ His­tory of the Work of Redemp­tion, I learned to read the Bible as the story of God’s work of redemp­tion, as sal­va­tion his­tory. From his Reli­gious Affec­tions, I learned to appre­ci­ate the role of the Spirit in true spir­i­tu­al­ity. I learned how to eval­u­ate my growth in spir­i­tual matu­rity through the true signs. From Char­ity and Its Fruits, I learned that heaven is a world of love. From Sin­ners in the Hands of an Angry God, I learned that God is a gra­cious God who desires the wicked to repent and come to him in faith.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

I have a long list of favorite movies. One way to illus­trate sev­eral favorites is with a favorite line from the movie.

From “Babbette’s Feast” — “There comes a time when our eyes are opened and we come to real­ize that mercy is infi­nite. We need only await it with con­fi­dence and receive it with grat­i­tude. Mercy imposes no con­di­tions. And lo! Every­thing we have cho­sen has been granted to us. And every­thing we rejected has also been granted. Yes, we even get back what we rejected. For mercy and truth have met together, and right­eous­ness and bliss shall kiss one another.”

From “Shaw­shank Redemp­tion” — “Remem­ber Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

From “The Vil­lage” — “She is more capa­ble than most in this vil­lage. And she is led by love. The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe.”

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — Do you have a favorite musi­cal artist? What is it and why?

I have eclec­tic music tastes but I par­tic­u­larly enjoy the late Rich Mullins, Andrew Peter­son, U2, and Switch­foot. What these four artists have in com­mon is that they are peo­ple of faith who see through the bro­ken­ness and tragedy of the fallen world into the hope of the world to come. I want to learn to see what they see when I look at the world. Jonathan Edwards wrote about a new way of see­ing, the spir­i­tual sense or the sense of the heart that comes to the believer through the Holy Spirit. These four artists inspire me to see the world with spir­i­tual eyes.

 

  • Ques­tion #6 — What has been the tough­est crit­i­cism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I tend to say too much and so I tend to write too much. An edi­tor told me one time that I needed to cut my man­u­script nearly in half if he was going to be able to use it. And he told me that he would not make the cuts for me. The result was a much stronger work than it would have been oth­er­wise. But it was painful to leave so much on the cut­ting room floor.

The best com­pli­ment I ever received was from a reviewer of God with Us. He wrote: “I found your writ­ing style to be unique. The book would make for a fine resource for any scholar, but it is equally acces­si­ble to any layper­son and quite uplift­ing for some­thing that can be used for research.” That was my goal, to write so that schol­ars would find it help­ful but also acces­si­ble to laypeople.

 

  • Ques­tion #7 — Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

My dad was a base­ball fan. We did not have a tele­vi­sion so I grew up lis­ten­ing to Phillies games on the radio. When we moved to Texas, I became a fan of the Texas Rangers; in those days, the Rangers were not very good. In recent years, they have been much bet­ter, although we are still wait­ing for the first cham­pi­onship in Arling­ton. I moved to Dal­las as a fan of the Cow­boys; that has not changed.

 

  • Ques­tion #8 — Favorite food?

Texas BBQ; I will not name a favorite place since Tex­ans go to war over such things.

 

  • Ques­tion #9 — Favorite ani­mal? Why?

I am a dog per­son. We have res­cued mul­ti­ple dogs. We cur­rently have two pugs (Mardi and Jack Bauer), a Chi­huahua (Nef­tali), and a black Labrador Retriever named Chloe.

 

  • Ques­tion #10 — What famous per­son (liv­ing or dead) would you like to meet and why?

I regret that I never met Rich Mullins; I only saw him per­form once. Rich’s music has deeply impacted me, espe­cially in learn­ing how to see God in the “fury of a pheasant’s wings.” I con­tinue to hope that one day I will meet Bono, front man of the band U2. I have a list of ques­tions for him but I sus­pect I will not remem­ber any of them when I meet him. I am impressed by Bono’s lyri­cal bril­liance, his musi­cal excel­lence, and his con­cern for justice.

 

  • Ques­tion #11 — If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

It is dan­ger­ous to answer such a ques­tion since the Bible in its entirety is God’s word to us. But I do find myself return­ing to Gen­e­sis and John again and again.

 


Want to learn more about Glenn?

