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Jesus has only one plan for making disciples and seeing the gospel go forth: the church. Any efforts that we employ to make disciples and share the gospel must be through the church to the glory of God. This must also be true for Christian publishing if we want it to be truly effective. As an international publisher serving in the French-speaking world, we at Publications Chrétiennes have spent much time thinking about how we can serve the church through publishing books.

Christian publishers come alongside the church to help it accomplish its mission; they must not act on their own apart from the church. To serve the church well, Christian publishers must publish books that are defined by the historic and orthodox creeds and confessions in accordance with Scripture and must not try to innovate theologically.

The mission of the church is to make disciples of Christ. The Great Commission gives us some details on what it means to make disciples: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20). Dr. R.C. Sproul taught that the Great Commandment sums up the whole duty of human beings before their Creator. We read:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (22:36–40)

Therefore, the content of what we teach is important. We have a historical faith; we are not the first Christians to ever think about and try to understand the Bible. There is a long line of godly men and women who precede us who have diligently worked on crafting confessional statements, and many more after them who have confirmed the faithfulness of these statements to Scripture. The historic confessions of Christianity—from the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Definition of Chalcedon to the Westminster Standards and the Three Forms of Unity—tell a story of a clear and biblical understanding of Christianity.

To serve the church well, Christian publishers must publish books defined by the historic and orthodox creeds and confessions in accordance with Scripture and must not try to innovate theologically.

As publishers, we must be innovative in how we distribute our resources. New technology makes it possible to distribute content in ways and places that early Christians could never have imagined. There are too many people who have never heard the gospel, too many Christians who are sitting under unbiblical teaching, and too many pastors who do not have access to adequate training to help them faithfully fulfill the tasks that the Lord has entrusted to them.

Digital technology allows us to post videos, podcasts, and articles that can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. New printing technology is allowing small mobile print shops to be set up in places that we could never have imagined reaching. If publishers are to faithfully serve the church, they must not wait for people to come and find the resources they publish; they must use as many means as possible to get those resources to those who need them.

As a publisher seeking to serve the church, we ask certain questions about any resource that we are looking to publish: Will the book teach people to obey all that Jesus commanded? Will it help people love the Lord their God with all their hearts, minds, and strength? Will it help people understand the story of redemption in Scripture? We want to translate and publish books that are faithful to the Scriptures and deal with subjects through the lens of the historic Reformed creeds.

Once we have translated and printed this content, there is the important work of distribution. What makes a publisher is the work of distribution. Let me give you an example. Dr. Sproul’s Crucial Questions booklets are produced as affordable print books, free e-books, and audiobooks. Since the content is available in so many different accessible formats, we have seen copies go throughout the entire French-speaking world. We have also reached out to chaplains to offer these resources to them as they disciple and evangelize athletes and prisoners. The digital versions of these resources are shared through many different platforms and are even loaded onto SD cards so that they can be shared with those who do not have access to the internet.

As a Christian publisher that seeks to serve the church, we are entrusted with teaching from God’s Word. We cannot water down the truth to sell more books, we cannot compromise the truth to not offend, we cannot find innovations to appeal to skeptics, and we must be active to serve the church wherever it is found. We must produce resources that will help the church “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

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From the January 2024 Issue
Jan 2024 Issue