Ed Stetzer: How Resources Changed My Mind

“It seems that every young pastor thinks it’s necessary to reinvent everything—in their mind, only they can do it the right way.”

When I was a young teen, my mom (a new Christian) gave me a book called Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. She said it was a science fiction book written by a Christian. Being the sci-fi fan that I was, and intrigued by the idea of a Christian authoring those types of books, I finished it and the rest of Lewis’ Space Trilogy. At that time, I had no idea how much I would come to be influenced by their author.

I later discovered C.S. Lewis as the man behind The Chronicles of Narnia and numerous other works influenced by his faith. His nonfiction writings built my passion for accessible theology. I read Mere Christianity and have since shared it with hundreds of different people as an apologetic defense of the gospel.

As a young, recently converted believer, I was drawn to the writing of Lewis—an articulate and engaging Oxford professor who talked about Jesus. To me, Lewis made it OK to love Jesus and have a brain. Half a century after his death, we still read his works because of how he wrote in such an accessible but passionate manner about the convictions of our faith.

Resources matter. The books we read and allow to influence us hold great importance—and not just in Lewis’ time or for those in the academic realm. Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Lecrae said books by Tim Keller and Andy Crouch shaped his approach to his faith and his music.

In the autobiographical song, “Non-Fiction,” Lecrae says it like this:

Shortly after I got a hold of Tim Keller’s books
Man I promise you it’s like my whole life changed
Andy Crouch wrote a book about culture-makin’
And after that I had to make a slight change.

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Learning from Keller and Crouch, Lecrae began to see his calling in a new light. He stopped making music that just spoke about his faith and started making music that spoke through his faith. From that point on, he took much more of a cultural missionary direction. All because he read some books.

Knowing his story and others like it motivates me to be so passionate about producing and promoting quality resources for the church and Christian leaders.

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Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer is the editor-in-chief of Outreach magazine, host of the Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast, and a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as executive director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He currently serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Naperville, Illinois.

He is also regional director for Lausanne North America, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by and writes for news outlets such as USA Today and CNN. He is the founding editor of The Gospel Project, and his national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates.