Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Day with James Brainerd Taylor

An excerpt from James Brainerd Taylor's diary on Christmas Day, December 25, 1822. Written while Taylor was a 21-year-old student at the still-existent Lawrencevillle School (5 miles southwest of Princeton, N.J.). Taken from the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor (NY: American Tract Society, 1833), pages 177-78.

"During the day my mind was solemn; and on my way home [from meditating near his favorite tree], as I mused, the fire burned. In the highway Jesus was exceedingly precious. It is God--the triune, the holy God, that captivates my heart--and to be conformed to the image of his dear Son is my supreme desire. Lord, make me more holy!

"This has been a good Christmas Day to me. The birth of the Savior has occurred to my mind, in all its circumstances, with pleasing reflections. But now he reigns on high, the Judge of all. What a mysterious, yet consistent whole! And all to make his people blessed forever."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

James Brainerd Taylor memoirs available online . . . FREE viewing, download and searching

Just a reminder that both the Memoir of James Brainerd Taylor (1833) and A New Tribute to the Memory of James Brainerd Taylor (1838) are available online. Both books--which are in the public domain (all pre-1923 books)--are fully searchable and can be viewed and downloaded for free via Google Book Search. Click here for the online Memoir and here for A New Tribute.

Both books were digitalized by Google from copies in the Harvard University Library. The 441-page second edition Memoir was digitalized on February 22, 2008 (Google erroneously states this is the 330-page first edition). The 440-page A New Tribute was digitalized on May 9, 2007. Southern Presbyterian pastors John Holt Rice and Benjamin Holt Rice compiled the Memoir, and Fitch W. Taylor, a younger brother of James, compiled A New Tribute.

This is perfect timing as the first books on Taylor since 1833 and 1838 were released in January and June 2008 (University Press of America): An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening and the edited anthology Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor. See Uncommon Christian Ministries' timeline on Taylor for other recent activity.

Relatedly, Harvard University Library's copy of the Sketches of The Religious Experience and Labors of A Layman: With An Appendix by Jeremiah Humphre Taylor was digitalized by Google on December 11, 2007. Written in 1860 by one of James Brainerd Taylor's two older brothers, the 171-page autobiographical account contains information about James's childhood in Middle Haddam, Connecticut, his leadership involvement with an African-American Sunday school in New York City, and his evangelistic efforts in various spiritual revivals.

Also, a copy of volume one and volume two of The Flagship; Or, A Voyage Round The World, and Visits to Various Foreign Countries, in the United States Frigate "Columbia"... by Fitch W. Taylor was digitalized by Google on May 3, 2007. The 1840, 1st edition volumes by James's U.S. Navy Chaplain brother are an eyewitness account of the first U.S. Navy ship to circumnavigate the globe. For the digitalization, Google used copies from the New York Public Library.

For more information on the history and current activity of Google Book Search (est. 2004), see here (wikipedia entry) and here (from Google). FYI: Google just signed a ground breaking legal agreement with U.S. authors and publishers, thus allowing Google Book Search to add even more books to their already 7,000,000-plus online books.

For more online resources on James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829), see here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Evangelical Theological Society meeting, Providence, R.I. (and Connecticut churches)

For those in the New England area, I will be presenting a paper/lecture on James Brainerd Taylor at the 60th annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, R.I., on Thursday, November 20, 2008. Under the category of "Historical Theology," the talk will be held in Room 555A at the Rhode Island Convention Center, 3:40 to 4:20 p.m. The talk is titled "James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829), Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening: Why He Is Needed Today."

The meeting itself is Wednesday to Friday, November 19-21. The plenary sessions are on the theme of "Text and Canon." In addition, about 400 elective papers/lectures will be presented. The elective category topics include Biblical Studies, Evangelism/Missions, Issues in Systematic Theology, American Christianity, Pastoral Theology, Old and New Testament Studies, Baptist Studies, and a host of others. Over 2,000 people are expected to attend.

Formed in 1949, the Evangelical Theological Society is "a professional society of Biblical scholars, teachers, pastors and others involved in evangelical scholarship in order to serve Christ and His Church." Its purpose is "to foster conservative Biblical scholarship by providing a medium for the oral exchange and written expression of thought and research in the general field of the theological disciplines as centered in the Scriptures." ETS publishes a quarterly journal called JETS. (JETS is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. See Pastor-Author John Piper's June 18, 2008, article "2 Birthdays and Biblical Inerrancy.") The society currently has over 4,500 members, with Old Testament scholar Dr. C. Hassell Bullock of Wheaton College (Ill.) serving as 2008 president.

ETS is one of six societies or associations I am a member of. Click here to view my other memberships.

FYI: While visiting family in Connecticut, and on the lone Sunday (Nov. 16) I'm in New England, I plan to worship at Trinity Baptist Church near Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Author and friend Josh Moody (B.A., Ph.D., Cambridge University) is senior pastor of Trinity (1999- ), and creator of the online GodCenteredLife.org. He is 1 of 22 international endorsers of An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening (University Press of America, Jan. 2008). A highly recommended church to attend if in the New Haven area. NOTE: It was just announced that Pastor Josh has accepted the position of Senior Pastor at the historic Wheaton College Church (est. 1861) in Illinois. He succeeds long-time (1979-2006) College Church pastor-author Dr. R. Kent Hughes, and begins the new position January 1, 2009.

