The time has come for the Anglican Bible and Book Society to disband.
This organization was founded in 2005, intended to be a resource for church plants, small congregations, and missionary endeavors. The primary goal was to help these struggling groups by supplying Bibles, Prayer Books, and hymnals so they could be prepared for worship and preserve their funds for other mission work. Over the years, the Society has had a modest impact in this area.
We also intended to reprint classical Anglican texts that were no longer in publication and to publish new titles that would aid Christian education and the training of clergymen. Our third goal was to produce educational material that would aid churchmen in enriching their knowledge of God; chiefly, we hoped to develop a program of continuing education for Anglican clergymen. Neither of these goals has been realized despite several endeavors.
Congregations have benefited from the Society’s work, supported by generous benefactors. Volunteers have carried out the work with sincere devotion to God and a desire to aid their fellow churchmen. In the final analysis, we have aided the Lord’s work. However, the greater impact we hoped to make has not been attained, and the members of the Board have determined to divert our energy and resources to other areas of church life.
No doubt there is still a great need for churchmen to support the work of missions, both domestic and foreign. It is my sincere belief that the West’s spiritual and cultural decline is largely influenced by the failure of the church to continuously engage in missionary activity; Christians must never abandon our missionary calling.
As for Bibles, Prayer Books, and hymnals, there is a great confusion of mind among traditional Anglicans as to which editions are proper. A great number of conservative churchmen practice a “pick-and-choose” approach, forgetting to consider the serious doctrinal implications and impact on spiritual formation that accompanies such matters. In the American context, the traditional materials are available from various booksellers, and churchmen truly committed to the hard work of the missionary task will identify means to acquire the requisite tools.
There is much to do in the Lord’s vineyard. The Board is grateful for the kindnesses of patrons and well-wishers, for the diligent labor of our volunteers. Now, find other fruitful ground where you may invest for a good return. Be about the Lord’s work; make his name famous among the nations of the earth.
Soli Deo gloria,
Daniel J. Sparks