BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Kirk Franklin Has a Master Plan
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
Seven-time Grammy award winner Kirk Franklin has had to endure his fair share of hard knocks. Abandoned by his father, unwanted by his mother, Kirk became a father himself at the age of 15. Needless to say, he rose from a very shaky foundation to become one of the most successful Gospel artists in history.
Kirk Franklin’s life has not been without its pitfalls. In 2006, he admitted on the Oprah Winfrey Show that he had become addicted to pornography. But through the glory of God he was delivered from his addiction.
CBN.com Program Director Chris Carpenter sat down with Kirk recently to discuss his new book “The Blueprint”, a biographical look at how through an inspiring blend of God and grit anyone can build a fulfilling life.
Why a biography-type book at this staging in your career? It seems as though you’re just kind of completing your first act. An autobiography is something you often write as you are looking back on your career.
Well, that’s not really what the book is as much as it has a lot of my life examples in it. So maybe that can kind of make it read a little like a biography, but it’s more of an inspirational book. It is more a type of life lesson book for people who may sometimes have a hard time with the cleanliness of some Christian books. This is something just a little more gulley, something that has a little more grit, but it’s still clearly Christian, and its very transparent in life. It is examples from my own life that I pull from, from the mistakes I’ve made, from the lessons I have learned from others and how other people can apply that. Whether it is sex or marriage or relationships or parenting, when it comes to the challenges with African American men, the challenges in religion and faith and the Church. It’s just my perspective on all those areas, and how we can glean from them and to learn how to have victory in those things and to not continue the same cycle of mistakes in those particular areas.
What is the significance of the title “The Blueprint”?
Well, because most people didn’t ever have that, and most people like myself had to learn on the fly, and we had to learn as we failed, and so hopefully this is a book that can take some of those failings that I’ve had and that other people have had and to give them a clear blueprint on what to do, what not to do, still from a very biblical perspective, not from this worldview, but something once again that reads and feels very transparent and reads like you really had a conversation more than you are beginning a lecture or a sermon.
To that end, you’re quoted in your book as saying, “What I have to offer isn’t perfection; it’s experience.” What do you mean by that quote?
Sometimes the pulpit and the pew separate people, and the pew or the podium sits very high, and you’re delivering a message down to the people, and so this is more of, “Okay, you jacked up, so did I. You failed here, so did I. You made mistakes here, so did I. Let me tell you what I’ve learned so that you don’t have to keep making that same mistake.” Or “You’re going to have to learn the lessons so you can move on to the next season of your life. So that’s what I’m wanting to offer more than these degrees on the wall or these pedigrees, is that I want to share these scars, and this hard-knock life.
In The Blueprint you discuss many of the struggles that you’ve had at various times in your life and the various hurdles you’ve had to get past. Why are you being so honest and straight-forward about struggles that you’ve been through? You’re “out there” in this book . . . .
You know, I’ve always been like that, whether it was the Oprah interview or just in the music. People that have followed me for years have always said that’s going to be my MO—not because I’m trying to make that, you know, trading card. I just find a lot of healing in it. It’s just very therapeutic for me in my Christian walk to be able to say in the midst of the journey that I’ve failed here. It makes me have a deeper level of experiencing grace when I’m very open to be able to say, “Man, I jacked that up.” It just works for me.
I think it’s safe to say you are a true reflection of Romans 8:28 in that God takes all things good or bad and works them together for good. Do you agree?
That’s my favorite scripture, man. It’s very interesting that you quoted Romans 8:28, because that is my template. That is my banner that I live under. God loves to take lemons and make lemonade. That’s my thing.
You have two chapters in the book on basically sex and men; sex and women. You were very frank in those chapters. I think you’re sending a message that people need to hear. What was your goal for these?
To do exactly what you said, to tear down the cute Christian approach to this greatest gift that God has ever given us, that we have contaminated, we’ve perverted, we’ve distorted, because we haven’t had a blueprint. So I wanted to be as, what we say in the streets, I want it to be 100. I wanted to keep it as non-Protestant as I could, as straight-in-your-face, and hopefully somebody can find some freedom in it.
Final question, how can someone find “The Blueprint” for their life? What’s the best way to go about that in your estimation?
I honestly think it’s an extension of tapping into “the” blueprint, that God’s way, God’s plan is the foundation, and that we use that to be able to build who we are individually. You know, you may like Country and Western music, I may like Hip Hop or Bee Bop, and so at your court, you’re a man. In my court, I’m a man; we are males. So in our court, as Christians, we must tap into God’s divine plan for us, and to adjust ourselves to what He says, and then from that, God will begin to build those personality layers so that we can be the best “we” that we were created to be.
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