Books by Dr. James Emery White

A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom: Journeying Through the Christian Life

Travel with James Emery White through time and space to visit places like Martin Luther's Wittenburg, where the 95 theses were nailed to a church door, or The Eagle and Child pub, where C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and the other Inklings met to write and dream together.

You'll encounter many of the important spiritual sites of the history of Christianity and get a flavor for what it was like to be in that place at that time. White then takes you even deeper, exploring key themes from these historical moments such as calling, conversion and spirituality and showing their implications for the Christian life today.

Reviews & Endorsements

"I want to strongly recommend A Traveler's Guide to the Kingdom for every reader of The Denver Journal. By aligning the theme of spiritual formation with both specific places and various people, Dr. White has done us all a great service. . . . If only all manuals, books and tracts on spiritual growth were as useful as this one! My hope is that you will read it and profit from it as much as I have.

Prof. Scott Wenig, Denver Journal, 2012


What They Didn't Teach You In Seminary: 25 Lessons For Successful Ministry In Your Church

In churches today, there are ever fewer older pastors speaking into the lives of younger leaders, and fewer younger leaders feeling there is much to be learned from the experience of their elders. Street-smart wisdom is gone from training as there are many men and women preparing pastors who have never themselves pastored a church. Intriguingly, even older, more seasoned pastors yearn for insight into their task, as they remain "undiscipled" in the school of leadership.

In What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary, veteran pastor James Emery White provides the kind of mentoring young pastors desperately need but cannot get from academia or leadership books. These "from the trenches" insights will help them transform their relationships with staff and parishoners, develop healthy boundaries, deliver hard truths, avoid spiritual pitfalls, use their time effectively, and much more.

Reviews & Endorsements

"Far too FEW leaders ever do the hard work of articulating their lessons learned. Far too MANY leaders insist on learning from their own mistakes. James Emery White is a seasoned leader that's done the hard work of serving up his most valuable lessons from a practitioner's view. For the sake of God's work in you and those you lead, please read this book!"

Jim Mellado, President, Willow Creek Association

"I believe that the information contained in this book is more practical and empowering than nearly anything I ever experienced in the seminary setting. The stuff that he writes about really does happen…and if people are not prepared for it then it will either knock them for a loop, or worse than that, cause them to either drop out or disqualify themselves from the ministry. This is not a book to simply be read through and then stuck on a shelf but rather one that should be studied through and discussed among church leaders and the people they serve with."

Perry Noble, Senior Pastor, NewSpring Church, Anderson, S.C.

"You can learn a lot about ministry by attending church, and even more by going to seminary, but there are some things you can only learn by leading a congregation day after day, week after week. James Emery White gives us all a back-stage pass to accompany him in his pastoral ministry. It's a real education."

Marshall Shelley, editor, Leadership Journal, and vice-president, Christianity Today International

“Dr. White’s qualifications as both a seminary president and local pastor bring enormous credibility to this book, but what makes it indispensible as a guide for pastors is the down-to-earth, learned the hard way advice and insight he gives. What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary has moved to the top of the “must read” list for the church planters and young pastors I work with.”

Geoff Surratt, Director of Church Planting, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California

"James Emery White offers an insightful, no-nonsense look into the real trenches of ministry life. I appreciate Dr. White's authenticity and candor in sharing his life's experiences. The practical applications of this book make it a must-read; not simply for those beginning their journey, making that difficult transition between the walls of the seminary and the walls of the Church, but for those of us who have been in the game for some time."

Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor, National Community Church, Washington, D.C.
 
"Wow. What started as a brief skim…turned into a mesmerizing read. If you want a book to tell you what ministry is really like then this is your best shot. While reading I regularly found myself saying, "I guess I'm not the only one." Or, "It is about time someone said that." Or, "What I wouldn't have given to know that before Crossroads started." This book is true. Read it and treasure it."
 
Brian Tome, Founding and Senior Pastor of Crossroads Church, Cincinnati, Ohio

“At last, a book that tells it as it really is. James Emery White is a rare combination – an academic AND a church leader. Through the book, he shares with us his successes and failures – that we might learn, acknowledge our own pain and try and do it differently next time!