Fol­low him on Twit­ter: @gkreider

Visit his fac­ulty page: http://www.dts.edu/about/faculty/gkreider/


 

Author Interview with Tim Chester

This week’s author inter­view is with Tim Chester. Tim is the author of You can Pray: Find­ing Grace to Pray Every Day.

 

  • Chester, TimQues­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what you do in your spare time, etc.

I’m mar­ried to Helen and we have two daugh­ters who are both at uni­ver­sity in the UK. I live in Sheffield, the most beau­ti­ful city in the world. We moved here in 2000 to start a church. But later this year my wife and I are mov­ing to North York­shire where I’ll be co-leading a rural church plant. In my spare time I love his­tory and walk­ing plus a bit of wild swimming.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — When did you first want to write a book?

I wrote my first book 21 years ago. I know that because it came out in the same month my first daugh­ter was born.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — Have you always enjoyed writing?

I didn’t so much dis­cover that I loved writ­ing as dis­cover that other peo­ple don’t love writ­ing! I just assumed every­one could write. It wasn’t until I’d writ­ten a cou­ple of books that I real­ized other peo­ple found writ­ing hard or painful. I think by writ­ing. So many of my books started with me wrestling with an issue. But I also love words and the way they work together. Often in idle moments I find myself com­pos­ing sen­tences in my head. Appar­ently this is not normal!

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — What book are you read­ing now?

Yes­ter­day I read a pre-publication copy of a great lit­tle book on Chris­t­ian growth by John Hind­ley called You Can Really Grow. Today I’m read­ing Life in the Trin­ity by Don­ald Fair­bairn. My bed­time read­ing at the moment is Clax­ton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker – a nature diary based in the vil­lage of Clax­ton in Nor­folk, Eng­land. In the UK it gets dark at around 4:30pm at this time of year (the com­pen­sa­tion is it doesn’t get dark until 10:00pm in the sum­mer) so in Feb­ru­ary read­ing about nature is a good alter­na­tive to being able to go walking.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

When peo­ple tell me they’d like to write a book, I always ask, ‘What about?’ And if peo­ple don’t know then I dis­cour­age them. You have to have some­thing to say. It’s not so much that I choose to write a book as a book chooses to be writ­ten by me. That’s just a pre­ten­tious way of say­ing a topic grips my heart and then writ­ing about it feels like a com­pul­sion. I guess ‘call­ing’ would sound bet­ter, but ‘com­pul­sion’ is what it feels like!

 

  • Ques­tion #6 — Do you have an inter­est­ing writ­ing quirk?

I don’t know if this counts, but I often leave out neg­a­tives in a sen­tence (words like ‘not’). As typos go it’s about as bad as it gets because of course it com­pletely reverses the mean­ing of the sentence!

 

  • Ques­tion #7 — Favorite sport to watch?

That’s easy — cricket.

 

  • Ques­tion #8 — Favorite fla­vor of ice cream?

Don’t mess about with ice cream, giv­ing it wacky flavours or trendy names. Just give me vanilla.

 


Want to learn more about Tim Chester?


 

Author Interview with Jay Adams

This week’s author inter­view is with Jay Adams, author of 16 P&R titles includ­ing Chris­t­ian Liv­ing in the Home (1972), God­li­ness Through Dis­ci­pline (1972), Christ and Your Prob­lems (1973), How to Over­come Evil (1977), and Ready to Restore: The Layman’s Guide to Chris­t­ian Coun­sel­ing (1982).

 

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I was born in Bal­ti­more Mary­land on Jan­u­ary 30, 1929 (then came the depres­sion!). I used to fish a lot, but now am largely unable to do such things. The first book that I wrote was The Time is at Hand. I wrote it on Rev­e­la­tion because I got tired of explain­ing my views to oth­ers ver­bally. I have writ­ten over 130 books since. My favorite is Com­pe­tent to Coun­sel. My wife’s favorite is The Grand Demon­stra­tion.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — When do you write most?

I write all day long, but I enjoy writ­ing late at night because of less disturbance.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — How do you deal with writer’s block?

Writer’s block — sim­ple to han­dle: when don’t feel like writ­ing, go ahead and do so any­way. After awhile you will begin to feel like writ­ing. You may, how­ever, need to tear up a page or two in the process.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — What was your biggest crit­i­cism and biggest encouragement?

Crit­i­cism? Too tough on oth­ers — try not to be; may not always succeed.

