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Q & A

Wallace Henley

Author Question and Answer

Globequake:
Living the unshakeable Kingdom
while the world falls apart

 

Where was the idea for your book Globequake birthed?

In 1965-66 I lived in Nuremberg, Germany, and just 20 years after World War II, became fascinated by the societal change dynamics going on all around me. Five years later, as a White House aide, my interest expanded to encompass how nations and civilizations rise and fall. In the 1990s I traveled extensively in the former Soviet bloc, conducting leadership conferences, and observed the upheaval in those nations. In 2009 all these ideas and concepts came together for me. The Houston Baptist University Center for Christianity in Business asked me to do a conference on the impact of change on business. I realized the dynamics and principles I wrote about impact, not just business, but all the spheres of human endeavor, and the Globequake book was born from that.

 

You were at the White House in the midst of Nixon’s Watergate time, yet you say that you personally find today’s times to be even more chaotic. Can you speak into that some?

The upheavals of the early 1970s brought on by scandal at the highest levels of our government did not result in long-term redefinition. They were intense, especially to those at the epicenter of that “quake,” but did not alter the civilizational landscape. The changes now are redefining our core worldviews, personal lives, and institutions. Compared to what is happening now the Watergate turbulence was a minor tremor.

 

You offer an interesting take on how everything is in a state of upheaval due to all the change in the world. Can you speak to that a bit?

In Globequake I use a metaphor based on tectonic plate theory, which hypothesizes that at some point all the continents we know today were once joined in a vast landmass labeled “Pangea.” Geologic cataclysms slowly separated Pangea, and the landmasses began to float across the planet, defining the contemporary global map. In Globequake I write that we are living through spiritual, moral, social, political, economic “tectonic shift.” The “plates” defining our world, its institutions and relationships are moving, not inches a century, but at warp-speed, and we are riding atop them, trying to hold on. The great challenge is how we personally remain stable, and build solid institutions that can withstand the change.

 

You have an interesting theory of how there are several spheres in our world that are all in chaos. Can you name those for us and give us a snapshot of each?

There are six “spheres” with which we all interact: Person, Church, Family, Education, Government, Business-Marketplace (of products, services, and ideas). Stability in the spheres depends on the stability of the people within them, especially the leaders. The Church has the mission of conserving and propagating the core belief system that is the foundation of nations and all the other spheres. The Family’s task is the transmission of the belief system and its values across the generations, insuring historic continuity. Education is to teach the application of the principles inherent in the belief system in every discipline of knowledge. Government’s job is to insure justice and protect the innocent, based on the principles of the belief system. Business is to apply the principles to provide for the product, service, and informational needs of society. The Globequake has struck hard at all these spheres, and this is why it is so devastating and extensive.

 

You say that your book Globequake links orthodoxy with orthopraxy, can you explain what you mean by that?

Orthodoxy is “right belief” and orthopraxy is “right practice.” No value-system is complete until orthodoxy gives rise to and stays linked to orthopraxy. In Globequake I write about the principles of the biblically revealed Kingdom of God. But these principles are not religious. They are not meant to be locked away in shrines, church buildings and cathedrals. The Kingdom of God is lived out and made manifest in the six spheres of human engagement. So, in the book, I write about “strategic plans” for Person, Church, Family, Education, Government, Business-Marketplace, by which Kingdom principles can be implemented as Kingdom practicalities. This provides strength and stability even while the world is “falling apart.”

 

You’re personally spending a lot of time focused on raising-up leadership for the coming generation. What is it that you hope to impart and what tips can you offer to others on how to raise up similar leaders in their communities?

