Over Against Words Of Angels And Devils

Luther and the Bible, by Willem Jan Kooiman, translated by John Schmidt (Muhlenberg Press, 1961, 243 pp., $4), is reviewed by John Warwick Montgomery, Chairman, Department of History, Waterloo Lutheran University, Waterloo, Ontario.

The Luther research movement of the last half century, stemming largely from the work of Karl Holl and the editors of the great Weimarer Augabe of the Reformer’s writings, has virtually revolutionized our understanding of Luther’s theology and world view. As with most such movements of European origin, considerable time elapsed before American scholars and, more especially, pastors and laymen, became aware of the new emphasis; and it is safe to say that even now many non-Lutherans are unacquainted with the results of the new Luther research. Roland Bainton’s Here I Stand has provided an excellent biographical introduction to the Reformer on the basis of recent scholarship, and now, with the translation from the Dutch of Kooiman’s Luther and the Bible, we have perhaps the best theological starting point for those who would understand the essence of Luther’s thought in regard to Scripture and Gospel.

The most striking characteristic of Luther’s biblical approach, as revealed in this excellent study by a professor of church history at the University of Amsterdam, is undoubtedly its diametric opposition to the presuppositions of large segments of present-day Protestant biblical scholarship. “Luther sees the whole truth of the Gospel already revealed, even though veiled, in the Old Testament. Just like the New, it is ‘full of Christ’ ” (p. 209). “How completely he means this is made clear by the fact that he placed a ‘Praefatio Jhesu Christi’ (a prefatory word from Christ himself) in the edition of the Psalter to be used by the students. This introduction consists of Bible passages directly or indirectly spoken by Jesus, intended to show that he is the true Author of the Psalms” (p. 32). In his treatment of the Bible, Luther was “not concerned with a mere collection of individual texts, but with the Author who stands behind them and wishes to reveal himself through them” (p. 84).

Not only in regard to the unity of the Bible, but also in the matter of its power and authority, Luther holds a position unacceptable to many moderns. “We see the essential elements of Luther’s theology appearing early. Christ is the content of the scripture and he desires to come to us through them, both in his judgment and grace. Sola scriptura (scripture alone) is the same as solus Christus (Christ alone)” (p. 42). “For Luther the Bible itself is a weapon with which God fights in his great and comprehensive battle against Satan. With it he defeats his enemy and gives victory to those who believe in him. And it is because of this fact that ‘every word of the scriptures is to be weighed, counted, and measured’ ” (p. 54). The following assertions by Luther are as typical of him as they are disturbing in the present theological milieu: “Over against all the statements of the fathers and of all men, yes, over against words of angels and devils, I place the scriptures” (p. 80); “I have learned to ascribe the honor of infallibility only to those books that are accepted as canonical. I am profoundly convinced that none of these writers have erred” (p. 78).

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Two negative criticisms of Kooiman’s volume are in order, though one of these will be leveled at publisher and not author, and neither is to be considered sufficient to detract from the general value of the book. First, Professor Kooiman’s very accurate depictions of Luther’s views suffer on occasion from the conclusions that he draws from them. Thus, in spite of the wealth of material indicating that Luther held as “strong” a view of biblical inspiration as possible apart from Romanist mechanical inspirationism, the author insists on claiming that Luther was no “verbal inspirationist” (p. 236). This is true, of course, if we equate verbal inspiration with dictational inspiration, but such an equation muddies the theological water. Granted, the verbal inspiration controversy postdates Luther, but it is difficult to feel, after reading Kooiman, that Luther, if he lived today, would not in fact consider “verbal inspiration” the biblical view most congenial to his own. In line with Kooiman’s negative attitude toward verbalism, one finds in chapter 17 that the author attributes an anti-bookishness to Luther; that this is inconsistent with a proper understanding of the Reformer’s life and thought will be seen in this reviewer’s forthcoming article on “Luther and Libraries” in The Library Quarterly (University of Chicago Press).