Best response? I have helped oth­ers to min­is­ter well. I write largely for that purpose.

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — What is your favorite food?

As a Bal­ti­morean I learned to like crabs — espe­cially, soft crabs!

 


To learn more about Jay Adams, visit http://www.nouthetic.org/about-ins/our-faculty/8-about-ins/6-jay-adams-biography.

The Insti­tute for Nou­thetic Stud­ies’ web­site: www.nouthetic.org.


 

Author Interview with Dan Doriani

This week’s author inter­view is with Dan Dori­ani, author of The Ser­mon on the Mount: The Char­ac­ter of a Dis­ci­ple, Get­ting the Mes­sage: A Plan for Inter­pret­ing and Apply­ing the Bible, Putting the Truth to Work: The The­ory and Prac­tice of Bib­li­cal Appli­ca­tion, as well as the fol­low­ing books in the Reformed Expos­i­tory Com­men­tary series: 1 Peter, James, Matthew (2-Volume Set), and is a co-author of The Incar­na­tion in the Gospels.

Doriani_Dan

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I’ve lived at least three months in eight states, but St. Louis has been home since 1991. I’m mar­ried, with three grown chil­dren and one grand­child. Even before I was a dis­ci­ple, I always wanted to be a good father, a faith­ful friend, a man’s man – one who val­ues hard work, strength, and loy­alty. In my spare time I play ten­nis, work out, write poetry, and visit with friends.

 

  • Ques­tion #2 — Have you always enjoyed writing?

No one always enjoys writ­ing. At best we enjoy it at times and look with some sat­is­fac­tion at the result, know­ing that we said things that are true and use­ful, in ways that approx­i­mated our goals when we began.

 

  • Ques­tion #3 — What book are you read­ing now?

I’m read­ing the­ol­ogy with John Calvin, phi­los­o­phy with Charles Tay­lor, and nov­els by Mar­i­lynne Robin­son and John LeCarre because they are writ­ers who under­stand human nature.

 

  • Ques­tion #4 — Do you have a favorite quote?

Because they say impor­tant things in sticky and para­dox­i­cal ways, I like these three state­ments: “All deci­sions are made on the basis of insuf­fi­cient evi­dence”, “No one ever fin­ishes a book, they just stop writ­ing”, and “The impos­si­ble takes a lit­tle bit longer.”

 

  • Ques­tion #5 — What advice would you give to aspir­ing writers?

Read. Read widely. Read the best authors – with the best con­tent and a style that is brisk or obser­vant or invis­i­ble or pre­cise or detailed, as the sit­u­a­tion warrants.

 

  • Ques­tion #6 — How do you deal with writer’s block?

I stand up and do some­thing dif­fer­ent: I walk around or clean the kitchen or do push-ups or grade papers. In extreme cases I may go run­ning or go to the gym.

 

  • Ques­tion #7 — What is your favorite sport to watch?

Let me sug­gest that we should never watch sports when we have an oppor­tu­nity to play sports. Why would we watch when we can do? That said, my favorite base­ball team is the Car­di­nals, since I live in St. Louis, they are good almost every year, and I have friends who invite me to share their seats, right by the field, and I love their com­pany, which is an even greater gift. My favorite bas­ket­ball team is the team that loves to pass and does so very well.


Want to learn more about Dan Doriani?


 

Author Interview with Neil Tolsma

This week’s author inter­view is with Neil Tolsma, author of This Is Love: Trac­ing The Love of God through­out the Bib­li­cal Story.

Tolsma_Neil

  • Ques­tion #1 — Tell us a lit­tle bit about your­self: where you’re from, fam­ily, job, per­sonal inter­ests, unique hob­bies, what do you do in your spare time, etc.

I was born Feb­ru­ary 5, 1935, and grew up in New Jer­sey. I am a grad­u­ate of West­min­ster The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary class of 1965. This year will mark the 50th anniver­sary of my grad­u­a­tion and of my ordination.

