Previous article in this series: January 1, 2019, p. 165
In addition to those already referred to, let me tell you a little about some of our other translators so that you can appreciate why we believe them to be trustworthy. Let me begin with some of our European helpers.
- A Danish pastor who had to leave the state Lutheran church because of the truth. He greatly loves RFPA material.
- A blogger in northern France who is seeking to counteract heresies concerning justification from the New Perspective on Paul and John Piper circles.
- A Hungarian doctor of law whose many translations include a number on God’s uncommon grace.
- A brother in extremely secular Sweden who translated articles on the family and the church.
- A minister in the Czech Republic, who used to be a liberal and who hated the Reformed faith. However, his job required him to work with Scripture and, by irresistible grace, he came to see that Reformed teaching faithfully explains God’s Word. He ordered Herman Hoeksema’s Reformed Dogmatics and has sent us a dozen translations in Czech.
- A saint in Malta who emailed to us six of our ecumenical and Reformed creeds in Maltese.
- A Ukrainian lady in England who was struggling at the time with thyroid cancer. She translated over a dozen pieces, including several on faith and Prof. Robert Decker’s pamphlet, “God’s Sovereign Love, Our Comfort.”
- A brother who works for the German civil government. According to his contract, if he has completed all the work that is laid on his desk, he is free to do whatever he chooses. So he can, while being paid by the German state, translate Protestant Reformed material for our website. This is wonderful!
- A Russian couple in Belgium who are part way through translating Be Ye Holy by Profs. D. Engelsma and H. Hanko into their mother tongue to counteract false views of sanctification and help God’s people.
- A Slovenian history teacher whose translations include “God So Loved the World… ” by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema.
- A brother on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia who has translated material on sovereign grace, Pentecostalism, and other subjects into Italian.
- A PhD student in the Republic of Ireland, who is learning the Reformed faith in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), has rendered materials into her native Albanian and Greek, including Rev. Carl Haak’s pamphlet “Our Only Comfort,” which is available online in both languages.
- Three of our translators moved from continental Europe to Northern Ireland to join the CPRC. Sadly, one of them left the Reformed faith for house-churchism. Another married a young man in the LRF and so lives in the Republic of Ireland. One is marrying a young woman in the PRC and moving to America.
Here are some of the saints from the continent of Africa who have provided us with translations.
- An elder from South Africa has translated scores of “Covenant Reformed News” articles into Afrikaans because they are both short and meaty.
- A brother in Malawi translated a piece against homosexuality for his own people, as a preservative from the filth promoted from our sick Western world.
- A South African Reformed website worker has started sending me electronic versions of our “Three Forms of Unity” in several African languages.
- However, there is also the sad story of a lady from South Africa, in need of much personal comfort in the midst of her many struggles. She was over half way through translating Rev. Gerrit Vos’ book, O Taste and See into Afrikaans. I asked her several times to send me the chapters she had already translated. But she insisted that she would email it all to me when she was completely finished. Then she did not respond to my emails or even the letter that I posted to her. I do not know if the lady died or if the cares of this world finally dragged her down, and I have no other avenues for contacting her.
Here are a few of our Spanish translators:
- A brother in Texas, who loves the unconditional covenant of friendship, especially likes to translate material on this subject.
- A theological student from Chile translated articles on key doctrines into Spanish and was used by God to convert his Brazilian theological professor to sovereign, particular grace and a rejection of common grace. He is now back in his homeland as a pastor.
- A mother from the Canadian province of Quebec whose translations include Prof. H. Hanko’s pamphlet, “The Building of a Home.”
- Doner Bartolon, a member of First PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) and a pre-seminary student, has translated fifteen of Rev. Rodney Kleyn’s Reformed Witness Hour sermons on eschatology and also made them into YouTube videos, in order to strengthen saints in his native Mexico and other Hisanophones or Spanish speakers.
Now let us consider a few of our other helpers.
- Two Indonesian saints who sit side by side at their desks doing IT work. They have translated over 130 pieces, including articles on alcohol because this is an issue in their Islamic land, since Muslims believe that alcohol is per se sinful. After one of the men married, he read Protestant Reformed material on marriage and translated some of it into Indonesian. When he and his wife had their first child, he translated articles on childrearing, including Rev. Allen Brummel’s pamphlet, “Bringing Forth Children in an Age of Selfishness.”
