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David has authored and edited various works. He is an antiquarian bookseller and has also lectured in church history at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia, PA). He is a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America and has served as moderator and parliamentarian of the Philadelphia Presbytery, as well as on various committees.
Dr. Joel R. Beeke
Western Michigan University, Thomas A. Edison College (B. A.), Netherlands Reformed Theological School (M. Div.), and Westminster Theological Seminary (Ph. D.).
Joel has authored and edited numerous books and periodicals. He is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. He has also lectured in Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia, PA), the Center for Urban Theological Studies-CUTS (Philadelphia, PA), and in Preaching at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS), and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (Escondido, CA). In addition to various publishing and translation ventures, Joel has pastored congregations from 1978 to the present day where he is minister of an 850 member congregation in Grand Rapids, MI.
Dr. W. Robert Godfrey
Stanford University (A. B., M. A., Ph. D.), and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M. Div.).
Robert has contributed and edited numerous books and periodicals. He is President and Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in California (Escondido). He is also a minister in the Christian Reformed Church and is a member of the Theology Working Group of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism.
Dr. William S. Barker
Princeton University (A. B.), Cornell University (M. A.), Covenant Seminary (B. D.), and Vanderbilt University (Ph. D.)
William has contributed to various books and periodicals. He is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. He has previously pastored congregations and served and taught on the faculty of Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, TN), and Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO).
David C. Engelsma
Calvin College (A. B.), Protestant Reformed Seminary (B. D.), and Calvin Theological Seminary (Th. M.)
David has authored, edited and contributed to various books and periodicals. He is Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament Studies at the Theological School of the Protestant Reformed Churches in Grandville, MI. He pastored congregations for twenty-five years. David also serves on the board of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society.
ABOUT OLD PATHS
The Scriptures declare in Ecclesiastes 12:11, "...of making many books there is no end..." So why is there now one more Christian book publisher amongst the many who already are producing so many books? That is a question that is best answered with a few more questions. Is there a need today for sound Christian books amongst the abundance of "religious" junk so prevalent in our modern watered down "Christian" bookstores? Can God's people be encouraged and strengthened through the reprinting of the writings of godly men who strived to fulfill the great task that Christ has given to the Church? Must the Kingdom of God on earth be a light unto this world?
Old Paths Publications was established as a ministry for the cause of Christ and His Church. We seek to offer timely titles for the purpose of edification and instruction. In our day, where true Christianity is increasingly under attack, Old Paths Publications will endeavor to bring together a united and confessional Reformed and Presbyterian thought, through the publishing of gospel truths given to us by the Spirit of God through His faithful elect, as they saw the fast approaching storm. This storm is and has been seen as the liberal and apostatizing element which has crept into Bible believing churches unawares. The elect of God are brought to despair over the decay which it sees, and they are often left with no recourse but to flee to the mountains. Many are the reasons for this tragedy, but certainly one must confess that the depravity of reprobate man has entered the ranks of leadership in the holy place. The Spirit of Antichrist is seated in many a church that claims to be true to the Scriptures, the Reformed Faith and the Great Commission. These congregations, however, are no more than synagogues of Satan.
Those churches that are true and are holding fast to the doctrines of our holy religion must have their sheep encouraged in their warfare. Their shepherds must be equipped with the resources of those who in past times have walked the narrow way and remained true to their calling. This is why Old Paths Publications has reprinted Patrick Fairbairn's Pastoral Theology. Principal Fairbairn, a popular Scottish Presbyterian minister from the 19th century, had a sincere concern for the doctrine of the church and the relationship of its members. His introductory remarks in Pastoral Theology, a mere 38 pages, explain The Relation of the Pastoral Office to the Church, and the Connection Between Right Views of the One and a Proper Estimate of the Other. This book also contains a brief and succinct Biographical Sketch that tells of the life of this man who had high merits as an author and was of noble Christian character. Throughout the book, Fairbairn deals with such subjects as styles of preaching, public prayer, catechetical instruction, discipline, and the visitation of the sick, the afflicted, and the dying. He draws from the richness of Christendom with quotations of such men as Chrysostom, Erasmus, Farel, Calvin, Knox, Milton, Baxter, Edwards and Miller.
The joy of the publisher is not rooted in the self-satisfaction of stocking the shelves with his own favorites. His delight is in his service and provision for those who have need and benefit from the fruit of his labors. The blessing we have received already is in knowing that God in His providence is using Old Paths Publications to be an avenue of spiritual benefit to its recipients. Our encouragement comes from correspondence such as these excerpts from letters which say from Florida, "I have had Fairbairn's Pastoral Theology on my second hand wants list for four years and rejoice now to get a copy." And from Illinois, "I am delighted and grateful for your publishing endeavor. The writers of the `old paths' have been a great help to me in my walk with the Lord." And lastly, from Maryland, "Amen!"