In 2011 I reached my 70th birthday. I sensed the Holy Spirit impressing me to begin writing down and conducting leadership training seminars based on the lessons I had learned in a career in journalism, politics, and the church. To paraphrase George Santayana, if we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it. I believe the generation of young potential leaders is going to face challenges much greater than those of my generation, and even the World War II generation that raised us. Every local church should be a center for leadership equipping. This is the whole point of “equipping the saints for the work of ministry,” as Paul writes in Ephesians 4. Families must recapture the vision for transmitting biblical values. Educational systems must reawaken to the solid foundation of absolute truth. Governments must replace pragmatics with principles. Business leaders must grasp the importance of creating biblically based corporate cultures. These spheres form the “galaxy” of civilization, and when they “orbit” properly all is well. Jesus said that we are to seek first His Kingdom, and “all these” material necessities and life essentials will result.

 

What is your greatest hope for the book?

My greatest hope is that readers would see that the Kingdom of God and its eternal principles are our true and only hope midst a world in upheaval. I would hope people would grasp that biblically revealed Kingdom principles are not “religious” truth reserved for theologians and preachers, but for everyone—church leaders, parents, school administrators and teachers, politicians, corporate executives, their managers and employees. Finally, my hope is that readers will take practical steps to implement the Kingdom principles described in Globequake, and find strength and stability while the world around them is in upheaval.

 

There are other books on change. What makes Globequake unique?

I have read and benefitted from many of those books. However, almost all of them are written on the “macro” level. That is, they focus on declining civilizations, disappearing societies, a “flattened” world, and sweeping cultural trends. Globequake covers the “macro” issues, but its primary focus is the “micro,” the gritty tasks of being people of integrity, raising strong families, educating children with truth rather than cultural propaganda, electing principled governments, and building companies that succeed and endure despite the constant changes in the marketplace.

 

Most books on contemporary upheaval are “gloom and doom.” Does Globequake leave readers with hope?

Here’s what I wrote in the Introduction to Globequake:

“My prayer is that you will see that the end of the journey for the person anchored to Him (Christ) is the realization and consummation of hope—no matter how hard the shaking along the route.”

The concluding chapter is titled, “Hope Sought, Hope Found”.

 

Many believe the rapid changes in the world today mean we are on the threshold of Christ’s return. Do you discuss the end times in Globequake?

Globequake is not a book about the end of the world, but how we can live now with strength and stability in a world changing rapidly. Yet there are apocalyptic implications. Rapid change leads up to history’s climactic event—the Coming of Christ and His Kingdom. In Globequake, I discuss the nature of time, and where we might be historically. I also cite specific signs of approaching apocalypse that are taking shape in our era, before our very eyes.

 

How would non-Christians benefit from reading Globequake?

In addition to working and teaching in churches, I am also a leadership speaker and management consultant for businesses and other institutions. I present management and employee workshops based on the principles outlined in Globequake, but without “religious-speak.” That’s because these principles are applicable everywhere. They don’t belong to any one culture, but are ancient, enduring, and relevant to all.

 

What qualifies you to write a book on global change?

Perhaps I can answer best by quoting from Globequake:

I was born on the eve of a Globequake, on December 5, 1941, two days before Pearl Harbor. During my later school years communism was crawling over the planet, and it appeared my generation wouldn’t live into adulthood, because of the constant threat of nuclear war. As a young newspaper reporter I covered the civil rights revolution in Birmingham, Alabama, and other parts of the nation. A few years later I was standing on the lawn of the White House, watching my boss, President Richard Nixon, leave for China. Three decades later I stood on the lawn of the church where I serve as a pastor to welcome 300 students from China for a three-week immersion program at our church, which would include an introduction to the Bible. I suddenly realized the coming of those students from what we had always called, “Communist China,” was a fruit from the seed sown in the moment I had watched 35 years earlier!

That’s just a sampling of the change I’ve lived through.

As a pastor, I see the impact on people daily. I’ve counseled with hundreds of hurting, confused, distressed people. In recent years, however, the needs have deepened, bewilderment has intensified, and the problems have become much more complex…

 

If people want to pick up your book, or if they want to learn more where should they go?

Globequake will be available wherever books are sold, and to learn more you can visit www.Globequake.org.

For more information, review copies, interviews, images and reprint permissions contact: Brenda Smotherman, Publicist – 615-902-2231, bsmotherman@thomasnelson.com