Interview with Eric Kress of Kress Biblical Resources (Part 1 of 2)

Kress Biblical Resources is one of my favorite publishing houses. They offer some fantastic commentaries and other helpful biblical study aids. I wanted to interview them so that I could introduce them to you, our readers.

HR: Could you start by giving me some of the history of Kress; how and why it was founded?

KRESS: After seminary, but before taking a pastorate, I worked for a small Christian publisher that focussed on mission publishing. As I learned how to actually produce books, I began to think of titles that were helpful to me in studying the Scriptures, but were now out of print. The expositional commentaries that came to mind were of no interest to the publisher I was with, so I began to think of starting my own company focussing on Bible study aids, commentaries, and pastoral ministry helps. I began Kress Christian Publications–now called Kress Biblical Resources–in late 2001, producing books early in 2002. The first books produced were seven paperback commentaries by Dr. Robert Gromacki of Cedarville University, that Baker Books had done in the 80’s. In the meantime, I had developed an extended outline and small commentary on the book of 1st John. I had sent it to several readers, some of whom where authors, and others were involved in selling biblical resources overseas. My first reviewer came back with a fairly negative review suggesting a total rewrite. When I emailed several of the other reviewers to “let them off the hook”–so that they would not feel bad about criticizing the work–to my surprise they others were quite encouraging. One said he would buy 500 copies of the 1 John book to sell overseas if I published it. So with a presale like that, I went ahead and published it at the same time as the Gromacki books. So Kress began with 8 titles, and a very narrow market. Gromacki had enough name recognition in the GARBC and Bible Church circles to get a significant number of presales.
Our goal is to provide solid, biblical resources for those who have set their hearts to study God’s Word, to practice it, and to teach it. Seeing a growing trend in unsound and insubstantial materials, even in books meant for pastoral preparation, we set out to reprint previously published books that would be of help to the expositor and Bible student, and to develop new resources that rightly divide the Word of truth.

HR: It seems like Expository Listening has been getting some great reviews. Could you tell me a little more about this title and why you published it?

KRESS: I’ve known Ken for nearly 20 years, and we pastor churches that are about 30 miles apart. When I heard that he was working on his DMin, and that his subject was “Expository Listening” I was immediately interested. Having a small book to give to new members or visitors on the listener’s responsibility in hearing the Word of God was irresistable.

HR: How do you at Kress hope to see your publishing house serve Churches?

KRESS: We want to help pastors faithfully proclaim the Word of God, and thus the excellencies of Christ. We also want to see laymen, Sunday School teachers, Bible study leaders, etc. use materials that actually help them teach God’s message from the text of the Bible.

HR: What title by Kress has most impacted you? Which Kress work do you find yourself reaching for most often?

KRESS: My favorite work is “The Pastoral Epistles for Pastors” by John Kitchen. It is a 624 page commentary on the 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. It has multiple exegetical and expositional outlines, and help with grammar and meaning. Perhaps the book I give away most in ministry, however, is “The Cup and the Glory: Lessons on Suffering and the Glory of God” by Greg Harris. I’ve probably actually used the Gromacki titles more than any of the others for preaching and teaching. But then again, I wrote or cowrote “God in Everyday Life: The Book of Ruth for Expositors and Biblical Counselors”; and “The Discipline of Mercy: Seeing God in the Wake of Sin’s Misery” (a commentary and biblical counselor’s guide to the book of Lamentations); and “Notes for the Study and Exposition of 1st John“–so these have have the greatest personal impact.

Tune in tomorrow for part two

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