Our friends in the publishing industry have commented on the service that we are providing. Kevin Reed of Presbyterian Heritage Publications has written us with encouraging words saying, "Patrick Fairbairn's work on Pastoral Theology is an excellent treatment of the topic, and you are providing a valuable service by reprinting it. We look forward to other titles from Old Paths Publications, hoping that you will spark renewed interest in the oft-neglected subjects related to Presbyterian polity." Likewise, Rev. Don Kistler of Soli Deo Gloria Publications has extended his thoughts regarding our ministry saying, "It has to be an encouragement for those of us who thrive on the writings of men who knew God so much better than the writers of our day to see the increase of publishers committed to bringing those writings back. Old Paths Publications appears to be a promising addition to that list. His first choice, Patrick Fairbairn's Pastoral Theology, is a much-needed work. If the church is ever to undergo revival, it must begin with the pastors. May it please God to bless their efforts."
Our kind brothers above, have captured in just a few sentences what Old Paths Publications desires to accomplish, not only through the reprinting of this particular title, but also to align itself along side of those today who are searching for the like-minded faithful who can unite in Confessional unity. That unity is not the broadly evangelical claims of supposed peace. Rather, it is the unity that is founded upon the truths of Holy Scripture and upon the purity of practice in obedience to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our name, Old Paths Publications, was not only selected to represent the fathers of the Reformation. It was to issue a call to remembrance of the standards of God's Word which those men of faith sought to reinstate. Jehovah's command to His people through the prophet in Jeremiah 6:16 charged them, "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls..."
This being a new venture for us, it is necessary to express grateful appreciation for certain individuals who have been most helpful in guiding Old Paths Publications. Both Kevin Reed and Don Kistler, mentioned above, have given us direction based upon their experience. They have explained the workings of the publishing industry, the technological capabilities of computer equipment and answered a multitude of questions about the subject of Christian literature in general. Their assistance has been invaluable. Another individual is David Lachman. He is an expert in church history and an antiquarian bookseller. His insight into and knowledge of the variety of Reformed and Presbyterian literature from days gone by, is hardly surpassed. It was he who suggested the name of Fairbairn to us.
We must, however, acknowledge the supreme and most significant contributor to this work as well as any future reprints. That, of course, is Almighty God, because as the Westminster Confession of Faith says in Chapter V.1, "God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy."
By God's grace, we have also reprinted James Fraser's A Treatise on Sanctification, which is a doctrinal commentary on Romans 6, 7 and 8:1-4. The commentary deals with each chapter giving a careful introduction to each, treating of the general scope and contents of the chapter, and especially combating defective or erroneous views of the standpoint and intention of the apostle. Each verse is commented on separately, and the results of this exegetical study are then given in a paraphrase. This doctrine of sanctification is a subject critical to the Christian's understanding in every age, especially in our twentieth century where carnality has run rampant.
We have also printed two new works dealing with the subject of worship. They explore two very practical and contemporary issues that face the believer in our churches. The first is Revealed to Babes: Children in the Worship of God. It speaks to a highly provocative and stimulating issue. It endeavors to argue that children belong in worship, and is probably the best and longest study available on the subject. The second is Many Verses! The Importance of Reading the Scriptures in Reformed Worship. Again, this also is probably the most extensive study available on the subject. For those interested in Christian history, an interesting narrative and debate at the Westminster Assembly of Divines is appended to this work.
Lastly we have reprinted Abraham Kuyper's, In the Shadow of Death: Meditations for the Sick-Room and at the Sick-Bed. All of us, whether young or old, are according to him 'walking in the valley of the shadow of death.' Thus believers should prepare themselves in faith for life's ever-changing situations. Only by seeking diligently the Lord as the strength of our lives can we experience that peace and hope which breaks through the enveloping shadows. We are reminded of the fruitfulness of God's chastisements of his dear children, of personal preparation for the end of our days, of being honest with self and others when death is at hand. With insight he writes about 'miserable comforters,' about 'a last conscious moment.' Even the more difficult topics are not avoided. That Satan plays a role in suffering, sickness and death is discussed as well as the 'intermediate state' and the recognizing of loved ones in the state of glory.
It is our hope and prayer that we may be of service to you, that our books might ring true to the Word of God, and that the Lord Jesus Christ might be exalted by all for His own glory.