A second criticism has to do with the treatment of Kooiman’s book at the hands of its publisher. Copy editing is substandard (bibliographical citations are inconsistent and frequently at variance with accepted practice—e.g., on p. 93 Bornkamm’s Luther’s World of Thought is cited in English translation, but on p. 239 it is cited in the German original with no indication of English translation); the index is abominable (e.g., “Ein Deutsch Theologian” is entered under E; and the strange entry “Random comments by Luther” appears under R!); misprints are evident (e.g., on p. 25, “Erdmans” for “Eerdmans”; on p. 50, “profeticus” for “propheticus”—cf. p. 31); no indication is given as to the date of the original edition from which the translation was made; there is poor registration and typographical smearing throughout the book; and even the spinecloth on my copy is unaligned. Surely a book of the quality and importance of Kooiman’s volume deserves better bibliographical dress than this.

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Counsel Abundant

The Minister’s Mission, by C. E. Colton (Zondervan, 1961, 223 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Homer L. Goddard, Minister, Westside United Protestant Church, Richland, Washington.

This book is what it says it is: A practical handbook for preachers and prospective preachers. It will be of most help to the latter.

In a very simple, direct, and forthright manner, Dr. Colton deals with almost every practical problem a minister is likely to face. His advice is consistently middle-of-the-road, his theology mildly conservative, and his outlook gracious and edifying as a result of his years of successful service.

The book faces with the minister his relationship to God in seeking and doing His will; how to do graciously and effectively his varied tasks in the church; how to prepare for preaching, to which he is primarily called; how to have fruitful relations with his people, the community, and his fellow ministers; and how to order intelligently his own personal and family life in the midst of his unusual pressures. The last two sections are especially wise and helpful.

The author has a tendency to wordiness, is somewhat pedantic, and, especially on the subject of baptism, shows his Baptist perspective. But this book will be especially helpful to any young minister anticipating his “firsts.”


Sacrifice Without End
Pilgrimage to Humanity, by Albert Schweitzer (Philosophical Library, 1961, 107 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by James Daane, Editorial Associate, CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

With short lucid strokes Schweitzer sketches his life and thought and headlines the whole as a pilgrimage toward humanity (Weg zur Humanität). The end of the pilgrimage for Schweitzer is the application of the Ethics of Jesus, who indeed comes to us nameless and unknown, but whom in the way of obedience we come to know as an ineffable mystery, within the service and conflicts of our lives.

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Eschatologically Jesus was mistaken, but he left us an Ethic which is simply reverence for life in all its forms. After presenting an impressive critique of inhumane, fragmented modern culture, Schweitzer calls men to the achievement of a self and the creation of a culture which will everywhere manifest reverence for life in all of its multiple manifestations. Only by the practice of the same respect for life as shown by Jesus will we attain a truly integrated and humane civilization. Schweitzer shows how both Goethe and Bach affected his life and thought, for in their inner life they embodied that unity of life and thought toward which all humanity strives.

Since the “pilgrimage to humanity” is the story of Schweitzer’s life, Schweitzer seems to “have already attained,” which suggests that his basic religious view of life was not found at the end of a pilgrimage but was developed along the way being with him from the beginning. Deep and sensitive spirit that he is, Schweitzer all his life wrestled with the awful fact of suffering. But he has found no solution. He insists that life even in its lowest forms must be reverenced and protected, and therefore is grieved that he as a doctor must destroy life. He is pleased “by the new means of treating sleeping sickness.… Even so, every time I have under the microscope the germs which cause this illness, I cannot avoid reflecting that, in order to preserve life, I have to destroy other life” (p. 89). Here he is nigh unto the Kingdom; yet remains outside. He ends with a universe in which what is allegedly the highest and most sacred, namely, life, is sacrificed for its own sake. For Schweitzer who insists on a rational universe, this is a cosmic element of jolting irrationality. While in Christianity the highest, the Son of God, is sacrificed for sinners, and thus with rational purpose, Schweitzer has not gotten beyond a highest which is sacrificed for itself, and thus to no rational purpose.

While the Christian can never fully comprehend why the Son of God would die for a sinner, the thought itself is not irrational; but that life must die for the sake of life itself, is irrational, being ultimately pointless.

