“Between Two Worlds”: Justin Taylor on Blogging & Books

Between Two Worlds: An Interview With Justin Taylor by Justin Taylor | Reformed Theology Articles at Ligonier.org.

This month’s Tabletalk includes an interview with Justin Taylor, a long-time and well-known Reformed blogger who also works for Crossway Publishers. In the interview he talks about what led him into blogging as well as the significance of book publishing in this modern age. For today, this interview will be our Tabletalk feature, and I believe you will find it interesting and profitable (and you may kindly ignore his reference to the “virtual world” being a gift of God’s “common grace” – I am sure he really means “providence”.). Below are some parts of it; you will find the rest of the interview at the Ligonier link above.

Tabletalk: What led you to start a blog?

Justin Taylor: One of my favorite parts of elementary school was “show and tell.” I’ve always enjoyed sharing with others those things that I find fascinating. Eight years ago, I would regularly send a small group of friends items of interest on the Internet, and blogging seemed like a natural extension of what I was already doing, except for a wider audience. My assumption was that many Christians are already on the web every day. My goal is simply to put before them a steady stream of edifying links, excerpts, and notices that will help us all grow in godliness for God’s glory.

TT: How do you choose what topics to blog about?

JT: My two main criteria are those things that (1) are edifying and (2) are interesting or exciting to me. It’s easy to lose sight of the incredible (and humbling) fact that our generation has more access to gospel-centered resources than any generation in the history of the church. This makes the vocation of blogging easy at one level, given the plethora of spiritually healthy materials we have at our fingertips. Because the goal of the Christian life is to see and savor “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6), most of my blog posts have some connection with seeing and experiencing God, His grace, and His gospel.

…TT: From your perspective working with Crossway, what contribution does Christian publishing have to make to the church?

JT: One of my favorite quotes is from the acclaimed novelist (and OPC churchman) Larry Woiwode: “There is rugged terrain ahead for those who are constitutionally incapable of referring to the paths marked out by wise and spirit-filled cartographers over the centuries.” This is true not only across the centuries but also in our contemporary time. In God’s providence, he has provided publishers who preserve the insights of teachers of God’s Word. So, for example, my children will likely never have the opportunity to sit in Dr. Sproul’s living room to hear him tell a children’s story or sit in the pews at Saint Andrew’s. But through the printed word, the next generation — and even our children’s children — will be able to “hear” this wonderful teaching. If publishers like Crossway are doing their job correctly, then Christian publishing can be a complement to and a resource for Christ’s church in order to build up His body and edify His bride.

TT: What impact do you believe that e-readers will have on thee future of book publishing?

JT: The world of publishing is changing, and things will continue to change — but no one knows exactly what the future will look like or what the ramifications will be. It certainly affects every aspect of publishing when you have a “book” that doesn’t need to be printed, shipped, or kept in stock. The possibilities are endless: Will some publishers sell individual chapters at a very cheap rate? Will someone figure out a seamless way to integrate audio books and e-books? Will libraries let users “check out” an e-book? Will writers stop using footnotes? Will independent bookstores eventually cease to exist?

Marshall McLuhan’s observation that “the medium is the message” was obviously an overstatement, but there’s no doubt that digital media will continue to impact the way in which content is both conceived and processed. We will always have with us two extremes: those who refuse to recognize the opportunities that this new technology creates and those who are so aggressive in adopting and advocating for the latest creation that they cannot see what we might unintentionally lose in the process. I think that the path of wisdom falls somewhere in the middle.

Published in: on April 9, 2012 at 12:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Seminary Interim Class Online

For those of you who may not have heard and who are interested in benefiting from this year’s January Interim course at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, you will now find audio recordings (MP3 format) on the Seminary’s website of each day’s lectures. Prof.Ronald Cammenga, Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament, is teaching his course on “Contemporary Roman Catholic Theology”, and the two parts of each day’s sessions will be found at this link: http://www.prca.org/Seminary/faculty.htm (Just scroll down on the page until you find the information and links.).

After a brief glitch yesterday (first time through this learning process for the “rookie” webmaster! – I had hoped to have these loaded on the site yesterday afternoon :(), the  two parts from Monday, Jan.9, are now loaded. I hope to have today’s up in a smoother fashion and a faster time-frame. So look for these and listen in when you can! These are also downloadable files for your portable devices if you desire to listen to them on your own time and place.


And for good measure, here’s a picture taken yesterday of the group attending this year’s Interim.

My Blog – 2011 in review

WordPress, the host and mega-helper of this blog always gives its bloggers a year-end summary containing various statistics on your personal blog. Yesterday they sent me this summary – a very classy presentation. So, without further ado, and if this is of interest to you, find out what how many posts I did last year, what my top posts for 2011 were, and other blogging stats that surprise even me! Thanks for being a part of this blogging experience. Without your support and encouragement I probably would have given up by now. Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed bringing you information about and inspiration for “the Three R’s”, and I hope to continue in this year 2012.


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Published in: on January 3, 2012 at 11:46 AM  Leave a Comment  

Goldenrod at Dusk – The Dassler Effect

Goldenrod at Dusk – Forest Park, St. Louis « The Dassler Effect.


