09 Dec Melvin Tinker: 1955-2021
Written by Graham Hind on behalf of Evangelical Press
Writers come to publishers in different stages of their careers as authors and in various ways, from the new author with a precious first book, through to a publisher reprinting a title that is perhaps decades or even centuries old. Melvin came to Evangelical Press (EP) in 2013, already an established author with more than one publisher. As Managing Director of EP I had heard of Melvin and noticed some of his work, but as we did not normally pursue existing authors there was no thought of him coming to us. And in any case, wasn’t he an Anglican…?!
So when Melvin got in touch with EP, I was curious to say the least. This new contact started with a question: how did EP handle a particular aspect of author accounts? An unusual question to begin a relationship, but the answer given was obviously satisfactory—Melvin Tinker’s first book with EP duly appeared in 2013, What Do You Expect?: Ecclesiastes for Today. It set a pattern: here was an author who clearly loved the Word of God, someone who was a clear thinker not afraid to suggest an unusual approach to a subject, and above all loved the Lord Jesus Christ and his people. It was true that Melvin did not tick all the conservative Reformed boxes that characterise EP, but equally true that he was an author well worth reading.
Two things followed that first book. The first was that I visited Melvin in Hull, the aim being to get to know him better and to understand how he saw the future of his work as far as EP was concerned. He was kind, modest and very straight forward in conversation; I could not imagine how anyone could fail to like him and I was glad to count him as a friend as well as an author. He was already thinking of his next title with EP, and in fact was to produce a book every year, up to and including 2021. I will not mention all the titles—they are listed below, with the year of publication.
The second thing to follow that first book was Melvin’s gift to me: a new understanding of and appreciation for Anglican evangelicals. He was very clearly doing a great work for the Lord at St John’s Newland and he did that work faithfully, loving the Anglican view of the church and at the same time holding a very realistic view of the direction the Church of England seemed determined to pursue. From then on I followed Melvin’s career with interest. I learned that in addition to his other qualities he was brave and determined: he was not afraid to speak out publicly when the occasion demanded it and not at all afraid of confronting error when it crossed his path, even when the person in the wrong held the exalted title of archbishop! Other better–qualified writers will tell the great story of where all this led this fine minister and man.
Very early in 2018 Melvin emailed me to ask if I would look over his preparation for speaking at the GAFCON conference due to be held in Jerusalem that summer. He emailed me the notes, I called him to say that whatever the result at GAFCON he had written something that needed to be a book. Melvin worked quickly, and we did our best to have That Hideous Strength: how the West was lost in print as near as possible to the date of the conference. It was a best seller, garnering large orders in the USA as well as in the UK. It proved to be prophetic: Melvin was addressing the issues that at that time were just coming to the notice of most churches and which are now of the utmost importance in the sad and continuing decline in the UK and the USA. An expanded edition was published in 2020 with an additional chapter.
This last year saw a new book from Melvin and the sad diagnosis of his final illness, communicated in an email that began daily prayer for him and his wife and family. I replied to him, trying to encourage him with the great promise of heaven and some words from Samuel Rutherford. Melvin wrote back, kindly and appreciative. In a surprisingly short time the Lord had called him home. His family remain in our prayers. Hull has lost a fine, godly and brave minister and the people of God in Britain are somewhat poorer; in heaven Melvin rejoices in the presence of the Lord he loves so much, waiting as we are for the glorious day when he is clothed in the resurrection body.
Books by Melvin Tinker
The First and the Last:The Comfort of the Triune God in Revelation (Evangelical Press, 2021)
Veiled in Flesh: The Incarnation – What It Means And Why It Matters (IVP, 2020)
That Hideous Strength: A Deeper Look at How the West Was Lost (Evangelical Press, 2020)
If God Is So Good, Why Are Things So Bad?: The Problem of Suffering from Job to Jesus (Evangelical Press, 2019)
That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost (Evangelical Press, 2018)
Mass Destruction: Is God Guilty of Genocide? (Evangelical Press, 2017)
Touchy Topics (Evangelical Press, 2016)
A Lost God in A Lost World: From Deception to Deliverance (Evangelical Press, 2015)
Salt, Light and Cities on Hills: Evangelism, Social Action and the Church (Evangelical Press, 2014)
What Do You Expect?: Ecclesiastes for Today (Evangelical Press, 2013)
Intended for Good: The Providence Of God (IVP, 2012)
The Renewed Pastor: Writings in Honour of Philip Hacking (Mentor, 2011)
Reclaiming Genesis (Lion Hudson, 2010)
Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? (Christian Focus, 2009)
Tales of the Unexpected: The Subversive Stories of Jesus (Christian Focus, 2006)
Road to Reality: Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World(Christian Focus, 2004)
Body Beautiful: Recovering the Biblical View of the Church (Authentic Lifestyle, 2002)
Alien Nation: The Growing Isolation of the Church from Today’s Culture (Christian Focus, 2001)
Evangelical Concerns: Rediscovering the Christian mind on issues facing the Church today (Christian Focus, 2001)
Wisdom to Live By: Living Biblically in a Complex World (Christian Focus, 2001)
Close Encounters: Unforgettable Meetings with Jesus (Christian Focus, 1996)
Editor, The Anglican Evangelical Crisis: A Radical Agenda for a Bible based church (Mentor, 1995)