In physical strength, intellectual faculty, and spiritual depth and sensitivity, Schweitzer is a man of uncommon dimension. Yet the story of his life and thought as a “road to humanity” will in reading appear to the Christian as a kind of via dolorosa. Schweitzer has sacrifice without Christ, and therefore a pilgrimage without an end.

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Reading for Prespective


* Science and Religion, edited by John Clover Monsma (Putnam’s, $3.95). Twenty-three prominent churchmen, several of them contributing editors of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, write on a relationship vital for our day.

* Ancient Israel—Its Life and Institutions, by Roland de Vaux (McGraw-Hill, $10.95). A distinguished Dominican field archaeologist, the director of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem (Jordan) recaptures life in the society of ancient Israel.

* Christ and the Meaning of Life, by Helmut Thielicke (Harper, 1962, 186 pp., $3). Vivid preaching to the times by the gifted Hamburg university professor.

Early Christianity

A Theological and Historical Introduction to the Apostolic Fathers, by John Lawson (Macmillan, 1961, 334 pp., $5), is reviewed by William Childs Robinson, Professor of Historical Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.

It is a great pleasure to welcome this volume from the learned professor in Emory University with an appropriate dedication to his dean, Dr. William R. Cannon. Professor Lawson has given a judicious and well-thought-out treatment of the writers closest to the apostles. He finds that some of them stumble, on occasion badly, but he rejects the idea based on an evaluation of them by the Reformation standards of sola gratia and sola fide that they fell. If attention be directed rather to the central place these fathers give Christ and the high Christology that shines in Ignatius as at times in the others, this judgment will be sustained. Dr. Lawson shows that duly-appointed officers and duly-celebrated ritual were an original part of Christianity so that this period was not marked by that fluidity often ascribed to it.

We are pleased to note Dr. Lawson’s affirmation of the substantial reliability of the New Testament portrait of Christ due to the authoritative character of the apostolic witness. “The Church is forever bound to the authority of canonical Scripture.” We are unable to concur with him that the doctrinal interpretation recorded in canonical New Testament Scripture is not “more inspired” than that recorded later. We prefer his other statement that “the New Testament doctrinal interpretation of the facts about Christ is of plenary authority.”


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The Cross For Us

Sharing His Suffering, by Peter H. Eldersveld (Eerdmans, 1961, 99 pp., $2.50), is reviewed by William D. Livingstone, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, San Diego, Calif.

It has been the reviewer’s privilege to hear many sermons and to read many collections of sermons. Most of them do not amount to much. But here is a volume of great messages—sermons true to the Word of God, instructive to the mind, and inspiring to the heart. Based on the Back-to-God-Hour broadcasts, the messages are clear and incisive, uncluttered by illustrations which serve only to exhibit the preacher’s erudition. They deal with the central theme of the Christian faith—the Cross—what it means in the plan of redemption and how it applies to your life and mine. Dr. Elders-veld’s manner of expression is simple, direct, and sets forth the gospel truth in a fresh, enlightening, and interesting way. The reviewer is not given to overenthusiasm, but he cannot help but recommend this volume as one of the finest and most helpful expositions he has ever read.


Introduction To Nygren

Essence of Christianity, by Anders Nygren (Muhlenberg Press, 1961, 128 pp., $2), is reviewed by M. Eugene Osterhaven, Professor of Systematic Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich.

In this book the best-known Swedish theologian of our time sets forth his fundamental convictions on two topics central to theology. The first, an essay originally published in 1922, is in the area of the philosophy of religion; the second, a translation of a study published in 1932, concerns the atonement.

In the first essay, on The Permanent Element in Christianity, the author argues that religion is located in the life of the spirit and is concerned with questions of truth, ethics and aesthetics. These create enduring social forms as seen, e.g., in science, law and art. Religion and the life of the spirit must not be minimized, therefore, but must be appreciated for their real worth. Religion is characterized by (1) revelation, (2) the idea of a gulf existing between God and man, (3) reconciliation, and (4) divine-human fellowship. At every point Christianity distinguishes itself from other religions because at its center is Jesus Christ. Christianity is Christ. Christ (1) is the concrete revelation of God; (2) shows us God’s judgment on sin; (3) is the reconciliation; and (4) is our means of fellowship with God. He is the permanent element in Christianity. In the last chapter in the first essay the superiority of evangelical Christianity over Roman Catholicism is argued from the point of view of the former’s unified view of life as against Rome’s dualism, i.e., its division of life into sacred and secular spheres, and evangelicalism’s genuine theocentricism versus Rome’s eudemonism.

