Eric and Leslie Ludy Answers The Faithful Fifteen
In this interview Eric and Leslie talk about their latest book, TEACHING TRUE LOVE TO A SEX-AT-13 GENERATION, the significant role that writing plays in religion, and their encounters with young people whose lives have been changed because of the message in their books.
FaithfulReader.com: What kind of testimony to your faith are you demonstrating in this book? Is your goal to demonstrate your faith in your writing?
Eric and Leslie Ludy: While some Christian authors might hint at their faith in their books, we build our writing around our faith --- we wear it on our sleeve. TEACHING TRUE LOVE TO A SEX-AT-13 GENERATION is a message about the hope that Christ can bring to lives, families and marriages when He is given His rightful place. While this book includes many practical insights that a non-believer will find helpful, it was primarily written for Christian parents. In this book we help readers understand the problems of today's "Sex-at-13 Generation," and the solution we offer points back to Jesus Christ. It is our desire that our readers will not only find practical tools to enhance their lives as parents but practical tools to enhance their lives as followers of Jesus Christ.
FR: When did you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus? Where are you today in your walk? How is your faith an important part of what you do?
EL & LL: We both grew up in strong Christian environments and saw the Christ-life modeled from a young age. We each professed our faith in Christ at about age five, yet it wasn't until Leslie was in high school and I (Eric) was in college that we fully yielded to the governing power of Christ in our lives. In TEACHING TRUE LOVE, we write about this transformation that we each experienced, and the important role that our parents played in helping us understand the true Christian life. Today, our individual as well as shared romance with Christ is the essence of our lives, marriage, family, and ministry. To abide in the sweet presence of our God is the daily priority of our existence and, therefore, paramount in all of our writings and creative endeavors.
FR: Tell us about your church experiences --- how you grew up (or maybe didn't grow up) in the church, where you attend now, your involvement in your local assembly, etc.
EL & LL: Our background in the Body of Christ has been quite varied. Growing up, we both spanned the denominational spectrum of evangelical Christianity, which has proven to be an advantage over the past several years as we have traveled and ministered in so many different church settings. We are currently a part of a church plant in our local community and consider it one of the great passions of our life in Christ to serve and build His local church.
FR: Tell us about your current church family/fellowship. How does it influence your work?
EL & LL: A community of believers all headed in the same direction, daily sharing a common passion to explore the depths of Christ --- this is truly a taste of heaven on earth! Being around other believers who share our passion for the Gospel is a constant inspiration and motivation that encourages us never to settle for spiritual mediocrity, but to continually pursue more and more of Jesus Christ.
FR: Who are your spiritual mentors? Your professional mentors?
EL & LL: Most of our greatest spiritual mentors are no longer alive. We have quite a list, but here's a few of them. For Eric: AW Tozer, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, Richard Wurmbrandt, Leonard Ravenhill, and Andrew Murray. For Leslie: Elizabeth Elliot, Amy Carmichael, Corrie ten Boom, and Oswald Chambers. As for professional mentors, our fathers both stand out with greatest distinction, having given us invaluable guidance spiritually and practically over the years, and helping us make important career and ministry decisions.
FR: Discuss your calling/mission --- as a writer and as a Christian.
EL & LL: We both feel strongly that God has commissioned us to inspire the modern church back towards historical Christianity --- a Christian faith that understands the joy of suffering (even martyrdom) and never settles for anything less than the fullness of Jesus Christ in their lives. First, we desire to demonstrate this in our own lives, marriage, and family. And then as writers, it is our intent to train others to follow us across the Jordan River and into Christ's inheritance.
FR: What are your Scripture reading habits?
EL & LL: We feel the study of Scripture is foundational to a healthy life and ministry. As Christians we aim to take the shape of God's Word and live it out, no matter how incorrect its wisdom might seem in our modern world. Our life is organized to enable us to spend quality time each day understanding the mind of Christ through the study of His Word.
FR: What books have most influenced your work?
EL & LL: AW Tozer's DIVINE CONQUEST, Andrew Murray's ABIDE IN CHRIST, and THE COMPLETE WORKS OF OSWALD CHAMBERS are among the top.
FR: Do you read secular fiction at all? If so, who are your favorite authors and why?
EL & LL: Our favorite fiction over the years has been Henryk Sienkewicz's trilogy about the history of Poland in the 16th century --- WITH FIRE AND SWORD, THE DELUGE, and FIRE IN THE STEPPE. It might sound boring, but it is the greatest literary work either of us has ever come across. We also love the old-fashioned spy novels made famous by John Buchan.
FR: What are your other media habits --- television, movies, music, etc.?
EL & LL: When it comes to movies, we both are suckers for a great love story or a great action adventure. I (Eric) especially love movies that are inspiring and cause me to cry --- movies like Chariots of Fire or Shadowlands. Since we are musicians, we enjoy listening to a variety of music --- around the house we usually play old jazz tunes (like Louis Armstrong) or funny soundtracks from movies like Toy Story. And in the mornings during our study time, we love listening to worship songs --- among our favorite Christian artists are Keith Green and Fernando Ortega.
FR: Do you and your family have any special faith-based traditions?
EL & LL: We worship together around our baby grand piano, pray together at specific points throughout the day, and love to go to coffee shops or on walks to discuss God's thoughts on different areas of life.
FR: Tell us about your prayer life and habits.
EL & LL: We take a portion of each day and dedicate it to the cultivation of our relationship with Christ. We do something different everyday flowing freely from times of stillness, to times of specific prayer, to Biblical study and meditation, to worship. Leslie and I have both kept a journal for many years, and we use this to chronicle our relationship with Christ, prayer requests and answers, and significant spiritual milestones in our Christian journeys.
FR: Describe what you believe the role of writing in religion is.
EL & LL: One of the primary means God chose to communicate with the world was through the written word. Writing as a means of propagating correct religious thought obviously has God's endorsement. There is something lasting about the written word, and even in a technologically burgeoning age, written text will always be one of the most powerful tools God uses to reach the souls of men.
FR: Tell us about one or more of your favorite encounters with readers.
EL & LL: Since Leslie and I speak around the country, we often have the privilege of meeting young people whose lives have been changed by the message in our books. When we encounter a young person who has chosen to live a set-apart life for Christ because of what they read in our book, it is extremely fulfilling and exciting for us. It is truly amazing that in the midst of today's "Sex-at-13 Generation," there are teens choosing to walk a completely different path --- to live in true purity and let Christ rule every part of their existence. Witnessing that miracle gives us the fuel to continue on.
FR: Would you share a story about someone you've brought to Christ or share how your writing has helped someone come to Christ.
EL & LL: We have received countless emails over the years from young people who finally understood "Christ's objective" in their life when they read one of our books. The statement that many say in their letters is "Eric and Leslie, I gave God the pen of my life," which is a phrase from one of our most popular books, WHEN GOD WRITES YOUR LOVE STORY. We have found that a book can grab the attention of a life in a way that few other mediums of communication can. A book is a prolonged meditation that can help sink a truth deep into the soil of a searching soul. It is our greatest joy to see readers encounter Christ for the very first time as a result of reading our books.
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