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The Christian Encyclopedia for the People of the Netherlands begins its article on the Synod of Dordt (1618, 1619), “The Great Synod of Dordt is undoubtedly the most important fact from the history of the Reformed churches in the Netherlands.” Its tremendous importance extends to Reformed churches in all lands.

We are delighted to devote our annual special issue in commemoration of the Reformation of the 16th century to this great Synod of Dordt, which continued and solidified the Reformation. Articles tell something of the history; review the controversy; highlight some of the leading figures; examine the doctrines; take note of the wide range of its work; point out its significance for the Reformed churches today; and recommend books on the synod. There is even a sermon preached at the synod by a famed professor of theology.

When we celebrate the Synod of Dordt, we are not building the tombs of the prophets and garnishing the sepulchres of the righteous. We are willingly bound by the Canons of Dordt. We believe the doctrine of the Canons from the heart, preach and teach them with enthusiasm, and defend them with vigor—as becomes evident in this issue.

Publishing this special issue on Dordt, we are well aware that the great synod falls into disfavor and that the Canons are increasingly opposed in Reformed churches worldwide.