It has been a while since I have found and refered you to a new WordPress blog that I found helpful, inspiring, and informative. Yesterday I discovered this blog of Neil E. Das, a reference librarian,  photographer, and fellow Christian living in St.Louis, MO. I believe you will benefit from his blog – beautiful pictures of God’s creation with the desire to glorify Him. And congratulations on being “freshly pressed”, Neil! (That’s WordPress’ daily listing of outstanding blog posts).


This is what he has to say about the name of his blog and its meaning:

The Dassler Effect is, in a word, chiaroscuro; dark and light-not yin and yang, but fall and restoration, brokenness and beauty, longing and fulfillment, groaning and revelation-a little now, much, much more later.

The Dassler Effect consists of photo posts and wide ranging reflections on topics ranging from media to aesthetics to relationships to theology, often with a fair dose of playfulness. If that is your sort of thing, come along for the ride.

New Links – More Reading/Study Resources

Earlier this week I added a new category and some excellent book reading resources for my readers (right hand side bar, categories in alphabetical order). In this post I briefly call attention to these new links. Under the heading “Library/Digital Books & Resources” I added links to:

  1. The Center for the Study of NT Manuscripts – This is a great site for viewing ancient manuscripts of the NT Scriptures in Greek. Dr.B.Wallace from Dallas Theological Seminary and his team of scholars are traveling the world taking digital pictures of the surviving manuscripts of the NT and posting them on this website. In this way they are also preserving the Bible in one of its original languages for years to come. Even if it’s all Greek to you, the images are still impressive to see! Notice how God preserved His Word throughout the centuries through the careful work of scribes.
  2. The Library of Congress – If you have never visited and used the site of the largest library in the world, well, you are in for a treat. Here you can not only search for books of all kinds, but also find archives and pictures of our country’s history, along with worlds of other information. A great tool for your student’s school projects!
  3. The Open Library – An open-source book forum and digital book arena where you will find millions of digitalized books – and where you can even add your own! Lots of enjoyment browsing and reading here!
  4. Post-Reformation Digital Library – This a site connected to Calvin College’s Meeter Center for the study of Calvinism and contains a vast amount of material on Reformation and post-Reformation history and doctrine.
  5. UM Digital Library – This huge digital collection of books – searchable and readable! – is part of the University of Michigan’s “Hathi Trust” project. You will be amazed at what you can find available here – just do a search on Calvin!

That’s it for now, but no doubt I will be adding to this collection in the future, so keep an eye on that category of links. The explosion of the internet and digital books has opened up a world of incredible resources for reading and research. While the devil has used the web to promote his agenda, God in His sovereign providence is also using it to give His people access to great classics of the faith and great opportunities to spread the truth. Use these links with that in mind.

Published in: on October 26, 2011 at 3:56 AM  Comments (1)  

Blogging Apologies and Explanations

Thank you for your patience as I get my blogging house in order this week! My apologies for being absent for a few days, but I had an extremely busy weekend. As you may have seen from my post last Thursday, our Seminary hosted a special conference this past weekend commemorating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. And because I am now working full-time at our Seminary as librarian, I not only had to be present at the conference (which I gladly attended!), I also had to assist with some special displays and with the book table (again, most gladly!). Besides, following the conference on Saturday there was an open house held at the Seminary to showcase the recent renovations and to display part of the T.Letis library of which I am the “curator”. This latter display included books related to the KJV conference – the “forerunner” Bibles to the KJV (Wycliffe’s, Tyndale’s, Geneva, etc.), various editions of the KJV,  a variety of Greek New Testaments – and a few of the rare volumes from Letis’ collection (including that 1580 printing of T.Beza’s Latin/Greek NT!). Thanks to all of you who came to the conference and to the Seminary to see the books! It was a joy to show them and talk about them. As an aside, and for the benefit of those who could not come, I have taken a bunch of pictures and will be posting them here sometime this week, I hope.


Following these events on Friday and Saturday, my wife and I drove down to Indiana/Illinois Saturday afternoon to stay with friends due to our Hope Heralds’ concert in the Protestant Reformed Church of Crete, IL last night. We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship and gave another inspiring concert (for us men – and we trust, the audience!). It has been a special and wonderful season for this group of men singers (see my other posts on the “Heralds”). So, we did not get home until early this morning. A long, busy weekend, filled with good things. And a short night of sleep. Now you know why I was absent from my blog.


And did I mention that my home PC died again?! That’s another issue. Thankfully I have a laptop from which to do work too. Anyway, it is “back in the saddle” time. I pray you have a blessed week, serving the Lord and His kingdom in the place He has given you.

Published in: on September 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM  Leave a Comment  

Housekeeping Matters

I keep forgetting to inform my readers that if they wish to subscribe to this blog, you may do so easily from the blog itself. Just scroll down, keeping your eye on the right hand column. After the “archive” section, you will see a “subscribe here” button. Just enter your email, hit the button, and you will start receiving all my posts directly via email. There is no cost to you and no extra benefit to me. I do this with the blogs I enjoy just as a matter of convenience. And again, thank you for taking the time to visit this blog. I am still enjoying the process of finding material to post, which I trust is useful to you. Feel free to give me any feedback you wish. I can even take criticism! Of the constructive type, of course. 🙂 If you see I miss a day, as I did this week, don’t worry. Just means I had a busy night (like school board meetings), or simply wanted to read (which I never get enough time for!).

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 4:04 AM  Leave a Comment