The Lanier Library and Stone Chapel (and Cotswold Cottage)

On my trip to Houston, from which I just returned,  I had occasion to visit Mark Lanier’s  brainchild— a little Christian enclave consisting of a fine research library (modeled, as he told me on various Oxfordian libraries) a beautiful Orthodox style stone chapel, and a Cotswoldian style cottage for scholar’s in residence to stay in.  With my sabbatical coming up next year,  I volunteered to be scholar in residence for a bit.   Mark Lanier is an interesting guy—- said to be one of the top 10-12 most influential lawyers in America (he has his own firm), and a deeply committed Christian person who wanted to do something special for Christians who care about serious study of the Bible.   Among other things, he has  Sunday school class of over 600 people he teaches each week at a local Baptist church.  And he has a deep interest in Evangelical scholarship especially.    Here are some pictures from my recent foray in Houston—-

Here is Brother Lanier and myself in his magnificent new library (still being finished).

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  • Marc Axelrod

    Wow, that’s nice. How many volumes does he have? Looks like he has students there regularly.

    By the way, how often do you read books on a mobile device or an iPad? I love it. With my kindle and logos books (numbering around 1900 vOlumes, I have a library in the palm of my hand.

  • Marc Axelrod

    Went to the website and saw that it may someday have 120,000 volumes. Almost the size of a seminary library, maybe even bigger.

  • ben witherington

    Hi Marc: I hate the Gnosticizing of the book trade in the form of Kindle and Ipad. I never use them. Mark Lanier does nothing by halves. I suspect someday he will have one of the largest theological libraries in the world. He’s certainly got the coin to get it done.


  • David M. Gustafson

    This theological library is a great addition to Houston. Besides the library, Mark Lanier has brought a number of scholars to lecture. What a great resource for my students at University of Houston and Houston Graduate School of Theology.

  • Chris Jones

    Dr Ben did I see faux sheep on one of your photographs?

    How disarmingly bucolic of him.

    As an English man lost in America myself, it was a delight to see the beautiful Cotswoldian library that was underway down in Houston. I enjoy your blog and the comments it spawns greatly. Keep the wisdom and the grace with which it is delivered coming. BTW where can I find the library on the web. My search for Lanier library did not bear any fruit.

  • ben witherington

    Hi Chris:

    Yes those are faux sheep. Notice that the black one is eating the flowers! As for where to find this online, Why not just Google Mark Lanier the lawyer?

    Ben W.

  • RickC

    Goodness, what a marvelous and wonderful way to use that with which you have been blessed. What an inspiration and a kingdom light both of you are to so many people! Looking at these photos one can’t help but think back in time to all those great libraries that existed in antiquity. Amazing!

  • Mike Taylor

    Wish I were a scholar. Heck, I’d be happy just to play one on television. Good for him. Let’s keep pushing to know the Truth as fully as we can.

  • hotshot bald cop

    Pulitzer prize substance in attendance.