The five cardinal doctrines expounded in the chapters of this book are known to many as the Five Points of Calvinism, and to others as the "doctrines of grace." While these doctrines, though certainly not originated by John Calvin, were re-emphasized and taught anew by him at the time of the Reformation, it remained for the Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-19, which was convened to settle the Arminian controversy in the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, to formulate these truths with great clarity and in painstaking detail. This official formulation was accomplished in a creed which represented the consensus of all Reformed churches of that day, the Canons of Dordrecht.
To this day, these doctrinal declarations have remained unaltered; and they continue to be a mighty bulwark against the heresy of Arminian free-willism, the danger of which is as great and greater than it was in the days of Jacobus Arminius himself.
The format of these chapters is accounted for by the fact that they were originally five popular lectures, delivered in 1966-67 in Grand Rapids, Michigan under the sponsorship of the Protestant Reformed Churches of that area.
The three authors are ministers in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Herman C. Hanko is professor of New Testament and Church History at the Theological School of the Protestant Reformed Churches; he has written Chapters 1 and 2. Homer C. Hoeksema is professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament at the same Theological School, and is the author of Chapter 3. Gise J. Van Baren is pastor of First Protestant Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and he is the author of Chapters 4 and 5.
May the lord our God use these chapters for the instruction and enlightenment of many.
(As of 1997, Homer C. Hoeksema is deceased; Herman Hanko continues to teach in the Theological School; Gise J. Van Baren currently pastors the Loveland, Colorado Protestant Reformed Church.)