Key Issue In Roman Dialogue
Holy Writ Or Holy Church, by George H. Tavard (Harpers, 1959, 250 pp., $5), is reviewed by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Professor of Church History at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Warren C. Young, Professor of Christian Philosophy at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The issue of authority, or specifically the relationship of the Bible to the Church, is still the key issue in Roman Catholic debate. In a new study, the Augustinian George Tavard has assembled in short compass a mass of relevant material, especially from the critical Reformation period. He argues that an original synthesis of Scripture in the wider sense, and Church tradition as its developing exegesis, disintegrated in the later Middle Ages. The Reformers with their sola Scriptura then took one side of the resultant antithesis, and such rash or less perspicacious Romanists as, for example, Stapleton and even Bellarmine, took the other with their two source theory. Trent, however, worked back implicitly to the original synthesis, as did also many Anglican Reformers in their less perfect way. The author hopes that with a fresh evaluation of Trent in this light, and perhaps with some Anglican aid, Protestants may come to see that Luther was forced into an exaggeration, even though it was with some reason, and that the time has now come for all of us to readopt the fuller and harmonious synthesis.
We must be grateful to the author for his diligent research, his suggestive comments, his abandonment of many earlier Romanist heroes, his admission that men like Jewel were largely right in their understanding, his attempt to break through the iron crust of Trent to something more dynamic and satisfying, and his mainly irenic spirit. Unfortunately, however, we find it difficult to accept either some of his historical conclusions or even his basic thesis.
For example, his presentation of Luther’s teaching, while it is not unfair and contains some acute criticisms, is in general neither adequate nor convincing. This is even more true in the case of Calvin, who does not really fit the mold prepared for him. Again, it is quite unjustifiable to isolate Anglicans like Cranmer or Jewel from the Continentals in this issue, since Zwingli appealed to the fathers and even to Gratian before Cranmer, and Jewel’s approach was closely paralleled by that of Calvin himself and especially that of his close friend Peter Martyr. There may possibly be a difference of emphasis, but not of basic understanding. Again, it is hard to believe that the explicit statements of Trent really bear the implicit meaning Father Tavard would like to see in them. Might he not do better to admit with some of his Romanist brethren that Trent can be justified (if at all!) only in its historical setting as the answer to a possible exaggeration? Is he not reading Trent in exactly the same way as the Bible, and drawing out nonexistent implications and proclaiming them as the true synthetic teaching?
But this leads us to the basic and insuperable objection. The author, while allowing an infallible Scripture as the letter, also contends for an infallible interpretation as the Spirit—his synthesis being the conjunction of the two. This means, however, that he will not face the possibility in every age or circle of erroneous interpretation as this was so plainly exposed by Cranmer and Jewel no less than Luther and Calvin. He will not face the distortion that so easily comes with doctrinal development. He will not face the fallibility of the Church and its teaching office, and therefore the constant need for criticism and correction. He will not allow the Church to be subject to the written Word, by which alone there can be a true synthesis of the teaching of Holy Church and the truth of Holy Writ. He will not reckon with the uniqueness of the apostolate and its witness, and therefore pursue the genuine, the apostolic catholicity sought by Jewel and Peter Martyr. He does not see that while there is a real authority of the Church, it must be a relative, indirect, and fallible authority under the absolute, direct, and infallible authority of Scripture. Under the influence of the baneful dogmatic developments leading to the Vatican decree of 1870, he advances a more profound and yet also a more dangerous and heretical version of Romanism than even that of Trent. And for this reason we regretfully conclude that there can be no hope of Protestant-Roman Catholic reconciliation along the lines of this thoughtful, informative, and good-tempered treatise.
G. W. BROMILEY
This excellent study of the causes for the great rift in Christendom, as written by a Roman Catholic priest, warrants careful study by Christians of all backgrounds and traditions. It is written with remarkable objectivity and in the spirit of the Lord whom all Christians profess to follow.
The first section of the book is devoted to a survey of the problem of ultimate authority in the history of the Church. The title is the key: is it Holy Writ or Holy Church? To the author it is really both, for the two should never be separated. “The Book is the Word of God, and the City is the Church. The Book leads to the City. Yet the City is described in the Book. To prefer the one to the other amounts to renouncing both” (p. 247).
