I posted a bit about my experience with James MacDonald last year. Others have gently pushed back on some of his writings, which I applaud. But, after spending a day listening to James today, I am going to have to upgrade my view of James for a number of very good reasons.
One: Some of the best messages I’ve heard over the past year have been by James. He’s clear and his preaching challenges me.
Two: James seems to be gentler, humbler than before, and humility is an attractive virtue on anybody.
Three: Joseph Stowell likes him. That has to count for something.
Four: John Maxwell annoyed him. When he and Maxwell ended up golfing together, Maxwell figured out that James had some issues. He pushed James to express them, and James resisted. Eventually, they met in Maxwell’s office, and James laid it on the table – but began with tears. He told Maxwell that he was a shameless self-promotor. Maxwell responded in tears, confessing it is his besetting sin, and he asked James to pray for him. This story made me think much more highly of both James MacDonald and John Maxwell. It’s easy to criticize from a distance; much harder to give and receive criticism with such a great spirit.
Five: Despite disagreeing with Bill Hybels on a lot of issues, they seem to hang out and get along quite well.
Six: When challenged by Scot McKnight on his article Why I Am Not Emerging, James promised to remove the article from his site (note: still there!) and left a comment at Scot’s site: “I am glad for the summary you have written and I accept it as a more factual and informed definition than my own.”
Seven: I like James because he would be ticked that I’m praising him, and he’d want to redirect that attention to someone much more worthy.