Highly celebrated Christian publishing pioneer Kenneth N. Taylor died June 10 after six decades in ministry. His life leaves us much to emulate. Taylor's extraordinary integrity and humility seasoned his entrepreneurial drive and publishing skills, resulting in a lifetime of creativity and effectiveness.
In our self-centered culture, Taylor looms large as a man who passionately lived out his faith. The author of the Living Bible continually attempted to shape his life, not only according to its promises, but also its hard truths, demands, and challenges:
Vision. He had seen how the Bible changed people's lives. But too many couldn't understand what they were reading. He solved that problem. He then recast his vision globally, undertaking Bible translation and distribution worldwide. Ultimately, his passion was for people, not projects. He longed to see the Scriptures come alive in readers.
In his quest to follow God's guidance, he showed steady resilience. Taylor experienced business decisions gone bad, as well as the pressures and disappointments of raising a large family. In publishing and through 65 years of marriage, he showed the resilience needed for "a long obedience in the same direction."
Money. He never flinched from the Bible's tough statements. Jesus once said, "Watch out! Be on guard against all sorts of greed." Taylor took that to heart. When he had the chance to become very rich from the Living Bible's financial success, he wouldn't touch the money personally, believing it was God's Word and God's money. Over the years, he continued to live sacrificially, donating millions of dollars toward spreading the gospel through the Word of God.
Ego. Taylor led an extraordinary life. Yet in his autobiography ...1