Here is someone who remains in the trenches of church leadership. And he gets it – the pain, the privilege, the pride (good and bad) - that are unique to leading a church. Take time to read this book – but read it slowly – like a good meal – because its pages contain hard lessons, and real insight. And they might just save your life – your church – your ministry – and your family.”
 
Dave Richards, Rector, St. Paul's and St. George's Church, Edinburgh, Scotland
 
"James Emery White is more than a superb pastor and leader, he is a coach and mentor with a keen mind and kingdom heart. While I have forgotten more than half of what I learned in seminary, I continue to recall, put into practice, and pass along the many lessons I have learned from Jim through the years. In this book he has provided an incredible gift for today's ministry leaders, be they just starting out or seasoned and ready for renewal."
 
Chad Hall, Director of Coaching, Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon
 
"Anyone who spent time in theological seminary knows that, even with all the knowledge you gained, the list of things you didn’t learn is even longer. That’s why What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary is such a valuable resource for pastors and church leaders. James Emery White knows seminaries and he knows churches, and he draws on his extensive experience with both to help bridge the gap in practical knowledge needed for ministry today. From vision to values, from calling to communication, Jim takes readers on a guided tour of the way real-life ministry can and should be lived. The book is packed with timely insights that will help church leaders build strong, effective ministries. This book deserves a place on every pastor’s bookshelf."
 
Michael Duduit, Executive Editor of Preaching magazine and Dean of the College of Christian Studies, Anderson University, Anderson, SC
 
“A very good friend of mine said, 'theory is theory and reality is reality and every once in a while they actually meet.' James Emery White brings solid biblical theory and marries it to reality so that there is a practical theology for ministry. James Emery White is that rare blend of theologian/practitioner that can span the gap that too often seminaries leave when their students graduate. If you are serious about leading biblically and making impact practically then What They Didn't Teach You In Seminary is a must read. In fact, like American Express, don't leave seminary without it.”
 
Rodney L. Cooper, Ph.D., Kenneth and Jean Hansen Professor of Discipleship and Leadership, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary - Charlotte, NC
 
"Over the past twenty years I have met thousands of pastors just starting their ministry post seminary. Their common experience has been “We’re glad you are here... You’re on your own.” Well not any more. This book will be their ‘go to’ resource as a seasoned veteran of church ministry shares how to not trip up and how to make the church a more effective community as a result. James Emery White has studied pastoral leadership the way a particle physicist tracks photons and neutrinos and in What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary he shares key lessons he has learned...Bringing his pastoral experience and seminary credentials to bear, he explains how you can become a better pastor. Arrow Leadership enthusiastically recommends his book to pastors and pastors in training."
 
Carson Pue, CEO, Arrow Leadership
 
"Dr James Emery White is well qualified to write this book as its pages are filled with that which was never learnt in a seminary classroom but learnt over years in the school of life. You will find answers and solutions to that which confronts us all in ministry and gain the knowledge that there is a way through. I highly recommend it to you."
 
Graeme Paris, Executive Director, Willow Creek Association, United Kingdom

Christ Among the Dragons: Finding Our Way Through Cultural Challenges
  
When medieval mapmakers came to the end of the world as they knew it, they would write on the edges of their maps, "Here Be Dragons." Without a way to navigate, these areas were, at best, promising yet unexplored, and at worst, perious. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, evangelical Christians have an equally unsettling map and a lack of unity in regard to how well we will find our way through uncharted territory as we stray from core ideas and differ on key issues. 
 
How did we get here? How will we find our way back? In this book James Emery White takes us on a journey beyond the dragon territory to discover the new world Christ is mapping for us.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"James Emery White's Christ Among the Dragons is exactly what the church needs at a time when so many evangelical Christians are ready to throw tradition and principle out the window for the sake of relevance. With his firm grounding in Scripture, White gives us a compelling and comprehensive vision for how the church can openly reclaim and proclaim the faith given once for all. This book is a good read for any Christian who is serious about capturing this generation for Christ."
 
--Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview

"Jim White has skillfully woven together the challenges facing evangelicals in the areas of truth claims, cultural engagement, the role of the church and the place of Christian unity. This thematic analysis, though immensely readable and practical in its approach, reflects serious intellectual wrestling with the primary tenets of the Christian faith as well as the significant cultural issues of our day. White calls not for retreat, but for faithfulness that will result in renewal of the gospel witness in our world. Those who are interested in the role of the church and the place of the evangelical movement in our current context will find Christ Among the Dragons to be both helpful and hopeful."
 
--David S. Dockery, president, Union University

"This little book is a track for the times for the evangelical church today--a summons to be faithful to Jesus Christ and his truth-telling Word while reaching out with love and grace to a world desperate for good news credibly told and lived out."
 
--Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University, and general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

Can We Trust the Bible?
  
Is the Bible a bunch of myths? Isn't it full of mistakes and contracdictions? How do we know if it's true? James Emery White responds to common questions.

Can We Believe in God?
  
Skeptics and athiests are becoming more public and vocal about their objections to Christianity. Can thoughtful people today really still believe in God? James Emery White responds to common questions.

Is Jesus the Only Way to God?
  
Isn't it awfully narrow and intolerant for Christians to believe that Jesus is the only way to God? James Emery White responds to common questions.

What Do We Know About Jesus?
  
Many today doubt that we can really know anything reliable about Jesus. Are Christian claims about Jesus even plausible? James Emery White responds to common questions.

A Mind For God
 
The apostle Paul calls us to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5). But James Emery White fears that Western Christians are failing in this task. Because we have not developed good intellectual habits, our minds instead have been captured by our culture.
 
A Mind for God is written to help us break free from this cultural captivity through the spiritual and intellectual disciplines of reading, study and reflection. This inspirational and practical "rule for the mind" encourages and enables us to develop our minds for God.
  
Reviews & Endorsements
  
"God wants us to have the mind of Christ. But what is that mind and how do we get it? James Emery White answers these questions in some of the most lucid prose being written today. A pleasure to read! A joy to take his advice!"
 
James W. Sire, author of The Universe Next Door and Learning to Pray Through the Psalms

The Prayer God Longs For
 
This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"For all of us who...juggle work, home, church and multiple commitments, and resort to snatched moments 'of prayer' through the day, this book will make us stop and reassess our practice of prayer."
 
Margaret Killingray, London Institute for Contemporary Christianity
 
"It is a powerful book, honest and practical, profound yet easy to read. But it, read it - and then pray!"
 
Dave Richards, Rector at St. Paul's and St. George's Church (Edinburgh, Scotland)
 
"The prayer that Jesus handed down to his disciples—known in the New Testament as 'The Lord's Prayer'—has a long history of devotion among Christians....This clear, thoughtful reflection pores over each phrase in the prayer, honoring the history, context and the embedded theologies found within. White looks at each phrase in order because, as he puts it, "order matters," beginning with us naming and praising the one to whom we pray, then moving seamlessly from God's will to our needs. White advocates that we place "all of life within the context of [God's] governing care," bringing all our hopes and desires to God in prayer. Yet he wisely warns against treating God as a "cosmic errand boy" and speaks frankly about those times that God says either "no" or "not now" to our petitions. And although Christians are fond of a repeated use of the Lord's Prayer in devotion, White recommends that believers go beyond recitation. If modern Christians, like the disciples, want to learn how to pray, he invites them to allow this special prayer to guide their conversation with God. Read as a meditation on prayer, this book can further inform that conversation."
 
Publisher's Weekly

Wrestling With God: Loving the God We Don't Understand 
 
We give ourselves to God and then struggle profoundly with the relationship. We are drawn in and then want to flee in fear. We move from faith to doubt, trust to confusion, intimacy to a feeling of abandonment. Coming to faith is like falling in love. It can be a head-over-heels rush to the altar or a slow acceptance that slips into a heartfelt embrace. Either way, eventually romance crashes headlong into reality.
 
