The Reformed Family Worldwide: A Survey of Reformed Churches, Theological Schools, and International Organizations

Article excerpt

Compiled and edited by Jean-jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1999. Pp. xiii, 740. Paperback $35.

This is a superb volume that more than fulfills its promise as indicated in the subtitle. Jean-Jacques Bauswein, most recently the director of the John Knox International Reformed Center in Geneva, and Lukas Vischer, with extensive experience in the World Council of Churches and professor emeritus of ecumenical theology at the Evangelical Reformed Theological Faculty of Bern, Switzerland, have skillfully coordinated and edited the contributions of 122 Reformed church leaders from around the world.

The publisher's information sheet states succinctly the nature of this work:

"The book includes a complete list of the churches and institutions that today claim for themselves the heritage of the Reformation and provides basic information on each of them. All streams of the Reformed tradition-Reformed, Presbyterian, Congregational, Evangelical, and United-have been brought together; the book includes 746 churches and 529 theological schools. This reference work presents a superb overview of the Reformed family." What isn't stated here is that Lukas Vischer also contributes a splendid thirty-three-page introductory essay entitled "The Reformed Tradition and Its Multiple Facets."

In addition to statistics on each of the Reformed churches and schools, larger areas have brief historical sketches of the formation and development of Reformed / Presbyterian churches in the countries involved. …