Interview: Mark Galli: Your Spiritual Dry Spell Is God’s Fertile Ground

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Loving the Lord depends less on personal feelings and more on practice, says the former editor in chief of Christianity Today.

Mark Galli, former editor in chief of Christianity Today, spent the majority of his career mapping the trajectory of evangelicalism and asking critical questions about its past, present, and future. What are the enduring strengths and weaknesses of our movement? How have we fallen prey to therapeutic culture? And how has low-church worship both helped and hindered our conception of personal faith? Galli proffers some answers in his latest book, When Did We Start Forgetting God?: The Root of the Evangelical Crisis and Hope for the Future (Tyndale, April 2020).

Current editor in chief Daniel Harrell spoke with Galli about the call of obedience and what it means to love God even when you don’t “feel the love.”

Tell us about the spark that lit this project’s fire.

I really have to say I don’t know. I can tell you the first time I recognized that my spiritual life was adrift, and that was maybe three or four years after I went forward at an altar call in an Evangelical Free Church, and I was talking to one of my friends who was older than me by one year. I was so impressed with how kind he was and how loving he was toward me and other people around him. For some reason, I put two and two together and realized that I had thought of the Christian life mostly as keeping a certain set of rules, and it occurred to me for the first time that maybe it was more about love.

That’s not necessarily a profound insight, but you asked about a spark. I was moving one direction, then all of a sudden I get this neat revelation that things were not right. So in some sense, the project started when I started going deeper in my Christian faith. A lot of the stuff I wrote in the book a careful reader could probably …

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