In the Patristic period the oneness of Scripture and the Church is very evident. But what Professor Tavard means by this unity is that the traditions taught by the Church were one with the Gospel as expressed in Scripture. From there, of course, it is easy for him to move to the traditions of the Roman Church in general, for to him the early Church was one and the same with the later church of Rome. While he grants that differing ideas began to appear in the Medieval Church, the prevailing mood was that “the Fathers and the great Medieval Schoolmen assumed that the Church and Scripture co-inhere” (p. 22).
The rift started in the fifteenth century when Church and Scripture began to show signs of going their separate ways. Indeed, at times “the voice of the Church is superadded to, rather than growing with, the content of Scripture” (p. 22). At the same time men such as Henry of Ghent were insisting on the supremacy of Scripture over the Church. “Should we rather believe the authority of the Church than that of Scripture?” (p. 25). In the fifteenth century we witness the elevation of papal power to the point where Scripture has scarcely more than nominal value (p. 48 ff.). Indeed, for all practical purposes the bishops are infallible (p. 59). While the emphasis that raised the authority of the hierarchy over both Scripture and Church to higher and higher levels was increasing, the opposition and protests of the pre-Reformers were becoming more and more vocal. The way was being paved for the great schism that was destined to rock the whole length and breadth of Christendom.
In the sixteenth century came Martin Luther with his “glad tidings” of “justification by faith.” (Father Tavard loses some of his objectivity in his discussion of Luther.) Luther, he feels, has a gospel which is neither an event nor a book, but a doctrine or principle—justification by faith alone. “The Biblical principle is thus soft-pedalled by Luther’s separation of the Gospel as doctrine—his doctrine—and the written New Testament.… The subordination of doctrine to Scripture evolves into a dominion of Luther’s doctrine over Scripture” (p. 84). What Father Tavard is attempting to maintain is that Luther, in denying the authority of the Roman church, lost also the true sense of the authority of Scripture! Scripture becomes subservient to Luther’s gospel of justification by faith alone (p. 95). Time and space prevent an analysis of the author’s claims as well as his discussion of Calvin, the Anglican Church, and the Council of Trent. What seems most important to this reviewer is his failure to give consideration to the Free Church position and its attitude to Scripture.
His closing plea for unity seems to be for Protestants everywhere to return to the Holy Church, while Rome, in turn, returns to Holy Writ. Are there other, besides the author, who would grant that there had been a departure from it?
To those of us who believe in the New Testament Church as a living and spiritual fellowship of all who are by faith (as personal commitment) members of the Body of which Christ alone is the head, there is no possible solution in Father Tavard’s work. While we may agree that Church and Scripture are one, we mean by the Church, the one spiritual body of Christ, and we mean by Scripture, the one written Word through which alone God has disclosed Christ, the living Word. Authority for the believer is not vested in any earthly ecclesiastical organization—even though it may call itself, “Holy Church.” Authority is vested in Christ alone who by the Holy Spirit makes impossible in the soul of the believer any separation between Himself and the Spirit-given Word which testifies to Him. If we are to have one Church we cannot stop at Rome, but we must return to Jerusalem—to the Church which Christ established at Pentecost.
WARREN C. YOUNG
The Manner of the Resurrection, by Leslie D. Wetherhead (Abingdon, 1959, 92 pp., $1), is reviewed by Wilbur M. Smith, Professor of English Bible at Fuller Theological Seminary.
The author of this volume is the well-known liberal pastor of the City Temple of London. For years Weatherhead has been writing books on psychology and physical phenomena from which he frequently quotes in this small work. Before coming to the actual treatment of the Resurrection, one who has a reverence for clear biblical teaching will be horrified, if not nauseated, by the author’s attempt to illustrate the fact that every minister of a large church has some crank in his congregation (what this has to do with the resurrection, I do not know). He says, “This man believes that Christ may return tomorrow from heaven in the sky—presumably in Eastern robes since a blue suit and bowler hat would not fit the preconceived picture—and take the righteous—namely, all those who think like the crank—to eternal bliss, consigning the remainder to an ever-blazing hell.”
