Truth is stranger than fiction, it is sometimes said. This true story of the conversion of a deaf-mute and mentally impaired girl is certainly a confirmation of that maxim. If some of the details of this story were found in a novel, they would probably be characterized as unbelievable and non-realistic. But this deeply moving account of the instruction and conversion of a dear child of God is truth, not fiction.
You probably think that as the husband of the author I am a biased reviewer. I freely concede this. And from that point of view I gladly allow the book to recommend itself. Besides, the rather overwhelming public response to this latest RFPA publication also serves as a recommendation.
However, from my position as the author’s husband and as firsthand observer of many of the events recounted in Lori, I am also able to confirm the facts of the story. It is safe to say that, if anything, the author has underplayed the drama of the events, possibly because sometimes words were inadequate to describe them.
In conclusion, two things. First of all, this little book should encourage us—parents, churches, schools—to do all in our power to furnish Biblical and spiritual instruction to the handicapped among our covenant seed. Secondly, we should not underestimate the ability of the Spirit of Christ to drive home and to apply that instruction. If this book serves to underscore these two items, then, in addition to being a moving and highly interesting true story, it will serve a positive purpose.
[Note: You may order the book directly from the publishers: Reformed Free Publishing Association, P.O. Box 2006, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501. Incidentally, this has been the RFPA’s fastest selling book so far; in a few months’ time almost a thousand copies have been sold. If you sign up as a RFPA Book Club member, you can purchase this and all RFPA books at a 30% discount. HCH]
This is No. 17 in the Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America.
For anyone interested in Dutch Reformed church history, and especially in the history which gave rise to the Secession of 1834, which forms such an important background to the history of the Holland colony and its RCA church, the history of the CRC by way of its secession in 1857, and thus also the history of the Protestant Reformed Churches, this is a book to read. You will have to put on your thinking cap, because the history is involved and the author’s account is filled with detail, evincing rather thorough research. But all of this is worth your while.
The book does what its title suggests: it goes back to the roots of the Secession of 1834, with which the names of men like De Cock, Van Raalte, and Scholte are connected. There are some 40 pages of footnotes, some of them even more interesting than the text itself.
Here and there the book is marred by some evident inaccuracies, both doctrinal and factual. For example, the author does not accurately describe either supra- or infralapsarianism; nor is it true that De Cock and the Seceders held the confessions to be infallible. But these do not detract from the value of the book.
Add this volume to the church history section of your library.