- A couple from Michigan put us in contact with their friends in SE Asia, who sent us a number of translations, including the Heidelberg Catechism in Nepali.
- A Brazilian brother, who migrated (legally) to Australia, translated some articles into Portuguese as a parting gift to his brethren in the land he left behind.
- A French-speaking lady from Quebec, who loves the truth of sovereign grace, translated all of the chapters of The Five Points of Calvinism (1976), written by Profs. H. Hanko, H.C. Hoeksema, and Rev. G. VanBaren.
- A brother from India is translating Protestant Reformed literature into Hindi. He has already finished pamphlets by Rev. S. Houck (“Knowing the True God”) and Prof. D. Engelsma (“Try the Spirits: A Reformed Look at Pentecostalism”).
Many others have helped us, are still helping us, or are about to help us by sending us translations of our creeds or of Protestant Reformed materials. However, space forbids mentioning many of them here.
Portuguese is probably the language in which we have had the most translators. These are the words of one of them, Thiago McHertt, Brazilian pastor and director of Veritas Biblioteca Reformada:
I can still remember the first time that I accessed the CPRC website and saw that we were not the only ones willing to make good theology available in other languages. We had just started a translation project in order to make sound theology available in Portuguese and we came across www.cprc.co.uk. Since then we have translated more than 1,000 pages of RFPA materials, from entire books, especially Portraits of Faithful Saints, to chapters and articles. We are not the only ones to have been blessed by these materials, for our church also benefits directly from our work, as do many others who have the opportunity to learn Reformed theology in their own tongue. Many thanks to God for using the RFPA and the CPRC to make that possible. As in God’s providence, the printing press was fundamental to the spread of the Protestant Reformation, now the Internet is the great medium by which people all around the globe can come to know the truth.
Remember the “default position,” the standard setting, as it were, for the typical professing evangelical: “A” for Arminian, “B” for baptistic, “C” for charismatic, “D” for dispensationalist, with low views of the four “C”s (church, creeds, covenant, and catechism), as well as sub-biblical ideas regarding marriage and worship? Well, that is the situation in most of the English-speaking world. It is even worse in most other languages. Clearly, there is an urgent need in other lands too for English Reformed materials for those who can read it and for translations to help those who cannot.
I could say a lot more about the value of and need for RFPA and Protestant Reformed literature. My wife Mary copied and pasted some sixteen pages of excellent quotes from saints all around the world, in case they could be included in my speech or this article. But I ran out of time and space, and so, sadly, I was not able to use any of them.
Mary typed up another four pages consisting of an interview I had with a licentiate minister from Hungary, who is one of our translators. He explained in great detail how RFPA materials are of immense help to him. I must also forego quoting his encouraging words.
There is especially one question that is asked by those brought to the knowledge of the Reformed faith through our witness that I will pass on: “Why did the Lord wait so long before bringing me into this rich knowledge of the truth? I have wasted so much time and so much space on my bookshelves with rubbish when I could have been reading something of this quality!” Some of them have also said, “I used to be caught up in Arminianism and Pentecostalism. Now I’ve lost all my children!” Hosea 4:6 speaks of this awful situation: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…I will…forget thy children.”
I would like to add a word of appreciation regarding the RFPA’s service. We have always found the staff to be very helpful, swift to fulfill orders, and friendly. This applies to Tim Pipe and Evelyn Langerak, who recently retired, as well as the current RFPA staff of Alex Kalsbeek, Paula Kamps, and Miriam Koerner.
Finally, what would the CPRC like to say to the RFPA with regard to its future work? We would say that we are not at all upset if the RFPA publishes an extra book or two in a year. That is fine by us. What would trouble us and our translators, however, is if you started to print bland, broadly Evangelical material. Christian book stores and the Internet are already full of such stuff. Instead, keep on publishing rich, comforting, distinctive, Reformed doctrine. Continue sending forth God’s pure, biblical, confessional and health-giving truth!