Our Reformed Church Service Book, by G. Van Rongen. Neerlandia, Alberta, Canada or Pella, Iowa: Inheritance Publications, 1995. 250 pages. $13.90 (U.S.). (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. R. D. Decker.]
This book is about another book, viz., the Book of Praise: Anglo-Genevan Psalter. This latter contains the synodically approved Psalm texts and tunes and hymns, the Ecumenical Creeds, the Three Forms of Unity, Orders of Worship, Liturgical Forms, Form Prayers, and Church Order of the Canadian (and American) Reformed Churches.
In Our Reformed Church Service Book Rev. Van Rongen, an emeritus minister of these churches, gives a history of the English Bible. He has a helpful essay on “Church Singing” which includes a history of singing before, during, and after the Reformation, as well as a history of both Psalm and Hymn singing.
Van Rongen gives a brief history of each of the Ecumenical Creeds and the Three Forms of Unity. Brief commentaries on and histories of each of the Liturgical Forms (including the Form Prayers) are given. There is also an introduction to The Church Order.
Obviously the book is applicable and especially valuable for the members of the Canadian Reformed Churches. The non-Canadian reader, however, will profit from those sections of the book which deal with the singing of the church and her creeds and confessions.
The author’s otherwise pleasing and easy-to-read style is marred by his use of the first person personal pronoun. Any future re-printings ought to be carefully proofed so that the few spelling errors (emiritus for emeritus, e.g.) are eliminated.