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The thesis of the essay on atonement is that central to Christian theology is the conviction that atonement is God’s work, motivated by pure love which “takes upon itself the burden which selfishness has caused but refuses to bear.” The work of Christ is “in the most literal sense vicarious sacrifice and vicarious suffering.” This theme is, of course, much enlarged in the author’s great volume Agape and Eros.

The present volume serves as a good introduction to Nygren’s thought. It shows him to be the master that he is, one with clear theological convictions and the ability to state them well. The book would serve, as the jacket states, as a fine introduction to theology in its relation to religion. However, not all theologians nowadays are interested in that problem.


How Christians Grow

Our Contagious Faith, 2 vols. by Ada Beth and C. Adrian Heaton (Judson Press, 1961, 192 pp., $1.75) and Leader’s Guide (48 pp., $.75), are reviewed by Milford Sholund, Director of Biblical and Educational Research, Gospel Light Publications, Glendale, California.

These two volumes are designed to show “how persons grow through Christian teaching in church and home.” There is a comprehensive view of human development from infancy through adolescence. This is a specialized publication designed for parents attending churches that use the Judson-graded curriculum materials in the Sunday church school. However, the nature and scope of the information and ideas contained in these two volumes are useful in the hands of Christian parents and church workers in any setting of Christian education.

There are two volumes. The larger one of 192 pages, paper covered, is to be used by the parent in the home or in a group meeting. The smaller volume (a paper cover) of 48 pages is the Leader’s Guide.

The theological basis of these discussions rests upon the evangelical interpretation of the Bible. Woven into this purpose of a “new person in Jesus Christ” is a vast amount of information in a few pages. The authors have drawn from up-to-date studies of human development which they have gained in their academic experiences and their practical observations. Adrian and Ada Heaton have had a wealth of experience as leaders in the American Baptist Convention and the Eastern Baptist Seminary and the California Baptist Seminary. Dr. Heaton is currently president of the latter institution. Mrs. Heaton is a curriculum consultant and contributor to the Judson Press graded curriculum materials.

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The centrality of the family in Christian learning is considered in relationship to the experiences of children and youth in the American cultural setting. The home is where the children “catch” the faith. Hence, the title, Our Contagious Faith. The reading of these two volumes is stimulating and provocative. There is not only a “catchy” faith but also “catchy” headings throughout the book to make it easy and significant reading; for example, “Why Is a Biblical Plan Hard to Practice” (p. 12), “It’s a Face-to-Face World” (p. 32), “What’s the Weather Like Inside?” (p. 47), “Big Lives from Little Moments” (p. 168), to mention a few.

The thoughtful parent will find a great deal of guidance for the Christian education of the family. The church worker likewise will find ample information and suggestions on how to understand and use recent findings in psychology and education that are useful in teaching the Bible.


Who Is Catholic?

Reformation and Catholicity, by Gustaf Aulén, translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom (Muhlenberg Press, 1961, 203 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by Jerome L. Ficek, Associate Professor of Theology, Trinity Theological Seminary, Berwyn, Illinois.

The thesis of this book is that the Reformers were interested in maintaining catholicity. Not intending to create “a new church,” they emphasized that the reformed church is a continuation of the Apostolic Church which the Creeds described as “one, holy, and catholic.” They did not understand “justification by faith” in purely individualistic or subjective terms but as “that continuing redemptive activity which the living Christ, present and active in the Word and the Sacraments carries on in and through his church” (p. 60). The author cites contemporary Roman Catholic scholars such as Y. Congar and L. Bouyer who, under the impetus of the revival of biblical studies and the liturgical movement, are stressing the positive, religious motives in Luther’s struggle. They point out, for example, that the Reformation view of the Bible as a means of grace returned it to its central place in the life of the Church.

