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Faith of My Fathers

Chris Seay

Faith of My Fathers

Chris Seay

$24.99

Paperback
Faith of My Fathers is three generations of American pastors telling their life stories in the context of the church. Together, this grandfather, father and three sons manifest a sweeping history extending from the "good ol' days" of the 1950s to the postmodern shift through the new millennium.Politics, parenting, racism--no topic is off limits and no holds are barred. Often heated and always engaging, this family dialogue provides unique perspectives on the things that church owes to its grandparents and parents while affirming the need for today's church to define itself. These intimate conversations articulate what it really means to nurture a missional Christianity while loving, honoring, and embracing the generations that have gone before.

- Publisher 11 Chapters

- Publisher Faith of My Fathers: Conversations with Three Generationsof Pastors about Church, Ministry, and CultureCopyright 2005 by Chris SeayYouth Specialties Products, 300 South Pierce Street, El Cajon, CA 92020, are published byZondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataSeay, Chris.Faith of my fathers : conversations with three generations of pastorsabout church, ministry, and culture / by Chris Seay.p. cm.ISBN-10: 0-310-25326-8 (pbk.)ISBN-13: 978- 0-310-25326-6 (pbk.)1. Pastoral theology--Baptists--Miscellanea. 2. Seay, Chris--Family--Miscellanea. I. Title.BV4011.3.S43 2005286''.1''092273--dc22[B] 2005015115Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible:New International Version (North American Edition), copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 byInternational Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, orany other-(except for brief quotations in printed reviews) without the prior permission of thepublisher.Web site addresses listed in this book were current at the time of publication. Please contactYouth Specialties via e-mail (YS@YouthSpecialties.com) to report URLs that are no longeroperational and replacement URLs if available.Editorial direction by Donald MillerArt direction by Holly Sharp & Chris SeayEditing by Janie WilkersonProofreading by Laura Gross and Joanne HeimCover and interior design by Holly SharpPrinted in the United States05 06 07 08 09 10 / DCI / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1CHAPTER 1SOME INTRODUCTIONSThe book you are about to read has taken many forms duringthe development stages and throughout the creative process.The original plan was to take my grandfather, father, and brotherson an RV trip to important places in our ministry heritageand record our stories, conversations, and theological debates.This chronicle would then offer a model for complex-yet-lovingrelationships in the midst of passionate disagreement.You see, the church in North America is in danger of selfdestruction.The world has exploded with change over the last50 years, and the church has been ill prepared for it. Either wewill embrace our missional identity and thrive, or we will pickone another apart in the ensuing frustration. The same realityis true in my family; with three generations of pastors, weembody the present tension of the church. In so many ways,we are radically different from each other, but at the same timewe share a deep love and respect for one another that ties ustogether. If we can love one another, compromise, and chooselove over dogma-the rest of the church can do the same.My grandfather suffered a heart attack before we could leaveon our RV trip. He is doing well now, but we all thought it bestnot to travel. So as fate would have it, I am writing the book thatdecent people would wait their entire lives to write. A person''sperspective can change, and it might have been better for meto wait until I am older and able to look back at the differingparadigms through the cleaner lens of hindsight. But in doingso, something would have been lost, and that something is thepresent tension.The ache in the church is felt right now in my family. My grandfatherwas a different kind of pastor from my father, and I amyet a different kind of pastor. We disagree quite passionately,and yet we have no choice but to love and respect each other.We are not strangers who can easily be reduced to enemiesand ignored. We are each other''s sons, sharing each other''sblood, needing each other''s affection. And so we stay, and welisten, and we attempt to understand. How I wish for somethingas beautiful for the church as a whole. Through the bloodof Christ, we are each other''s sons and daughters as well, andwe can''t walk away from this responsibility any longer.In this book my

- Publisher

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About "Faith of My Fathers"

