A New Kind Of Exposition

As Seeing the Invisible, by D. T. Niles (Harper, 1961, 192 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Merrill C. Tenney, Dean of the Graduate School, Wheaton College (Illinois).

The relevance of the Book of Revelation to the tensions and crises of our age has been recognized by many commentators and theologians, and novel interpretations are constantly appearing. Frankly abandoning any attempt to treat Revelation literally, the author of As Seeing the Invisible offers a new type of approach which clothes in modern dress the familiar Preterist-Idealist approach, lie has divided his work into four parts: the “Introduction,” which deals with authorship and setting; the “Drama,” which contains a consecutive exposition; the “Plan of Contents,” explaining the structure of Revelation; and a series of “Theological Meditations,” giving a brief application to the successive sections of text which he has selected for homiletical treatment.

The “Introduction” is not technical, hut supplies the setting for Revelation. Dr. Niles does not ascribe the Apocalypse to the author of the Fourth Gospel, but to an otherwise unknown John who wrote during exile on Patmos. The “Drama” is the unique feature of this work, for it explains the content of Revelation by an organized paraphrase adapting the language of Revelation to modern ideas. The interpretation is consistent, although it repudiates any possibility of identifying the seals, trumpets, and vials with specific events in history, whether past, present, or future. Revelation is the figurative description of a conflict which recurs in every generation, to be concluded by the final climactic judgment of the world and the establishment of the city of God.

The “Plan of Contents” contains some useful hints for an expositor. Dr. Niles suggests that Revelation was written to fit a pattern of weekly worship, with a section of each part for each day’s meditation; and with a concurrent analogy between the six annual Jewish feasts and the progress of the purpose of God. A few of the comparisons seem arbitrary, but the resemblances are sufficiently strong to warrant further study.

The “Theological Meditations” contain some excellent “sermon starters,” although a few of them are not directly relevant to the verses of Revelation which the author attaches to them. The Scripture references, however, offer useful collateral passages that can aid in the application of Revelation.

The theological viewpoint of the book is neo-orthodox. The writer is concerned less with literal historical meaning than with ideals; nor does he commit himself to the principle that Revelation is the Word of God. His statement, “… It is essential to meditate on it [Revelation] until God’s Word to oneself is horn thereby” (11), implies that God’s Word is a product of Revelation rather than that Revelation is a direct divine communication. Eschatology is something which has already begun and is in process; leaving little room for predictive prophecy, for he says: “Thus when John speaks of the millennial reign of Christ on the earth, we shall understand him best if we think of it also according to this pattern. It is the continuous experience of the Church in its resurrection life; it is a series of crises which will overtake history, in which the rule of God in the affairs of men will be openly recognized and conscientiously obeyed; it is the guarantee of Christ’s complete victory at the end” (p. 175 f.).

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Seldom does the writer betray any rationalistic tendencies; his statements are positive rather than negative. In one footnote he does say that “the story of the goddess who was destined to bear a son who would rule the world, and was pursued by a dragon when she was about to bring forth was an international myth in the ancient world (Gen. 3:15)” (p. 70). If the universal occurrence of this concept be granted, it is more reasonable to assume that it reflects the distorted memory of an original revelation than the erratic creation of human imagination.

Perhaps the clearest indication of the viewpoint of this book is provided by the bibliography, which contains not one work favoring a literal or premillennial view. The given titles are all recent productions, but they represent mainly only one school of thought. A broader background would enrich the thought of this book.


Reading For Perespective


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

Certainties for Uncertain Times, by John Sutherland Bonnell (Harper, $3). After 25 years in New York’s historic Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, a well-known American preacher stresses “things that cannot be shaken.”

O Angel of the Garden, by G. Hall Todd (Baker, $1.50). Sermons for the Easter season by Clarence E. Macartney’s successor in famous Arch Street Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia.

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A Fourth Type

A Life After Death, by S. Ralph Harlow (Doubleday, 1961, 264 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by J. K. Van Baalen, Author of The Chaos of Cults.

There is much about this book and the author that is attractive. Dr. Harlow, who is a retired professor of Religion and Biblical Literature at Smith College, and who possesses intimate knowledge of psychic phenomena through years of contact with mediums, is a scholar with a mind open for truth and fresh information. Also he has accurate knowledge in various fields, and writes lucidly and dispassionately.

His book does not contain any strikingly novel ideas. The cases which he describes and analyzes are much like scores of others in similar books, but they are well authenticated and above suspicion.

