Book Review Guidelines

Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic Presbyterianism. Book reviews provide an important resource for our church officers.

Word Count

Regular book reviews should be between 500 and 1,000 words. Unless I have requested otherwise this is the assumed standard length. Short book notices should be 200-300 words. Review articles should be between 1,500 and 2,500 words. Authors of the latter will be remunerated. Authors of all other reviews receive the book as their remuneration. Please feel free to convince the editor of the need for a review article.

Consult the Style Guide

The Style Guide is available here. Note especially that the review should be double-spaced between lines for ease of editing. Do not double-space block quotes or footnotes. Single spaces only between sentences. Do not double-space between sentences. Use indented paragraphs with first lines and block quotes indented 20 points or .25 inches (use the format menu, not the tab key), with no extra line between paragraphs. Use Cardo typeface. Reviewers should cite page references in parentheses within the text of the review.

Review Format

The book's title should be at the head of your review and be in italics. After the title, please list (in the following order) the author's name (first name, middle initial/name, last name; no titles, please), place of publication (city, and state initials only if city is obscure), publisher (omit such words as "Press," "Publisher," "House," etc., unless it is a university publication or academic press), date of publication (year only), number of pages (including introductory pages [in lower case roman numerals] plus [+] the pages in the body and indexes), and price (followed by "paper" if that is how the book is bound; do not indicate if it is hardback). If no price is given, please attempt to locate it; otherwise, state "n.p." For example:

Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church Music Today, by Paul S. Jones. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2006, xvi + 315 pages, $16.99, paper.

Sign your review at the end by placing only your name in bold (no titles or degrees, please) and your position in an institution (school, church, organization) with its city and state (not abbreviated) in italics. For example:

Peter E. Reynolds is the pastor of Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Westminster, New York.

The Qualities of a Good Review

An excellent book review, while setting forth the key ideas of a book, must go beyond extended publicity; it should be more than a mere summary of the contents of a book. The review should set forth fairly the relative strengths and weaknesses of the book. It should locate the book in relation to other similar publications and note the specific contributions this book makes to its field of study. The review should assess the value and potential impact this book will have and specify the kind of audience(s) that this book will benefit most. It should conform to the standards set forth in the OS style manual.

Make your review purposeful; get right to the point. Conduct your review with decorum. Resist any temptation to be "cute" or idiosyncratic. Use left justification only. Do not use headers or footers (exception: you may use page numbers). Be sure to use the spell checker and grammar checker. Please follow the Style Guide. You may also find the Writer's Guide helpful.

Send your review to me as an e-mail attachment in Microsoft Word or as an RTF file to reynolds.1@opc.org.

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