I visited IHOP 5 years ago and had a chance to meet personally with Mike for about 45 minutes. How do I evaluate what's going on there?
- When I walked into IHOP's bookstore I saw a number of the kind of books that fill my personal library, from George Ladd's New Testament theology to Thomas Oden's Systematic Theology to Alec Motyer's excellent commentary on Isaiah to Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline to Henri Nouwen's The Way of the Heart (a brilliant little book on the Desert Fathers)... and so on... There was a rich and balanced variety of texts that are used in many theological seminaries. I felt at home in their bookstore. This balance reflects what I see at IHOP.
- We've had some of our students attend IHOP. I like the results.
- I really like Mike's teaching and preaching. Even though he at times says he's not some great biblical scholar I found myself listening and learning from him.
- Mike, and Kansas City Fellowship, made mistakes, errors in judgement, and more. Any Christian leader who hasn't please step forward now and announce your perfect record. Mike has written about many of his mistakes in his excellent book Growing In the Prophetic. Any Christian leader who has spoekn so honestly and publicly about his failures without being forced to or found out, you have my respect.
- I greatly value and am thankful for Mike's emphasis on prayer, and (now please note this) actually praying. Frankly, it's something that's not often seen in American clergy and the churches they pastor. I feel I have some right to say this, having taught and spiritually coached over 1,000 pastors from America and many nations.
- Lastly, Mike loves Jesus. I have never viewed him as trying to be something other than more greatly formed into Christlikeness. (Gal. 4:19)