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…


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)


Abandon low & carnal aims!

I constantly mark and underline in my books. Perhaps one of the most precious quotations I have found over the years is this, from Thornwell. (I found it many years ago in Iain Murray’s THE PURITAN HOPE, a real gem of a book).

J. H. Thornwell quote…

“If the Church could be aroused to a deeper sense of the glory that awaits her, she would enter with a warmer spirit into the struggles that are before her. Hope would inspire ardour. She would even now arise from the dust, and like the eagle, plume her pinions for loftier flights than she has yet taken. What she wants, and what every individual Christian wants, is faith — faith in her sublime vocation, in her Divine resources, in the presence and efficacy of the Spirit that dwells in her — faith in the truth, faith in Jesus, and faith in God. With such a faith there would be no need to speculate about the future. That would speedily reveal itself. it is our unfaithfulness, our negligence and unbelief, our low and carnal aims, that retard the chariot of the Redeemer. the Bridegroom cannot come until the Bride has made herself ready. Let the Church be in earnest after greater holiness in her own members, and in faith and love undertake the conquest of the world, and she will soon settle the question whether her resources are competent to change the face of the earth.”


—from Collected Writings, 1871, volume 2, page 48; 
quoted by Iain H. Murray in The Puritan Hope, (Banner of Truth, 1971, page xxii).

Earnestly seeking things above,

Day Three (Thurs. AM) at the Banner

There were four sessions on this final day of the conference. First was the second address by Rick Philips, this time Continue reading

Day Two (Wed. PM) at The Banner Conference


After some time for fellowship (and helping a brother try to repair a laptop), the Wednesday afternoon sessions began … with something rather different. At 3:15 PM Pastor Mark Johnston (a Trustee of the Banner of Truth, a pastor from the UK) spoke for 15 minutes on Continue reading

Day One (Tuesday) at Banner

After a long 6 hour drive, Andrew and I arrived at Messiah College (south of Harrisburg, PA), for the Banner of Truth Ministers’ Conference. As we checked-in I met a few old friends, and the faithful staffers from the local BT office. What joy it is to renew friendships in Christ.

The first session featured Rev. Iain H. Murray speaking from John 21:19-21. This is called the “conference sermon” as it sets the tone and theme for the gathering. Iain presented the 250+ pastors here with an encouraging picture of Christ, the Head of the church. Jesus’ words to Peter
tell us of the Christian’s primary duty: “Follow Me!” We are to live with Christ, lean on Chirst and be (as the first Christians were called) “people of the way.”

During the break After Iain spoke, I was able to greet my good friend — and to my surprise he had a copy of his newest book (on D. Martin Lloyd-Jones), already signed and inscribed to me. A precious gift from a dear brother in the Lord!

1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. — 2 Timothy ESV

After a fine meal, the Tuesday evening session featured someone new to me, Pastor Craig Troxel of Wheaton, IL. Speaking from 2 Timothy 1:6-7 he very effectively reminded us pastors about the gift of grace that we have from our Lord. We do not need a new gift. What we have can be neglected and (God forbid) extinguished. So we need to fan into flame that which we have received. We must draw near to Him to do so. Strength does not come from within, but from God. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians (6:10), Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. With many other helpful words Pastor Troxel spoke to me in ways I truly needed to hear. (Thank you, Lord, for this helpful message!).

After a walk through the bookstore, and then back to the dormitories, I enjoyed a quick call home and a brief chat with Andrew. It was ‘early’ so I tried to do some reading stretched out on the bed. I don’t really how many times I nodded off, then regrouped! I finally set the books aside and got some much needed sleep.