2nd Printing Arrives

<i>photo by Shelley Davis</i>
Seminary students and staff join C&C staff to unload psalters. (photo by Shelley Davis)

For the second time in two months, we have received a shipment of the new Book of Psalms for Worship. And, for the second time in two months, more than half of a printing has been sold before the books arrive. Now that the psalters are here, we are going to be very busy shipping those orders.


In the midst of that flurry of activity, we’re already looking ahead to the next printing. Our order for the 3rd printing of The Book of Psalms for Worship will be processed this week. The 3rd printing will have some surprises in store for our customers.


This has been a summer unlike any other. We were hoping for a good response to The Book of Psalms for Worship, but the response has far exceeded our expectations. We can’t help but be excited–this is God’s Word going out to be used in all kinds of worship (personal, group, corporate) in all kinds of places around the world. We are so blessed to have a small part in what God is doing. We are blessed to serve customers who share this mission with us.


Also on the truck that arrived today was the shipment of the new book Political Danger by J. R. Willson. This is a book of essays by a man who was centuries ahead of his time. See the previous blog post, “The Surprising Relevance of James R. Willson.”

The Surprising Relevance of James R. Willson

jr-willson1One of my tasks as Editorial Assistant this week was to pull excerpts from our new book, Political Danger, by James R. Willson. The articles published in this book were written on the political controversies of early 19th century America and, at first glance, the book looks intimidatingly dry. I thus prepared myself for something old-fashioned and tedious—material intended for theologians and scholars, and not for everyday Christians like myself.


What I found instead was a man deeply concerned with the very same issues that plague our nation today. In the broader context of the Mediatorial Kingship of Jesus Christ, the book provides a collection of articles that address the issues of cultural tolerance, power-hungry governments, the treatment of veterans, and a thoroughly surprising section on the abolishment of prayer in the New York House of Representatives written in 1835. (Yes, they were arguing about the constitutionality of state prayer 175 years ago.) As Gordon Keddie, editor of this collection said, “In all of these papers there are passages that could have been written yesterday.”


The sections that most interested me most were those on slavery. To many of us (including myself, until of late) this is a dead topic. Slavery was abolished years ago, and few of us would question its immorality or willingly countenance its existence. Nevertheless, in speaking to 19th century slavery, Willson also speaks to two burning issues of our day.


The first is modern-day slavery and human trafficking, in which millions of our fellow humans worldwide are bought and sold daily. (I am not referring to sweat shops here, but the slavery, the real thing). As Christians we are still responsible for the emancipation of our brothers and sisters in chains–as I’m sure Willson would agree! But that is a subject for a different post.


The second important parallel controversy of today that Willson illuminates is that of abortion. I was surprised to realize the many similarities between the Emancipation Movement and the Pro-Life Movement of today. Both are passionately opposed to injustice and determined to champion the victims. After all, slaves were considered subhuman conveniences (or inconveniences). They were treated like property, and deprived of the freedom of choice so prized by their masters. Effectively they were told “it is best for you if we decide how, and if, you live.” Sound familiar?


Society and the government of the 1830’s were not all that different from that of today. Those in favor of immediate emancipation (like Willson) were told loudly that slavery was a constitutional right, that to act (or even merely speak) against it was fanatical and irrational. Attempts were made to muzzle the press and “make it criminal to utter doctrines adverse to Negro slavery.” The President himself (Andrew Jackson) gave a speech in which he condemned the abolitionists as inflammatory and misguided, and accused them of seeking to foment a civil war. Circulation of “incendiary” material in the southern states was prohibited, under severe penalties.


“There is not the remotest hint,” says Willson, “that…liberty of speech…is guaranteed by the federal Constitution…that people have been deprived of any right, or that it is any evil either physical or moral to hold them, unoffending as they are…there is no suggestion that the two million slaves are objects of compassion…”


Again, does this sound familiar?


I hope that one day as a nation we will look back at abortion as an unnatural, evil blot on our nation’s history, much as we look back on slavery. I hope our children will be shocked that the government and society at large allowed it to continue for so long! Willson’s book may provide some impetus to, and perspective on, our struggle for the rights of the unborn.


Throughout all of this, Willson returns over and over to his ruling theme, the Kingship of Christ. Indeed it is emphasized that the answers to our controversies can be resolved only through Christ Himself. Though a disturbing read, it is also a comforting one when we remember with the psalmist that the Lord is in His holy place, observing, intervening, and judging.


I’m glad I was obliged to read parts of this marvelous book, and once it is available I would recommend it for everyone–not just scholars and theologians. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” In Political Danger, Willson gives us a window into the immediate truth contained in those words.

First Edition Nearly Sold Out

We planned for a healthy amount of interest in the soon-to-be-released Book of Psalms for Worship. But we underestimated the early response.


With a week to go before the psalters are shipped from the bindery, prerelease orders have reserved 90 percent of the books. And our magazine ads for the psalter (such as in WORLD magazine) are just beginning to reach mailboxes.


The second printing has already been started. If you had planned to own a first edition, you won’t want to wait long to order.

New Psalter Update!

The Book of Psalms for Worship is currently at the printer! We actually received a proof of the entire psalter today for a final perusal.

Right now, the psalter is set to ship to our office at the end of June although this is subject to change if anything crops up in the production process.
blue_psalter_cover-1
Here are a few quick facts about The Book of Psalms for Worship:

  • It will be a bit larger dimensionally than The Book of Psalms for Singing. This was done so all the type could be a consistent size to allow for maximum readability.
  • The thickness of the book will be similar to the current psalter.
  • The new cover will be blue with silver lettering.
  • The first print run will be for 5,000 copies.
  • A special, limited, first edition will be released in addition to the initial print run. (Approximately 75 to 80 will be available for purchase.)
  • From the Lips of Little Ones

    From the Lips of Little OnesFrom the Lips of Little Ones made its debut at the RP International Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This book, compiled by ARP Pastor Jeff Kingswood, is a study in the children’s catechism for families. The study questions are conversational, designed to encourage dialogue with your children about basic Bible teachings.
     

    This is the kind of book that would be a valuable format for family devotions. Even a family with younger and older children may find that the older ones will be pleased to discuss these topics with the younger ones, and it will be good review.     

     

    There is something to discuss and a suggested scripture reading for every weekday for 73 weeks. The questions are based on Joseph P. Engle’s Children’s Catechism of 1840, which was derived from the Westminster Shorter Catechism. A few terms have been changed for 21st century understanding.
     
    ISBN: 978-1-884527-24-1
    Paper, 146 pp.
    $10.00