Michael Green was a highly respected evangelist, apologist, scholar and writer. Possessed of a God-given brainpower that fizzed and sparkled in multiple directions at once, his was a living faith full of energy, dynamism and relevance.
This robust approach to biblical studies and theology, combined with a personal warmth and a knack for making deep truths accessible, makes Green ideal company to spend a year with in devotional reflection.
In the new book A Year With Michael Green, Stephen Poxon has curated a passage of Scripture, a meditation by Michael taken from his writings and a short prayer that will enable you to feed your mind and soul as you draw closer to Christ.
Stephen, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am married, with two adult children, and these days I live in Hertfordshire. I have several freelance writing projects on the go, which I really enjoy, especially when I am dealing with the works of Christians who are no longer with us. My guiding motto is Hebrews 11:4: ‘[They] being dead yet speaketh’. I love nothing more than blowing the cobwebs away from old books and presenting them afresh to a modern audience. Away from writing, I love football (watching only, nowadays!), eating out whenever possible, watching detective programmes on TV, reading, and (most of all) spending time with family.
Why did you decide to write A Year With Michael Green?
I was invited to do so, and what a privilege that invitation was! I didn’t need to think twice about accepting this invitation. It’s been a real labour of love from the word go. The invitation is a great honour.
Who have you written this book for?
This book is a daily devotional aimed at readers who would like to delve a little deeper, theologically, in their daily readings. It is primarily a prayer book, a devotional aid, but I think it’s fair to say it covers quite a bit of theological ground. This book is written for believers from all denominations.
What makes this book different from other devotions?
Most devotional readings are excellent at providing a thought for the day, or a challenge, or an encouragement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Such books can be a source of real blessing. This book, though, draws on Michael Green’s colossal intellect as a theologian, so I think it goes into more detail (theologically, intellectually) than many books in the traditional devotional genre.
Can you tell us a little more about Michael Green and his legacy?
Michael Green used his gifts as a theologian and evangelist to great effect, internationally. He was blessed with a marvellous ability to convey profound spiritual thoughts in a way that communicated easily. His intellect was simply stunning, yet his passion was to use his God-given gifts to reach people with the good news of salvation. He is that rare thing – a theologian of international merit whose messages are conveyed with clarity!
Michael Green has written many books, so how do you go about selecting material for this devotion? Can you tell us a little more about the process you go through to compile a book like this?
I was privileged to visit Michael’s widow and one of his sons, who showed me a table laden with Michael Green’s works. He wrote over 70 books in his lifetime! For the purposes of my own book, faced with such a wealth of material (Michael was nothing if not prolific!), I chatted with his family and we settled on six books that would provide research material. These were chosen specifically to represent a range of Michael Green’s interests and passions: evangelism, church history, theology, doctrine and apologetics. This was a useful balance.
You select the Bible readings and write the prayers for each reading. Was this an easy or difficult task, and what do you think they add to the book?
This was a demanding task, but well worth the effort! I hope I have managed to marry suitable Bible verses and prayers to each excerpt from Michael Green’s writings. I hope I have done him justice and in some small way enhanced the points he was making.
What was the most challenging element of writing the book?
To be honest, coming to terms with some of the research material! The depth of Michael Green’s understanding of theology is such that I sometimes had to read a page twice through to grasp its meaning. This, though, was no hardship. I thoroughly enjoyed excavating such treasures. Hidden gems are usually quite valuable!
And what was the most rewarding element of writing this book?
I felt as though I was spending time with Michael Green, even though he is no longer alive. His writings represented so much of him, that it was deeply rewarding to spend time in his company, so to speak.
Have you learnt anything new/ been reminded afresh about your own personal journey with God while writing this book?
Yes, the importance of good, sound, robust theology and the importance of having the courage of one’s theological convictions, as Michael Green had in abundance. Holy confidence!
What do you hope readers will most get out of reading this book?
If readers are even half as blessed in reading as I was in writing, then they will be richly blessed. I want that for every reader. I want readers to swim in deep waters, so that their souls and their minds might be refreshed, encouraged, and challenged.
In one sentence, how would you describe A Year With Michael Green?
A daily devotional with a lot of meat on the bones!
Is there anything we can pray for you?
Thank you. My prayer is to sell books, but, more than that, my prayer is to accumulate readers (not necessarily buyers), so that together we can continue to walk as pilgrims on the same road, learning from one another. To that end, please continue to pray that the words I write will serve the purposes of God, even if I have no idea how!