Several weeks ago we attended the 2019 Shepherds’ Conference in Los Angeles, California. We have already given you the podcast we recorded with Sinclair Ferguson from that trip. But we also took a few minutes to record a podcast episode with John Rawlinson, the general manager of the Banner of Truth Trust and we are giving you that for this week's episode.
You may remember a podcast episode from several weeks ago with Pat Daly, the U.S. director of the Banner of Truth Trust. As was the case with Pat, when you hear from John you quickly see his love for Jesus and appreciation for books that make much of Him.
HIs appreciation of books began when he was a child curled up in a chair in his father’s study. He watched as his dad added single volumes of the Works of John Owen to his shelves. He could only add one at a time because that was how The Banner of Truth Trust published them.
When Matthew asked John to recommend a few books to you during the podcast, he was more than happy to comply. A full list John’s recommendations, along with links to where you can buy them, are on the Media Gratiae blog.
But The Banner of Truth Trust is more than books. It also has a book fund, a youth conference, a ministers' conference, and much more. Matthew, a man who has benefited from many aspects of its ministry, asks John to introduce you to each of these.
Links to everything John mentioned are under Show Notes.
0:00 Matthew introduces John Rawlinson. John currently lives just outside Edinburgh, Scotland, where the U.K. office of The Banner of Truth Trust is located.
2:00 John can still recall when he was first introduced to The Banner of Truth Trust. As a child, he would curl up in a chair in his dad’s study and look at the books that had a man on their spines. He recalls noticing as his dad would add the volumes of John Owen as The Banner published them.
5:00 While recollecting his memories about buying his first Banner book, John mentions the Banner Youth Conference. Matthew asks him to talk briefly about that. Then they discuss the ministers’ conference that always follows the youth conference. Matthew gives a glowing recommendation for the Banner conference, one of his favorites of the year.
9:00 Most people who know The Banner know about its books. A smaller number know about its conferences. But fewer probably know about The Banner of Truth Book Fund. Inspired by Suzannah Spurgeon, it seeks to provide books to colleges, seminaries, people who are training for ministry, and others.
14:00 Much has changed in the evangelical landscape since John took his position in 1999. John discusses how a hunger for Puritans has grown in the U.S., and what has been happening in the rest of the world.
17:00 With all this increased interest in Puritans and their careful theology, Matthew asks John if he thinks this could be a predecessor to a spiritual revival. John responds that God’s providence is best interpreted from far away. We can’t be certain what work God is doing right now, but we can be faithful and serve.
24:00 Now that Matthew has gotten John to talk about several things Banner does, he now asks John about particular books. John begins with The Art of Prophesying by William Perkins. It is one of the Puritan Paperback series. He also introduces the Puritan Paperback Series.
28:00 The Banner of Truth Trust publishes more than Puritans. They also publish modern writers.
29:00 The second work John brings out is Iain H. Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon. It centers on the historical fact that people would edit Spurgeon’s sermons to remove his Calvinistic doctrine. It was so effective many in Britain did not associate Spurgeon with Calvinistic doctrine. Iain Murray, also know as “The People’s Historian” sets out to tell the true story of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
33:00 Discussing Spurgeon’s forgotten Calvinism leads John to mention Archibald Brown, a man who preached during Spurgeon’s time and died a few short years after Spurgeon. Iain Murray also wrote his biography and John comments that is a very beneficial book.
37:00 John and Matthew depart from Spurgeon and Brown to discuss the Anglican minister J.C. Ryle. John also mentions his love for the game Cricket, which he tried to explain to the Media Gratiae off camera. Much to his disappointment, we never really grasped it. The book John grabs to highlight Ryle is Holiness. But really, we like just about everything by Ryle.
42:00 There is a reason we look to the old writers. And there is a reason we compare new writers, even great ones such as Sinclair Ferguson, to the old guys. Our faith is not one of innovation. Our God does not change. His truth does not change. While there are new applications, the truths and the Scriptures those truths are based on remain constant.
For the next few Supporter Appreciation Episodes, we will be in John's office hearing the testimonies of several Christians in Christ Church New Albany. We think this series will be beneficial to you for several reasons.
To begin this new series, we hear from Acey Floyd. Acey is a member of Christ Church New Albany and the Media Gratiae office manager. Our supporters may recognize Acey from a Supporter Appreciation Episode when we moved our warehouse closer to our office.
We give access to the Supporter Appreciation Episode as a tangible way of showing appreciation for those who partner with Media Gratiae monthly. If you are a monthly supporter, click here for the additional content. As with everything we do, we never want finances to be a genuine barrier between our content and those who want to access it. If that's you, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Art of Prophesying by William Perkins
From the Mouth of God by Sinclair Ferguson
The Forgotten Spurgeon by Iain Murray
Archibald G. Brown by Iain Murray
The Face of Jesus Christ by Archibald Brown
Holiness by J.C. Ryle
The Sinfulness of Sin by Ralph Venning
Maturity by Sinclair Ferguson