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Q & A with Mark Foreman

Q & A with Mark Foreman

Mark Foreman is the pastor of North Coast Calvary in Carlsbad, California. He’s also the father of Jon and Tim from the band Switchfoot.

Mark Foreman is the pastor of North Coast Calvary in Carlsbad, California. He’s also the father of Jon and Tim from the band Switchfoot. In his new book, Wholly Jesus, Foreman talks about the holistic redemption that Jesus came to deliver and what it looks like to discover this message as a road map to wholeness.

Q: What do you think is driving the hunger in our culture for wholeness?

A: Ponce de Leon was in search of the fountain of youth. So is everyone. We all want to live young forever and stay healthy. Without any spiritual roots, the pursuit for wholeness has

only increased. The ancients of most religions knew better. Physical, mental and cultural wholeness was always tied to spirituality.

Our pursuit for wholeness is the right pursuit, but our method is a house of mirrors. We can’t find wholeness in ourselves. We are more dignified and important than that. Someone else defines us. Ours is an alien wholeness. We are made in the image of God. When we find ourselves in the face of God, he turns us around to, in turn, bring wholeness to our world. True spirituality is not otherworldly but it occurs in this world, transforming our thinking, our lives, and the culture around us.

Q: How have you seen God’s redemptive story become part of your story in your

search for wholeness?

A: When I chose to follow Jesus I was playing rock ‘n roll, studying Buddhism, wearing a black arm band to protest the war in Vietnam, eating health food, believing in civil rights

and caring for the planet. The Jesus Movement accepted my music and long hair but quickly taught me that Jesus was primarily otherworldly and didn’t care about these other issues.

I have come full circle to believe that the God who redeemed my soul truly cares about this planet. He will not rest until all is redeemed. We are a part of this great redemptive story and are to reflect Jesus’ redemptive nature in all that we touch.

Q: How have you seen this understanding of wholeness from the way Jesus taught it transform your life? The lives of those around you?

A: The earthward and outward redemption has changed the way we do church. The church is now viewed as the locker room, not the game. When we gather on the weekend it is only to refuel and re-train to go play the game better during the week. The game is not in the service but on the streets.

We are a church without walls. We encourage our people to individually and in groups to bring Christ’s redemptive nature to a specific part of the community. We don’t try to keep people in the walls of the church. Church is at it’s best when it is in the community. We also honor other churches. We pray for and do things with other churches blurring the lines between us and them. We all wear the same uniform.

Q: Why is the term wholeness so misunderstood in our post-modern society?

A: There is no compass for meaning or wholeness in a post-modern world. Many people believe wholeness is whatever I am pursuing now. I am like a sailboat enjoying sailing

without a harbor.

Jesus brings ultimate definition and integrity to wholeness. And it surprisingly is not otherworldly. It is very much happening here on Earth, pulling all the threads of my life into one beautiful tapestry.

Q: What do you hope this book will do for people and their understanding of


A: Very few people woke up today wondering how to get their sins forgiven and go to heaven. But millions woke up with aches and pains wondering how to fix their broken bodies, minds and relationships.

Jesus speaks to our lives in the here and now. The same was true when Jesus walked the earth. He wants to forgive our sins, but he also wants to speak to the paralytic, “Take up your bed and walk.”

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