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Banner Magazine Testimonials

Category Articles
Date August 25, 2016


The following are testimonials of how the Banner Magazine has helped people in their spiritual walks.

‘I am now 84, was converted in 1949, and have been a Banner of Truth supporter since the 1960s. I first became acquainted with the work of the Banner when the late Ernie Reisinger spoke at Knox Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, MD. Ernie, an earnest Reformed evangelist, was received enthusiastically by our congregation, and he brought with him many Puritan books, which he offered at a very low price and said he would “give” them to anyone who could not afford them! He spoke again for a second time, and we became good friends.

When the Banner began its first American conference in 1978, it was advertised as for “ministers.” I was a ruling elder (as I have been for 55 years) and called Ernie to ask if I might come, despite my lack of ministerial qualification. He said: “You come on!” Since that time, I have attended, I think, about 30 Banner conferences, including 27 of the last 28. Many Banner books are on my shelves, I have been a subscriber to the magazine for a long time, and I consider each summer’s conference as something of a spiritual “oasis” as God’s Word is powerfully and helpfully presented and old friendships are renewed.

I heartily a recommend subscription to the magazine. There is something unique about it which sets it apart from many other good evangelical publications. There is a wonderful balance of solid, Reformed instruction combined with encouragement to know the Triune God in an experiential way. I am very thankful to the Lord for all that the Banner of Truth has meant in my life, and pray that it may continue to bless the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ for many more years, or until He returns.’

— John Van Voorhis

‘I have been receiving the Banner of Truth since 1992, I think. It has been used of God to maintain my theological sanity, encourage me to be a better preacher and pastor, and given me a love for beauty in theology through Owen, Sibbes, Flavel, Lloyd-Jones, Ferguson and Ian Murray. I am a better pastor and a greater lover of God’s people than I was because of your faithful publication of this magazine. Thank you for your ministry, and for the annual minister’s conference.’

— Arthur Fox

‘At 72, the Lord having given this old saint a new heart 50 years ago (at 22 in 1966), I had the Bible with the Holy Spirit to teach, guide me and as I heard two saints I love (but not met yet at the time) say at a conference that they both came to the Reformed faith through Bible. Being unable to get enough of the Word, never having a good Reformed church nearby for long, I discovered through Reformed preachers the Banner magazine and books.

I cannot find words at present to tell you how happy in the Lord I was, as I saved any money from every payday I could, and I bought one by one the old 12 volumes of Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. For 50 years as my income allowed I gratefully piled up so many of these gems in print…and now, mostly home bound, much less money, I have these spiritual gems to feast on…along with the monthly, precious Banner magazine. I have only let it slip through my grasp once for a short time of months, because of the lack of funds – the Banner monthlies are to be saved and re-read often.

The magazine, if it can be said, is better than a book or two you may get, for it has many “small books” in it. From things biographical (from the fine, fine biographer, my friend Iain Murray) to the Puritans, and books on doctrinal and practical matters, there is no magazine that has equaled this one – it gets the cover to cover treatment in my life. I am lonely of people in one way, but full of the Lord’s people, who are with me often because the Banner enables me to spend great time with saints current and saints of old.

Recently, severely ill, I began reading most of the day my Banner magazines, for hours, and though ill – I cannot explain – my body felt something awful, but my mind and heart were full of joy, and the Lord gave me energy to be with Him in a special way. That “presence of the Lord,” I am convinced, was with me in a special way. God bless the Banner magazine and books. What a treasure on earth the Lord gave us who seek Him.’

— Wally Leitel

‘For many years, probably twelve or so, I have read the Banner of Truth magazine from cover to cover. At first, I was not aware of the impact the articles and features were having on my life. But over time as I read the carefully chosen excerpts from Puritan writings and other godly leaders of our faith along with reviews of current issues confronting the church, it began to dawn on me I was being “trained up in righteousness”. I found I was growing in discernment in our Lord in ways no other source was providing.

I am deeply grateful to Iain Murray and his remarkable leadership over the years along with many other servants deeply faithful to our Lord Jesus as they prepare a magazine that brings iron for the soul, an increasingly rare and precious gift in darkening days.’

— A Chicago Reader

‘I read my first issue of Banner of Truth magazine in Brisbane, Australia in 1983. I was a brand new Christian, 16 years old and converted right into a small Reformed Presbyterian church. We sang unaccompanied Psalms in worship, read Scripture together and listened to incredible preaching. After worship, the dozen or so of us who stayed for lunch together sang and talked some more. I was ecstatic to hear these mature, godly men and women talk. I drank it all in. But being somewhat of an introvert, I stepped away for a minute or two just to calm myself down. I picked up a magazine I saw laying at hand and began to flick through the pages.