When Dr. Harlow asks (p. 258), “As I write of ‘talking’ horses and proxy sittings and Dr. Rush and flying ash trays, do I subject myself to scorn?” the reviewer replies unequivocally, not at all; it is only the ignorant and prejudiced who dare deny the paranormal phenomena that are here described and attested to in such a manner as to make doubt impossible to a fair mind. However, when Dr. Harlow states that there are three types of men, the reviewer wants to add a fourth type. Harlow says there are those who have had psychic experiences, those who know they are impossible, and those who “just do not know” (p. 11). Here the reviewer would add those who accept all of Dr. Harlow’s cases as having actually occurred and without fraud, but who must reject their interpretation as offered by the author. Among this last group the reviewer is bound to list himself. And his rejection of the author’s main thesis must, unfortunately, constitute the rest of this review.

Although the author states, “I am not a spiritualist; I am a Christian” (p. 38), practically all his information concerning the fact of immortality and the life hereafter comes from spiritistic seances. To him the difference between spiritualism and Christianity is that to the spiritualist “the symbol itself becomes the object of worship and prayer,” which is “idolatry,” while to the author the phenomena revealed by psychic experiences lead to the worship of God. Although he ends by quoting Martineau’s words, “We do not believe in immortality because we have proved it, but we forever try to prove it because we believe in it,” he admits twice (pp. 28 and 264) that he still does not know the answer and has doubts.

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This admission the reviewer deems sad indeed. The Bible knows of no such doubt. The New Testament is clear not only on the fact of “a life after death” but also on the future resurrection of the body from the grave. All of this, and much more, has no meaning for Dr. Harlow. His book begins with the statement that the message of Easter is, “There is a life after death.” But this we could learn from Plato. Easter is more than “immortality.”

Dr. Harlow is a Unitarian (p. 152), and Unitarians do not know the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as a Saviour from sin (cf. “Unitarians and the Dialogue” by Ronald M. Mazur, The Christian Century, Feb. 18, 1961). Unitarianism is Rationalism. When joined with a psychic nature, it is apt to take the form of mysticism, as in Dr. Harlow’s case. Both are a substitution of the subject’s findings for those of the word of God contained in Holy Scripture.

Thus the author substitutes an “astral body” (which Spiritists have borrowed from Theosophists) for the resurrection body, and so forth. For the plain teachings of Jesus and his apostles concerning a future woe as well as an eternal weal (based upon unbelief or faith in Christ; John 3:18, 36; Matt. 25:46; Heb. 10:31, etc.), the author substitutes a moral evolution in the hereafter for all men. “God’s love includes us all; and He accepts us all, even the Hiders and the Eichmanns and the Stalins and the Capones” (p. 173).

In a similar vein other cardinal scriptural doctrines are ignored or denied. A German soldier’s death in World War I is fully equated with Jesus’ death: both gave their lives for their friends (p. 168). Scripture states that death is “the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23), but Dr. Harlow says, “When normal, death is a pleasant experience,” much like awaking from a dream (p. 166).

Harlow’s conclusions, based upon psychic phenomena and revelations, are exactly like those of the trilogy of Stewart Edward White, an avowed spiritist (1936–1940). He, too, found the Bible to be a book full of “psychic experiences.”

All of this leads to the reviewer’s conclusion that if the phenomena described by the author are admittedly both genuine and supernatural, and all the revelations from the other side run contrary to scriptural teachings, whence do they obtain?

No one can give objective proof that the spirits bringing all these revelations are identical with those they claim to be. Scripture, however, teaches that “our [the Christians’] wrestling is … against … spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). These hosts of demons are totally ignored by Theosophists, Spiritists, Unitarians, Christian Scientists, and so forth.

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The Bible, however, says they are numerous, influential, and they, with their “doctrines of demons” and “lying wonders,” have wrought havoc among men from the beginning of the human race.

But they have changed their tactics. We no longer have a “spiritualism” that speaks with hatred of scriptural teachings as did Sir Oliver Lodge and A. Conan Doyle. They now lift one teaching out of Scripture, that of God’s love, and they apply it unconditionally in all directions. And with this they lull sinners to sleep.

Are there, or are there not, good and evil (fallen) angels, both with great supernatural powers? And why is it that Bible-believing Christians are not bothered with these paranormal “revelations”?

At the bottom of all problems of supernaturalism and the hereafter lies the question of the authority of Scripture.

The reviewer would call the author back to “the prophetic word made more sure” (2 Pet. 1:19).



