The Covenant: Lessons for Faith Communities -  Book & DVDThe Covenant: Lessons for Faith Communities - Book & DVD
James Garlow
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One of the most powerful rituals in the ancient Hebrew culture was that of the blood covenant. This binding agreement combined elements of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice. And when God made the blood covenant with Abraham, our relationship with the Father was irrevocably altered.

Discover the awesome nature of the Covenant and the revelation of how this timeless ritual radically shifted when God sacrificed His Son on the cross ...when the Covenant Maker changed Heaven and Earth to become the Covenant Keeper.

Kit includes a copy of the book, The Covenant WW123291, and a DVD with 7 teachings by the author. A printable leader's guide on the DVD has group discussion questions for each session.
     


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 Interview with Dr. Jim Garlow - April 2007

Dr. Jim Garlow has been senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, CA since 1995. He calls himself “a man of the soil” because of his roots in rural Kansas, where he was born and brought up. During his freshman year of college he sensed a call to full time ministry. He studied at Asbury Seminary (M.Div) at which time he married Carol. They moved to New Jersey in 1973 where Jim completed an Th.M in Church History from Princeton Theological Seminary and Carol received a BA in Music Education from Westminster Choir College, also located in Princeton. They continued to minister in the northeast where Jim began his doctoral work at Drew University.

In 1977 they were called to teach at their alma mater, Oklahoma Wesleyan University. In 1979 they moved to the Oklahoma City area where Jim served as associate pastor at a large Nazarene church and later to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where they planted a church which grew to over 800.  It was from Dallas that Jim received the call to Skyline, to fill the shoes of the former pastor, Dr. John Maxwell.  Jim has led the people of Skyline through the arduous task of re-locating. The church has an attendance of approximately 2600.


 

Christianbook.com: Your biography reveals great breadth, geographically, from your early years in the rural central States, to the urban East Coast, and now a suburban setting in southern California. How have these dramatic changes in location shaped you as a person and a pastor?

Jim Garlow: I have loved every place I have lived. I never wished to be in some other place. I always look to see the good in the place the Lord has placed me. I believe strongly in establishing deep friendships with those around me, and I value loyalty, both given and received.

I have always sought out ways to “cross-fertilize” – to try to understand other cultures and values, even if I disagree with them. Recently we had Jewish friends come and share with us. I have even sought out the minister from the Metropolitan Church to gain a deeper understanding of how to respond to the gay community.

I have seen two giftings at work in my life. The first would be that of a pastor/teacher. It is out of this gift that the teachings contained in two of my books The Covenant and God and His People were developed. The second is that of a cultural responder. From this gift, such books as Cracking the Da Vinci Code, A Christian’s Response to Islam, and my latest, The Secret Revealed have grown.


 

Christianbook.com: It is obvious from just the first few pages that The Covenant contains biblical concepts that were life-changing for you, and are central to your life as a Christian. Could you comment on how these shape the way you minister, preach and lead?

Jim Garlow: Preaching the concepts in The Covenant is a transformative experience. When I finish preaching these Covenant teachings people are gripped. When I began preaching this message at a gathering in Salina, KS, the people listening were transfixed. They didn’t want to leave. They kept asking questions and wanted to know more. At a church in South Carolina, some folks laughed at the end of the message. I couldn’t quite understand their response, but they explained that they were incredulous. They had never been exposed to this teaching before.


 

Christianbook.com: The Covenant contains some tenets of Reformed Theology. Could you comment on those places that you would distinguish this teaching from classic reformed doctrine?

Jim Garlow: This book was sixteen years in the writing. There were several things I wanted to be very careful of. First of all, it needed to be thoroughly biblical and not simply “proof-texted”. If this was going to be a new teaching it could not be “off the wall”. It needed to be grounded in the truth of Scripture. This is why I spent so long developing a book that is under 100 pages. I also did not want this book to thought of as a rendition of covenant, or reformed, theology. As much as I deeply respect and admire the founders of reformed theology I feel that this line of thinking simply reduces our concept of God to a systemic rationalization. We miss the love, and the call to relationship that God is trying to convey in his covenant with us.


 

Christianbook.com: Could you describe the use of The Covenant in the life of Skyline Wesleyan? How do these teachings filter into the life of the church?

Jim Garlow: It wasn’t until I had been pastor of Skyline for two years that I attempted to bring the teachings of The Covenant to the Sunday pulpit. The logistics of conveying what needed to be said in four- one-hour sessions took some planning and preparation. Finally, we worked out a way for this vitally important teaching to be brought before the church on four Sundays in a row. At the end of the fourth sermon I knew that my place had been truly established as the pastor of Skyline. And, as proof of that, at a fund-raising event just few weeks later, our church pledged $7 million toward our building fund. This is truly a message that gets folks excited about their relationship with God.


 

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