The Living Bible’S Modern Hero
My Life: A Guided Tour,by Ken Taylor with Virginia Muir (Tyndale, 401 pp.; $16.95, hardcover; $9.95, paper). Reviewed by Tim Stafford.

Evangelical heroes are in short supply these days. Televangelists offer a daily crop of epic deeds, but their struggles and triumphs seem strangely unreal, like track records set at high altitude. Ken Taylor’s memoirs are a happy reminder of another kind of Christian mind, and of another era of evangelicalism.

A Chronicle Of Mistakes

Never, perhaps, has an autobiography been written with less intention to impress an audience. As translator of The Living Bible and founder of Tyndale House Publishers, Taylor has plenty to crow about, but that seems to be the furthest thing from his mind. His son Mark, now president of Tyndale, says in an interview that the greatest difficulty in editing his father’s memoirs was to rein him in from telling in detail every mistake he ever made.

One can almost see Taylor’s brow furrow as he spells out his failings and doubts in the practice of his faith, in his marriage and family, in his work. “As I look back on it, I am astounded at my thoughtlessness,” he says of a time when he left his bedridden pregnant wife to go to Mexico on a missions trip.

“I know now that it has often been a problem for me through the years to make good judgments about priorities.” Or again, “I realize now that on the whole we did not talk things over enough. We should have done so more often, because her judgment is frequently better than mine.” Or, “I find it painful now to look back and remember how I would sulk in moody silence, sometimes for many hours.”

Taylor is equally vulnerable when discussing his many business failings, which almost bankrupted his publishing ...

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