Dear RFPA Members and Friends,

The preamble to the constitution of the RFPA states that we “… have organized for the express purpose of witnessing to the Reformed truth.” A few quotes from readers of RFPA publications should illustrate that we continue to fulfill our purpose:

— A retired Marine Corps Major writes,

Thank you for your very sobering treatise on “A Defense of (Reformed) Amillennialism.” For a moment there myself, my wife, pastor, and a few in our church thought we were the only sane people left. It is amazing the destruction these very intelligent men in the Postmillennial camp are causing to the Reformed church at large.

—A prison inmate writes,

… it was your book (Marriage, the Mystery of Christ and His Church) that finally enabled me to find consistency with all of the scripture texts on the subject. I can only imagine the abuse you must take as a denomination bringing that ‘hard saying’ to the adulterous church of this day.

— A Presbyterian minister writes,

You brought it all together and also gave me a more detailed ecclesiastical context in which the debate arose. I know little of the PRC, and much of that is name calling. But if this book (Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel) is reflective of the PRC, then praise God for the stand for orthodoxy you all have taken. It had not sunk in how blatant was the Arminianism being expressed by those who oppose the PRC and others as Hyper-Calvinists, when in reality they were attacking Calvinism.

Further evidence that our “purpose of witnessing to the Reformed truth” is being carried out is the continued interest in and requests to translate RFPA publications. During the past year we have approved requests to translate The Five Points of Calvinism into German, Voice of Our Fathers into Russian, and Marriage, the Mystery of Christ and His Church into Slovakian. We mention in passing that the Korean translation of Marriage, which was reported last year, has sold over 2,500 copies. 

During this past year our organization has reprinted four books: Behold He Cometh, Far Above Rubies, Studies in the Book of Genesis (written by the late Rev. R. Harbach and initially published by the Grandville Protestant Reformed Church), and Reformed Education (initially published by the Federation of Protestant Reformed Christian Schools). The last two of those books are now RFPA publications.

Two new books have been published by the RFPA since our last annual meeting. Unfolding Covenant History, Volume 1, authored by the late Prof. H.C. Hoeksema and edited by his son Mark, was distributed this past winter. Particular Grace: A Defense of God’s Sovereignty in Salvation, written by Abraham Kuyper and translated from the Dutch by Mr. Marvin Kamps, came out this past summer. And soon the late Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s sermons on Romans, as edited by Prof. D. Engelsma, will arrive from the printer.

Two additional publications are also available through the RFPA: Our Goodly Heritage Preserved, which commemorates seventy-five years of God’s faithfulness to the PRC, and Leaving Father and Mother, which formerly was a Beacon Lights publication. Incidentally, RFPA Book Club members will be receiving the latter book free as a token of our appreciation of their continued support. At present we have 900 Book Club members, an increase of 30 since last year. These members make it possible for the RFPA to continue to print new books without tying up our working capital. Thank you, members of the Book Club! We realize that all our new publications will not be of equal interest to all of you, but your willingness to receive them all in order to promote the cause is greatly appreciated.

Currently we have about ten works in progress. These include new books and reprints. The RFPA Update will keep you informed concerning all current and future RFPA publications.

While publishing good, Reformed books is a challenge in itself, marketing them is even more so. Although our book sales continue to be brisk (last year 8,384 volumes were sold), your board is convinced we can do better. Consequently the Board is becoming more active in this respect. The following board decisions of the past year reflect this: we approved spending about $2,500 to improve our web site; a delegation was sent to the National Christian Booksellers’ Convention in Louisville, Kentucky; we decided to promote some of our publications through the Amazon Advantage Program; and we approved joining the Christian Booksellers Association. We believe these decisions will give our publications broader exposure than they have ever had in the past.

From what has been reported thus far, one might conclude that book publishing is all the RFPA does. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The publishing of the Standard Bearer continues to be the crown-jewel of the Reformed Free Publishing Association. In fact, if you think about it, many of our books have appeared first as articles on the pages of the Standard Bearer. 

Subscriptions to the Standard Bearer have remained about the same as last year. We are currently mailing 2625 copies. Thirty-three of these are new subscribers gained from our promotion to non-subscribing Protestant Reformed families during this past year. 

The “Businessmen’s Special,” an attempt to promote the SB in business offices and waiting rooms, was a disappointment. Only one business is taking advantage of having free issues of the Standard Bearer sent to their place of business. By the way, it is not too late to take advantage of this opportunity. You can do so by contacting the SB business office.

The RFPA Board has been active in other ways to promote the Standard Bearer. Just recently the Board decided to offer a free one year subscription to all newlyweds in the PRC and new confessing members who join from outside the PRC. Consistories have been asked to submit names and addresses of those who qualify. Also, the Board has approved sending a voucher to every regular subscriber. By means of this voucher each subscriber will be able to give a non-subscriber the SB for six months at no cost to them. Look for this voucher in your December 1 issue. Further, work is being done to prepare an introductory issue of the Standard Bearer. This issue will be used to introduce the RFPA and our distinctives to those outside the PRC. 

All that has been reported thus far takes money and work. Our Treasurer’s Report indicates a tremendous amount of financial support on the part of many: support from within and outside the PRC. For this we express our humble gratitude. In addition, we express our thanks to those whose faithful labors have contributed to the publication and distribution of our magazine and books during this past year. These include our editor-in-chief, writers, business managers, department editors, secretaries, proofreaders, and numerous volunteers who perform a myriad of tasks. Though this work can be difficult at times, we must not forget the privilege which is ours in promoting the Reformed faith. Thanks be to our covenant God for this unspeakable gift.

For the RFPA Board

Cal Kalsbeek, secretary