I was transfixed! I read it cover to cover. I had no idea that this sort of thing existed. The cosmic doors were blown off for me and the universe stood open. This was heady stuff! I noted the Banner of Truth logo and the next week went to local Christian book store. This was the 80s in Australia, but there was still so much stuff. I was lost, but I had a clue – the Banner of Truth logo. So I looked for a book and found one – The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction by Sinclair Ferguson. I bought it. I devoured it. I went looking for more. I have now been a Banner of Truth customer for 33 years.

From that small, discarded magazine to Ferguson. From Ferguson to Ryle and Owen and Sibbes and Alleine and Rutherford and Dabney and Thornwell and Watson, Brooks, Spurgeon- untold riches of Christian grace all opened up for me by Banner of Truth and all of it directly due, in God’s sovereignty, to that first magazine. I wish I could remember which one it was, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. It was the tiny seed that bloomed into the great shade tree of the giants of the faith. A forest of books from that humble sapling. This fall, I am teaching a three month course on the Puritans and the English Reformation. That all stems, root and branch, from you.

God bless Banner of Truth. I subscribe now to the PDF magazine because carrying every issue with me where ever I go on my tablet is just too important to me. I have a little joy and excitement every time I see “Katrina Ironside” (from whom the PDF magazine is emailed monthly) pop up in my inbox! I can only wish that more of the BOT catalog were available as eBooks. Thank you, Banner of Truth for a lifetime of amazing reading and letting me, wretched as I am, sit at the feet of the greats across the miles and years in the fantastic resources you provide. The magazine is a jewel, but just a small jewel in the treasury of riches the Banner has made available for decades.

Dream job? Professional Banner of Truth reader! Again, thanks to all at the Banner.’

— David Wallace

‘We love to read the magazine and have done so from time to time. It’s so invigorating to get fresh perspectives on a variety of subjects. And it is stimulating to hear from like-minded Christians from various parts of the globe.

It’s also a great resource for what is commonly regarded as obscure information. For example, when I was reading history with my home-schoolers, I began to wonder whether King George III had been a keen Christian. So I checked back issues of the Banner that we had been given a pile of, and there I found an article outlining the living faith of King George III. You are not going to get that from Wiki.

We have also given gift subscriptions to up-and-coming young evangelicals, hoping to channel their reading and thinking into closer biblical lines. We see the magazine as a tantalizing taster for the marvelous selection of the Banner’s books.

— Michele Moore

I bought a copy of The Banner of Truth in a Christian bookshop in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia in the early 1970s, when I was a student for the ministry. The theological training there was on the “liberal” side, and this magazine (then unknown to me) was a real eye-opener! I subscribed immediately and have maintained my subscription ever since. Out of all others that I have received The Banner of Truth is the one magazine I have subscribed to that I have always read eagerly, devouring every article. I treasure my collection. It introduced me to church history as a living and instructive thing, and has helped me as a preacher and pastor over many years. I thank God for the Banner of Truth Trust.

— David Secomb

‘This is my story of coming to faith in Christ and coming to believe in the reformed faith.

Living in Scotland in my mid-twenties, I wed the lovely Christian girl who had gave me a Bible during our year of courtship and taken me with her to hear the gospel at her church (Salvation Army).

After being married ten and a half months, Jean, my wife, died from Lupus. On night of her passing, knowing she was in heaven, God convicted me and spoke to me strongly, asking “are you ready to meet me?”, I knew I wasn’t really for the Bible – until then it was to me only a good book, and prayer was just going through the motions. But there at my bedside I bowed to Christ and said, “Take me, I’m yours”, for God spoke in my heart, and I surrendered to his claims on my life.

After two years I left Salvation army to move to a local Baptist church where the pastor was reformed and Calvinistic, and upon hearing the name John Calvin, I began to investigate. I read his biography and began to subscribe to the Banner of Truth and the Evangelical Times magazines, as well as begin reading puritan and Calvinistic books.

I was fond of Jonathan Edwards’ writings, and I especially enjoyed his biography. Through this and attending various Biblical teaching conferences around the country, I learned so much more about reformed truth.