It is surprising to find a man who has read so much in modern literature, and who pretends to keep up with modern thought, giving so much attention affirmatively to the reality of the appearance of ghosts, indeed to the point of filling more than three pages of his brief work with quotations from Wesley’s diary regarding ghosts in the latter’s boyhood home, Epworth Rectory, which, says Weatherhead, was “a haunted house.” The author believes that the appearances of our Lord were hallucinations, probably initiated by Christ but nevertheless hallucinations, and he gives a number of illustrations from the literature of the Society for Physical Research of the supposed appearance of some deceased person to a loved one.
Two problems, however, the author rightly feels he must face. One of these is—what happened to the body of Jesus? He repeatedly asserts that this body evaporated. “Through the speeding up of molecular movement, it became gaseous and escaped through the chinks in the cave not of course made airtight by the rough circular stone.” After Christ’s spirit left his body, “the molecular energy was increased and complete evaporation or evanescence—or whatever the right word might be—took place.” Then, in fairness, he is compelled to face the question of our Lord’s reference to his flesh and bones after the Resurrection, his partaking of food, and so forth. Quoting a modern New Testament scholar, Weatherhead replies that this can only be attributed to “the unhistorical traditions which floated about the primitive church.”
If this was “the manner of Christ’s resurrection,” there was no resurrection, for resurrection involves the body, and in the writer’s view, there was no resurrection of the body, only an evaporation of it. This is not the way the New Testament reads; this is not what the Church has believed for 1900 years; this cannot be called a true resurrection; and it involves the rejection of texts that cannot be rightly eliminated for any adequate reason. Why is it that all these incidents of the appearance of ghosts and the spirits of deceased persons (however one explains them) in the last two or three centuries, to which Weatherhead so often alludes, have never resulted in transforming the lives of men and women, or brought about a great world-wide redemptive movement, such as was born in the Christian Church as the result of confidence in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead?
I must say I am amazed that a man so widely read as Dr. Weatherhead, preaching in a London pulpit in the middle of the twentieth century, should rest his faith in some supposed parallels of ghostly appearances, instead of simply accepting by faith the long-tested, historically sound documents of eye witnesses who saw the risen Lord.
WILBUR M. SMITH
An Optimistic View
A History of Western Morals, by Crane Brinton (Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1959, 502 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry.
Harvard’s Crane Brinton, historian at home in many fields of learning, almost always makes fascinating reading. He considers the history of morals a “relatively neglected” phase of Western history. With an eye on man’s agon (struggle for prize) he affirms the mutual dependence of moral belief and practice (versus either’s determination of the other, and also the separation of religion and morals).
Conceding the lofty Old Testament ethic, he nonetheless has difficulty with Israel as “chosen of God.” The Western tension between acceptance and transcendence of the sense world is ascribed to the Greeks; educational propaganda for the respected virtues, and prohibitory legislation, to the Romans. Alongside these, Brinton ranges “the Judeo-Helleno-Romano-Christian tradition.” He reflects the uniqueness of Christian ethics with modest success: “Christianity does sound more firmly a note not so clearly heard before in the West: the note of the agape” (p. 163); “Jesus Christ is the Christian moral ideal” (p. 172).
The modern era struggles for a working compromise between the Enlightenment and Christianity. Even those Westerners modifying or abandoning the Judeo-Christian view of God have not been able to reduce the distinction between good and evil to human convenience or historical reflex, but persist in a residual belief that these reflect the structure of reality. And the Enlightenment has failed to produce a stable explanation of evil. “The religion of the Enlightenment has a long and unpredictable way to go before it can face the facts of life as effectively as does Christianity …” (p. 462). But today Christian and Enlightenment traditions are almost everywhere tangled and difficult to distinguish properly. Yet neither will wholly annihilate the other, not even in Russia, in the foreseeable future (p. 471).