Also, on November 17, I plan to meet with Mark E. Given (M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), pastor of Christ Episcopal Church in Middle Haddam, Conn. Christ Church (est. 1785) was the childhood/home church (birth to age 15, 1801-1816) of James Brainerd Taylor. One of the 8 stained glass windows in the church is dedicated to Col. Jeremiah Taylor, James's father. Through James's instrumentality, it was during the spring 1822 revival that James's parents and some siblings were converted to Christ. Rev. Given (M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is 1 of 17 international endorsers of Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor (University Press of America, 2008).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seattle Times book announcements

Both An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening -and- Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor were announced by book review editor Michael Upchurch in the "New books by Washington authors, or of local interest" section of the October 30, 2008, edition of The Seattle Times. Click here for the online version. With a weekly readership of over 1.5 million (print and online), The Seattle Times is one of two major newspapers the University Press of America books were submitted to, the other being The Hartford Courant in Connecticut (the birthplace of J. B. Taylor).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Uncommon" press releases sent to over 1,200 media outlets

A press release entitled "New Biographies on Forgotten 'Uncommon Christian' Evangelist James Brainerd Taylor" was sent to over 1,200 media outlets--secular and Christian radio, TV and print--by Religion Press Release Services, a division of the Religion News Service. Based in Washington, D.C., RNS is "the only secular news and photo service devoted to unbiased coverage of religion and ethics--exclusively."

Click here to read a similarly worded but slightly shorter (400-word) national press release sent by the Christian News Wire service. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Christian News Wire is "the most used and most recognized distributor of religious content press releases in the nation since 1989." Every press release sent by Christian News Wire goes to major media outlets nationwide, including all of the top daily newspapers; wire service bureaus; broadcast network bureaus; network affiliates, news-talk radio stations and weekly news magazines. Also, every press release transmitted is made available to millions of online users worldwide.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Library Purchases, Book #2 (Of Intense Brightness)

Released in June 2008 from University Press of America, some libraries that have purchased Book #2--Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor--include the university libraries at Baylor, Chicago, Colorado (Boulder), Drew, Fordham, Georgetown, Georgia, Haverford, Indiana (IUPUI), North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania (UPenn), Texas Christian (TCU), Virginia Tech, and also Colby College, Duke University Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Lancaster Bible College, Princeton Theological Seminary, St. Paul School of Theology (Kansas City, Mo.), Trinity International University/Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and University of Toronto (Canada) and the Bavarian State Library (est. 1558, Munich, Germany). View all libraries at WorldCat.org, "the world's largest network of library content and services." (Relatedly, click here for a list of libraries that have purchased Book #1 so far.)

On another note . . . Book #1--An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening (University Press of America, Jan. 2008)--had an entry in the May 2008 edition of Reference & Research Book News: The Bibliography of New Scholarly Books (Vol. 23, No. 2, page 35). Read here a digitalized version of the entry. Reference & Research Book News "focuses on reference and scholarly works in the social sciences and the humanities. Each quarterly issue carries over 3,000 titles (from several hundred publishers), arranged by subject (according to the Library of Congress classification scheme)." RRBN is an affiliate of Book News, Inc. (est. 1976), a company that "prepares concise, descriptive reviews of new books in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities—for librarians and other buyers of serious books."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Uncommon Christian" Audio Sermon and Biography (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

The audio sermon "The 5 Characteristics of Uncommon Christianity" is now available online (see July 6, 2008) via an MP3 download. The sermon was preached at Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Also available online is the audio of a biographical sketch I gave on James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829) during Sunday School at the same church (see Sunday School lesson for July 6, 2008).

Calvary Grace Church was founded in 2007 by a friend and former classmate at Canada's Prairie Bible College and Toronto Baptist Seminary. A former Professor of New Testament Greek at TBS, Clint Humfrey (pictured with hat) is a husband/father, cowboy/businessman, blogger and tentmaking pastor/church planter in his native Alberta. Clint authored the essay, "Of Common Ilk: Spiritual Friendship as a Means of Grace in the Lives of Robert Murray M'Cheyne [1813-1843] and His Companions" (1998).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Book 2 Released - Of Intense Brightness

Alas, Book 2--Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor--is released.

168 pages. 41 photos/halftones. Map. Index. Historical chronology and select bibliography (James Brainerd Taylor). Recommended reading list (Evangelical Protestant spirituality). 17 international endorsements.

Foreword by Canada's James M. Houston (M.A., Edinburgh; D.Phil., Oxford). Epilogue ("A special word to university and seminary students") by Australia's Peter Adam (Ph.D., Durham).

From the UCM website, you can read excerpts, a summary of its contents and its 17 international endorsements.

To view the book's page on the publisher's website (University Press of America [Lanham, Maryland]), click here.

