The High Calling of Journalism: A Candid Interview with Philip Yancey @The High Calling

Philip Yancey is the author of 20 books that have sold more than 15 million copies in 35 languages. Thirteen of his books have won Gold Medallion awards from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) and two, The Jesus I Never Knew and What’s So Amazing About Grace? were selected as ECPA Book of the Year. Yancey worked as a journalist for 20 years. He was editor and eventually publisher of Campus Life magazine. For many years, he wrote a monthly column for Christianity Today and still serves the magazine as Editor at Large. Yancey lives with his wife in Colorado, but travels internationally in search of compelling faith stories. The High Calling interviewed him about his vocational calling and his latest book, What Good Is God? Here’s a bit of the interview:

Christine SchellerWhat Good Is God? seems like a different book to me than your previous books.  I don’t recall you ever doing a collection of speeches with commentary before.

Philip Yancey:  I couldn’t find a model of a book that had combined journalism and related speeches in context.  So, it may be a different book, period.

Christine Scheller:  How did you come up with the idea?

Philip Yancey:  It came about after my wife Janet and I were involved in the Mumbai situation that I wrote about in the last chapter.  I was scheduled to speak downtown the night of the terrorist attacks in which 175 people died.  Our meeting was canceled, of course.  Instead, a smaller group of people spontaneously came together in a church and asked me to speak to them.  I looked out over that shocked and grieving audience—what could I say?

It was such a traumatic experience. When we left, I realized that I’ve been in all sorts of interesting situations.  It actually reflects what has happened to my career apart from my desires.  I feel most comfortable as a journalist taking notes, interviewing people and writing. I’ve done it for so long and have had so many books published that people started seeing me as a content person, as someone who could guide them. This was an identity crisis for me about ten years ago.  One way I resolved it was to accept overseas assignments, because I just don’t like the celebrity culture in the United States. Internationally, people are very grateful to have someone come and speak.  Because of the conditions in the places I visit, I generally don’t feel like I’m being pampered. So, it seemed like a healthier way to handle the success I’ve found in writing. …

Read the whole thing here.

Eating Problems for Breakfast: An Interview with Kay Cole James @TheHighCalling

Kay Cole James is an impressive woman who shared her considerable wisdom with me on behalf of The High Calling. She talked about what makes a good employee, how she gained the confidence to run the federal workforce, what she thinks of her successor, how she handles that damning Wikipedia article, and more.  Here’s the intro:

Kay Cole James was Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management when the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks occurred. In the wake of those attacks, she oversaw the reorganization of agencies and endured misplaced criticism for allegedly hiring alumni from Regent University, where she had been Dean. James is now culling from these and other personal and professional experiences to shape a new generation of leaders through her work at the nonprofit Gloucester Institute. James talked to about what it takes to be a success, both at work and at home. …

Go here to read the interview. While you’re there, why not check out the other High Calling offerings? It’s a great site, and no one paid me to say that!

Where Passion and Purpose Align: An Interview with Judge Hatchett @The High Calling

Talking with Judge Glenda Hatchett on behalf of was one of my favorite professional experiences ever. It was not for nothing that she was nominated for an Emmy award this year. Here’s the intro to our interview:

Glenda Hatchett is best known as the Emmy nominated host of Judge Hatchett, a television court show that aired from 2000-2008 and was noted for its creative sentencing approach to justice. Hatchett developed her unique style as Presiding Judge of Georgia ’s Fulton County Juvenile Court, one of the nation’s largest juvenile courts. She surprised even herself when she left a lucrative career at Delta Air Lines to enter public service. Today Hatchett serves on the board of Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Atlanta Falcons. She is also national spokesperson for the Court Appointed Special Advocates program and travels widely as a motivational speaker.

You can read it here.