After decades of sending quarterly newsletters to authors, I sent my last one last week. I received many encouraging responses to it. So I thought I would post it here for the rest of you.
Dear IVP Author:
February 12, 2016, marks my last day with InterVarsity after more than forty-two years with the organization. I never expected to spend my whole career with InterVarsity, but now I see the grace in it. It has been a lifelong learning experience for me. It has given our family a great sense of stability. It has been enriching to work with so many fine authors like you and so many quality colleagues in serving the university, the church and the world through so many strong books.
So I thank all of you who have chosen to publish with IVP over the years when there are many other good options available. I am grateful to you for your friendship, your encouragement and your commitment to equip people to follow Christ as Lord and Savior in all of life.
In this last author newsletter I not only want to offer thanks but also offer a charge to you. We live in a world awash in conflict. Nations, ethnic groups, religions, political parties, churches, families are all at odds–which the media loves to highlight in its never-ending competition for audiences that have been broken into smaller and smaller groupings.
Too often we as Christians have followed the world’s pattern in expressing more extreme views, less charitable opinions and angrier commentary. We listen to a narrower and narrower range of viewpoints that we find comfortable, that we agree with, that affirm our biases. As a result, we fail to communicate the love, mercy, grace and forgiveness that we say is at the core of our faith. If we are to be representatives of Christ, we need to be willing to engage different people and differing opinions with grace, openness and respect.
When we interact with those who are different we can pretend our differences don’t exist or that they are insignificant. But that doesn’t really take others seriously. Alternately we can simply attempt to defeat others, assuming the worst motives on their part and not seeing them as people, not taking the time to really understand their viewpoint.
But there is another way that both takes differences seriously and takes the humanity of those we differ with seriously. This is the way of Christ who embraces both grace and truth.
Perhaps you think I am preaching to the choir. But that’s not the way I see it. The way I see it, I am preaching to an auditorium of preachers. My charge is for you not just to practice the gospel of peace but to preach it. Model Christian civility and encourage others to pursue it. That has been my goal in every book we publish at InterVarsity Press.
It is something I expect to see continue with the strong editorial team I leave behind, which will be led by longtime colleague Cindy Bunch as associate publisher for editorial with a major assist from Dan Reid as editorial director for IVP Academic. And I look forward to seeing the books you will publish with us that will emulate that spirit.
May God bless you richly in all ways in the years ahead. May you read many books, write many books and give away many books.
Blessings in Christ,
Andrew T. Le Peau