Dr. Brinton’s final chapter is a “Conclusion: In Which Nothing is Concluded.” This reviewer concludes that, Christian idealist that he is, Dr. Brinton fails to grasp the biblical view of sin, regeneration, and sanctification in full depth, and is overscornful of the voices of doom. He holds that “the last two centuries of Western history are centuries of a relatively high moral level, certainly not one of general moral decline” (p. 456), although he recognizes that “the chief threat to minimal Christian puritanism” was the heresy of man’s natural goodness. But the churches too applied their ethic in accord with the Christian estimate that man is naturally sinful (p. 175). No Christian can find comfort in Dr. Brinton’s verdict that “the various freethinking sects would perhaps show a slightly higher average of abstention from the lesser vices of self-indulgence than would most Christian groups. As for the more serious moral failings, I doubt if there is much difference in level of conduct between Christians and non-Christians.” Yet even this parallelism has a hidden secret: “The religion of the Enlightenment has, perhaps merely as a derivative of Christianity, preserved an illogical and practical moderation, disciplinary power, … and … ‘minimal moral puritanism’ …” (p. 466).
CARL F. H. HENRY
The Crucial Question
Authority in Protestant Theology, by Robert Clyde Johnson (Westminster Press, 1959, 224 pp., $4.50), is reviewed by William D. Livingstone, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, Calif.
In some ways this is the crucial question in Christian theology today, and the author addresses himself to it in a brilliant way. One is impressed with the author’s familiarity with many schools of theological thought, his facile use of all sorts of philosophical and theological terminology, and his powers of interpretation. In a number of instances popular misconceptions are refuted in a remarkable way. For example, in dealing with Luther, Dr. Johnson shows that Luther’s supposed disparagement of the Epistle of James in calling it “a right strawy epistle” does not mean, as popularly supposed, that Luther had therefore exercised a private right to read the epistle out of the canon. He writes, “It would seem obvious that these observations … in no way disqualify James as ‘Word of God’ any more than Moses’ preoccupation with the law disqualifies ‘his books’ as ‘Word of God’.… James could remain for him ‘a good book’ because it contains no Menschenlehre and ‘drives hard God’s law.’ The question of whether it is or is not Gottes Wort is not even raised.” This brief excerpt does not do justice to Johnson’s complete argument but reveals his unwillingness to accept superficial judgments.
Yet, notwithstanding clarity of thought and brilliance of interpretation, one cannot help feeling that the treatment of the subject is inadequate. How is it possible to omit so easily the writings of the many seventeenth and eighteenth century Protestant theologians? Is it because of the continuing prejudice against the traditional Protestant views on theological authority? Surely we cannot ignore the fact that it is upon seventeenth century formulations that many of our denominations base their standards. For example, our Presbyterian denomination has as its doctrinal standards the Westminster Confession of Faith and the catechisms. In these there is no doubt as to the authority for our faith. It is “The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.” One is compelled to ask, therefore, why we continue to turn to the writings of Hegel, on the one hand, or Schleiermacher, on the other, (or Kierkegaard, for that matter) or the many others who, though exceptional men as philosophers, hardly represented the mainstream of Protestantism? And what shall we say of the present day? In utter honesty, do the philosophico-theological spinnings of Tillich, the Salvador Dali of modern theology, represent the mainstream of Protestantism? Is nothing to be noted of the evangelical movement? In the reviewer’s mind the clarity and logic and comparative simplicity of theological thinking found at Fuller Theological Seminary is much closer to the clarity and logic of biblical faith. To the New Testament writers much that passes for theology on our contemporary scene would seem like pure nonsense.
The final chapter titled “The Theological Decision” is thoughtful but much too brief. Its theme leaves one wondering if the final authority in Protestantism is not represented as what old-time liberals and present-day neo-orthodox (or neo-liberal) theologians apparently feel it to be—subjectivism with occasional lip service to the Bible.
WILLIAM D. LIVINGSTONE
Variety Of Faces
A Mirror of the Ministry in Modern Novels, by Horton Davies (Oxford, 1959, 211 pp., $3.75) is reviewed by John Timmerman, Professor of English at Calvin College.
This fictional mirror presents a startling variety of faces. Dimmesdale’s anguished, sin-stricken pallor, Gantry’s slick hypocritical smile, Wingo’s harassed grimace in the midst of petty parish pressures, the sodden face of Greene’s whiskey priest, the repulsive visage of the stingy Reverend William Carey, the love-laden sorrow in the eyes of Kumalo—these are but a few of the faces. There are nineteen portraits, reconstituted from the novels with charm, justice, and skill by Horton Davies, professor of religion at Princeton University.