I remarried in 1990 to Christine, a Christian new to reformed teaching, and after two years in her local Baptist church we moved to a new reformed Baptist church which had started in the south side of Glasgow, under the ministry of Pastor Bill Hughes (who ministered there for 12 years before he moved to Florida, USA).

Though my wife and I have moved on from that church to one nearer home, we cherish those 12 years with Pastor Bill Hughes. They were the highlight of our Christian life, because we consistently received a high standard of reformed, Biblical, expository preaching, which even now effects and maintains my spiritual life.

I value richly the many Banner books on my bookshelf, and I also value attending the Banner Borders conference – which I have done on numerous occasions.

The books that have most effected me doctrinally and theologically are the following:

I am so grateful to the ministry of the Banner of Truth in maintaining a biblical and reformed standard for today’s church.

This is so needed in this spiritually dark world, to help believers stand strong in the truths of Holy Scripture that men like Calvin and Edwards stood for in their day.

Thanks for this opportunity of sharing my testimony of God’s wondrous grace: that He should elect and save us for His own. May God continue to bless [The Banner of Truth] continually in the future, until He comes.

— Gordon McConnell

‘In 1959 after the Billy Graham Crusade, when my interest in spiritual things was revived, I went into a Christian bookshop in Sydney and a young enthusiastic salesman came up to me and said, “Here’s a good book you ought to buy. It’s a really good book. I thoroughly recommend it.”

I looked at it. It was very well bound and it was very economically priced.

So I said, “Seeing that you recommend it so enthusiastically and so highly, I’ll buy a copy.”

But when I got home and started to read it, I did not like what I read. So I took the book back and said to the salesman, “This book you talked me into buying – I don’t like it. I want my money back.”

He said, “I will give you your money back. It is a really good book and I will have no trouble selling it.”

Fourteen years later a friend who was best man at my wedding in 1973 asked me to come to a meeting at St. Giles Presbyterian Church in Hurstville. The speaker of the meeting was the general manager of The Banner of Truth office Edinburgh. I looked at the Banner books on display and saw the one I had taken back all those years earlier. I confessed to what I had done and said, “Today I will buy the book back”, and it became one of the most precious books in my possession. That book was the first sixteen issues of The Banner of Truth magazine bound into book form.

I looked to see if I could find any articles that made me take the book back. I found two. One was Puritan Evangelism by J. I. Packer. In it he called my friend at the time, Charles G. Finney, a Semi Pelagian. I did not know what the word meant. The other article was Scriptural Difficulties Relating to The Doctrine of Election. I thought, “This will be good. It will tell of why you can’t believe the Doctrine of Election because of all the Scriptural difficulties in the way.”

But instead of arguing against it, it argued for the Doctrine of Election, and I did not like that. The article was unsigned and a note at the front of the book said unsigned articles are by the Editor, Iain H. Murray.

Iain has now become a personal friend, whom I met when he became the Minister of St. Giles Presbyterian Church, Hurstville and with whom I have the privilege of continuing to correspond to this day. Praise God!’

— Geoff Kirkland

For a small magazine, Banner of Truth packs a HUGE punch. It is full of articles, reviews and other information. What is particularly nice is that it features Reformation and Puritan writers that you never hear of any more, or even hear cited in sermons. The web site and the publishing arm are likewise a blessing. I have purchased several Banner of Truth books and have been very happy with each. To say I am a BIG fan is an understatement. If you want to grow as a believer, THIS is the place to go, and the magazine to read. God bless them in their outreach and ministry.

— Gerald Linnins

Many, many years ago I entered The Evangelical Bookshop in Belfast and bought a copy of The Saint’s Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter. Immediately I knew I was in the presence of an altogether deeper and more authentic expression of the Christian faith than what I had encountered as a young man. The reading of that book set me out on a theological journey which has, at once, been spiritually humbling and enriching. Along the way I soon discovered The Banner of Truth magazine and, partly though reading this magazine, was introduced to the (thankfully increasing) output of Reformed books. Now, in old age, I have assembled quite a library of books by, and about, the Reformers, Puritans, Covenanters and their present day successors. I look forward to each copy of The Banner of Truth with its meaty articles and book reviews – nothing frivolous or ephemeral, always encouraging spiritual growth. Of course, the magazine is more likely to be read by the saints than by those outside the Kingdom, but as we who are readers peruse and meditate upon the content, our prayer must surely be that we are strengthened in our purpose to be light and salt in a spiritually dark and decaying society.

— George Gillespie

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