Good Books Spreading Through Poland
Can we imagine life without the spoken and written word? If humanity lost the ability to learn and use language our civilization would be reduced to an extent that we can hardly imagine. How could we convey ideas? Such a possibility seems to be quite unbelievable and qualifies for the realm of fantasy. But a down-to-earth example would be two people who speak different languages and do not understand each other. Some have already been in such a situation and know how frustrating it is.
Words continue to be powerful and the most sophisticated means of communication. The Bible gives this a special place and meaning. It tells us that through God’s word the world was created. Then, the Creator passed on His word to people through the prophets. When the time had come God embodied the message to humanity in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ; the Logos became flesh. After that, the Good News was spread widely through preaching, witnessing, and epistles by Jesus’ apostles and disciples. God’s revelation was written down so that others might get to know it. The Bible also speaks about the overwhelming power of the Word of God, through which He reaches us rational beings.
Can any Christian avoid learning and expect spiritual growth? Can he or she, from God’s point of view, be of much use in their environment, either home, church, school, work place, social life, without educating himself or herself in God’s truth? Time and the cultural gap between both Testaments and the people living at present may cause difficulty in understanding some passages and that may result in their misinterpretation. The Bible itself testifies to various levels of comprehension of Christian truths and Jesus’ followers are expected to move from elementary things to more complex ones. They ought to take part in the process of education (Hebrews 5:11-14).
There are ways in which Christians may know their God and His truth better. The Apostle Paul, writing to Timothy, emphasizes the virtue of knowing the Scriptures and urges him to be the one ‘who correctly handles the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16). To those who engage themselves in the process of studying the Scriptures, deepening their knowledge and growing spiritually, there are means available. One of these, a very handy one, is a good book.
‘Legatio’ is the name of a Christian publishing company producing books in the Polish language. It was set up in May 1997 on European Missionary Fellowship’s initiative, to start a national and independent organization to publish good Christian literature. Polish brethren received that offer of help with great enthusiasm and the new set-up brought out its first book in September 1997 – Losing Touch with the Living God by John Benton. The need for Christian literature in Poland has been inspiring Legatio for eight years and has resulted in 40 titles translated from English into Polish and published.
A large proportion of the books published by Legatio and sponsored through EMF are simple, nevertheless profound, commentaries originally published in English by Evangelical Press – the Welwyn Commentary Series, and the Let’s Study Series from The Banner of Truth Trust. Eighteen commentaries on both New and Old Testament books puts Legatio as one of the leaders among evangelical publishers for this type of literature in Poland. However it is easy to see how much more needs to be done in this area.
Sermons of Martyn Lloyd-Jones in the form of books, plus Expository Thoughts on the Gospels by J. C. Ryle are two other items on the list. There are sixteen of these altogether and among them the Great Doctrines Series (three volumes) and Expository Thoughts on Luke (two volumes). Legatio has been able to produce books by those authors as Chelford House Christian Fellowship has willingly supported this project.
In Understanding Be Men by T. C. Hammond was the first book on systematic theology published by Legatio and interestingly enough it serves as an introduction to theology for students at one of the theological seminaries in Poland.
This year has been very busy as the publishers want to bring out ten new books. The work is well on the way, with three new titles on the market and two others which are nearly ready for printing. Two books are being proof-read and three others are being translated; among them The Coming of the Warrior-King the Welwyn Commentary on Zephaniah by Daniel Webber.
Feedback from readers is, in most cases, very good. It was indeed thrilling for the publishers to read an article (two pages long) in the biggest Polish Pentecostal magazine about books by Martyn Lloyd-Jones in Polish and published by Legatio. Its author, Edward Czajko, was much in favour and was encouraging his readers to pick up and read those books.
It will not be long until Legatio makes plans for the next year. Praising the Lord for what has been achieved so far is the first thing to do. The publishers and readers are grateful to those who have been supporting the production of Christian literature in the Polish language. Still, there is more work ahead and a company of prayerful supporters will be much appreciated. Legatio has contributed to some extent to help believers to move forward in their understanding and ‘knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness,’ but it hopes to do more in the years to come.
Krzysztof Rutkowski, Wloclawek, Poland
By permission from the Vision of Europe, Oct.-Dec. 2005, European Missionary Fellowship, email@example.com
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