Even Unto Death, by John Christian Wenger, John Knox Press, 1961, 127 pp., $2.50), is reviewed by Leonard Verduin, Minister, Campus Chapel, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“How painful for the man who knows what church history is that we have at that time, in the 16th century, treated the Anabaptists as we did. At that time some of the best spiritual powers of the Reformation left our shores.” So writes an evangelical churchman in modern Germany. “The originality of the Anabaptists was simply that they.… refused to let the problem of survival interfere with their submission to Scripture …; the hope may not be vain that God might grant His church to listen fresh to the testimony of those who knew four centuries too soon that Christian Europe was an illusion.” So writes a young historian in America.

For the reader to whom these sentiments touching the Anabaptists seem almost bizarre, the present volume by John C. Wenger is more necessary than tomorrow’s main meal.

“It has taken four centuries to overcome the distorted and biased portrait of the Anabaptists drawn by their opponents, but it has finally been accomplished. We now know how devoutly these Täufer, as they were called in German, sought to follow Christ, how earnestly they loved God’s Word and tried to obey it, how seriously they clung to the principle of freedom of conscience, how profoundly they opposed the principle of a state church, how vigorously they objected to binding salvation to ceremonies, how eagerly they attempted the evangelization of Europe.… Organized Christendom called upon the state to root out these ‘heretics’ who dared to challenge such tenets of Christendom as the established church.” With these brave words Wenger begins his book. Long before him a German historian had already written: “Not often has a movement in history been persecuted with such sullen rage by its contemporaries and not often has contemporary vilification made later generations misjudge and falsely condemn a group for so long a time afterward as has been the case with the people whom the three major religious parties assailed with equal hatred—the Anabaptists.”

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The first two chapters in the present book give the history of the rise of Anabaptism, in Switzerland and in The Netherlands. The next three chapters touch upon the theological tenets of the Anabaptists. The last chapter recites the story of some of the Anabaptist martyrdoms.

All along Wenger documents adequately—from the primary sources.

Even Unto Death edifies as it instructs.


Until The Day

The Coming Lord Jesus Christ, by Hamar Benson (The American Press, 1961, 77 pp., $2.50), is reviewed by M. Jackson White, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Clarendon, Arlington, Virginia.

This work is a group of devotional meditations on the Book of Revelation. The author’s exposition was as satisfying to me as anything I have found. The outline of Revelation is really given in Revelation 1:19 where Jesus commanded John to write (1) “What he saw,” that is the vision of Jesus Christ, chapter 1; (2) ‘What is,” the portraits of the church in the age of grace, chapters 2 and 3; (3) “What is to take place hereafter,” what will take place when Jesus returns to usher in the Day of the Lord, chapters 4–22.

The author feels that the key to understanding this most difficult book is found when we recognize the true purpose as stated in Revelation 1:1: it is a “revelation of Jesus Christ.” Thus we see Jesus as he is revealed in the successive steps of the unveiling of His glorious power and majesty until “the Kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.”

Thus we are made to see this last book of the Bible as a message of victory, assurance, and comfort for Christ’s followers until the day of his appearing.

This book will prove a blessing to all that approach it with a desire for a clearer revelation of Jesus Christ as Lord.

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Diary Of A Missionary

The Prisoner Leaps, by David Bentley-Taylor (China Inland Mission, 1961, 352 pp., 17s 6d), is reviewed by John B. Job, Wesley College, Leeds, England.

God has made his presence felt in Java. This has happened yesterday, and it is news. It is always encouraging for a Christian to learn what God is doing now, to see evidence that the Spirit of Christ is at work in the world. Reading this book, he does. “The Prisoner Leaps” is an apt title for a story whose main hero is the native pastor who came out of jail with a renewed vision of what his ministry could mean, and yet who would have been the first to recognize that the true theme of it all was not so much this as the release from spiritual bondage.

The fact that it is the author’s diary is the book’s great strength. We owe to this the graphic genuineness. We grapple with the day-to-day moral and financial problems of the missionary; seek, together with him, the answer to such questions as when to give, and when to withhold money from those who are looking for it, and how to work together with men whose way of presenting the Gospel differs from our own.

On the other hand the one obvious weakness of the book is perhaps also due to its being an edited diary. Although it is well written throughout, and never boring, there is not a clear enough overall picture of the author’s strategy. Part of the trouble is that the one map only serves to remind the reader how helpful it would have been to have had a series of sketch-maps running through the text. Furthermore the material has not been sufficiently condensed.


Religion And Feeling

Treatise Concerning the Religious Affections, Vol. III of Select Works by Jonathan Edwards (Banner of Truth Trust, 1961, 382 pp., 15s), is reviewed by C. Peter Cook, Precentor, Holy Trinity Church, Hull, England.

