If I told you that the Tanner of Bruth was a lay preacher who lived just outside of Edinburgh in the mid-18th century, would you believe me? What if I added that he was a Presbyterian lay preacher who experienced a blessed ministry to the non-conformist communities in Lothian? That his first name was Duncan and his wife was a highland lassie whom he had met at a communion season in Inverness?
Now that’s starting to sound rather like a cheesy Christian romance novel, isn’t it? The Tanner of Bruth is just a spoonerism: it’s really the Banner of Truth. And, thankfully, their books have better theology than any novel, little romance, and no cheese.
Since 1957, The Banner of Truth has been providing solidly biblical books for the Reformed and Presbyterian worlds. Pastors, professors, and lay people have come to recognize the Whitefield logo as a mark of a book’s physical and theological quality. Many of the books are reprints of old classics, but some are written as recently as this year by authors who are living and ministering today. The Banner of Truth only does a few things, but it does them very well, the way they always have. When the Banner takes on a new project, and especially when they change an existing one, it gets the attention of confessional pastors everywhere.
Yesterday they opened a new website, changing nearly every facet of their online presence. Whitefield is still there with his arm raised, but now it is more of a welcome, and less a demand that you declare your country of residence before shopping. The site is welcoming, visually pleasant, and user-friendly, with the option of creating your own, online customer account. Content updates to the site include a total list of all publications with cover images, tables of contents, sample pages, endorsements, reviews, and an author listing with biographies. You can also search by author, so if there is a Puritan, Reformer, or modern author whose writing you like, you can see which of their works the Banner has published. Some titles that you might want to check out are Lloyd-Jones’ book on Christian Marriage, The Faith Shaped Life by Ian Hamilton, and Owen’s classic Communion With God. And if you’re in pastoral ministry (pastor, elder, student for the ministry or seminary professor), their Ministers’ Conference is valuable; not only do they give away books to every man attending, but also the fellowship and teaching are rich.
If you’re not familiar with this ministry and their excellent stock of spiritual goods, I encourage you to get to know the Banner. The website is a good place to start.