Max Lucado's Wayward Days

America's favorite Christian author talks about his relationships with alcohol, celebrity, and God.

Max Lucado

is widely considered America's favorite Christian author. Most of his books have appeared on one or more best-seller lists including those published by The New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). Born and raised in Texas in 1955, he has served as senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio for 16 years.

I’ve heard your theology described as the theology of “second chances,” partly because you weren’t a Christian for a time after your childhood and then re-embraced it in early adulthood. Can you tell us more about that time?

I was raised in the greatest of homes…just a really great dad, and I miss him so much…he was a good man, a real simple man….Very faithful, always loved my mom, always provided for the kids, and just a lot of fun.

And a great car mechanic, I hear.

Yeah, a great mechanic. And so when I was wayward…and I was seriously wayward, I don’t really know the best word to use. I was a drinker, I was a womanizer, I was dishonest with friends, personal agendas, I just got really off the track for about three years.


How old were you when this was going on?

I was about 16, 17, 18, 19…all the way until freshman in college. The last time I got drunk, I was a sophomore in college. I quit going to church, I quit anything of spiritual interest because I just didn’t think that God would have me back. Somehow I missed out on that message.

And through the influence of good friends and through the influence of a minister, they helped me see that the whole reason Christ died on the cross is for people like me. And if we could save ourselves, we wouldn’t need a savior. And when that began to dawn on me, it was literally a Damascus Road type experience--the lights went on then. I thought, I can’t believe you mean grace is that great? I had had a view of a conditional grace…as long as I do my part, God does His part. It was a very emotional, life-changing discovery. And that has defined my life’s message, because I’m just a walking second chance.

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