In a day of an evangelicalism which is dividing into two camps, intellectual orthodoxy on the one hand and on the other an emotionalism in which feelings supersede doctrine, we need a proper assessment of the importance of both doctrine and affections. The Edwards reprint was born of the New England revival and written to check religious turmoil. He both examines feelings by doctrine and assesses their part in Christian experience. “There are false affections and there are true. A man’s having much affection does not prove that he has any true religion, but if he has no affection, it proves he has no true religion. The right way is not to neglect all affections, nor to approve all, but to distinguish between affections” (p. 50). He distinguishes true religious feelings which stem from regeneration, and those which are counterfeit, from Satan, spurious and deceitful.

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To accomplish this he reviews the whole field of religious affections, their nature, their effects, their greatness. First he shows those in the Bible who had a variety of religious feelings and yet no true faith. Then he points to the divine principle of grace implanted in the regenerate heart, and the fruit it bears of rightly-balanced affections centered on God. The work is rich in biblical teaching and illustration. Though exacting in thought and sometimes difficult in style, the persevering reader will find enlightenment, reassurance, and satisfaction from this most important book.


Tyndale Commentary

The Gospel According to St. Matthew, by R. V. G. Tasker (Tyndale, 1961, 285 pp., 12s 6d), is reviewed by Ralph P. Martin, Lecturer in Theology, London Bible College, England.

Professor Tasker, now Professor Emeritus in the University of London, is the General Editor of the Tyndale New Testament series. He himself has contributed a number of the volumes, including the one on the Fourth Gospel. In that book and in the one under review, a similarity of approach and treatment is obvious. There is a very brief Introduction, followed by an extended commentary on the Gospel passages, which are introduced by descriptive headings. In turn this is followed by smaller sections, titled ‘Additional Notes,’ where matters of textual, linguistic, and hermeneutical importance are handled. The comments in this last-named part are often incisive and much to the point.

In the Introduction (16 pages only) the author contents himself with answering two questions. What is the claim of Matthew’s Gospel to be the first of the evangelistic records and to being apostolic in authorship? What are the characteristic features of the Gospel? The first question is answered in a somewhat summary fashion. Matthew is not chronologically the first though it embodies the Aramaic logia of the Apostle which are earlier than any of the canonical Gospels; but the final authorship of the whole work is unknown. In other matters of Gospel criticism Professor Tasker is reticent. The ‘Q’ hypothesis is mentioned only en passant, and some of the newer trends (for example, the liturgical origin of Matthew and the work of Stendahl) are largely by-passed.

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The strength of the book lies in Tasker’s patient, thorough, and uniformly helpful exegesis of the text. This is his main preoccupation, and he executes it in a workmanlike way. Where he turns to draw upon the comments and suggestions of others, he finds congenial help mostly from Roman Catholic writers. The names of Chapman, Butler, and Wikenhauser are the authorities called upon. Appeals to R. A. Knox are especially frequent.

The commentator’s attitude to the text is always reverent and conservative, although not in any slavish way (see pp. 221, 222, 260). On the cardinal doctrines he never wavers.


Moses Only

The Faith of a Heretic, by Walter Kaufmann (Doubleday, 1961, 431 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by William A. Mueller, Professor of Church History, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

This book written by a young philosopher and expert on Nietzsche is a significant confession. Kaufmann, a victim of the Nazi terror, writes with sharpness of insight on vital issues of faith and life. But it is not the Christian faith he espouses. While the author reveals a deep appreciation for Israel’s ancient prophets, he is less than generous in his appraisal of Jesus or Paul. He takes the higher critics to task in their evolutionary approach to the origin of Moses’ monotheism, while he follows at the same time the most extreme critics with regard to Christian origins. To him the religion of Moses is as original as ever (p. 189).

Kaufmann conceives of himself primarily as an interpreter of the issues of life, as a seeker after truth, and as a stern opponent of every form of dogmatism. He is well-versed in ancient and modern philosophy, knows the great theologians and the creative novelists, without swearing by any of them. Kaufmann speaks with sarcasm of Heidegger’s verbiage, long-winded repetitions, and weird locutions (pp. 370–371); and of the double talk of theologians like Bultmann and Tillich. Like Jefferson, Nietzsche, and Rosenberg, Kaufmann is convinced that Paul, influenced by the mystery religions of his day, “transformed Jesus’ teaching” most thoroughly. He is moreover convinced, following Albert Schweitzer, that to both Paul and Jesus “social justice and political arrangements seemed irrelevant.” This is in sharp disagreement with some liberal theologians and social gospel advocates! Organized religion, whether ancient or modern, in contrast to the Hebrew prophets, has usually been conformist; witness the Inquisition, the Crusades, and holy wars (p. 264).

