Every book has a back story.
In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, for example, was inspired by a sermon I heard when I was 19 years-old. The preacher was Sam Farina. He preached from II Samuel 23:20 about a guy that chased a lion into a pit on a snowy day and killed it. I remember thinking: if I ever write a book I'd love to write a book about this story. It took fifteen years, but voila!
Here's the back story behind Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity.
One year ago I was part of a gathering of Christian leaders that gathered in Wittenberg, Germany to discuss the state of Christianity. The setting could not have been more apropos. It was there, on October 31, 1517, that Martin Luther sparked the protestant reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the doors of the Castle Church.
Our three-day conversation, which culminated on Reformation Day, revolved around this question: do we need another reformation?
The short answer is yes. Every generation does. I think every generation needs its Martin Luthers, its Wittenbergs, and its 95 Theses. But I don't think the next reformation will look anything like the last reformation. A single person won't lead it. A single event won't define it. The next reformation will be led by millions of reformers living compassionately, creatively, and courageously for the cause of Christ.
So how do reformations happen? Well, there is no formula. No one knows who or when or where a reformation will begin. It's unpredictable. But here's what I do know. Reformations are NOT born of new discoveries. Those are often called cults. Reformations are the byproduct of rediscovering something old, something ancient, something primal.
For Luther, it was Romans 1:17: the just shall live by faith. The rediscovery of a primal truth--sola fide or by faith alone--became the rallying cry of the protestant reformation. So what does our generation need to rediscover? What is the rallying cry of our reformation? In my humble opinion, it's Amo Dei or love God.
Simply put: we've got to be great at the Great Commandment. Anything less isn't good enough. Or maybe I should say, great enough. We must not be great at things that do no matter. We have to be great at what matters most and what matters most is loving God with all of our heart and soul and mind and strength.