PASADENA, CA —Award-winning author Mark Labberton has signed a two-book contract with InterVarsity Press. Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, will release the first book, Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today, in Fall 2014.
Labberton became the fifth president of Fuller Theological Seminary in July 2013, after serving as Lloyd John Ogilvie Associate Professor of Preaching and director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching since 2009. He joined Fuller after sixteen years as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, California.
Labberton has two other books with InterVarsity Press: The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God’s Call to Justice (2007) and The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus (2010), which was a 2011 Christianity Today Book Award Winner.
“IVP has proven to be a key partner in supporting Mark’s writing. They are well positioned to reach his growing audience as he transitions from a life in the pastorate to a new season of seminary leadership,” said Labberton’s agent, Kathryn Helmers of Creative Trust Literary Group.
In his next book, Called, Labberton writes about the tension between living out and faltering in our call as followers of Christ. He identifies the crisis that we are made and redeemed for this calling “but it slides through our fingers. . . . We see as clearly as others do that often love is as much or even more evident through the lives of unchurched friends or colleagues as from those in the church. We say we are following Jesus, but what we actually offer is buildings, programs, music, classes, token work projects, and budget appeals.” Labberton continues, “The gospel. The church. These are not the same. For many, however, they are indistinguishable. When God’s people fail to live our call, the church buries the gospel. That is where we are. That is the crisis we must face.”
Labberton will release the second book in January 2016, a contribution that will reflect his work with Micah Groups, which he started at Fuller in 2009. Nearly six hundred church leaders in fifty-five cities throughout the United States and five other countries have joined Micah Groups. These groups are each composed of twelve to fourteen pastors from diverse denominations and ethnic backgrounds who meet together every other month for two years with a curriculum created by Fuller’s Ogilvie Institute.
“The fruit of Mark Labberton’s call to the church as a pastor and preacher as well as to the seminary as a professor has been rich,” said Cindy Bunch, IVP editorial director and Labberton’s editor. “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Mark Labberton on his next two books as he embarks on his new calling as seminary president. Mark is a lucid and insightful writer and it is a privilege to edit his work.”
Founded in 1947 as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing thoughtful Christian books that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life. For more information, visit ivpress.com