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What Kaufmann has to say about honesty in facing crucial issues of truth, his critique of the Platonic virtues, his strictures of Fromm and Freud, and his meditations on death are full of sobering insights which a Christian believer may profitably ponder. But I consider his critique of the New Testament and its ethic unfair, even though this reviewer is painfully conscious of how far all of us fall short of Christ’s will and purpose. While one wonders that Kaufmann teaches in a university like Princeton, originally the fruit of the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century, one should at least be grateful for his wish that modern college students become thoroughly conversant with both Old and New Testaments and with the heritage of the philosophers and theologians, be they Christian or not.


Wells To J.F.K.

One Nation Under God, edited by Robert Gordon Smith (Wilfred Funk, Inc., 1961, 322 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by H. Henlee Barnette, Professor of Christian Ethics, Southern Baptist Seminary.

An anthology of ideals and values of American life and thought articulated in historic speeches, the Bible, prayers, hymns, sermons, and anecdotes during the existence of our nation, this volume begins with prayer by Amos R. Wells for the United States and ends with the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy. The author, a veteran of World War II, has selected those materials which express the traditional American values of freedom, the dignity of the individual, justice, and equality. Stressed also in these selections is the moral obligation of all citizens to participate in the selection of political leaders and in the formation of public policies.

In these critical days when America needs to recapture and promulgate the values which have made her great, this volume makes a contribution to that end.


On The Care Of Souls

Logotherapy and the Christian Faith, by Donald F. Tweedie, Jr. (Baker Book House, 1961, 183 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Walter Vail Watson, Pastor, Lancaster (N.Y.) Presbyterian Church and Psychologist at Buffalo Bible Institute.

It is good to know that there are some brilliant young Christians devoted to psychology. Donald F. Tweedie, Jr., is one of these. This book, recognizing the practical value of a psychotherapy which has no direct dependence upon Freud, makes refreshing reading. The volume is a sympathetic, capable, and objective evaluation of Frankl’s existential approach to psychotherapy, which should interest and challenge all who deal with troubled souls as pastor, physician, or any kind of counselor. Tweedie writes with the insight of first-hand contact with Dr. Victor Frankl, Vienna psychiatrist, whose technique known as logotherapy is the basis of his psychiatric procedures. From the Christian point of view Tweedie appraises the value of logotherapy favorably, chiefly because Frankl recognizes the existence of the spiritual factor in human personality.

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The perusal of this volume will convince the unbiased reader of the need for psychiatry becoming emancipated from the dominance of psychoanalysis. It points the way to a psychological approach which considers the whole man: body, mind, spirit. The work is very readable, simple enough to be appreciated by the nontechnical reader who is looking for a base upon which to build his thinking about a constructive and useful technique of psychotherapy.


Convert To Orthodoxy

In Search of Myself, by D. R. Davies (Geoffrey Bles, 1961, 223 pp., 16s), is reviewed by David B. Winter, Editor of Crusade, London.

D. R. Davies was all his life a creature of mood, change, and fashion. After a superficial religious experience during the Welsh Revival in 1904, he came under the influence of the Christian Socialists, the Liberal Humanists, and the Unitarians. After ordination in the Congregational Church he found himself drawn more and more to a socialistic version of the Gospel. He admits that his church became little more than a meeting place for the more rabid of the Leftists, and his preaching no more and no less than a straightforward advocacy of Labour party doctrine. He had long before ceased to pray in private and had a strong dislike of praying publicly.

Caught up in various movements of the Left in the ’thirties, he visited Spain during the revolution. His experience there had a shattering effect on his thinking. His political and social idealism was in ruins; his personal and domestic life had disintegrated. In despair God met him on a seashore in August of 1937. In an experience of regeneration as sure and objective as his previous experiences had been illusory and subjective, his life, his theology, and his ministry were transformed. Leaving the Congregational Church (“It is my impression that Congregationalism is slowly dying”) he was received into the Church of England, ordained, and for the remainder of his life he was a splendidly prophetic preacher and writer.


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New Words For Old

A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of Mark, by Robert G. Bratcher and Eugene A. Nida (E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1961, 534 pp.), is reviewed by William Hendriksen, Minister, Creston Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This is not a commentary, though it does contain many comments on the meaning of the text. It is not a guide to textual criticism, though it abounds in notes of this character. Its main emphasis is, however, of an entirely different nature. It is exactly what its title declares it to be, namely, a Translator’s Handbook of the Gospel of Mark. The major thrust of this Handbook is in the direction of Bible translators working in languages which are outside of the Indo-European family and reflect very different cultural backgrounds. Examples of questions that are discussed and in many cases answered are the following:

Mark 1:4: “sins.” In Huichol the term xuriki includes stealing, murder, and adultery; hence, at first seemed to be quite acceptable … until it was discovered that it also meant getting married and harvesting a cornfield!