The author does not define catholicity in geographical terms but in qualitative ones, that is, as being actualized in the universality and continuity of the Church (p. 181 ff.). But would not such limitless inclusiveness destroy the uniqueness and particularity of the Church? Was not this process already at work when the term changed in meaning from una in Ignatius to universalis in Cyprian? Jaroslav Pelikan’s definition of catholicity as “identity plus universality” seems more adequate. Are not Protestantism and Catholicism (each in its own way) in danger of losing that which distinguishes them from the world?

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Crowded With Fact

The Twentieth Century in Europe, by Kenneth Scott Latourette (Harper, 1961, 568 pp., $8.50) is reviewed by W. Stanford Reid, Associate Professor of History, McGill University, Montreal.

This is the fourth volume of Professor Latourette’s “Christianity in a Revolutionary Age,” a work now reaching its completion. It deals with the European Roman Catholic, Protestant and Eastern churches. After an introduction, eight chapters covering some 200 pages recount the history of Roman Catholicism under various topics: the place of the papacy, worship and devotional life, etc. Then follow eight chapters covering the Protestant churches in various areas; and finally three more chapters deal with the Old Catholic and the Orthodox churches, particularly the latter’s story in Russia and Eastern Europe.

As in all of Professor Latourette’s works the amount of factual material presented leaves one gasping, and as one might expect when a historian deals with the contemporary scene he offers only a minimum of interpretation. Nevertheless, interpretation is there if only by virtue of what is left out. One can only wish, for instance, that the author had seen fit to include more information concerning the evangelical movements and the revival of Calvinism in various parts of the European church. But despite any omissions, as the most extensive and complete work of its kind for many years to come it will be the basic work for everyone who desires to know something of the course of twentieth-century Christianity in Europe.


O.T. Reduced To Ethics

Moses and the Original Torah, by Abba Hillel Silver (Macmillan, 1961, 188 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Walter R. Roehrs, Professor of Old Testament, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

When “the noted scholar, student of religion and distinguished leader of world Jewry” (jacket) completes his proposed quest for the “real character of Moses and the essential message of the Torah” (jacket), the genuine teaching of the Old Testament is reduced to a “nucleus of pure moral teachings and precepts” (p. 108), “ethical guideposts, pointing the way toward a sound and orderly way of life for the individual and society” (p. 137). The “original Torah which Moses set before the children of Israel” is restricted by the author to: (1) the debarim or “Words” of the Decalogue (Exod. 20 and Deut. 5); (2) ten further “Words” embedded in Lev. 19; (3) additional “Words” selected from the Covenant Code (Exod. 21:2; 22:20–24:7; 23:1–3, 7, 8), the Holiness Code (Lev. 25:35–43), and the Deuteronomic Code (Deut. 10:19; 14:1; 15:12, 13; 16:18–20; 18:10, 11; 23:16, 17, 19; 24:14, 15, 17, 18)—(pp. 1370–141).

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To rediscover this genuine heritage of Moses, “the founder of the first ethical and spiritual monotheistic religion of mankind” (p. 38), Silver proceeds to remove various strata of spurious and vitiating elements of the Old Testament with which, he believes, the pure religion has in the course of time become overlaid. Among them is the thick layer of Levitical worship, for “the Mosaic YHVH tradition had no place for sacrifice or priesthood” (p. 116). Christianity is regarded as one of the latest and perhaps most serious encrustations, for “many apocalyptic elements were now combined with it [a later Jewish messianic movement], elements which would have been utterly strange to Moses—Messiah, vicarious atonement, the God incarnate, resurrection …” (p. 171). Once the original “Words” of the three law codes have been purged of these foreign and debilitating accretions, Israel “could become, if it wished, a light unto the world,” “the faithful messenger of YHVH’s law to all the nations of the earth” (pp. 166, 168).

