Great libraries of the world…

One of my life long dreams was to have a beautiful home library, replete with fine, built-in bookcases. For my 50th birthday, my wife Laurel (and friend Paul Kitchen) made this dream come true. My home study is a wonderful place, with a portion of my library beautifully displayed!


Interestingly enough, just today I noticed that the website “Curious Expeditions” has posted over a hundred photos of some of the greatest libraries of the world — amazing to see. Here are a few that caught my eye…


Real Gabinete Portugues De Leitura Rio De Janeiro

George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore House Library, Asheville, N.C., USA

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The story behind my favorite books

7048lMy favorite books (in large measure) are those published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Few publishers are as biblically faithful and reliable as this one. [Aside: I recently mentioned to someone that IVP publishes both good and bad, even heretical authors — such as Greg Boyd, purveyor of “openness of God” theology. You simply can no longer trust an IVP book to be orthodox.]

Here is an article on the history of The Banner of Truth Trust (“trust” being a British term for charity or non-profit organization) by by dear friend, and BTT founder, Iain H Murray. It begins with this paragraph…

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The Banner of Truth Trust originated in 1957 in London. The founders believed that much of the best literature of historic Christianity had been allowed to fall into oblivion and that its recovery under God could well lead not only to a strengthening of the Church today but to true revival. The origins of the work were closely connected with the prayer that God would be pleased to visit the land again in true awakening. (read the rest)

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Moving a thousand books – again

The offices at our church were damaged by water coming through the flat roof last spring. When the leak was spotted, my kids and I were able to remove my pastor’s library (over 1,200 books) to another room in under 20 minutes! Thankfully only a couple were damaged by water. The rooms are now ready for occupancy again — nicely painted, with brand new, tile floors. And it’s time to move all those books back in. Of course, they need to be reorganized (so they can be found as needed), and shelved appropriately. So far, I have several hours invested in this process! But it is, for me, a labor of love.

These dear books, accumulated over 20+ years since seminary days, stand alongside the Word of God as the “tools” of a preacher’s trade. Dr George Grant writes in a similar vein about the great prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, of the last century….

But in the midst of the busyness of his life and ministry, he always found time to read. Books were his most constant companions and bookstores were his most regular haunts. He was born in the little Essex village of Kelvedon in 1834. Both his father and grandfather were pastors and so he was raised around books, reading, and piety. As a youngster, he began a life long habit of diligent and unending reading—typically he read six books per week, and was able to remember what he had read and where he had read it many years later. He particularly loved old books. He claimed in his autobiography that before he was ten years old, he preferred to go into his grandfather’s study and pull down an old Puritan classic and read rather than go outside and play with friends.

…In time, his personal library numbered more than twelve thousand volumes.

The books were all shelved in Spurgeon’s study at Westwood, his family home. Of course, Spurgeon was not merely a collector. He was utilitarian, if anything. He viewed his books as the tools of his trade. And the shops where he found them were essentially his hardware stores. As a result, the books were used. They were hardly museum pieces, despite their scarcity or value. They were the natural extensions of his work and ministry. He once wrote, “My books are my tools. They also serve as my counsel, my consolation, and my comfort. They are my source of wisdom and the font of my education. They are my friends and my delights. They are my surety, when all else is awry, that I have set my confidence in the substantial things of truth and right.”

Thankful for the privilege of studying and preaching the Word,
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