Evidence From The Past
The Patriarchal Age, by Charles F. Pfeiffer (Baker Book House, 1961, 128 pp., $2.95), is reviewed by Oswald T. Allis, formerly Professor of Old Testament, Westminster Theological Seminary.
This little volume by the professor of Old Testament in Gordon Divinity School is one of a “projected series of eight books on Old Testament history.” As is indicated by the present volume, the aim of the author is to view the Scriptures in the light of the relevant archaeological evidence. For such a purpose the Patriarchal Age is particularly attractive, partly because of the confident claims, made not so very long ago, that this period was one of myth and legend, and more especially because the archaeological evidence now available makes it so clear that the Hebrew patriarchs lived in the midst of a civilization which was already centuries old. Babylon, Mari, Ugarit, and now Jericho are shown to have been centers of a relatively high civilization long before the days of Abraham.
Dr. Pfeiffer has sketched for his readers the background and setting of the lives of the patriarchs in a very interesting and helpful way. His writing is marked by both sanity and clarity, and he writes as one who is well acquainted with the available archaeological evidence. He assures us that “we can now assert without fear of contradiction that the biblical partriarchs need not be regarded as demigods or characters from the realm of folklore. They appear as real men, living in a real world, which is now well known because of the work of modern archaeology” (p. 14). Yet he also recognizes that a good deal of subjectivity may color the claims and conclusions of scholars because there is so much that is still uncertain regarding the remote past: “In a very real sense theologians interpret the facts of archaeology, as they do the facts of Scripture, in accord with their basic presuppositions” (idem). This is a truism which needs constant emphasis!
A single example will suffice. Soon after the discovery of the Code of Hammurabi (1901), C. H. W. Johns made the statement: “It is customary to say that the father had absolute power over his children, but it is better to state only what is knowm with certainty regarding the extent of his power” (Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, p. 148). Johns then proceeded to point out that limitations were placed on the father’s authority. Thus, a father might not disinherit his son without “legal process and good reason alleged.” Yet Pfeiffer tells us: “The patriarchal records in the Bible presuppose the absolute power of a father over the very lives of his children” (p. 15); and he adds: “The thought that Isaac should have been consulted is foreign to the spirit of the record. Abraham, as the patriarch, had full control over the life of his son.” Yet the narrative in Genesis 22 seems to the reviewer, as it did to Josephus, to indicate rather clearly that Isaac submitted to the will of his father because he accepted it as the will of God.
With this general caution the reviewer wishes Dr. Pfeiffer the best of success in the important work in which he is engaged so profitably. A further suggestion would be that in future more care be given to the bibliography. In the present volume it is rather heavily weighted with “critical” books, and some important works by conservative scholars were overlooked.
OSWALD T. ALLIS
Sifting The Saints
Seven Sins and Seven Virtues, by Karl A. Olsson (Harper, 1962, 126 pp., $2.75), is reviewed by James Daane, Editorial Associate, CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
The author of Seven Sins and Seven Virtues has not produced something half good and half bad, but something uncommonly good.
His concern is for saintliness. Since, however, saintliness can be achieved only where its lack is recognized, Olsson first presents a brilliant and penetrating diagnosis of the seven deadly sins. These are selected not for the loaded traditional connotation they carry, but for convenience only. The analysis of sin is so incisive the reader feels himself brought to bay, yet so delightful that he cannot desist from reading avidly on to the end.
This done, the author presents an equally brilliant and incisive analysis of the seven virtues. Again the treatment is studded with literary allusions, historical illustrations, all in crisp language and sparkling style. And again the reader discovers that he is being talked about. He comes to feel like an eavesdropper uncomfortably discovering that the conversation he overhears is about himself, yet so fascinated he cannot break away.
Theological liberals, says the author, pretty much lost the idea of sin as something serious; hence they could not promote saintliness. The Puritans were serious about sin, but their concern was vitiated by a propensity to legalism which is also unable to foster saintliness. They wrote, for example, a whole Summa on the Sabbath, including “homely advice to global circumnavigators for Sundays in the Fijis.” They suffered the consequences of a legalism which thinks to find virtue in confessing the sins of others rather than their own. “Some of the venom directed against those excellent people might have been spared if the Puritans had been a little more agile in confessing their own sins rather than the sin of the Royalists.”
