I have interviewed many people, and been interviewed many times myself. I love the format. But a long time ago I began to want to participate in more than a mere interview. I wanted open and honest public conversation that could be published and that others could really learn from. That was hard to find, however, because in the traditional format the parties to an interview bring their narrow agendas to the medium. And interviews, increasingly so these days, are often very short, terribly predictable, and unprofessionally conducted.
Ok, I get all that, but, come on, can’t we Christians we do any better? Why have interviewers like Charlie Rose and Terry Gross left us in the dust? I wanted to have conversations with interesting people that were not scripted. What I had in mind would of course have a main topic, but it would be a relational give-and-take between me and the other person – a conversation with the potential to open up and explore other worthy areas, where surprising discoveries could be made because we were both sharing insights and learning from each other on the spot. And then the reader would also really learn things fresh and relevant.
These kind of “interviews” take time, and many times you don’t want to end them, though you must, because what’s transpiring is so fascinatingly alive in that moment. I remember reading somewhere that when Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud met for the first time, they talked non-stop for 13 hours. Well, I have yet to have a conversation like that with anyone, but I introduced the concept I’m explaining in the first issue of Openings, in 1998, and it immediately became the most popular feature of the publication. As time permits, I am putting those timeless conversations on this site. You will find quite a few of them here already (see the left column on this page).
Feel free to fire up any of these conversations by using the “Comment” link that has been included with each one.