This summer the Dutch Reformed Translation Society (DRTS) produced another book by Herman Bavinck in English translation. This is the second put out by the DRTS. The first was The Last Things: Hope for This World and the Next (Baker, 1996). The recent volume is a 289-page paperback entitled, In the Beginning: Foundations of Creation Theology. As The Last Things is the eschatology section in Bavinck’s hitherto untranslated four-volume work of Reformed dogmatics, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek, In the Beginning is the section on creation.
The book is available from Baker Books in Grand Rapids, MI for $15.99. Baker is the publisher of the Bavinck translation for the DRTS.
The importance of the publication is that it makes the thought of the great Dutch Reformed theologian on creation available in English for the first time. Included is Bavinck’s treatment of the creation of heaven and its angels; the six days of creation week; the controversy between creation and evolution; the creation of man; the image of God; the covenant with Adam; and providence.
It is not my purpose here to review the book. A review will appear in a later issue of the Standard Bearer.
My purpose is twofold. I call the attention of our readers to this significant new book. Since the DRTS receives royalties on the sale of the book, which helps with future publications, buying the book is a way of supporting the work of the DRTS. I also like to recommend support of the work of the DRTS in another way.
A number of Reformed laymen, pastors, and theological professors organized the DRTS in 1994 to make important Reformed theological and religious literature originally published in Dutch available in English translation. The Society decided to begin with the four volumes of Herman Bavinck’s Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (Reformed Dogmatics). The two paperbacks already published by the Society are excerpts from this classic work of Reformed theology. The Society plans to publish its translation in four, handsome, hardback, matching volumes, beginning with volume I next year, God willing.
The translation of the entire four-volume set is 90% finished. Editing of the translated material is about 30% finished.
The translating, by a professional translator, and editing make up the cost of the project for the Society, and this cost is sizable—about $80,000. About $10,000 is still needed to finish the project
The Society is already planning the translation and publication of other Dutch works, specifically, works on Reformed spirituality.
Interested persons can support the work by becoming a member of the Society. For a contribution of $100 or more, one becomes a life-time member of the Society. This enables him or her to buy all publications of the Society at a 50% discount and to receive periodic newsletters informing the members of the ongoing work of the Society. A major donor—one who gives $500 or more—receives all DRTS publications free and a large copy of an original drawing of Herman Bavinck suitable for framing.
The DRTS is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Michigan. All contributions, including the $100 membership donation, are tax-deductible.
Membership donations and other contributions, as well as requests for more information (the DRTS has an informative brochure which it will send upon request), should be sent to:
Dutch Reformed Translation Society
P.O. Box 7083
Grand Rapids, MI 49510.