Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Interview with Luke Wilson from Deep Roots Library

Yesterday, I introduced you briefly to Deep Roots Library and told you a little bit about their ongoing kickstarter project. Today Luke has graciously agreed to do an interview in order to learn more about the man behind Deep Roots and what they are all about.

Luke will be hanging around the blog some today so if you have any questions for him leave them in the comments section below.

Luke, to start out, go ahead and tell us a little more about yourself and Deep Roots Library.

Well, I grew up in a pastor/missionary home. I was homeschooled as well, so early on I was reading books about various heroes of the faith. I remember in my early teens being at the Southern Baptist Convention, with probably $20 or so in hand, and looking at the bookstore with wide-eyed wonder at all the possibilities... But I ended up coming home with a compilation of Spurgeon's sermons on spiritual warfare.

The idea of Deep Roots Library came about soon after I bought my first iPad. I went to the iBookstore looking for my typical old dead guys like Spurgeon, Luther, Andrew Murray, etc. What I found was that there were either just a few books, or there were tons of copies of... a few books. And sometimes you would get a book, and there would be all sorts of typographical errors, etc.

This was frustrating, so at first I planned to publish books on the iBook & Kindle stores alone. But I gradually realized that there was no place online that I really enjoyed reading old authors, either. There were places I would go to read, but no place that I enjoyed reading, mostly because of outdated web design, slow speed, and a generally bad user experience.

So that's the story of how it all started... We publish high quality copies of old books with the latest standards of web design, so it's really fast and easy to find what you want, and read it wherever your at, on whatever device you're using. That's why I tell people that with Deep Roots Library, I'm very much scratching my own itch!

So, you would rather read dead guys then say Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, or even John Piper?

On most things, yes. I do read modern books as well, so I've read books by all of those guys. But, I'm trying to follow the advice of C.S. Lewis, who encouraged people to read 2 old books for every new book they read.

What is it you enjoy about old books?

When I read an older author, it's a connection that wouldn't be possible this side of heaven. It's a reminder that Ecclesiastes is true, that there really isn't anything new under the sun. That the struggles that Christians experience today are the same ones experienced by Christians 200, 500, or 1500 years ago. They struggled with prayer, with trusting, with those in the church who weren't committed, with a world that was hostile to the truth, with the fear of man in sharing the Good News.

Something about that that is incredibly comforting to me, and reminds me that I'm part of something bigger, older, and more important than me.

What are you currently reading and what are your top five recommended books of all time?

The amount of reading I do has taken a drastic downturn during this Kickstarter project! That being said, here's a few things I am reading right now:
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (family devotions)
  • The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church by Roland Allen
  • Give Them Grace by Elyse Fitzpatrick
It's so hard to answer this question, because I feel like it changes as you go through life, depending on what you need at the time. Also, these are only books that I have read. There are books that should be on the list, but that I haven't read yet, so, with those caveats in mind, and in no particular order:
  • The Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster
  • Sermons on the Gospel by Martin Luther
  • When I Don't Desire God by John Piper
  • Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
  • Pleasure and Profit in Bible Study by D.L. Moody

What would you say to the seminary guy out there who only has the newest books out there on his shelf?

You're view of Christianity is narrow, incomplete, and potentially dangerous, both to you and to your future congregations. Every challenge and heresy you might face, in your life and in the church, has been dealt with some time in the past. Many godly, wiser, older men have spent years dealing with it, whatever "it" is. You need their wisdom. To think you don't is the epitome of arrogance.

This is another thing I picked up from C.S. Lewis: that every generation has blind spots, particular sins that so easily ensnare us. We're so steeped in our culture that we don't see them, their severity and their sinfulness. But by exposing ourselves to previous generations, it gives us a clearer picture of where we may be missing it.

If you could go back and meet one of the authors that you enjoy reading, who would it be and why?

It may be cliche, but the more I think about it, the more I'd have to say Charles Spurgeon. He seemed to have such a grasp on the Good News, I would love to just talk with him about how to best make disciples. Plus he is one of the wittiest men ever, and just to be around that quick wit would be a pleasure.

Yesterday on the blog, I introduced your Kickstarter project. Can you tell us a little more about that and the implications of what Deep Roots is trying to accomplish?

Yeah, thanks for helping get the word out! By God's grace, we're going to publish 500 Christian books in the next 6 months or so. This is a huge undertaking with a lot of upfront costs, and that's why we chose to go to Kickstarter to have the community help out.

As far as the implications of the project, that's the most important part and the whole reason we're doing it! Believers around the world should have fast and easy access to the best books of Christian history. I've gotten emails from from missionaries in places like China and Ethiopia saying thank you for the resources we're providing - that they were using them personally, and also to train those they were discipling.
Emails like that are what led us to this place where we say, "We need to do this on a larger scale, so more people have the tools and resources to (a) become a better disciple, and (b) become a better disciple maker."

Luke, I want to thank you for your time today. Once again, if you have questions for Luke then leave them in the comment section below as he will be checking in throughout the day. Also be sure to check back in on Monday as Luke will be guest posting in my absence.

1 comment:

  1. Any chance you are still in contact with Luke? He has taken $22,000+ on kickstarter and has stopped responding to any requests for updates.