Reading the fiction itself will sharpen one’s sense of the opportunities, obligations, and incredibly tight dilemmas a clergyman faces. Professor Davies has provided a highly usable substitute for such rather extensive reading. Paraphrase and analysis, though never substitutes for concrete reading experience, can, as in this case, be richly rewarding.
This book, however, is more than stark paraphrase. Illuminated by wise and relevant insights, peppered with salty humor and cunning quotation, provocative with debatable interpretation, it is an enlarging study of the novelist’s wisdom. It seems to me ambiguous in its view of Christ. One greatly misses Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, Trollope’s Barchester series, and Walpole’s The Cathedral. Furthermore, the main characters are not in the index.
These portraits of the ministry are incomplete. There is no portrait of the orthodox minister as I have seen and known him in the family, the pulpit, and the pew. There are hundreds of available sitters, but who has the brush?
Life Of Christ
The Crown and the Cross, by Frank G. Slaughter (World Publishing Co., 1959, 446 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Van T. Crawford, Pastor of La Grange Methodist Church, La Grange, North Carolina.
Dr. Frank G. Slaughter, a physician and popular novelist, has written a charming and moving story of the earthly life of Christ, which will prove to be inspirational and informational to the average reader. The inspiring events and personal situations in our Lord’s life are seen “through the eyes of Christ’s living companions.”
Although fictional in form, the 36 chapters of this book are introduced by pertinent Scripture captions out of which the events of each chapter are made to flow with surpassing unity and beauty. The author reveals a rather careful study of the Scriptures and of related source material. Again and again he introduces in the most unobtrusive fashion, side lights of information which add greatly to the interest of the book. Dr. Slaughter seems to have made a rather intensive study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and has incorporated his findings in the writing of his intriguing story. The book is beautifully written throughout, and the chapters are sub-divided usually into three sections which will be of value to all who are interested in a devotional study of the book.
VAN T. CRAWFORD
Sermons On The Parables
The Waiting Father, by Helmut Thielicke, translated by J. W. Doberstein (Harper, 1959, 192 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by G. Aiken Taylor, Editor of The Presbyterian Journal.
Here are beautifully written sermons on 16 of the parables of Jesus. The author first preached these to his own West German congregation in Hamburg.
He follows the increasingly fashionable trend of resolving all the implications of Christ’s teachings in the present tense. Acceptance, rejection, decision, judgment, rewards, and punishment—all occur in the daily experiences of this life. The whole drama of time and eternity encompassed by the parables is played out here and now and often in the paradoxical experiences of each individual person. Thus the four kinds of soil in the parable of the sower occur in each of us.
In the parable of the talents, the servants do their trading—that is, they act out and live in their commitment to Christ here and now. As they are faithful they begin to realize that it is rewarding to be in His service. The servant with one talent never realizes this. In the parable of the wheat and the tares, every Christian finds seeds of doubt and disobedience growing within his own soul along with the good seeds of faith and love.
No doubt the matchless parables of our Lord are endlessly suggestive for every time and circumstance. But in a day when future punishment is widely denied and the difference between wheat and tares is refused a personal application by radical theology, the evangelical who obscures the facts of life reflected in a God who both draws to himself and casts out adds nothing to the evidences of Christianity.
G. AIKEN TAYLOR
Out of Nazareth, by Donald M. Baillie (Scribner’s, 1958, 211 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by William C. Robinson, Professor of Historical Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary.
Here are 21 sermons and four essays by the late Professor Donald Baillie edited by his brother Dr. John Baillie, in which the two Scottish brothers, author and editor, are at their best. A notable feature of Donald Baillie’s theology is his appreciation of mystery in dealing with the great themes of Christology and the Trinity. “How could the same life be both completely human and completely divine? Well, that is the supreme mystery of the Christian faith.” “In one sense we might say that there is an infinite gulf between God and man … and Jesus is on both sides of the gulf.” Indeed, Baillie frequently uses the reading “God manifest in the flesh” in his treatment of 1 Timothy 3:16, as does Dr. Ronald Wallace in his article on Christology for Baker’s Dictionary of Theology. Baillie looks long and deeply into the mystery of the Trinity and concludes: “The reason for the gladness we have as Christians is that through Christ and the Holy Spirit we know enough of the nature of God to enable us to trust even the utmost depths of the remaining mystery.”
