The Passing of Dr. James W. Sire

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"James W. Sire" InterVarsity Press (07 February 2018)

It is with sadness that I pass on news of the death of James W. Sire, the well-known Christian writer and former senior editor at InterVarsity Press. This afternoon I received an email from my contact at IVP who kindly informed me that Dr. Sire had passed away last night. But amidst the sadness, there is also peace—which I wish for his family and friends—in the knowledge that he is with his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, whom he served for so many years.   
    
I remember James Sire with affection. Although I only spoke to him for a few hours in an interview on his provocative book, Apologetics Beyond Reason, I quickly sensed his generous character and creative mind.
   

That generosity became concrete for me when he agreed to redo the whole interview after my Skype-recording software had failed to record our initial conversation. I couldn't believe it! I had just conducted—what both he and I thought was—a really good interview with this veteran Christian author, and as soon as it was over there was nothing to show for it! So, somewhat embarrassed, I asked the good people at InterVarsity Press if they would approach him again for another try. To my amazement he agreed immediately, and we ploughed through the whole interview again without any loss of freshness in our conversation. As it turned out, he wrote in an email afterwards that it had been one of his favourite interviews in a long career.

   

I had hoped to speak to him again one day. (I know he said that Apologetics Beyond Reason was going to be his final book, but he didn't stick to that; he wrote Beginning with God in the following year, and had he continued I suspect he would have written more.) After all, how could I not hope to have another conversation with a person who had introduced to me an argument for God's existence that goes like this?

   

"There is the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Therefore there must be a God.

You either see this or you don't." *

     

But it wasn't to be. Mind you—and those of you with "ears to hear" will appreciate this thought—I still look forward to speaking to him again one day.

   

 

(* For the context of this deliberately provocative quotation see the interview with James Sire.)

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