Two Logos projects that deserves attention and funding.

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Reformed Bookworm, Jan 4, 2020.

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  1. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    The first project is Amandus Polanus' A System of Christian Theology (10 vol.). Here is the description from Logos:

    In a crucial period after the Reformation, when Reformed orthodoxy was vibrant and pristine, the great dogmatician Amandus Polanus brought the Reformers’ writings and thoughts together into one comprehensive work: the Syntagma Theologiae Christianae. Translated into English for the first time by Lexham Press, A System of Christian Theology presents Polanus’ Syntagma to the English-speaking world. A treasure trove of insight, comparable in scope to Berkouwer’s massive Studies in Dogmatics, no serious student of Reformed theology should be without this text.

    Polanus, taking his place alongside such figures of doctrinal importance as William Ames, Francis Turretin, and William Perkins, created this comprehensive synthesis to defend Reformed orthodoxy from attack by the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation—especially the polemics of Jesuit cardinal Robert Bellarmine.

    The Syntagma has influenced the giants of the Reformed tradition, like John Owen, Charles Hodge, and B. B. Warfield, and was consistently relied upon by such theologians as Herman Bavinck and Karl Barth. In his Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Richard A. Muller cites and refers to Polanus and the Syntagma nearly 600 times to illustrate classic Reformed orthodoxy. An invaluable resource for scholars, pastors, students, and interested lay-people, the Syntagma is the chief representative of Reformed orthodoxy in the generation following the Reformation, coming at last in English as A System of Christian Theology.

    The other is a translation of John Owen's Latin Theology and Lectures into English. RHB currently sells a translation of Theologoumena Pantodapa. The other material has never been translated. From Logos:

    John Owen influenced not only Puritan and Reformed theology, but arguably inspired centuries of Protestant theology in every denomination with his discourses and writings. He considered his Theologoumena Pantodapa to be his magnum opus. This volume contains some of John Owen’s most profound and influential theological writings, and our translation is not available anywhere else. While most of it is his Theologoumena Pantodapa—his history of theology from Adam to the present—it also contains his never-before-translated poetry and lectures. Additionally, it contains his work on the sacred authority of Scripture—a fundamental work for the development of early Protestantism.
  2. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

  3. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    I've funded all of the above. We need the greater PB community to hop on board. I really want Smith's Systematic to happen. Come on, PB!

    As a side note, I like the idea of a crowdfunded translation project. I've been thinking about such a thing for a long time now. I may start a similar project.
  4. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    My Latin guy says there are simply not enough competent Latinists for these types of projects, and doing them poorly would be a disservice. I'm toying with tackling Voetius's theses on the Sabbath and festival days for the Naphtali Press Special Editions series, so far as to float the plan by him. If I can get a sense of cost, and if the funds can be raised, it is a matter of when the competent guys are available. So the above are only crowdfunding for Logos and not for print?
  5. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    My Latinist friend shares the sentiment. They are probably the same person.
    I know of individuals interested in tackling Voetius, but they are currently tied up with some significant projects for us.
    There are so many works that need to be translated. I am torn on what I think should be tackled first. It makes me want to change my extracurricular projects and dedicate myself to Latin.
  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    I would say initially. Projects like these I would imagine going to print such as Vos did.
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Yes; but what makes me think, except for Rutherford, Scottish works long lamentably locked away in Latin will be passed over for continental works? Brown of Wamphray, couple of works including his two volume work on the fourth commandment, David Calderwood Altare Damascenum, Robert Boyd on Ephesians.
  8. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    Rutherford's works will be finally be made available in the upcoming years. I imagine we will follow the same model as Perkins and van Maastricht.
    The more I think about Voetius on the Sabbath, the more I think it is a work we desperately need.
    Numerous commentaries need to be translated. Near the top of my list are the commentaries by Musculus, Bucer, and Rollock on the Psalms. We have Rollock's freshly translated commentary on Ephesians coming out in a few months. We slso have another commentary in the works.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
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  9. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Likely a few things combine into that thinking:
    1. The pattern of that happening to some extent.
    2. The perception of the Scots, with certain honorable exceptions, as lacking in style, refinement, polish, urbanity and abounding in overzealous and pettifogging attention to relatively minute points that are invested with all the dogmatic force of foundational doctrines.

    I can hear the cries of outrage over my second point now, so let me highlight that I said the perception exists, not that I share it.

    And in witness of it existing, I call James Sutherland to the stand, who writes (English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century, pp.302-303):

    In place of the dignified and traditional service of the Church of England, the sectarian preachers had substituted extempore prayers, and their congregations were at the mercy of some 'holderforth' whose chief concern was, in the sarcastic phrase of South, 'to vaunt his spiritual clack'.