Faith of My Fathers is three generations of American pastors telling their life stories in the context of the church. Together, this grandfather, father and three sons manifest a sweeping history extending from the "good ol' days" of the 1950s to the postmodern shift through the new millennium.Politics, parenting, racism--no topic is off limits and no holds are barred. Often heated and always engaging, this family dialogue provides unique perspectives on the things that church owes to its grandparents and parents while affirming the need for today's church to define itself. These intimate conversations articulate what it really means to nurture a missional Christianity while loving, honoring, and embracing the generations that have gone before.
- Publisher

11 Chapters
- Publisher

Faith of My Fathers: Conversations with Three Generationsof Pastors about Church, Ministry, and CultureCopyright 2005 by Chris SeayYouth Specialties Products, 300 South Pierce Street, El Cajon, CA 92020, are published byZondervan, 5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataSeay, Chris.Faith of my fathers : conversations with three generations of pastorsabout church, ministry, and culture / by Chris Seay.p. cm.ISBN-10: 0-310-25326-8 (pbk.)ISBN-13: 978- 0-310-25326-6 (pbk.)1. Pastoral theology--Baptists--Miscellanea. 2. Seay, Chris--Family--Miscellanea. I. Title.BV4011.3.S43 2005286''.1''092273--dc22[B] 2005015115Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible:New International Version (North American Edition), copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 byInternational Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, orany other-(except for brief quotations in printed reviews) without the prior permission of thepublisher.Web site addresses listed in this book were current at the time of publication. Please contactYouth Specialties via e-mail (YS@YouthSpecialties.com) to report URLs that are no longeroperational and replacement URLs if available.Editorial direction by Donald MillerArt direction by Holly Sharp & Chris SeayEditing by Janie WilkersonProofreading by Laura Gross and Joanne HeimCover and interior design by Holly SharpPrinted in the United States05 06 07 08 09 10 / DCI / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1CHAPTER 1SOME INTRODUCTIONSThe book you are about to read has taken many forms duringthe development stages and throughout the creative process.The original plan was to take my grandfather, father, and brotherson an RV trip to important places in our ministry heritageand record our stories, conversations, and theological debates.This chronicle would then offer a model for complex-yet-lovingrelationships in the midst of passionate disagreement.You see, the church in North America is in danger of selfdestruction.The world has exploded with change over the last50 years, and the church has been ill prepared for it. Either wewill embrace our missional identity and thrive, or we will pickone another apart in the ensuing frustration. The same realityis true in my family; with three generations of pastors, weembody the present tension of the church. In so many ways,we are radically different from each other, but at the same timewe share a deep love and respect for one another that ties ustogether. If we can love one another, compromise, and chooselove over dogma-the rest of the church can do the same.My grandfather suffered a heart attack before we could leaveon our RV trip. He is doing well now, but we all thought it bestnot to travel. So as fate would have it, I am writing the book thatdecent people would wait their entire lives to write. A person''sperspective can change, and it might have been better for meto wait until I am older and able to look back at the differingparadigms through the cleaner lens of hindsight. But in doingso, something would have been lost, and that something is thepresent tension.The ache in the church is felt right now in my family. My grandfatherwas a different kind of pastor from my father, and I amyet a different kind of pastor. We disagree quite passionately,and yet we have no choice but to love and respect each other.We are not strangers who can easily be reduced to enemiesand ignored. We are each other''s sons, sharing each other''sblood, needing each other''s affection. And so we stay, and welisten, and we attempt to understand. How I wish for somethingas beautiful for the church as a whole. Through the bloodof Christ, we are each other''s sons and daughters as well, andwe can''t walk away from this responsibility any longer.In this book my
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Chris Seay

Chris Seay is a leader in the emerging church discussion. He was the founding pastor of University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, one of the earliest examples of generational church planting. Currently, Chris pastors Ecclesia of Houston, TX, and is the author of The Gospel According to Tony Soprano; The Gospel Reloaded, and most recently Advent Conspiracy: Christmas Was Meant to Change the World. and The Gospel According to Jesus: A Faith that Restores All Things and The Gospel according to Lost

