Friday, June 24, 2011

Transcribing ... a Major Part of This Blog

I remember when I started this blog some years back, blogging was all the rage. Nowadays it seems to have died out a bit with only a faithful few still blogging away. I think one of the main reasons I kept mine going was that I wanted a vehicle (or two) for transcribing sermons - a practice I really enjoy and benefit from.

Why did I start transcribing?

I remember the first thing I began transcribing were interviews. I have always had a love of interviews - I feel they give insights into servants of God that you do not always get in sermons. You get more instant answers. While I am a self-confessed bibliophile (lover of books) and collect books as fast as I can and as much as I can afford for my own personal library (now several thousand books) - it always irked me that audiotapes seemed like a hidden treasure. There was so much gold discussed in some preaching and teaching tapes which unless you knew what you were listening to - could be missed. The printed word made that available.

What have I transcribed?

So my first few transcription projects were "Panel Discussions" from the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors. John Piper is renowned for gathering world-class preachers and teachers and the panel discussion was a part of the conference I was always fascinated in.

So I transcribed the 1999 conference where James M Boice, C J Mahaney and Piper discussed many issues. I then transcribed the 1991 conference where Wayne Grudem and Piper sat together discussing "Spiritual Gifts and the Sovereignty of God" and finally the 1995 conference where D A Carson was attending.

I then began to move onto transcribing Dr Ern Baxter. It was (and is) one of my major regrets that Ern never published more books than he did. I've collected and gathered all of his (now out of print) books but there is so much more of his ministry that should have been published! My first project was "Life on Wings - Interviews with Dr Ern Baxter" - a series of 4 interviews that Ern Baxter gave before his death. Mark Heath kindly published the document on his blog for me. I then transcribed "The Priestly Clothing" - a monumental series that Ern gave at our very own Anglia Bible Week in 1983.

I have recently commenced an even bigger project - transcribing (in my view) the most significant series that Ern Baxter preached at the Dales Bible Week in 1976 called "Where are we going?". It was a call to not waste the renewal and moving of the Holy Spirit but to go on and "take the land" - preach the gospel to the lost. Sadly largely ignored by many in that generation - it still has prophetic timeless truth which is why I hope it will be read and maybe even published.

When I encountered Rob Rufus at the "Together on a Mission" conference in 2006 and 2007 I knew instantly that this was a man of God who would change my life. My love for Rob's ministry came because he expressed and enunciated many of the kingdom truths that Ern Baxter did - but his passion for grace teaching meant freedom from much of the legalism I have inherited. It seemed a lethal combination! So I set up the "Rob Rufus" blog - aimed at making much of his teaching available in printed form. Rob and his son Ryan know and approve of this blog.

Transcribing - a Business?

I was interested to see Justin Taylor mention this "transcribing company" that offer this service to church pastors and teachers. It's encouraging that many local pastors can take advantage of this and ensure their ministry is not forgotten. I always used to badger a former hero of mine to write because it was my concern that teaching not written can be forgotten - sadly he never did.
I don't get paid anything for my transcripts - it's a hobby and one I really enjoy. But it's great to see it isn't just me that believes the preached word should be written down. Imagine how lost we would be if Dr Lloyd-Jones had persisted in refusing to allow his ministry to be taped and then written down! We would be without all those timeless books on Romans and Ephesians. I don't want the same to be true of Ern Baxter or Rob Rufus or Stanley Jebb.

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