Often we make things worse either by feeling guilty about our struggles with doubt or by trying to dismiss them as unimportant or insignificant. We may even become resentful that God does not simply step in to clear up our confusion. When we find ourselves in any of these predicaments, the only way out is to face our uncertainties about God--deliberately and directly. Wrestling with God explores these struggles we all face--struggles of heart, soul, mind and strength. And struggles to love our neighbors as ourselves. Here you will find your tough questions about God addressed. Better still, you will find the way to renewed faith.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"Wrestling With God is an anointed book. As I read, I felt constrained to stop frequently to think, to take notes, to reflect on my own spiritual journey and, finally, to thank God for such a rich feast of thought and insight."
 
Gordon MacDonald, Author, Ordering Your Private World
 
"James Emery White lays bare the tension points – doubt, confusion, resentment – that stifle true intimacy with God. By walking us through our deepest struggles to understand God, White is just the person to chip away at the wall separating us from our deepest desires to know and be known by God and each other."
 
John Maxwell, Author, Speaker and Founder of the Injoy Group
 
"While many recent books have addressed the difficulties of maintaining a deep, intimate relationship with God, White's contribution offers remarkable clarity of thought...that thoughtful Christians will be quoting for years to come..."
 
Publishers Weekly

Serious Times: Making Your Life Matter in an Urgent Day
 
This book by James Emery White is an antidote to complacency in the face of epochal change. Echoing church historian Christopher Dawson, White argues that we live "at the beginning of the seventh age" for the Christian church, a time of crisis that requires an innovative and determined response. After a brief survey of previous turning points, including the beginnings of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, White examines our "disenchanted world," which he characterizes as secularized, privatized and relentlessly pluralistic, mired in narcissism, relativism and hedonism. Yet even given this bleak picture, White sees hope in a renewed practice of Christianity that could still reshape and revitalize Western culture. The second half of the book, very different from the first, is devoted to exploring the essence of "serious lives." White draws on a commendably deep field of previous writers, from Teresa of Ávila to Parker Palmer, offering a concise survey of topics from prayer to vocation. Of particular value are his thoughts on developing a "rule" of life, and his two-page portraits of Christians like St. Benedict, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Mother Teresa. The wisdom and clarity of these latter chapters make this book a valuable, and hopeful, starting point for Christians who want their lives to matter.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"It is quite a feat to write a reflective, historically-grounded book about urgency, but James [Emery] White has accomplished just that."
 
Philip Yancey, Author, The Jesus I Never Knew and What's So Amazing About Grace
 
"My soul is quaking under the impact of this book. Rather than another yawning treatise on cultural demise, [James Emery White] calls us to ‘kick at the darkness till it bleeds light.' And the way we kick, he rightly assesses, is with ‘deepened souls and developed minds.' Fill our churches Lord with such illumined saints, and start with me."
 
—Lon Allison, Director Billy Graham Center

A Search for the Spiritual: Exploring Real Christianity
 
For those who seek God and are willing to come to that search with an open mind, A Search for the Spiritual will prove to be an invaluable traveller's companion for the journey that includes an exploration of the Christian faith.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"I wish this book had been around when I was an atheist and started to seek God. It's a no-nonsense, practical, insightful guide that will help all seekers in their quest for spiritual truth. If you're investigating whether there's any substance to the Christian faith, you must read this important book."
 
—Lee Strobel, Author, The Case for Christ
 
 "If you've been looking for one book to put in the hands of someone exploring faith, this is it."
 
—Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
 

Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition, Revised and Expanded
(foreword by Leighton Ford)
 
Rethinking the Church helps pastors and lay leaders work through questions that must be answered if a church is to rethink evangelism, discipleship, ministry, worship, community, and the structure of the church. Break old molds, check assumptions, and be sensitive. THe book uses the language and aims of "seeker-targeted" churches but urges readers not to tie themselves to any model without understanding the individual purpose of their church.
 
Reviews & Endorsements
 
"This book is a rich blend of thoughtful, biblical reflection and hands-on experience. It will make an enormous contribution to the lives of those who believe that the church is the hope of the world."
 
—Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church
 
"[James Emery White] has done it again. I heartily recommend this book."
 
—Rick Warren, Senior Pastor, Saddleback Valley Community Church
 

 

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