Table Of Contents

  • Foreword By Donald Miller
  • Chapter 1---some Introductions
  • Introductions
  • Beginnings: Papa's Early Years
  • A Legacy
  • Chapter 2---some Things Just Change
  • Generational Issues: Music And Teaching
  • Divine Melodies
  • Bridging The Gap
  • Chapter 3---the Inner Life
  • Depression
  • Female Advances
  • Pastor Friends
  • Take Care Of Yourself
  • Chapter 4---family
  • Ministry, Kids, And A Wife: The Balancing Act
  • Love And Affection: Yesterday And Today
  • When They Mess Up
  • Chapter 5---a Study In Power
  • The Essentials Of The Faith
  • The Bible: Inerrant Or Authoritative?
  • Chapter 6 -- When I Realized Pastors Are Sometimes
  • Arrogant Jerks
  • Playing Offense
  • Playing Defense
  • It's How You Play The Game
  • Chapter 7---government And Politics
  • What Does It Really Mean To Be Pro-life?
  • Flagship Issues
  • Dobson, Falwell, And Hagee
  • Slavery, Civil Rights, And Christian Action
  • Make Changes Wherever You Can
  • Chapter 8---how To Make Millions Off Jesus
  • Money In The Church
  • Being Rich
  • Chapter 9---social Issues
  • Loving Homosexuals
  • Comparing Sins
  • Sinners In The Church
  • Legislating Morality
  • Focus On The Gospel
  • Chapter 10---racial Issues
  • Segregation In The Church
  • Black Deacons
  • Interracial Marriage
  • Grandma: The Racist
  • Walk Along The Narrow Road
  • Chapter 11---to Be Me Or Not To Be Me
  • Tainted History
  • A Secret Love
  • Discussion Questions

