On e-mailing Phil Johnson:
You will find Phil's e-mail address at the end of this page. First, however, please read these guidelines before e-mailing him.

Yes, Phil really does personally read every incoming e-mail message, but it has become impossible for him to reply to more than a fraction of them. Here's why:

any visitors to PyroManiacs, The Spurgeon Archive, The Hall of Church History, Phil Johnson's Bookmarks, and Phil's home page assume Phil has a staff of people to help maintain these sites and answer questions. He doesn't. Friends have supplied transcripts, other raw material, and links to other resources, but Phil himself maintains the actual websites, makes the graphics, does the html coding, and answers the e-mail the websites generate. There are no staff people besides Phil himself—and this is his hobby, not his full-time occupation.
    In the early years of the Web (1994-96), Phil was able to answer virtually every message from visitors to these sites. Alas, with the boom in Internet activity and the amazing popularity of The Spurgeon Archive, by 1997, that was no longer feasible. Nowadays (especially with the PyroManiacs setting fires almost daily) the volume of e-mail is such that even reading all the messages requires a major investment of Phil's time. Phil still welcomes—and even invites—your feedback, but he reminds you that pressing responsibilities in his real-world job and family life must take priority over e-mail generated by the websites. Circumstances may therefore prohibit him from answering much of the e-mail sent to him.
    Here are some rules of thumb about what Phil can reply to and what he cannot:

  • We want to thank you in advance for any notes of appreciation. Be assured that these are gladly received, eagerly read, and treasured. Most of them must go unanswered, though.
  • If you're writing with a request for information, such as the source of a particular Spurgeon quotation, or anything else that might require research on Phil's part, we cannot guarantee a reply. Feel free to send the question, but unless Phil can answer it off the top of his head, he may not be able to reply at all.
  • If you're looking for help with homework assignments—especially if you are hoping to skip the research or writing stage of some major project or term paper—don't even bother writing. Phil gets dozens of messages each week from students urgently seeking a shortcut or last-minute fix for a writing assignment that's coming due tomorrow. He ignores all such requests without any pang of conscience whatsoever. He wrote his own term papers in high school and college. Of course, he too put them off till the last minute, so he understands your plight and feels your pain, but he firmly believes you should do your own work, as he inevitably had to (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
  • If you're sending a query that can easily be answered by the Web search engines, Phil will probably not reply. Try Google, Yahoo, or Alta-Vista for yourself. Once you get the hang of looking things up on the Web, it is remarkably easy. You don't really need Phil to do it for you.
  • If you want permission to link to any of Phil's websites, the answer is yes. Phil gives blanket permission to any and all who wish to link to his pages. If you want to use or adapt one of Phil's graphics for the purpose of making such a link, you're free to do that as well. You do not even need to write Phil with such requests.
  • If you're writing to submit an URL for Phil to consider adding to his famous annotated Bookmarks, please don't expect a reply. Phil probably will check out the site you suggest, but he may or may not be able to add it to his bookmarks. He can review and add only 4-5 sites per week (average) when his schedule permits. These days he adds only links he thinks are truly significant, and he rarely links to personal home pages, church pages, or sites designed to sell a product.
  • If you're looking for genealogical information about the Spurgeon, Dabney, Mather, Knox, or Johnson families—or anyone other than Phil's immediate family—Phil won't be able to help you. He doesn't have any genealogical info handy, and he doesn't have time to look anything up. For a great genealogical resource on Spurgeon's family, try Googling.
  • Before asking us any Spurgeon-related questions, please read the FAQ to see if we have answered your question on-line already.
  • Critical mail will be read and carefully considered, but again, no reply is promised.

    In any case, this is not meant to discourage you from writing; only to forewarn you that you might not receive a reply—and to assure you that if you don't receive a reply, your messages are eagerly read and appreciated anyway. Phil's e-mail address is: phil at Spurgeon dot org

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