30 Oct “Sweet truths of the gospel”: Elyse Fitzpatrick talks with Mark Driscoll
Since Resurgence jumped into the publishing world back in 2008, we’ve released almost 30 titles from over a dozen authors, distributing a collective total of nearly 1 million books. Lord willing, that’s just the beginning, as Resurgence Publishing, our new imprint with Tyndale House Publishers, kicks off this fall.
We’re very excited that Elyse Fitzpatrick, who has been a well-loved and influential voice on Resurgence, will be writing a new book for Resurgence Publishing. Elyse was kind enough to take some time to talk with us about what got her into writing, how she has grown in her understanding of the gospel, her recently-released book Found in Him, and her next book project for Resurgence Publishing.
Mark Driscoll: You’ve authored 18 books on daily living and Christian life. Did you want to be an author when you were growing up? What has inspired you to write so many different books?
Elyse Fitzpatrick: No, being a writer was never part of a career trajectory for me—I don’t think I ever read a book cover to cover until I was in my mid-thirties. In fact, I’m frequently surprised when I see one of my book tables filled with my books and think, Wow, I guess I am a writer!
Originally, I started writing books as part of my counseling ministry. I would need a book to use with a certain counselee and wouldn’t be able to find what I wanted, so I’d write it. I still don’t think of myself as a writer…not like other people do. I basically write because I have to, because I’m compelled to say something and that itch just won’t go away until it’s in print.
MD: Your writing revolves around the relevance of the gospel for all of life. How have you grown in your understanding of the gospel as you’ve mined its depths over the years?
EF: At the beginning of my Christian walk, I thought that the gospel was the good news about how to get into the Kingdom of God and that once you were in, you didn’t need it anymore. The gospel was pushed out into the periphery, and other causes, like my growth in holiness, took center stage.
I basically write because I have to, because I’m compelled to say something.
Now I see that every part of my life needs to be infused with the sweet truths of the gospel, and that the gospel actually intersects with every part of life. God’s love for us in Christ is not just the message we need to hear when we first get saved, it’s the message we need to hear every day…over and over again. And it is only this message that will motivate heart-change and love for my neighbor.
MD: You’ve got a new book, Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ, that has just been published. What do you hope for readers to take away from it?
EF: It’s my hope that the readers of Found in Him will know that they are not alone. That the isolation and alienation which is a byproduct of the fall and our exile from Eden—and which plays out in many different ways in our lives, whether we’re a mom of toddlers or an executive surrounded by minions—is forever answered by the fact that God came to us, became a man, and lived and died in our place so that we can be united to him forever.
God’s love for us in Christ is the message we need to hear every day…over and over again.
I don’t think we think about the Incarnation and our union with Christ nearly as much as we should. As a matter of fact, I doubt we think about it at all…to our impoverishment.
MD: What is it about the Incarnation of Jesus Christ that addresses our loneliness and need for acceptance?
EF: In the Incarnation, we find God the Son becoming a man, one of us forever. Our deep loneliness is a consequence of the shattering of relationship between God and us and between each other. In the Incarnation, the man Jesus unites into one person, God and man again…and in doing that he forever brings a unity, a union, that overcomes all of our desire to know that we are known and loved.
MD: You’re currently working on a new book for Resurgence Publishing. Is there anything you can tell our readers about your next project?
EF: Women are continually bombarded with rules, steps, tips, and really bad advice about how to perfect their lives. Whether they’re standing in line at the grocery store or reading a “helpful” article in a woman’s magazine, all they are given all the time is law—steps to self-perfection. In this book I’ll help them differentiate between the Law of God and the rules of man, and then shower them with the grace they need to free them to love and serve their neighbor.
Thank you, Elyse, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We’re looking forward to hearing more from you in the future.
Be sure to check out Elyse’s recent book, Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ, and the ten-part DVD set and study guide.