Back in the mid-90s, there was a decent used book store on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. Alhambra Books had a fairly good selection of Christian books. One time I was browsing there on my way home from university and another customer struck up a conversation with me. We were both browsing through the Christian books and he caught on that I was of the more confessional ilk. He said, “If you like good, solid biblical theology, you need to check out Francis Pieper.” I’ve never forgotten that comment.
Flash forward nearly twenty years later and I was at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids on Saturday. For those who’ve never been, this is one of the biggest Christian book stores in the world. They have an enormous selection of used books. There I found volume 1 of Pieper’s Christian Dogmatics for $10. Nice deal. I’ve been flipping through it — it does look rather enticing. A prominent Missouri Synod Lutheran, Pieper has been called “the twentieth-century Luther.” The only thing that bugs me about what I’ve seen so far is that Pieper blames a lot of the problems of modern theology on the Reformed.
Another book that I picked up was R. B. Kuiper‘s As To Being Reformed. Kuiper (no relation to Abraham Kuyper) wrote this book in 1926 as an appeal to the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America regarding some trends that concerned him. He wrote it after spending a short period as a RCA minister in Kalamazoo. I hope to share some of Kuiper’s concerns in the days ahead. In the late 1950s, he wrote a follow-up volume which was entitled, To Be or Not to Be Reformed. I wonder what Kuiper would say today at the sight of what has become of the CRC. My guess is he would say nothing, but everyone else around him would be saying, “Come on, R. B., come back to consciousness!”
I find that Lutherans often blame the Reformed for their the issues of the day in contemporary theology. Right now I’m reading Herman Sasse’s “Here we Stand.” He basically states that Barthianism is where Reformed theology naturally leads. Them’s fightin’ words. I find the Lutherans tend to talk about us like we do the evangelicals.