The most exciting book announced at the recent Christian Booksellers Convention was The Church Janitor’s Bible Commentary, published by Boiler Room Press of Kokomo, Indiana. The editor, Claude Faucett, was kind enough to give me a free copy and explain the merits of the book.
“People think church janitors are illiterate,” he said, “but we listen to more sermons than the deacons do. We have to be in church-they don’t! This commentary is especially for church janitors because they need special help.”
“How scholarly is the material?” I asked.
“Well, there’s no Greek in the book,” Claude explained. “Greek is an Attic language, and church janitors spend most of their time in the basement. But the contributors have done their homework.”
“Who are the contributors?”
“We chose 66 church janitors from 25 different denominations, and assigned each one a different book of the Bible. We insisted on choosing men who had been janitors at least 10 years. Anybody who’s been taking care of a church building for 10 years ought to know something about the Bible.”
Claude was especially enthusiastic about the special emphases in the book.
“Any Bible passage that has anything to do with janitorial work gets a full treatment,” he said. “We have 10 pages on the landscaping in the Garden of Eden. We have 25 pages on the ark, with a special essay on windows. The tabernacle gets over 200 pages, with a lot of new material on how to hang curtains. The information on furnaces in Daniel 3 is worth the price of the book. We didn’t want to put a damper on that one.”
But Claude Faucett has one great anxiety.
“I’m afraid other trades will pick up this idea, and then we’ll have a lot of commentaries being published. There might be a Farmer’s Bible Commentary, or a Doctor’s Bible Commentary. We might have too much of a good thing.”
Boiler Room Press is now hard at work on The Church Janitor’s Own Hymnal. Songs like “Open the Gates of the Temple,” “The Church’s One Foundation,” “Watchman, Tell Us of the Night,” and “Just Outside the Door” will receive special treatment. “Janitors know a lot about keys, so this hymnal should be a success,” Faucett confided. “I can’t read music myself, but I love to sing, I can hardly wait for the book to come out.”
As for me, I could wait a long time.
Written by Warren W. Wiersbe
Originally appeared in Christianity Today, 9/07/79.
Used by permission. Not to be reprinted.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).