The Necessity of Faith, by Harry M. Kuitert (translated by John K. Tuinstra); Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; 159 pages, $2.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
This is a translation of Kuitert’s notorious Zonder Geloof Vaart Niemand Wel (Without Faith No One Fares Well). The translator, a Christian Reformed pastor, attempts in a preface to excuse himself for translating a book like this, claiming that “translation entails neither agreement nor disagreement with an author’s point of view.” I cannot agree: when someone uncritically plays a part in sending a book like this into the world, he is not neutral. The translator also betrays his lack of neutrality in the same preface by speaking of benefits for the reader and of the author’s valid criticisms and positive insights.
If you want to be irritated, frustrated, and angered, read this little book, bearing in mind that it comes from the pen of a professor in the Theological Faculty of the (formerly revered) Free University of Amsterdam. You will not find a Biblical, let alone a specifically Reformed, note in the entire book. You will find errant notions, stated in an abrasive style, too numerous to mention. The following paragraph from the publisher’s summary on the back cover will furnish a fairly accurate sample of what I mean: “Christianity’s norms embody the promise of God’s salvation in a form which is constantly developing, with each branch of the church acting as a distinct expression of Christ’s appearance on earth. Revelation continues to occur in worship, in prayer, and in dialogue with others, and its fruits are freedom and joy. As long as God has not spoken the final word, Christians dare not assume that their words concerning him are the last to be uttered.”
“How is the gold become dim!” Not recommended, except as a sample of the sort of thing which has long been corrupting the Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands.