WHEATON, IL — Behind the books on our shelves are dozens of visionaries, writers, editors, graphic artists, printers, and marketers hard at work. One goal of The Shepherd’s Scrapbook is to introduce the people and organizations behind the books.
This Spring we traveled to Pennsylvania to see the American office of the Banner of Truth Trust. Another favorite publisher is the Good News Publishers or Crossway Books — or simply known as the ones who publish the English Standard Version. Look on your shelves and count how many Crossway books and Bibles you own. Likely you have a bunch. These originate in Wheaton, IL.
And 2007 looks to be a monumental publishing year for Crossway. Along with the ESV The Literary Study Bible edited by Ryken and Ryken, our friends have produced The Reformation by Stephen Nichols, Sam Storm’s two excellent books Chosen for Life and Signs of the Spirit and will soon be printing the edited version of Communion with the Triune God by John Owen. Yet this Fall and Winter we look forward to John Piper’s response to N.T. Wright on justification, and the American edition of a great book published in the U.K. earlier this year — Pierced for Our Transgressions by Steve Jeffery, Michael Ovey and Andrew Sach. Each of these volumes (and several others) are grand accomplishments.
Crossway / ESV
The Crossway office and warehouse are within walking distance from the SE corner of Wheaton College, across a set of very busy train tracks. The office and warehouse are housed in one building. In many ways, the interior of the building is reminiscent of a church building with dark brick, embroidered cloth banner, tall ceilings and many windows. The main level perimeter offices are large, bright and with open ceilings.
Last Thursday morning I had the joy of joining the Crossway staff for chapel, a time to give thanks to God, reflect on His grace, and to pray for needs (both personal and professional). The various Crossway authors at work and under deadline were prayed for specifically. The chapel service brought a surprisingly personal context for all the other publishing work and revealed a community of editors caring for their writers and one another beyond the business context.
Crossway books are printed off-site, but warehoused on-site. I took the camera back for a few shots of the warehouse operations. You can see the line where orders are filled. As with the Banner of Truth, all noticeably damaged and defective books are pulled from circulation. Both publishers are perfectionists.
Justin Taylor is the main reason I came over to Crossway. Justin is a busy editor, writer, and blogger. His official duties center around editing the ESV Study Bible due out late next year and his blog, Between Two Worlds, is considered one of the best on the Internet (one I check daily and highly recommend).
Justin Taylor has also edited many books, including new versions of John Owen with Dr. Kelly Kapic (Overcoming Sin and Temptation and Communion with the Triune God). Communion is due out in mid-October, so Justin’s work has been especially busy. His diligent labors are amazing, considering he works 9-5 on the ESV Study Bible and his other writing projects (like Communion) are completed in his personal time in the evenings!
A proof of Communion sits on his desk with some final edits before it’s printed.
Justin’s office is on the main level and has no ceiling. He has a modest library on hand and has minimal decorating (please leave decorating ideas for Justin in the comments).
Justin blogs, edits and emails with his John Owen coffee mug handy. His monitor is lifted with two ESV Bible boxes, a copy of The Book of Great Books and a hardcover ESV. His timeliness can be attributed to a nifty Dunder-Mifflin calendar.
All Justin’s emails and calls are screened by his personal office assistant, Dwight Schrute.
Obviously, I captured only a few highlights. It was great meeting Lane Dennis, the man behind Crossway (sorry, no pics). But it was also great to see Crossway behind the scenes and the humble prayerfulness of editors coming together at the throne of mercy.
Time is running short and I have one final stop. Back at Wheaton College campus I walk up to Blanchard Hall to meet Dr. Leland Ryken. …
Related: Photo tour of Banner of Truth warehouse in Carlisle, PA (here).