As our readers all know by this time, “Reformed Dogmatics” has come from the press and, at this writing, has been on the market for about a month and a half. Here are a few facts and figures:
1) The first printing, of 1000 copies, is a little more than one-third sold out.
2) Of the approximately 350 copies sold, about 200 were sold to our Protestant Reformed people through the pre-publication sale and afterwards. Thus, well under one-third of our families have purchased the book thus far.
3) After all publication costs were met, the treasury shows a balance (including sales thus far) of $1800, in round numbers.
Now what is the significance of these facts and figures?
In the first place, our people are lagging about purchasing the book. I have been told that some of our people were reluctant to buy it because they feared that the book was too technical and too “deep” for the non-theologian. Let me allay these fears. While it is true that there are passages which are too difficult for the non-theologian to “tackle,” there are very many long passages of the book which will be extremely valuable and helpful to any reader. Besides, there are many texts explained in such a way that they will be valuable to anyone who takes the time to study. And there is a textual index to help in looking up the text you are interested in; and there is a subject index. I have it on the testimony of several “lay” purchasers already, that they have found the book very useful, — more useful than they had expected, — and that they look forward to making good use of it for Bible study for societies, for example. Several of our ministers have stated also that people should realize how valuable the book could be to them. Hence, if you have been hesitating for this reason, don’t!
In the second place, in more of our churches the good example of the Men’s Society of one of our congregations could be followed. They appointed an enterprising member to contact the people of the congregation, with the result that about 80% purchased the volume. If this example were followed everywhere, we would have sold about 500 copies in our churches. How about it? The society season is still on! Which society in your church will follow this example?
At any rate, get your order in soon! The price is $14.95 postpaid. The address is: R.F.P.A., P.O. Box 2006, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49501.
There is another aspect to this progress report. As reported before, the Permanent Committee for the Publication of Protestant Reformed Literature has two more ambitious projects on tap. The first is the publication of the late Rev. Herman Hoeksema’s complete commentary on the Book of Revelation under the title “Behold, He Cometh!” This will be a volume and it will be a commentary in popular form. Many have been and are looking forward to this publication. The second project is a one-volume edition of Rev. Hoeksema’s exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism. Four of the ten volumes are already out of print, and we receive continual inquiries about this valuable work. We have already obtained the copyright to this ten volume set from the Eerdmans Company; and our hopes are that we can proceed with this project soon after the Revelation-project.
Our publication fund, however, is intended to be self-sustaining. Now that the original fund has been collected, proceeds from the sale of one publication must finance the next publication.
This means that we cannot proceed with our next project until we have sold more “Reformed Dogmatics” and thus have sufficient funds on hand to make our next publication financially feasible. The sooner this happens, the sooner the committee will proceed.
The moral of the story? Your purchase of “Reformed Dogmatics” will not only bring you a worthwhile volume, but it will also hasten the publication of “Behold, He Cometh!”
Due to an abundance of extra copy, the editorial department is drastically abbreviated for this issue, and some of the regular departments have been omitted. This also serves to give our readers a bit of a change of diet. Incidentally, department editors are hereby asked to adhere to their regular schedule of writing, unless notified to the contrary. Your editor prefers a surplus to a shortage of copy.