The Best of the Reformed Journal

The Reformed Journal was one of the significant publications in the Reformed world before the current “reformed” movement came to take shape. Published over four decades, from 1951-1990, the journal was connected to Calvin College, Eerdmans, and the Dutch Reformed world at the time. During the summer I was able to take a look at the recent publication, The Best of The Reformed Journal, published by Eerdmans and edited by James D. Bratt and Ronald A. Wells. The book is divided into three parts that correspond to particular years of publication: 1951-1962, 1963-1977, and 1978-1990. The articles are divided into several categories such as Church and Theology, Evangelicalism, Religion and Society, etc., and include such authors as Henry Zylstra, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Virginia Stem Owens, Mark A. Noll, Cornelius Plantinga, Richard Mouw, and others.

This is a fascinating book because it provides insight into American Christianity from a particular tradition (the Dutch Reformed church), and it helps you see how this immigrant community evaluated and interacted with American Christianity, especially evangelicalism. With recent discussions about faith and culture taking place within evangelicalism, this book let’s you read how one wing of the Reformed church was theologically evaluating their world. For example, take the article by Sidney Rooy, “The Graham Crusades–Shall We Participate,” published in June 1958. Rooy evaluates the  result of a Graham Crusade on the Eastern coast near New York. He has both positive and negative evaluations of the crusade, and it is interesting to read what concerns and interests they had. You can take a look at the whole table of contents here.