As many of you will know, I regularly wander up and down the length of the British Isles for work reasons. In fact, I spend as much as 10-15 hours a week in the car. Audio books have been a real blessing to me, as I have been able to redeem the time listening to teaching from a wide range of authors, including people like John MacArthur, J.I. Packer, John Ortberg, Billy Graham, John Piper, Phillip Yancey, John Stott, Rick Warren and others, as well as the NIV and ESV bibles. I can tell you for sure that if you spend 10-15 hours a week listening to this sort of thing, any complacency and contentment you might have will be shattered. You will be challenged, and your notion of God's plan for your life will be considerably stretched. Mostly I have obtained my books from http://www.audible.co.uk , which has good pricing but really obtrusive DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), meaning that it becomes hard work to listen to the audio in your car.
I recently came across Christian Audio, which is much like Audible, only focussing exclusively on Christian books. Christian Audio have a pretty good repertoire, as well as a goodly collection of free stuff - mostly older titles or lecture content, with some really good stuff in there. This led me to wonder if I couldn't get hold of seminary-style stuff to listen to, which would continue to bless my time in the car but would also help me to prepare for the upcoming semester at HTC? Following this line of thinking on Google led me to BiblicalTraining.org, an amazing resource founded by Dr Bill Mounce, New Testament Chair for the ESV Bible, and author of the Greek textbooks I'll be using next semester (as well as a host of other titles). Solid guy, it would seem. Anyway, the Biblical Training site is loaded to the gunwales with theology material of all kinds - stuff for new believers, foundation-level stuff and advanced seminary level/leadership materials. It's an impressive collection, must be thousands of hours of edited audio in there, and - wait for it - it's all free and has no DRM. I have already benefited from Dr Craig Blomberg's NT Introduction and Dr Mounce's own Biblical Training Institute, and am keenly looking forward to working through more of the materials. Heartily and enthusiastically recommended!
While Biblical Training is fast becoming my first port of call, I like to mix things up a bit and have also found a number of other sites providing free MP3s. The following are all well worth a visit:
- Covenant Theological Seminary (the seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the USA)
- Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Third Millennium Ministries
While I have already spotted some theological disagreements with Covenant and Third Millennium (I am Reformed but most definitely not Paedobaptist!), for the most part they also seem to have some pretty solid stuff.
Last but not least, it's worth mentioning that Dr Wayne Grudem, author of a leading Systematic Theology, has also been conducting a series of lectures for lay people which are available online .
I am so impressed by all this - this is stuff that I (and many others) would have been glad to pay for, available for free. What a blessing to us as individuals, and to the Church corporately! Go and have a look, and a listen, and maybe check out the donation pages as well!