This reduction of the Old Testament to an ethical system of legal prescription is achieved by the use and application of the source hypothesis and similar suppositions of the current critical method. The Christian or Jewish scholar who grants the validity of these theories will find it very difficult to remonstrate with Silver regarding his conclusions.


The City Of God

Charter of Christendom, by John O’Meara (Macmillan, 1961, 120 pp., $2.50), is reviewed by W. T. Radius, Professor of Classics, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This expanded lecture by the distinguished Lecturer in Classical Studies at University College, Dublin, is recommended by this reviewer for the busy pastor who wants to know something about a Christian classic which he has for years intended to study. Professor O’Meara is a Roman Catholic whose eminence in Augustinian studies is universally recognized.

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In Part One of his study Dr. O’Meara considers “The Relevant Historical Situation,” “Anticipations of the Theme in Augustine,” and “Augustine’s Description of the Book”—all this by way of background to the City of God. Part Two gives us a close analysis of the three centers of thought of the book itself: the Bible with its history of time and eternity, Greek philosophy with its Platonism and its Neoplatonism, and Rome with its polytheism.

The book does more than analyze the City of God (Psalm 86:3, “Glorious things are said of thee, O city of God”). It is a window into the mind of the man who through the figure of the City made a bridge between the pagan and the Christian worlds. The structure of this bridge intrigues us who are heirs of this double tradition and who must live out our lives in an equally convulsive period.


Exegete Par Excellence

The Epistle to the Hebrews, by John Brown (Banner of Truth, 1961, 728 pp., 18s.), is reviewed by William J. Cameron, Professor of New Testament, Free Church of Scotland College, Edinburgh.

It is almost a hundred years since this commentary was posthumously published, but its admirable quality fully justifies the present reprint. The author was at the same time pastor of a large congregation in Edinburgh and professor of exegetical theology in the Secession College of that city. This twofold occupation largely explains the form of the book which embodies the substance of expository preaching to a congregation and lectures given to theological students. It combines exegetical and devotional matter in a plain direct style and provides instructive and rewarding reading.

Descended from a scholarly line, Brown was personally distinguished by intellectual vigor, independent judgment, and devout character. He excelled the British exegetes of his period, being classified by C. H. Spurgeon, among others, as “a great expositor.” While inclining to regard the Epistle as written by Paul, he acknowledges that this is “by no means absolutely certain.” He faces exegetical problems frankly, deals fairly with alternative interpretations, and supports his own preference with careful reasoning. Even when his opinion may not entirely convince, the impression remains that his argument cannot be lightly dismissed. The people who heard such exposition from the pulpit received instruction that would tend to promote a robust faith without overstraining an average intellect; and the students who listened to the lectures represented were supplied with excellent examples of sound exegetical method and helpful application of truth.

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An Inspiring Colonial

David Brainerd, Beloved Yankee, by David Wynbeek (Eerdmans, 1961, 256 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by Roderick H. Jellema, Department of English, University of Maryland.

David Brainerd, of minor interest today as a Colonial missionary to the American Indians in New York and Pennsylvania, was of major interest to his contemporaries as a man. Mr. Wynbeek’s painstaking book brushes some of the dust off Brainerd and restores to him some of the luster which had caught the eye of men as different as the emotional Wesley and the ambivalently mystical-intellectual Edwards.

Brainerd proves to be a solid subject for study. A candidly introspective diarist, he reflects with sensitivity the spiritual and intellectual ferment of his age—an age battered by the winds of Enlightenment Rationalism, the resurgent Calvinism of Edwards (who was, as S. E. Morrison reminds us, not the last great Calvinist in America, but the first), and the high-pitched emotionalism of the Great Awakening. In the midst of it all stands Brainerd, an inspiring and revealing if paradoxical figure: lonely, at times confused and doubting, intense in feeling, lucid in thought, sickly, courageous, discouraged, devoted, strong. Such a man, seen against the background of such an age, is well worth our attention.

