The other night my wife and I were watching Million Dollar Rooms on HGTV and they were featuring the home of Mark Lanier. Lanier is a trial lawyer who lives in Houston Texas. His undergraduate studies is in biblical languages and economics. He also teaches bible classes at Champion Forest Baptist Church.
On Lanier’s 40 acre property he has built a chapel and a functioning library that is open to the public. The chapel is a reproduction of a 6th century byzantine church. The library boasts a collection of over 100,000 works and is accessed by 8 graduate schools. The Lanier Theological Library maintains a number of intact donated private collections. It also possesses a 1st edition of the King James Bible.
In addition to this major investment of books, Lanier keeps a staff of two full-time librarians. Also, this library hosts events throughout the year. In fact, Simon Gathercole will be visiting in September. I personally plan to make a special retreat for myself at some point in the next few years. From the video tour I saw on Million Dollar Rooms, it looks like a remarkable place to work on a writing project.
My first response to watching this featurette on Million Dollar Rooms was praise to God. That a man would invest a small fortune in the preservation of scholarly biblical/theological works and then make it available to the public is astonishing. Mark Lanier embodies the concept of radical living that David Platt’s book Radical promotes. My prayer is that God will continue to raise up men like this in America and beyond to use their unique gifting and interests as an example to each of us.