Mark 1:6: “camel’s hair.” In many countries camels are not known. What does one do in such a case? Must Eskimos be made to read, “cloth made of polar bear fur?” What is the answer?

Mark 1:13: “angels.” In one Indian language of South America angels are called “flying saints,” and in another, “dead babies,” since according to popular belief children who died in infancy became angels. What must the translators do in that case?

Mark 2:21: “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment.” The idea that one would even hesitate to sew an unshrunk piece of cloth on an old garment seems almost incredible to many people. How does the translator cope with this difficulty?

For the purpose intended this is, indeed, a very valuable book.


The Humanity Of God

Studies in Christian Doctrine, by H. Maurice Relton (Macmillan, 1960, 270 pp., 21s), is reviewed by Andrew F. Walls, Lecturer in Theology, Fourah Bay College, The University College of Sierra Leone.

Dr. Relton’s A Study in Christology, which appeared nearly 45 years ago, is a study of permanent value which contended against the stream then, and deserves reappraisal now. Meanwhile, at eventide, Dr. Relton issues a collection of essays. Three of them, namely, The Christian Conception of God, Patripassianism, and Nestorianism, originally appeared in the Church Quarterly Review between 1912 and 1931, and portions of the rest have likewise been in print before.

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Much of Dr. Relton’s life has been spent in urging a thoroughly “catholic” but not very fashionable Christology, and most (and almost all the best) of the book reflects this. He treats severely, though not discourteously, the Jesus of History school and theological reformulations which jettison Creeds or Cross. He thinks Nestorius really was a Nestorian, and rightly condemned for it (the essay was written before the discovery of the “Bazaar” of Heracleides, but Dr. Relton sees no reason to change his mind); and he dissents from the now common judgment that the Christologies of Antioch and Alexandria came to much the same thing in the end. They came, he holds, to very different things, and the peace of the Church lies unquestionably with the Alexandrians. He is, however, no shell-backed slogan-grinder, but the proponent of a thoughtful and reverent Christological scheme, inspired by the post-Alexandrian Leontius of Byzantium, which accepts wholeheartedly the implications of the Impersonal (or rather, Inpersonal) humanity and the hypostatic union. “The wonder of His earthly life … is scarcely grasped until we have seen in it the life not only of a particular man but of the Man—of one, that is, so interwoven with our human life that the Omnipresence of His Manhood is to be sought in the direction of that mysterious union of the human and the Divine Natures in His one Person which made it possible for Him, whilst being located at a particular place, to be, nevertheless, representative of all men … and possessing such an all-inclusive Manhood that He could Himself take out infirmities and bear our sicknesses in a sense more awful and more real than perhaps we have grasped. And herein lies the colossal error of Antiochenes ancient and modern: his Humanity and ours differ. Ours is the creaturely humanity of the created and sinful; His is the Humanity of the Creator.” The truly human is the humanity of God; the merely or purely human is the created and imperfect humanity of men, which can never become anything but human, no matter how fully the divine indwells it. “God’s humanity revealed in Christ is the unveiling before our eyes of that of which we are created copies. The original is His … Advance in holiness will make us more truly human, not quasi-divine beings.”

From Christology, Dr. Relton moves—logically, he believes—to Ecclesiology, and offers two chapters on Sacramentalism as “a fresh approach, and, as we hope, a step towards Reunion.” Sancta simplicitas! His proposal, on the non-Roman side, is that Anglicans should recognize the prophetic character of the present ministry of “Nonconformists”(!) and at the same time ask them to recognize the need for a further ordination for a wider ministry in the Anglican church, covering both Word and Sacraments, a prophetic and a priestly ministry. This is urged with evident charity, and a humility which sits ill with the essential arrogance of the position. “What prevents it?” asks Dr. Relton, and he answers, “Human pride.” He seems not to realize that to many his sacramentalism will seem but another expression of the formula “Full Salvation through bishops alone,” and his proposal but another invitation to subscribe to the Galatian heresy.

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Throughout, the framework of thought presupposes, without argument or embarrassment, that a philosophy of religion is normal, possible, and desirable—one of the geological timemarks in the surface of the book. There are more disfiguring scars which leave stretches arid and patches unreadable. Parts of it irritatingly linger over ephemeral publications of departed generations; parts look suspiciously like old lecture notes; and parts, after several readings, refuse to yield up their secrets to the reviewer. All due honor to Dr. Relton, but one fancies that A Study in Christology will be a worthier memorial.