Mr. Wynbeek’s book is a careful piecing together of the facts about Brainerd and his age. It is rich with quotations from scores of sources. Because the narrative is restricted to the chronological and carefully excludes synthesis, Brainerd comes forth as brilliant as a star—but also, necessarily, as bloodless. Still, this is not really a fault. Mr. Wynbeek has limited his intentions and achieved them. He has given to scholar and layman alike an important, interesting, readable book. If that other kind of book is ever written—the kind of book that vividly recreates Brainerd as a fallible hero-saint in the dramatic context of flesh and blood, doubt, and the howling wilderness—it will owe a great deal to Mr. Wynbeek’s valuable study.


Theology Alive

Interpreting Basic Theology, by Addison H. Leitch (Channel Press, 1961, 208 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Robert Boyd Munger, Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California.

When basic theology is communicated with simplicity, clarity and evangelical warmth out of a breadth of scholarship and depth of personal experience, it is noteworthy indeed. With “wide choice of material and the discipline of discard” sharpened through teaching, preaching and living Jesus Christ, the author, who until recently was president of the Pitts-burgh-Xenia Theological Seminary, has given us a most usable book to assist in the understanding of Bible doctrine.

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The choice use of analogy and illustration and the lucid development of difficult doctrine will stimulate every pastor-teacher and encourage him to venture out boldly into these themes in his own ministry. The layman will rejoice to open a book which speaks in his own language and makes truths, formerly dim and dull, luminous and alive in Christ. For a long time I have been looking for the kind of help this book provides to use as a text for classes on Christian doctrine and to hand to earnest Christians desiring a fuller understanding of their faith.

One suggestion comes to mind. An outline of scriptural passages at the beginning or end of each chapter would provide the reader with an opportunity to pursue further a study of the subjects presented. The presentation given in such chapters as “The Word of God,” “The Structure of Man,” “The Nature of Sin,” “The Person and Work of Christ,” etc., will awaken, I am sure, a desire to explore personally the scriptural foundation of “basic theology.”


Book Briefs

Synthetist Art Theories, by H. R. Rook-maaker (Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1959, 284 pp., $8.25). A perceptive study of the genesis and nature of the theoretical art conceptions of Gauguin and his associates.

Kiss the Son, by Don J. Kenyon (Christian Publications, 1961, 102 pp., $2.75). Spotlights the missionary as well as messianic teachings of the second psalm.

The prophetic Word in Crisis Days, Symposium (Dunham, 1961, 216 pp., $3.95). J. F. Walvoord, J. D. Pentecost, H. A. Hoyt, J. V. McGee, S. E. Forsberg, P. R. Bauman, and C. J. Woodbridge bring biblical prophecy to bear on our time of crisis.

Hymn Festivals, by Ernest K. Emurian (Wilde, 1961, 126 pp., $2.95). Interesting and informative stories about great hymns and their authors.

The Living World of the Bible, by M. J. Steve (World, 1961, 231 pp., $12.50). Excellent photography and commentary throw light especially on Old Testament world. Fine artistic production.

The New Testament, translation by Kenneth S. Wuest (Eerdmans, 1961, 624 pp., $5.95). Clarification of the text of the Authorized Version by expansion of its tight phraseology.

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St. Mark, by R. A. Cole (Tyndale, 1961, 263 pp., 10/6). An evangelical “practical work-a-day commentary” without technicalities by a missionary teacher in Southeast Asia.

This Is the Holy Land, A Pilgrimage in Words and Pictures, conducted by Fulton J. Sheen, photographed by Yousuf Karsh, described by H. V. Morton (Hawthorn, 1961, 143 pp., $4.95). Famed travel-writer Morton provides lucid text; most of the photographs include Bishop Sheen.

The Holy Grail, by Arthur Edward Waite (University Books, 1961, 624 pp., $10). New version of nature of mystery imbedded in the romance literature of the Holy Grail.


A Calendar of Hymns, compiled by Frederic Fox (Doubleday, 1961, 128 pp., $1.45). Fifty-three hymns for the American-Christian Year with words, music, and their stories.

How far Down the Road, Edward R. Sneed (Edward R. Sneed, Clayton 5, Mo., 1961, 176 pp., $1). A warning of the dangers that threaten American freedoms.

