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Dutch Reformed theology.

In English.

A good cause that readers of the Standard Bearer should be aware of and can help.

From the Board of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, the SB has received the following “press release.”

Twelve men in Western Michigan have established the Dutch Reformed Translation Society. Laymen, pastors, and academicians, all are familiar with the literature of the Dutch Reformed tradition and are committed to making the best of it available in English. 

The founders are members of five different Reformed denominations. Among them are professors on three different seminary faculties. The board members are united in their appreciation of a common Dutch Reformed theological legacy.

The first project, already well underway, is the translation of Dr. Herman Bavinck’s four-volume work on systematic or doctrinal theology. Bavinck (1854-1921) was a contemporary and close associate of Abraham Kuyper and excelled Kuyper as a theologian. Bavinck’s work is regarded as superior in many ways to the work of Louis Berkhof and G.C. Berkouwer, both of whom relied substantially on Bavinck. This translation, an $80,000 project, will be the first complete translation of Bavinck’s systematic theology. 

The first publication will be a selection from Bavinck’s work that deals with the doctrine of the la things, or eschatology. It is due to appear in the spring of 1996. Baker Book House of Grand Rapids, MI is the publisher. 

After completing the Bavinck project, the society will move on to other worthwhile devotional and doctrinal literature. Dutch Reformed theology, the board believes, offers the most mature and comprehensive development of the Calvinian or Reformed faith available, but has been kept from wider Christian readership by the relative obscurity of the Dutch language.

Membership in the society is open to all who pay a one-time membership fee of $100. This assures members of newsletters on forthcoming projects as well as substantial discounts on pre-publication prices for all society projects. The address is Dutch Reformed Translation Society, R.0. Box 7083, Grand Rapids, MI 49510.

The editor of the SB is a founding member of the Society and a member of the Board of Directors.

The work of this Society is deserving of the financial support of the readers of the SB. All are interested in books that explain and defend the Reformed faith. All are desirous to see such books circulate everywhere in the world.

The Dutch Reformed Translation Society (DRTS) intends to make available in English for the first time some of the wealth of Reformed truth that now lies buried in the Dutch language, inaccessible to all who cannot read Dutch.

Although the Society has begun with Herman Bavinck’s monumental dogmatics, Gereformeerde Dogmatiek (Reformed Dogmatics), and intends to translate other theological works, plans are to translate also certain works of a more practical and devotional nature.

The firstfruits of what the Society hopes will be a rich harvest will appear in the spring of 1996, God willing. The section in Bavinck on the Reformed doctrine of the last things will be published as an attractive paperback by Baker Book House of Grand Rapids. In time, the entire Gereformeerde Dogmatiek is to appear, in English, in several matching, hardcover volumes.

Baker will publish all the works translated by the Society.

How can readers of the SB support and promote this worthwhile venture?

First, many could join the Society by contributing a one-time membership fee of $100. In this way they become part of the venture. To a large extent, the Society’s work will depend on these memberships. Members will be kept informed of developments. They will also receive substantial discounts on all books translated by the Society.

Second, some might also think this project worthy of substantial gifts – hundreds or thousands of dollars. The Society asks that the wealthy, businesses, and foundations consider its work in their giving.

Third, all can buy the books of Reformed theology translated by the Society, beginning with the volume of Reformed eschatology forthcoming next spring.

All gifts, including membership donations, are tax-deductible. The Society is officially incorporated with the Michigan Department of Commerce. It has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS and can receive charitable contributions.

The translation of Dutch books is costly. Translating Bavinck’s entire dogmatics will be an $80,000 project. Some $70,000 still needs to be raised. Most of the expense is the wages of the professional translator.

Memberships and contributions should be sent to:

Dutch Reformed Translation Society

P.O. Box 7083

Grand Rapids, MI 49510

Informational brochures on the Society, including its purpose and the present Board, are available without charge from the same address.

The purpose reads, in part:

The purpose of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society is to sponsor: the translation and facilitate the: publication in English of important Reformed theological and religious literature published in the Dutch language. 

The members of the Society believe that the Dutch Reformed tradition has produced many works that deserve much wider distribution than the limited accessibility of the Dutch language makes possible. The writings selected are recognized classics that would be widely appreciated by English-speaking Reformed believers around the world. They would also reveal the spiritual and theological genius of this tradition to Christians of other backgrounds. 

The ultimate goal is to spread and to strengthen the Reformed faith….

On behalf of Dutch Reformed theology, never before in English.

A good cause.

-DJE