No Real Problem

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J. I. Packer (Inter-Varsity Press, 1961, 126 pp., $1.25), is reviewed by Andrew Bandstra, Assistant Professor of Bible, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Can one who holds to the sovereignty of God take the task of evangelism seriously? The author not only answers this question in the affirmative but also develops the position that only a genuine faith in divine sovereignty can sustain the program of evangelism.

In doing so, he delineates the biblical teaching of divine sovereignty and human responsibility in so far as they pertain to the realm of evangelism. He biblically defines evangelism, its message, its motive, and its method, and develops the implications of God’s sovereignty in these areas. To the reviewer he has proved his point.

The book is lucid, worthwhile, and profitable.


Book Briefs

Michael O’Leary, by P. Catherine Coles (Victory Press, 1961, 122 pp., 7s. 6d.). A novel in which a tough little boy begins by clashing with society and the police and ends in rehabilitation through Christian influence.

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If Any Man Serve, by F. John Paul (Victory Press, 1961, 120 pp., 8s. 6d.). Devotional address by an Indian Christian centered on the life of Simon Peter. (Originally published in India).

In Search of Myself, by D. R. Davies (Bles, 1961, 223 pp., 16s.). Autobiography of an unusual Anglican minister who started as a Unitarian and became a Congregationalist, socialist preacher and secular idealist before recovering his faith and being ordained by William Temple.

The Ethics of William James, by Bernard P. Brennan (Bookman Associates, 1961, 183 pp., $4). Develops thesis that James’ philosophy attempted to provide a rational defense of morality.

A Book of Christmas and Epiphany, by V. E. Beck and P. M. Lindberg (Augustana, 1961, 229 pp., $3). Seeks to widen the experience of the church year from one or two day to year-long experience.

Swift and Anglican Rationalism, by Philip Harth (University of Chicago Press, 1961, 171 pp., $5). An analysis of the strain of rationalism which gave rise to Swift’s religious satire.

The Church and the Age of Reason1648–1789, by Gerald R. Cragg (Atheneum, 1961, 299 pp., $4.50). First in five volume series designed to cover the entire history of the Christian Church.

On the Use of Philosophy, by Jacques Maritain (Princeton University Press, 1961, 71 pp., $2.75). Distinguished Roman Catholic lay philosopher reflects on the role philosophy plays in enabling man to live relevantly in his social context.

The Pyramids, by Ahmed Fakhry (University of Chicago Press, 1961, 260 pp., $5.95). Beautifully-designed and vividly-illustrated study of the Great Pyramids.

“The Will of God … Your Sanctification,” by T. A. Hegre (Bethany Fellowship, 1961, 110 pp., $1.50). Pleads possibility of full sanctification in this life.

Public Speaking and Discussion for Religious Leaders, by Harold A. Brack and Kenneth G. Hance (Prentice-Hall, 1961, 259 pp., $6.35). Valuable guide to help the religious man speak effectively in all speaking situations.

I Have Chosen His Glory, by Alma Bouffard (Greenwich, 1961, 46 pp., $2). Portrait of spiritual growth.

The Rest is Commentary, edited by Nahum N. Glatzer (Beacon, 1961, 271 pp., $6). Source book of Jewish antiquity.

The Parables of Jesus, by Charles M. Good (Christopher, 1961, 142 pp., $3). Brief, clear exposition of the parables of Jesus by congregationalist minister.

Reuben E. Nelson: Free Churchman, by Robert G. Torbet and Henry R. Bowler (Judson, 1961, 64 pp., $1.50). Tribute to an American Baptist who was both free churchman and ecumenical exponent.

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Beloved World, by Eugenia Price (Zondervan, 1961, 512 pp., $4.95). Authentic story-teller tells the Bible’s story to young and old, to saints and skeptics. The telling escapes the stereotype.

Programs for Special Days, by Leila T. Ammerman (Wilde, 1961, 76 pp., $1.95). Poems, songs, plays, for celebration of Christian, and such other holidays as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day.

Churches of the Presidents in Washington, by Olga James (Exposition Press, 1961, 128 pp., $3). Second edition of the story of the Washington churches where U. S. presidents have worshiped; enlarged by inclusion of President Kennedy’s place of worship: Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church.

My Favorite Picture Stories from the Bible, by Dena Korfker (Zondervan, 1961, 151 pp., $1.95). Favorite stories with fine pictures for children.

Facing the Unfinished Task, symposium (Zondervan, 1961, 281 pp., $4.50). Messages delivered at the 1960 Congress of World Missions, sponsored by Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association of North America.