Tests of a Living Church, by Robert W. Spike (Association Press, 1961, 124 pp., $.50). An attempt to lead laymen into the everyday life and task of the Church.

Expounding God’s Word, by Alan M. Stibbs (Eerdmans, 1961, 112 pp., $1.25). Indicates and illustrates principles and methods of biblical exposition. (First published in 1960.)

The Gospel as taught by Calvin, by R. C. Reed (Presbyterian Reformation Society, n.d., 157 pp., $1.50). Author (d. 1925) defines Calvin’s Gospel in terms of Five Points of Calvinism.

History of Dogma, by Adolph Harnack, translated by Neil Buchanan (Dover Publications 1961, 7 volumes bound as 4, $2.50 ea.). An excellent well-bound, easy-to-read, reprint of the classic monumental work of one of the greatest church historians. Their reappearance in paperback is a service to Christian scholarship.

How My Mind Has Changed, edited by Harold E. Fey (World Publishing Co., 1961, 191 pp., $1.25). First appeared in The Christian Century.

The Modern Reader’s Bible Atlas, by H. H. Rowley (Association Press, 1961, 88 pp., $1.50). Compact atlas of the Bible, quiz maps, text, and illustrations.

The Life of Continual Rejoicing, by George B. Duncan (New Mildmay Press, 1961, 80 pp., 4/6). Popular studies in Philippians, with evangelical warmth.

Go with Courage, by John & Dorathea Crawford (Christian Education Press, 1961, 217 pp., $2.95). Clinical psychologist discusses courage, anxiety, and other emotional problems for teenagers with eye to their spiritual and emotional growth.

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The Words from the Cross, by Thomas Musa (Augustana, 1961, 48 pp., $1). Lenten sermons by one of the first infants baptized in his tribe in Tanganyika by Augustana Lutheran Church.

Work in Modern Society, by J. H. Oldham (John Knox Press, 1961, 62 pp., $1). Probes question of the meaning of work, not for one living in a parsonage, but amidst today’s political and industrial conflicts and pressures. First published in 1950.

Christian Faith and Philosophical Inquiry, by Herndon Wagers (College of the Bible, Lexington, Ky., 1961, 80 pp., $1.50). Author develops the thesis that while there is a clear distinction between the phenomena of faith and the activity of reason, there is also an interpenetrating relation between the two that leaves either incomplete and truncated without the other.

Handbook for Episcopalians, by William B. Williamson (Morehouse-Barlow, 1961, 223 pp., $3.75). Lucid, competent discussion concerning what it means to be an Episcopalian. Non-Episcopalian will also find it interesting and informative.

Israel in Bible Prophecy, by Louis H. Flauff (Gospel Publishing House, 1961, 81 pp., $1). The foreword asserts the book to be the “history, prophecy, and Biblical record of Israel.”

The Doctrine of Evolution, by J. D. Thomas (Biblical Research Press, 1961, 64 pp., $.95). Christian thinker looks squarely at the theory of biological evolution and the problems involved. Recommended for college students troubled by faith-science problems.

After Confirmation, by Ancilla (Darton, Longman & Todd, 1961, 47 pp., 3s/6d). A handbook for those who were confirmed as adults.

The Art of Thinking, by Dagobert D. Runes (Philosophical Library, 1961, 90 pp., $.95). Philosopher Runes shows how emotion shapes and often misshapes what we think is logical, objective thinking.


Luther’s Works, Vol. 24, Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 14–16, edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Daniel E. Poellot (Concordia, 1961, 448 pp., $6). Fine example of Luther’s strong preaching on one of his favorite books.

Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, by Albert Jay Nock (Harper, 1961, 326 pp., $4). Albert Jay Nock’s autobiography of his “mind in relation to the society in which it found itself.” Witty, cynical.

Luther’s Works, Vol. 3 (Concordia, 1961, 394 pp., $6). Volume three in series; presents Luther’s lecture-exposition of chapters 15 through 20 of Genesis.

The Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee (Victory Press, 1961, 197 pp., 10s. 6d.). A slightly-revised edition of a series of devotional addresses by an outstanding Chinese Christian leader.

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