“Literate — for what?” under “Pointed Paragraphs in a recent issue of TORCH AND TRUMPET, is a question which we should ask—and answer with an avalanche of literature true to the Word of God. Mr. Van Til notes that the Communists are doing more than any other organized world-voice to supply the new armies of literates with mass production and distribution of their propaganda.
We can not hope to match Communism’s production in quantity or in money value, but that does not mean that we are beaten, for we have the truth, and it endures and finally emerges to survive when lies perish. Yet it is still true that we cannot fulfill our stewardship of the machinery of the printed page by our present meager production.
From “A World in Famine: Some Facts About Literature Today,” in the January–March issue of Blue Banner Faith and Life, editor, the Rev. Johannes G. Vos, who reprinted the article from The Banner of Truth, London, England, the following sentences are gleaned: “Lenin’s writings have now been translated into 968 languages and are available in all parts of the world. According to Dr. Laubach, Communists are spending about 500 million pounds a year on cheap, easy-to-read, Communist literature which is fundamentally anti-Christian.” “In a recent year ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ distributed nearly 3 million bound books and 28 million pamphlets. In the same year copies of their magazines were distributed worldwide in forty different languages.”
One effort being made to provide Reformed literature is the Reformation Translation Fellowship, organized by Prof. Vas, the Rev. Samuel Boyle, then a missionary of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in China, and Charles Chao, since ordained as a minister. These men and their associates have been busy for the past ten years translating and distributing such works as Christianity and Liberalism by the Rev. J. Gresham Machen, Reformed Doctrine of Predestination by Loraine Boettner, and the writings of Prof. Berkhof, Dr. Oswald T. Allis, Dr. Cornelius Van Til and many others, to Christian pastors and students, both in the Orient and in this country. Two ministers of the Christian Reformed Church have contributed to this effort as translators, the Rev. Paul Szto and the Rev. Isaac Jen, while a layman, Mr. J. Van Mouwerik of Redlands, California, early became associated with the Fellowship as a director.
While the meager editions of 2000 and 3000, placed in the hands of Chinese pastors, doubtless have had, and will have, greater and more lasting effect than tons of finely printed Communist propaganda, we are missing a great opportunity by such infinitesimal circulation. But at least a beginning has been made in the Chinese language. That area is not going completely by default.
Anyone interested in learning more about this work may write to the undersigned for a copy of our annual report, from which you may see something of what is being done to “furnish (one of) the empty rooms, from which the demons of paganism have fled.”
Lester E. Kilpatrick American Representative Reformed Translation Fellowship 1031 E. Cleorosa Phoenix 14, Arizona