My wife, Lenore, and I were mar­ried in August, 1959. We have three daugh­ters and eight grand­chil­dren. One of our daugh­ters, Liz Tolsma is also a pub­lished author. She and her hus­band Doug Cain have three adopted chil­dren Brian (from Viet­nam) is serv­ing in the mil­i­tary as a marine,  Alyssa (from South Korea), and Jon­a­lyn (from the Philip­pines). She writes his­tor­i­cal fic­tion. Our sec­ond daugh­ter Car­olyn Tews is a labor an deliv­ery nurse. She and her hus­band Greg Tews are the par­ents of three girls, Sarah, Becca, and Han­nah.  Our youngest daugh­ter Elaine Har­low is an artist and she and her hus­band Rick Har­low are the par­ents of Olivia and Daniel, who is adopted from Guatemala.

After serv­ing as pas­tor of Bethel Ortho­dox Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Fort Laud­erdale, Florida from 1965 until 1974, I was installed to serve Falls Ortho­dox Pres­by­ter­ian Church in Menomonee Falls, Wis­con­sin until my retire­ment in 2004. In my retire­ment, along with my work as a writer, I sub­sti­tute preach at var­i­ous churches fairly regularly.

  • Ques­tion #2 — What inspired you to write this book, about this topic?

While at sem­i­nary, Pro­fes­sor John Mur­ray urged us as his stu­dents to get a sub­ject in mind, research it and maybe in time write a book on that sub­ject. After coun­sel­ing a num­ber of peo­ple and also “as I pre­pared ser­mons, I again and again found myself deal­ing with the idea of love. It per­vades the Scrip­tures.” [Quot­ing from the pref­ace of my book This Is Love and you can find more about how I came to write my book there] This prod­ded me to write a book on love. Espe­cially after I found how few peo­ple truly under­stood what godly love is all about. My book This Is Love seeks to define godly love. The book I am now work­ing on will deal with the prac­tice of godly love.

  • Ques­tions #3 & #4 — Did you always enjoy writ­ing? How do you deal with writer’s block?

My inter­est in writ­ing came early. While in grade school my teacher read a story I had writ­ten to the class. I remem­ber how she she com­pli­mented me on it and how the kids in class were excited as she read it. In col­lege I was also com­pli­mented on my writ­ing. I do enjoy writ­ing but also find it a grind at times espe­cially when hit with writer’s block. I find it best to over­come the block sim­ply forc­ing my to get on with the research and write even though I may end up delet­ing what I write.

  • Ques­tion #5 — Which writ­ers inspire you?

Authors who have had the most influ­ence on me in my life as a pas­tor: early in my min­istry Edmund Clowney’s Preach­ing and Bib­li­cal The­ol­ogy, and Her­man Rid­der­bosThe Com­ing of the King­dom, and later his book on Paul’s the­ol­ogy. Since I am retired, writ­ing as become my chief occu­pa­tion. At the present I am teach­ing an adult Sun­day school class using the out­line of the book I am presently work­ing on. I did this while writ­ing my first book too and found it very help­ful in orga­niz­ing my think­ing and the con­tent of the book. Some good sug­ges­tions came from those attend­ing the study.

  • Ques­tion #6 — Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

I’m not much of a sports fan although I do like watch­ing bike rac­ing on TV and par­tic­u­larly the Tour de France. I used to run and earned a cou­ple of medals and some rib­bons for my run­ning. Includ­ing a gold in one run for best in my age group (70s). The laugh is that I hap­pened to be the only run­ner in that age group. But I had the last laugh since I ran faster than all the guys in the next younger group. I’m not run­ning now because of a sore knee. I would like to start again but my knee isn’t cooperating.

  • Ques­tion # 7 — What is your favorite animal?

I love giraffes. I think they are the coolest ani­mals. My grand­chil­dren kid me about it. When she had an oppor­tu­nity to feed a giraffe at the local zoo, my grand­daugh­ter, Alyssa Cain, asked me to go with her. That was fun. My youngest grand­son, Daniel Har­low, even made up a book about giraffes for me, care­fully cut­ting out pic­tures of giraffes to paste in the book along with facts about the animal.

  • Ques­tion #8 — What is your favorite food?

My favorite food: eggs, Ley­den cheese, and peanut but­ter. Not at the same time of course. My wife is a great cook and she rarely makes some­thing I do not like.

  • Ques­tion #9 — Do you have a favorite pas­sage of Scripture?

When preach­ing I’ve often remarked that the text of my ser­mon is my favorite pas­sage in the Bible. I am in love with the Bible plain and sim­ple. But there are parts of Scrip­ture that res­onate with me: Psalm 27, the Gospel of John, and Philippians.