    If this kind of thing was bad enough in England, it became insupportable when one crossed the Border, and got all the canting and snuffling piety of the Kirk expressed in an uncouth dialect. In 1692 a popular compilation called The Scotch Presbyterian Eloquence provided the English reader with choice extracts from extempore prayers ejaculated before Scots congregations. Thus Mr. John Dickson praying for grace is alleged to have cried: 'Lord, dibble thou the kail-seed of thy Grace in our hearts, and if we grow not up to good kail, Lord make us good Sprouts at least!' In a similarly familiar vein the incumbent of Pitsligo exclaimed in another prayer: 'O Lord, thou'rt like a Mousie peeping out at a hole of a Wall, for thou seest us but we see not thee!' Such reported utterances are probably authentic, or nearly so, and they betray a confident and democratic familiarity with the Almighty which could only appear to the good Anglican as the very height of irreverence. In the same volume we are also given some extracts from typical sermons preached in Scottish kirks, with much emphasis on the broken and smothered locution, the whining delivery, and the drivelling at mouth and eyes. 'All they do', we are told, 'is to affect the Passions, and not the Judgment.' It is the old familiar criticism of the unorthodox or evangelical preacher.1 It was bad enough to have this sort of thing going on at all; it was still worse when those who frequented conventicles and encouraged this travesty of religious worship sneered at the decent and orderly services of the Established Church, 'scoffing at our Liturgy, and the Users of it', as South complained, 'and thereby alienating the Minds of the People from it, to such a degree that many Thousands are drawn by them into a fatal Schism'. In the polemics of Anglican divines we can often hear the voice of the elder brother of the Prodigal Son: he has not indulged in spiritual orgies, his religion has remained decent and undramatic. The Anglican divine scorned to compete with the Nonconformist in his appeal to the passions; he would not stoop to turn his service into a puppet play, acting his part from the pulpit 'with a beggar's tone' or a 'lamentable look'. Such effects might appeal to the vulgar and unthinking, but to the educated man they were contemptible. And not merely contemptible; they were also dangerous. We may smile at Samuel Parker's suggestion (in A Discourse of Ecclesiastical Politie, 1670) that 'the most effectual cure of all our present distempers' would be an Act of Parliament 'to abridge Preachers the use of fulsome and lushious Metaphors'. But if the zeal of the Church of England had almost eaten him up, Parker knew what he was talking about: 'For were Men obliged to speak Sense as well as Truth, all the swelling Mysteries of Fanaticism would immediately sink into flat and empty Nonsense. . . .'

    Many, no doubt, who were by no means ardent members of the Church found the idiom of the Dissenters offensive as a mere matter of taste. Such phrases as being 'Godded with God' and 'Christed with Christ', such 'unsavoury, clownish and undecent expressions' as repentance being a 'purgative' or 'pill', such morbid ideas as 'lying so long a-soke in the blood of Jesus', grated upon the ears of a Halifax or a Congreve no less than on those of a South or a Stillingfleet. They belonged to a jargon hideous in itself, and doubly unwelcome from its associations with the Commonwealth period. Class differences undoubtedly played a large part here. 'The better sort of Hearers', wrote Simon Patrick in 1669, 'are now out of love with these things.' Much of the preaching and the hortatory writing of the Nonconformists, in fact, has the characteristic marks of popular Sunday journalism, from which 'the better sort' of every generation can be counted upon to recoil. The Anglican distaste for the vocabulary and idiom of Nonconformist pastors and writers is one expression of the aristocratic spirit of the age.​

    Or we may appeal to a vivid scene from Sir Walter Scott's Waverly:

    The dinner hour of Scotland Sixty Years Since was two o'clock. It was therefore about four o'clock of a delightful autumn afternoon that Mr. Gilfillan commenced his march, in hopes, although Stirling was eighteen miles distant, he might be able, by becoming a borrower of the night for an hour or two, to reach it that evening. He therefore put forth his strength, and marched stoutly along at the head of his followers, eyeing our hero from time to time, as if he longed to enter into controversy with him. At length, unable to resist the temptation, he slackened his pace till he was alongside of his prisoner's horse, and after marching a few steps in silence abreast of him, he suddenly asked—'Can ye say wha the carle was wi' the black coat and the mousted head, that was wi' the Laird of Cairnvreckan?'​

    'A Presbyterian clergyman,' answered Waverley.