On other matters, we are happy that Baillie shows up the excessive emphasis on individualism that marks modern thinking a myth. Again, in his treatment of Isaiah 46, he shows that pagan religions carry their gods about with them like bits of furniture, but the living God of Israel carries his people from birth to death. This is a stimulating book and in many ways a good testimony.
WILLIAM C. ROBINSON
The Idea of a College, by Elton Trueblood (Harper, 1959, 207 pp., $4), is reviewed by James Forrester, Vice-president, Whitworth College.
Higher education in America is under penetrating scrutiny. The question of goals is crucial and contemporary, as evidenced in the current spate of self studies being undertaken by higher educational institutions everywhere. Into this ferment is welcomed Dr. Elton Trueblood’s The Idea of a College.
The title is reminiscent of Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University of another generation. The content, however, reflects the vigorous individual thinking of a brilliant twentieth century Christian educator who is a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana.
The liberal arts college is seen as a potent factor in human destiny. Whether humanity is headed for destruction or for a brighter day will be determined in part by what college men and women think. The threat of totalitarianism is offset by the possibility that the pursuit of technical superiority in weapons or in industrial equipment exposes the people being educated in this space age to the necessity of intellectual freedoms inimical to dictatorships.
Of education in America, Dr. True-blood insists that, with the danger of a general decline in a civilization, there is an urgency to “re-examine it in respect to both ends and means” (p. 4). He finds in America six major types of colleges with wide differences in level and goals. The small liberal arts college represents an ideal because it can produce a higher degree of unity of aim than can any of the alternative academic possibilities. The author betrays a strong predilection for the Christian college. This, he suggests, means that the Christian faith must enter totally into the philosophical aims and curriculum of the college and must represent a total atmosphere subscribed to by all the participating scholars. The teachers in such a college must be those whose aims are unified in “the conviction that man and the world of nature are best understood as creatures of the Divine Mind who is accurately revealed in Jesus Christ” (p. 24). The graduate is more likely to develop a “reasonable theory of responsibility” whose judgments presuppose “God the Measure” than he who accepts “Man the measure.”
The ideal of dialogue between professor and student is reaffirmed, and the observation is made that a teacher with a sense of vocation is neither bought by salary nor held by tenure clauses in contracts. No doubt the statement that “the chief practical effect of tenure is to protect the incompetent,” will draw negative criticism from some educational quarters (p. 46).
A college is ultimately judged by the quality of the human product. It is the unity of purpose to which the human components of the college community are dedicated which gives the college its distinctive aim and image. There is a pervasive emphasis upon the quality and attitudes of the persons involved as much as upon the importance of curricular content, administrative procedures, and facilities. The end product will reflect the atmosphere and attitudes which are integrally the community in which the student matures. A college education is more than preparation for a job or superficial acculturation. “The ideal education involves … the powerful incentive which preparation for employment provides, and the breadth of view which humanizing studies can provide” (p. 110).
All concerned with education are challenged to rethink the aims of modern higher education whether in the evangelical Christian orientation or otherwise. There is a consistent and explicit witness to the Christian values. This affirmation constitutes a challenge to answer the question of the “value vacuum” in the almost wholly humanistic patterns which have emerged in American colleges and universities.
“The point of central importance in Christianity is Christ himself.… How can any person claim to be educated and to participate intelligently in what is, in part, a Christian civilization if he has never seen Christ as His contemporaries saw Him … and if he has never tried to understand the conviction that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” (p. 194).
This is a timely word of judgment and of inspiration!
A REAL REVIVAL?
Land in Search of God, by Stanley J. Rowland (Random House, 1958, 242 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Cecil V. Crabb, Minister of Rock Island Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, Tennessee.