Excerpt

Excerpt from: Faith of My Fathers

Faith of My Fathers: Conversations with Three Generations of Pastors about Church, Ministry, and Culture CHAPTER 1 SOME INTRODUCTIONS The book you are about to read has taken many forms during the development stages and throughout the creative process. The original plan was to take my grandfather, father, and brothers on an RV trip to important places in our ministry heritage and record our stories, conversations, and theological debates. This chronicle would then offer a model for complex-yet-loving relationships in the midst of passionate disagreement. You see, the church in North America is in danger of selfdestruction. The world has exploded with change over the last 50 years, and the church has been ill prepared for it. Either we will embrace our missional identity and thrive, or we will pick one another apart in the ensuing frustration. The same reality is true in my family; with three generations of pastors, we embody the present tension of the church. In so many ways, we are radically different from each other, but at the same time we share a deep love and respect for one another that ties us together. If we can love one another, compromise, and choose love over dogma---the rest of the church can do the same. My grandfather suffered a heart attack before we could leave on our RV trip. He is doing well now, but we all thought it best not to travel. So as fate would have it, I am writing the book that decent people would wait their entire lives to write. A person's perspective can change, and it might have been better for me to wait until I am older and able to look back at the differing paradigms through the cleaner lens of hindsight. But in doing so, something would have been lost, and that something is the present tension. The ache in the church is felt right now in my family. My grandfather was a different kind of pastor from my father, and I am yet a different kind of pastor. We disagree quite passionately, and yet we have no choice but to love and respect each other. We are not strangers who can easily be reduced to enemies and ignored. We are each other's sons, sharing each other's blood, needing each other's affection. And so we stay, and we listen, and we attempt to understand. How I wish for something as beautiful for the church as a whole. Through the blood of Christ, we are each other's sons and daughters as well, and we can't walk away from this responsibility any longer. In this book my fathers paint the world and their families---and most of all, themselves---as they really are. I write this book at age 32 because Anne Lamott has taught me that embracing people as they are and writing about it may be the truest form of love. God, the Author of the Scriptures, told the story just as it was. The Book is compelling because the human beings in it are unsavory characters who appear to belong more in a bar or in a prison than in a church. And if this is the methodology God chose to tell his story, I have to borrow from its power to tell my own. I have not written a puff piece about my family. I love these men, but you will not be well served unless I tell you the whole story. My family and I wanted to have a frank and open conversation in the hopes that people could learn something from the unique petri dish that is our family---a family for whom I am grateful. My brother Robbie Seay wrote a song that we sing at Ecclesia, and it arose from our discussions surrounding this book: We are not alone We did not begin here Standing on your own You are not forgotten To all who've gone before, to all who've gone before We are crying...thank you. This is our faith, faith of our fathers Faith of all martyrs This is our faith, faith of believers, faith of believers This is our faith. Robbie is right; I have inherited the faith of my fathers and mothers, so I seek to tell our stories. Moses was a grandson of Abraham, and I imagine he was often embarrassed to write down the tales of his grandfather. Will history judge him harshly? Like a coward, he kept pimping out his wife and making money from it. He also sent his fi rstborn son into the desert to die. I hardly like the guy---the only guy I hate more is his so-called 'righteous' nephew Lot who offered his daughters to a bunch of angry men to be gang-raped. If I see that guy in heaven, I promise I'll poke him in the eye. Yet Moses never censored the stories, and the end result told a story of faith that is attainable: imperfect people being loved by a perfect God. Ironically, the church and Christian subculture want the sanitized version of everything. If you want a sanitized version of the human story, you have to look at Christ and Christ alone. The rest of us are sinners stumbling our way through the wreckage of the Fall. So in this book we are going to be honest with you about the changing face of life in ministry. INTRODUCTIONS Let me introduce you to the men who will bare their souls: My grandfather Robert Steele Baldwin (Papa) left a series of offbeat jobs, such as driving a Twinkie truck and selling vacuum cleaners at Sears, to become an evangelist and eventually the pastor of Mangum Oaks Baptist Church in Houston. Mangum Oaks was a fl edgling congregation with fewer than 10 people in 1966, but the church began to explode in the coming years. My grandfather, a gifted orator, told the story of faith with passion and biblical conviction. In the midst of this steady growth, the church relocated to new facilities in a thriving area just outside Houston's 610 loop and added staff members. One of the new hires was my father, Edgar Martin Seay, a young college-student-turned-music-minister who quickly began to fancy the 16-year-old daughter of his new boss and who courageously married this teenage girl. In 1971, she gave birth to me, James Christopher Seay. This is my heritage. It is where I come from. And despite the radical difference of my own ministry and lifestyle, I think of this brand of faith, which I'll call 'Revivalist Baptist,' as the epicenter of my faith journey. At times I long for the security and nostalgia of that distant land. I feel like Abraham---all at once loving this new adventure, but missing the tranquility of my homeland. One can often fi nd me wandering the grounds of my grandfather's old church where he preached his fi ery sermons calling all to repentance and baptized dozens each week. I even uncovered the old baptismal robe he wore as he baptized hundreds of men, women, and children, and then gave it to him for Christmas last year as a symbol of my respect for his faithful service to God. Mangum Oaks Baptist Church represents the homeland to me. It is a Mecca to all that it means to be Revivalist. Yet the church no longer exists; it has been swallowed by the emerging post-Christian urban landscape. This formerly thriving church, which my grandfather pastored for 28 years, held its last service in the church's 75,000-square-foot home in 2002. And for me, it feels like there is no homeland. Instead I make camp somewhere in the remnant of the shift and try to build a church. What happened? Where did the old church go? Did my grandfather's stories really happen? Why won't the same methodology work now?

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 233023
  • Product Code 0310253268
  • EAN 9780310253266
  • UPC 025986253264
  • Pages 192
  • Department Academic
  • Category Church
  • Sub-Category Church Life/issues
  • Publisher Emergent Ys
  • Publication Date Aug 2005
  • Sales Rank #18701
  • Dimensions 152 x 228 x 15 mm
  • Weight 0.263kg

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