Jeremiah Man and Prophet, by Sheldon H. Blank (University Publishers, 1961, 260 pp., $6.50). Jewish scholar arranges, evaluates what Jeremiah the prophet offers us of his religious experience.

India, by Percival Spear (University of Michigan Press, 1961, 491 pp., $10). The history and thought of an emerging industrial giant of the East which threw off its foreign domination to become a pivotal state between East and West. One of the University of Michigan’s 15-volume history of the modern world.

Marriage, the Family and the Bible, by Henry E. White, Jr. (Christopher, 1961, 84 pp., $2.50). Urges a view of marriage which recognizes that it is both flesh and spirit.

Kings in Shirtsleeves: Men Who Ruled Israel, by William P. Barker (Revell, 1961, 119 pp., $2.50). Stories of 12 Old Testament kings so related as to mirror our own lives.


God and His People, by A. Leonard Griffith (Abington, 1961, 84 pp., $1). A United Church Lenten production concerned with the renewal of the church (first published 1960).

The Ancient Library of Qumran, by Frank Moore Cross, Jr. (Doubleday, 1961, 260 pp., $1.25). Comprehensive survey of Dead Sea Scrolls with excellent maps and photographs. First published in 1958.

The Word of Life, by Edmund Beaver (The Beavers, Spring Grove, Minn., 1954, 56 pp., $1.25). Bible passages in large print for the sick and those of failing eyesight.

Latin American Lands in Focus, by Marian Derby and James E. Ellis (Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, 1961, 152 pp., $.75). Published to provide information of Methodist labors in Latin American countries.

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The Gist of the Bible Book-by-Book, by Alvin E. Bell (Zondervan, 1961, 169 pp., $1.50). New paperback edition of a popular work first printed in 1926.

The Question of South Africa, by Paul B. Smith (Peoples Press, Toronto, 1961, 126 pp., $1). Interesting travelogue with concluding comments on “Apartheid” policy of South Africa.

In These Words, by D. H. Walters (Zondervan, 1961, 48 pp., $1). Presents all three themes of Heidelberg Catechism simultaneously, rather than in usual seriatim sequence.

Devotional Programs for Adult Groups, by Leslie Parrott (Zondervan, 1961, 64 pp., $1); Devotional Programs for Women’s Groups, by Lora Lee Parrott (Zondervan, 1961, 60 pp., $1). Short, practical lesson material for Adult and Women study groups.

The Call for New Churches, by Bonneau R. Murphy (Board of Missions of the Methodist Church, 1961, 128 pp., $.75). A national missions study for church-wide quadrennial emphasis on Methodist church extension work.

Indian Opportunity, by Wilfred Scopes (Edinburgh House Press, London, 1961, 88 pp., 4/6d.). Information about India where every seventh man in the world is located.

Light in Darkness, by E. H. Robertson (Edinburgh House Press, London, 1961, 109 pp., 6s.). Discusses the spiritual battles of our times as enacted on personal and world plane.

The Challenge of the Cults (Zondervan, 1961, 80 pp., $1). Presents CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S recent symposium on cults.

The Gospels—the Prayer Book Commentaries, by Canon Frank Colquhoun (Hodder and Stoughton, 1961, 191 pp., 5s.). Straightforward expositions of the biblical readings for the 56 Sundays for which the Prayer Book makes provision.

Jewish Holy Days, by Coulson Shepherd (Loiseaux Brothers, 1961, 95 pp., $1.50). A discussion of important Jewish holy days and their Christian significance.

God’s Knotty Log: Selected Writings of John Bunyan, edited by Henri A. Talon (World, 1961, 313 pp., $1.65). Contains The Heavenly Footman and The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Has Anti-Semitism Roots in Christianity? by Jules Isaac (National Conference of Christians and Jews, 1961, 95 pp., $.50). Presents point of view and series of proposals to eliminate anti-Semitism, first presented at Sorbonne.

Martin Luther, by John Dillenberger (Doubleday, 1961, 526 pp., $1.45). Selections from Luther’s writings with five introductions by John Dillenberger.

The Theology of Paul Tillich, edited by Charles W. Kegley and Robert W. Bretall (Macmillan, 1961, 370 pp., $1.95). Essays of interpretation and criticism of the work of Paul Tillich, and some autobiographical reflections by Tillich himself. (First published in 1952).

The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (528 pp.) and The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (513 pp·), by Perry Miller (Beacon, 1961, $2.95 ea.). Reprints of works which must not be overlooked by serious students of America’s Puritan foundations.

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