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Our God is With Us through It All: Interview with Craig and Médine Keener about Impossible Love

PneumaReview.com: The two of you have endured injustices, betrayals as well as great adversity and delays. Can you point to specific things that contributed to your perseverance in the face of these things?

Craig: Everybody in the Bible—Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, Job, and so on—went through testing. I used to not understand how they could have persevered through it, until I went through serious testing, and then I understood. They were regular people just like us—small people, as Hudson Taylor put it, who serve a very big God. Sometimes faith doesn’t feel like faith—sometimes it’s just hanging on for dear life because letting go isn’t an option. Faith is not about us but about the faithfulness, the dependability of our God.

Médine: Knowing that a) God had our lives in His hands and he was guiding us; b) that his children were praying for us, c) that our love will not allow us to quit so easily.

 

PneumaReview.com: What counsel would you give to readers who are presently facing impossible circumstances to help keep them from becoming bitter or giving up?

Craig: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. God holds our future. When you lose everything else, you realize you have what really matters if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a happy eternity ahead of us, and that life with Him has already started for us now. Sometimes we can forget that if we’re walking with Him, every day is a blessing, because we have what we need most of all—something so many precious people in this world don’t have yet.

Médine: God is with you in your difficult moment even if you do not see or sense him; storms of life will come and they will pass, our God is with us through it all and will take us to the other side of the storm.

 

PneumaReview.com: What message do you hope that readers will take away from reading Impossible Love?

As wonderful as miracles are, God’s heart is revealed to us even more deeply in the Cross, where we see that even in the face of human weakness, brokenness, and injustice—when heaven seems silent—God is still working to bring about His greater purposes.

Craig: In much harder circumstances, Betsy Ten Boom declared that there’s no pit that God is not deeper still. Miracles are awesome, a foretaste of God’s coming kingdom when there will be no more suffering. There are some of those in the book, and many more we had to leave out to keep the book concise and readable. But as wonderful as miracles are, God’s heart is revealed to us even more deeply in the Cross, where we see that even in the face of human weakness, brokenness, and injustice—when heaven seems silent—God is still working to bring about His greater purposes. Even in the face of suffering, God is faithful. He can be trusted.

Médine: God loves each and every one of us. He is faithful and will not abandon his own. Hang in there.

 

PR

 

Médine Moussounga Keener, Ph.D. (University of Paris 7), is Community Formation Pastoral Care coordinator at Asbury Theological Seminary and has taught French at Asbury University and Eastern University. She wrote her dissertation related to African American women’s history and has published various articles in Dictionary of African Christian Biography and articles on women in Africa and on other subjects. She co-authored with Craig Reconciliation for Africa, a booklet on ethnic reconciliation used in many countries in Africa. Both in Francophone Africa and in the United States, she has publicly shared her experiences of war and reconciliation, including writing Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War, Miracles and Hope against All Odds (Chosen, 2016) with Craig. Her hobbies include cooking, gardening and putting up with Craig’s humor.

 

 

From the back cover of Impossible Love:

Shy, scholarly Craig Keener first met Médine, a beautiful Ph.D. student from central Africa, through a campus ministry at Duke University. The two became close friends, but it wasn’t until Médine returned home that Craig—coming to terms with his own wounded heart—realized his love for her. But civil war had broken out in Congo. Médine faced terror, disease and devastating hardship—and Craig didn’t know if she was alive or dead.
Separated by continents, cultures and the ravages of war, Craig and Médine never stopped believing that faith, hope and love can surmount even the most overwhelming obstacles. Part romance, part thrilling adventure, their story is an unforgettable, miracle-filled journey of impossible love. You will be amazed by the God whose own great love for each of us will always overcome.

Publisher’s page: http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/impossible-love/377550

 

More from the Keeners about Impossible Love:

Read the Asbury Theological Seminary introduction to the Keeners, including an 8 minute video: AsburySeminary.edu/voices/keeners/. Another video from Asbury Seminary: Impossible Love with Craig and Medine Keener

 

Frank Viola’s interview with Craig about Impossible Love: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankviola/impossiblelove/

 

Michael Brown’s interview with Craig and Médine about Impossible Love (including some of Médine’s refugee experiences) is part of the April 7, 2016 radio show: http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2016/04/07/the-amazing-story-of-craig-and-medine-keener-impossible-love-and-the-irrationality-of-anti-semitism/

 

Mary DeMuth interviews Craig and Médine about their story at: http://www.marydemuth.com/restory15

 

Caleb Hegg interviewed Craig and Médine in December 2015 about the forthcoming Impossible Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT_tiw8M-wc

 

Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School interviews Craig and Médine about Impossible Love, with testimonies from Médine and Craig’s conversion from atheism. http://www.beesondivinity.com/beesonpodcast#!/swx/pp/media_archives/99668/episode/62835

 

Special thanks to John P. Lathrop for putting this interview together for PneumaReview.com.

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Category: Living the Faith, Spring 2016

About the Author: Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books, including Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Baker Academic, 2011), the bestselling IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels, Gift and Giver: The Holy Spirit for Today, and commentaries on Acts, Matthew, John, Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, and Revelation. In addition to having written more than seventy academic articles, several booklets and more than 150 popular-level articles, Craig is is the New Testament editor (and author of most New Testament notes) for the The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. He is married to Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, who is from the Republic of Congo, and together they have worked for ethnic reconciliation in North America and Africa. Craig and Médine wrote Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War, Miracles and Hope against All Odds (Chosen, 2016) to share their story. sites.google.com/site/drckeener

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