Turning a New Page: An Interview with Allan Fisher by Allan Fisher | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.
This is the second article I told you I wanted to reference on my blog today. When I initially looked at the interview feature in the March Tabletalk, I was not all that excited. “Who in the world is Allan Fisher?”, I thought. But a quick glance at Ligonier’s “bio” (see below) on this Reformed man told me he had been involved in book publishing for many years, and I was immediately drawn in to this interview!
There are several fascinating parts to this man’s life and conversation here that I would like to post. So starting today you will be introduced to this interesting man and the world of books in which he lived and served (and still does!). You will discover that he even has a Grand Rapids, MI book publishing connection. Read on, fellow readers and book lovers!
And, by the way, notice the early influences on his life that encouraged him to read, as well as edit books!
Tabletalk: How did God call you to the vocation of book editing and publishing?
Allan Fisher: God called me to Christian publishing in a variety of ways, only a few of which I will mention here. Through an excellent fourth-grade teacher, I first became a serious reader. During ninth grade I became confident of my God-given academic abilities. Through my new stepfather the following year, I was introduced to an extensive personal library and taken to bookstores, new and used. During my senior year of high school I came to Christ and became a student of the Bible. A college professor worked through my senior thesis with me line by line, resulting in numerous and extensive revisions that opened my eyes to the beauty of the editorial craft. In seminary, assigned to write a book review, I pointed out how an editor could have greatly improved the book. The professor didn’t appreciate this approach, preferring that I focus more on the book’s substance, but my eyes had been opened yet further.
After seminary, God kindly led me away from other, more typical callings for seminary grads and guided me into Christian publishing. This proved to be the perfect fit for my personality, gifts, and interests, and it put to full use my undergraduate degree in religion and my master of divinity degree. I will be forever grateful to God for allowing me to devote forty years to an endeavor so worthwhile and satisfying.
TT: What are some highlights of your career in Christian publishing?
AF: The highlights are many: I was mentored for more than fifteen years by Herman Baker, founder and president of Baker Book House and a wonderful Christian gentleman and mentor. During my last eight years at Crossway, I’ve been privileged to work for President Lane Dennis, a most remarkable publisher and a devoted follower of Christ. Another highlight has been a twenty-year association with R.C. Sproul, as well as the opportunity to publish John Gerstner, who taughtR.C. at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and me at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Publishing ground-breaking works by Richard Muller will always stand out in my memory, as will collaborating with him and others in the Dutch Reformed Translation Society to lay the groundwork for the publication in English of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics. Crossway is also releasing a new book by David Wells that, by God’s grace, will also have a positive impact for the Reformed faith. I could go on. God has been most gracious to me over the years.
Allan Fisher served as Crossway’s book publisher for the last eight years and as senior vice president and publisher for books before retiring this year. He spent nearly forty years in publishing, beginning at Baker Publisher Group and serving there as director of publications. He held the same position at Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing for five years. He continues to work part-time at Crossway on special projects and in an advisory capacity. He is a member of Bethel Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Wheaton, Ill.