Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Mastricht and the Best Method of Preaching

INT. PREEKSTOEL - Nieuwegein - 20354480 - RCEMy friend and colleague, Todd Rester, who serves as director of the newly-launched Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research, is also the translator for the multi-volume, multi-million word project to translate Petrus van Mastricht’s Theoretico-practica Theologia into English. The first fruits of this translation project, commissioned by the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, have appeared in a small volume titled The Best Method of Preaching.

As Rester notes in his introduction, “It is a basic assumption of the Holy Scriptures that the Christian church advances through the faithful proclamation, reception, and practice of the Word of God.” It was the reformers’ recognition of this that led them to place verbal proclamation at the center of their reform efforts. As Timothy George puts it in his recent Reading Scripture with the Reformers, “The embodiment of the Bible was most clearly expressed in the ministry of preaching, which was given a new prominence in the worship and theology of the Reformation traditions.” For the magisterial reformers in particular, the pulpit could be seen as the vanguard of reformation.

Here’s a note included in the Mastricht volume with details about the project and how the work of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society should be supported:

This little book on preaching, translated from Latin and Dutch, is intended to whet your appetite for what is to come in the projected publication of Petrus van Mastricht’s massive dogmatics, Theoretico-practica Theologia, which is presently being translated and published by the conjoined efforts of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society and Reformation Heritage Books. In this book, we have taken the liberty to insert chapter titles into the text, so that the reader is not confronted with run-on text without breaks.

Lifetime membership in the Dutch Reformed Translation Society is available for a one-time, tax deductible gift of $100. Members support the society’s continuing work, receive periodic newsletters, and may purchase society publications at the cost of production. Membership gifts may be sent to P.O. Box 7083, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49510. For more information on the Dutch Reformed Translation Society, see

—Joel R. Beeke and Nelson D. Kloosterman

Hardcopies of The Best Method of Preaching are available for purchase at the RHB website, and you can download a sample PDF which includes Rester’s helpful introduction to Mastricht’s life and work.

And for those interested in the primary sources, Mastricht’s page over at the Post-Reformation Digital Library includes links to a couple of different editions of his magnum opus.

By Jordan Ballor

Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012), and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous volumes. Jordan also serves as associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research of Calvin Theological Seminary.