Happenings, News

Christian books brought to millions via the Net and CD-ROM

THE Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) [http://www.ccel.org] has brought great Christian books to millions of people around the world by CD-ROM and the Internet since 1994. It is a non-profit project, using mostly volunteer labour, seeking to make great Christian writings widely available.

The CCEL grew out of a family crisis I went through in 1993. At that time I learned that my (then) two children were hard of hearing and could go blind. A struggle with God ensued. What does God’s love and providence mean if it can result in children who are deaf and blind?

I found a copy of a classic devotional book, “The Imitation of Christ”, available for download on the Internet. It was just what I needed at the time. Later, I read other classic Christian literature, and to “pay back the net” I scanned it and put it on the Internet. Thus the CCEL gradually grew to a full-fledged digital library of hundreds of volumes.

Today, the CCEL web site receives a quarter of a million accesses per day from a quarter of a million different people per month. It is one of the most-used Christian web sites.

It is also available on CD-ROM, for those who do not have an Internet connection, or to save download time.

A fourth version of the CD-ROM has come out recently. It has a wealth of valuable resources for study or edification. It has four Bible translations and several commentaries, the entire 37-volume Early Church Fathers series, and about 300 volumes of books.

The CD-ROM is compatible with Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Linux and any computer with a CD-ROM drive and a web browser.

The CD-ROM is available at Christian bookstores at a promotional price of S$25. All proceeds go to the CCEL project to make more books available to the world.

Harry Plantinga is a professor of computer science at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the US. He has been working on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library project for eight years.