    'Presbyterian!' answered Gilfillan contemptuously; 'a wretched Erastian, or rather an obscure Prelatist, a favourer of the black indulgence, ane of thae dumb dogs that canna bark; they tell ower a clash o' terror and a clatter o' comfort in their sermons, without ony sense, or savour, or life. Ye've been fed in siccan a fauld, belike?'

    'No; I am of the Church of England,' said Waverley.

    'And they're just neighbour-like,' replied the Covenanter; 'and nae wonder they gree sae weel. Wha wad hae thought the goodly structure of the Kirk of Scotland, built up by our fathers in 1642, wad hae been defaced by carnal ends and the corruptions of the time;—ay, wha wad hae thought the carved work of the sanctuary would hae been sae soon cut down!'

    To this lamentation, which one or two of the assistants chorussed with a deep groan, our hero thought it unnecessary to make any reply. Whereupon Mr. Gilfillan, resolving that he should be a hearer at least, if not a disputant, proceeded in his Jeremiade.

    'And now is it wonderful, when, for lack of exercise anent the call to the service of the altar and the duty of the day, ministers fall into sinful compliances with patronage, and indemnities, and oaths, and bonds, and other corruptions,—is it wonderful, I say, that you, sir, and other sic-like unhappy persons, should labour to build up your auld Babel of iniquity, as in the bluidy persecuting saint-killing times? I trow, gin ye werena blinded wi' the graces and favours, and services and enjoyments, and employments and inheritances, of this wicked world, I could prove to you, by the Scripture, in what a filthy rag ye put your trust; and that your surplices, and your copes and vestments, are but cast-off garments of the muckle harlot that sitteth upon seven hills and drinketh of the cup of abomination. But, I trow, ye are deaf as adders upon that side of the head; ay, ye are deceived with her enchantments, and ye traffic with her merchandise, and ye are drunk with the cup of her fornication!'

    How much longer this military theologist might have continued his invective, in which he spared nobody but the scattered remnant of HILL-FOLK, as he called them, is absolutely uncertain. His matter was copious, his voice powerful, and his memory strong; so that there was little chance of his ending his exhortation till the party had reached Stirling, had not his attention been attracted by a pedlar who had joined the march from a cross-road, and who sighed or groaned with great regularity at all fitting pauses of his homily.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
  10. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    Sadly, you are correct. The Latinists I know are much more interested in the Continental theologians. I would have a hard time seeing them go for Scottish Presbyterian or English Puritan projects before they would tackle the works of someone such as Beza. Looking at our publications proves this point, excepting Rutherford as you noted.
  11. TylerRay

    TylerRay Puritan Board Senior

    Allow me to play Dutchman's advocate (hehe). The continental Reformed wrote more comprehensive systems of theology than the Scots (or English, for that matter), did they not? I agree that we are in need of both, but given the fact that the Dutch were the great systematizers, I can understand the priority.
  12. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Does RHB have a publication date yet for the two volumes of sermons on John 17 by Anthony Burgess?
  13. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    March. I was looking forward to that set all year. Some things are beyond our control. There are many moving pieces in the publishing world.
  14. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    March sounds good - especially since I have to wait until October to get Beeke/Smalley Volume 2. If it's going to be that huge (as you described), maybe they could publish it in two parts: Volume 2, Part 1 and Volume 2, Part 2. That, of course, would make it a 5-volume ST. Heh.
  15. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Has this one not been treading water for ages now? I seem to recall one of the guys who was working on the translation saying it had stalled. Has anyone here any further information on the project?

    This work by Amandus Polanus is not something that the English-speaking Reformed world can afford to do without, but, at the same time, people do not want to throw money down the drain to support something that may never see the light of day.
  16. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I could be wrong, but the only thing Logos looks for is enough pre-orders before they get started on a project. And, with Logos, a pre-order doesn't require an actual transfer of money on the part of the customer; the customer's money is not debited until the project is complete and the work is released. Logos just wants to make sure the project will bring in enough funds upon release to make it worthwhile for them. So, I am not sure why anyone wouldn't hit the "pre-order" button on Logos to show them that they are interested. It costs nothing, and it gets the project moving faster.
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  17. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    The above is correct.
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  18. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    That information is useful to know, thank you.
  19. W.C. Dean

    W.C. Dean Puritan Board Freshman

    How blessed are we that the Lord has decided we should live in this time period? There are many problems with the church and the world but we now live in a time where so many works of our Christian faith are finally being translated to be given to us. It is an incredible gift of God. It is exciting to think what works might be available when I'm an old man, or what works might available to my children and grandchildren (Lord willing I live that long).
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