For purchase options in U.S., Canada or overseas, click here.

A special THANKS to all those who partnered with me in this second publishing effort to preserve and reintroduce the Princeton University and Yale Seminary student-evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801-1829) and his Bible-based Uncommon Christianity--"eminently holy, self-denying, cross-bearing, Bible, everyday" Christianity--to the 21st-century global church, seminary and university.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Canada's James Houston . . . Book Tour Update

Along with James Houston--author of the Foreword to Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor (read excerpt here)--a book signing and PowerPoint presentation is set for Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am a current, non-residential Doctor of Ministry student at Western and Dr. Houston has spoken there once before. Western Seminary's new/12th president, Dr. Randall Roberts, will introduce us both.

I will give a presentation on my two James Brainerd Taylor books and Dr. Houston will speak on his latest book Joyful Exiles: Life in Christ on the Dangerous Edge of Things (IVP, 2006), winner of the World Guild Best Leadership/Theoretical Book. Read here a review of Joyful Exiles in "Christianity Today" magazine.

Dr. Houston (M.A., Edinburgh; D.Phil., Oxford) is the founding principal of Regent College: An International Graduate School of Christian Studies (est. 1968) in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He has authored or edited over 40 books on evangelical Protestant spirituality and currently serves as the Board of Governors' Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent. It was the British-born Houston who was the primary instrument in influencing his fellow Englishman, theologian, and Knowing God (1973) author, J. I. Packer (D.Phil., Oxford), to come to Canada and teach at Regent (1979- ). Bruce Hindmarsh (D.Phil., Oxford) is the current James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent.

As of now, this October 7 date is the only scheduled book signing/presentation event for 2008. My ambitious idea of a November mini-book tour to entities associated with James Brainerd Taylor (in Conn., N.J., N.Y., Virg.) is postponed due to time and financial factors. However, if my submitted paper is accepted, then I hope to give a talk on Taylor at the 60th annual Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting in Providence, R.I., November 19-21. Stay tuned.

UPDATE (Sept. 15, 2008): The October 7 event with Dr. Houston in Portland, Ore., has been cancelled. I am set to deliver a paper/talk on J. B. Taylor on November 20 at the national ETS meeting in R.I.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

UCM Website Revision/Expansion, PHP

The UCM website has revised/expanded from 19 to a more user-friendly 25 pages, and has switched from html to php format.

The site's "Francis Kyle--Resources" . . . "Francis Kyle--Photo Albums" . . . "Author Q & A" . . . and "James Brainerd Taylor--Photo Albums" pages are the last remaining projects to complete. This summer or fall '08 is the target date to upload the audio . . . video (via YouTube.com or GodTube.com) . . . written (via Google Documents) . . . and photo album (via Flickr.com) documents. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Library Purchases, Book #1 (An Uncommon Christian)

Via the international WorldCat database--the world's largest network of library content and services--click here to view public, university, seminary and historical society libraries that have purchased An Uncommon Christian: James Brainerd Taylor, Forgotten Evangelist In America's Second Great Awakening.

So far, and among others, the university libraries at Baylor, Chicago, Drew, Duke, Emory, Fordham, Furman, Georgetown, George Mason, Georgia, Haverford, Indiana, McMaster (Ontario, Canada), North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, Nova Southeastern (Florida), Pennsylvania (UPenn), Samford, Southern Methodist (SMU), Winthrop, and others . . . Andover-Newtown Theological Seminary, Calvin College and Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School, The Master's Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School, Berlin State Library (est. 1661, Germany), Connecticut Historical Society, and New York Historical Society . . . have purchased the book.

Also, after it is released in June '08, patrons will be able to locate libraries that hold Book #2--Of Intense Brightness: The Spirituality of Uncommon Christian James Brainerd Taylor--via the WorldCat database. Click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New (second) map on James Brainerd Taylor

The Global and Cross-Cultural Impact of the American Evangelist James Brainerd Taylor (1801–1829) and His Two Memoirs (1833, 1838).

Click here to view the map on UCM's web site. Special thanks to Topaz Maps, Inc. of Massachusetts.

In addition to online, this second map will be used in future books and PowerPoint presentations on J. B. Taylor.

Scroll down to see some pictures.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New UCM web site launched today (Jan. 15, 2008) . . . regular blogging to begin soon

Alas, Uncommon Christian Ministries' new web site is launched: www.uncommonchristian.com. Mark the date--January 15, 2008. After a several year wait and much work, a new era has begun. Exciting! (Among other domain names, the UCM web site will also work when clicking on http://www.franciskyle.com/ and http://www.jamesbrainerdtaylor.com/)

*NOTE: The 19-page web site is about 65% complete. Written documents (via Google Documents), photo albums (via Flickr), audio (via a yet-to-be-determined online provider) and video (via You Tube) still need to be added. For now, the site's foundation is complete.

I will begin regular blogging in the coming weeks or months. Stay tuned. Viewers of the UCM web site can access this Google Blog from the site.

Scroll down to see some pictures.