In this scholarly work, the director of information of the United Presbyterian Church attempts to answer the above question, and to give a cross section of American religious life. He considers the subject from various angles—Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and humanistic. The volume discusses many questions, such as, the strong and the weak points of suburbia and exurbia, the Billy Graham campaign in New York City, spiritual healing, the racial issue in America, the conservative, prophetic and more radical interpretations of religion, and the religious views of leading scientists, artists, and literary men. He gives many individual case histories and statistics to back up his positions.
In his broad interpretation of historical and social questions, the author largely follows Arnold Toynbee, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Paul Tillich. He gives much more attention to the by-products of religion than he does to the real nature of a revival according to biblical standards. With his broad, liberal view of Christianity, it is natural that he lacks any absolute standards, theological or biblical, by which to guage a real religious awakening. While in general the author has given us a very good survey of current religious conditions and a fair appraisal, yet there are some important religious elements in the picture which he neglects.
For one thing, Dr. Rowland does not give enough attention to the cults and sects, especially the Pentecostal and Restorationist movements, which are so influential today. In many sections of our land they have even more influence than the more conventional churches. Again, he largely neglects the new conservative, evangelical emphasis, both in theology and in witnessing. Nevertheless he has made a valuable contribution to the perennial debate as to whether we have a genuine revival or not. In this connection, it has always seemed to me that when our land experiences a genuine revival of religion, like the one at Pentecost, that it would not be necessary to conduct a thorough investigation as to whether we had had one or not. A real revival of Christianity always brings its own credentials.
CECIL V. CRABB
The Westminster Confession for Today, by George S. Hendry (John Knox Press, 1960, 253 pp., $2)—A contemporary interpretation of a great historic creed, in a new paperback edition.
Catholics and Divorce, edited by Patrick J. O’Mahony (Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1960, 116 pp., $2.95)—A series of essays explaining the Roman Catholic viewpoint on marriage and divorce.
A Reformation Paradox, by Kenneth A. Straud (Ann Arbor Publishers, 1960, 101 pp., $2.50)—The story of the New Testament of the Rostock Brethren of the Common Life, and why Luther condemned it.
Let Wisdom Judge, by Charles Simeon (Inter-Varsity, 1959, 190 pp., $2)—A bicentenary reprint of addresses delivered by the great orthodox vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge. Evangelicalism at its best.
The Watchman, by C. Edward Hopkin (Crowell, 1960, 117 pp., $2.95)—Modern thought patterns and their effect on Christian faith with suggestions of ways to deal with them.
Preaching from Revelation, by Albert H. Baldinger (Zondervan, 1960, 128 pp., $2)—A rational exposition of the message of the Apocalypse in the light of the ageless struggle between good and evil.
Our Ageless Bible, by Thomas Linton Leishman (Thomas Nelson, 1960, 158 pp., $2.75)—Reprint of a classic work on “how we got our Bible.”
The Minor Prophets, by G. Campbell Morgan (Revell, 1960, 157 pp., $2.75)—The men and their messages. Sermon notes of one of England’s greatest preachers.
Exploring Your Bible, by John P. Oakes (Zondervan, 1960, 155 pp., $2.95)—Introduction to intelligent lay Bible study.
The Power to Influence People, by A. O. Battista (Prentice Hall, 1960, 189 pp., $4.95)—The science of evoking favorable emotional responses through special techniques of suggestion.
From Eden to Eternity, by Howard A. Hanke (Eerdmans, 1960, 196 pp., $3.50)—A helpful apologetic for the unity of the biblical message.
Primer on Roman Catholicism for Protestants, by Stanley I. Stuber (Association Press, 1960, 276 pp., $3.50)—A new revised edition of a helpful book which has special current relevance.
The Church in the World of Radio-Television, by John W. Bachman (Association Press, 1960, 191 pp., $3.50)—A study of programs and policies of commercial and religious broadcasting from the point of view of the Radio, Television and Film Commission of the National Council of Churches.
The Pastor at Work, compiled by William H. William (Concordia, 1960, 414 pp., $6.50)—The minister’s task presented in its various phases by 28 pastors of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Was Peter a Pope? by Julius R. Mantey (Moody Press, 1959, 92 pp., 20 cents)—Digest of a significant work designed for wide distribution.
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