Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Books, books, and more books

So, you're in London, you've got some time off from your studies, what to do? Visit the Evangelical Library of course. This is a very extensive library of (roughly 80,000) books largely from the reformed evangelical stream, including some rare collections, copies of journals/ periodicals going back a century or so and a significant collection of old hymn books. Stepping into the library was a little like stepping back in time at least a century or two. Lloyd-Jones was involved in establishing it back in the 1930s, though the vision really belonged to a guy called Geoffrey Williams who saw it as a resource for the church in this country and beyond for generations to come. The library was not insignificant in the resurgence of calvinism in the UK in the 1950s-60s.

If you are an Oak Hill student and you are reading this then go visit and join, benefit from and support this important resource. I got the impression from my first look round the place today that someone who had a little more of a clue about our forefathers in the faith from the 17th-18th century than I do would've been even more excited about the place than I was.

The second place I visited today was the Metropolitan Tabernacle Bookshop - the bookshop attached to the church where C. H. Spurgeon was once the minister. The staff were really friendly and even let us have a little peak in the actual church building itself. Only the front of the building remains from the original which Spurgeon had built in the 1800s as most of the building was destroyed by fire in the late 1800s and then again in WWII. The bookshop itself was a little limited in scope though it was very well endowed with works by the Puritans.

Of course, neither the writers whose works are found in the Evangelical Library, nor Spurgeon, would want either of these places to be mere memorials - which was one reason why I didn't stop to bow before the little statuette of Spurgeon (pictured above) at the tabernacle bookshop. But I do think they would be glad to know that Christ's people are mining some of the riches left behind from the Spirit's work in the Church of yesteryear. Of course, books are not good simply because they are old (and man, some of the books in that library especially are Old) but we are fools if we collectively fail to tap into what our 'older brothers and sisters' in Christ found and did as they reflected on the bible.

1 comment:

Ros said...

So what did you buy and what are you reading?