Thanks to the dialectical theologians, sin in the singular, and with a capital S, recaptured theological and religious concern, but this concern also failed to create a new impulse to virtue and saintliness.
But as the remainder of the book shows, saintliness is hard to come by—so hard that if one tries too hard one does not even broach it.
Olsson’s treatment is unusually effective in getting behind what we as Christians think about ourselves, to what we actually are. Though the reader knows what is going on, he cannot look away from his own self-exposure. If he admits what he sees, he comes to the admission that his sins are great and his virtues small—and this is a mark of saintliness.
Although written in the language of the layman, this book will trigger many a sermon, and much of its content will find its way into the pulpit.
A Critical Introduction to the Aporypha, by L. H. Brockington (Duckworth, 1961, 170 pp., 12s. 6d.), is reviewed by R. T. Beckwith, Chaplain, Tyndale Hall, Bristol.
The Senior Lecturer in Aramaic and Syriac at the University of Oxford has produced an introduction to the Apocrypha less full than Oesterley’s and less popular than Metzger’s, but up-to-date and informative nonetheless. It is suitable both for those with a knowledge of English only and also useful to students who are more advanced. The work reflects the trend away from the documentary analysis which was formerly applied freely to the Apocrypha as well as to the Old Testament. It is taken for granted that Wisdom is a unity, and also II Esdras (except the first two and the last two chapters, which are separate works even in many manuscripts), but Baruch, apart from the appended Epistle of Jeremiah, is still distributed among three authors. In other ways the work reflects liberal opinion. There is some degree of agnosticism about the bounds of the canon, and on pages 128–129 the author collects passages in which he imagines the writers of the Apocrypha to express their dissent from the Old Testament. Despite the tide of the book, there is something uncritical about it. The author is sometimes arbitrary in his statements, and sometimes ignores contrary views held by reputable writers as, for example, Oesterley’s view on the date of I Esdras. Equally disquieting are the defects of his knowledge. On page 11 he appears unaware that the antiquity of II Enoch has been disproved (see Rowley, Relevance of Apocalyptic, and Vaillant, Le Livre des Secrets d’Henoch). On page 1 his suggestion that the additions to Daniel may date from after a.d.100 seems to indicate that he is unaware that the Song of the Three Holy Children is known to the writer of III Maccabees (see 3 Macc. 6:6). On page 141 his statement about the attitude of the Eastern Orthodox Church to the Apocrypha is utterly misleading. The list of books which he gives as accepted by the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 is incomplete, and he ignores the fact that other confessional documents and most theologians of the Eastern Orthodox Church exclude the Apocrypha from the canon.
R. T. BECKWITH
A Worthy Achievement
Trinity Hymnal, published by The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (1961, 746 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by Frank E. Gaebelein, Headmaster, The Stony Brook School.
This hymnal, published by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, deserves high commendation. In a time of doctrinal indifference, it is refreshing to find a hymnal with such a sturdy theological structure. The careful arrangement refleets not only the usual order of the Trinity, the Christian life and walk, and so forth, but particularizes such topics as the attributes of God, the decrees of God, election, the covenant of grace, justification, adoption, sanctification, and the like. Indeed, in structure the book is something of a systematic theology in brief. Familiarity with it should impart to its users a valuable theological orientation. A strong and unusual feature is the integration with Scripture through the well-chosen Bible quotations that head each of the hymns.
This is a big book, containing over seven hundred hymns. It is rich in worthy material that, while not well known, deserves to be sung. More than one hundred of the tunes are of pre-eighteenth century origin, and among them are some of the treasures of Reformation music. The choice of tunes, where there are options, is generally good, although one misses a few favorite settings. However, a hymnal is actually an anthology, and just as no anthologist of poetry can expect to please all his readers, so the makers of hymnals must inevitably face questions based on personal taste. Thus one is puzzled by the omission of “America” and “America the Beautiful” from the comparatively small section of “national” hymns. Among other well-known hymns that do not appear are the following: “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” “O Master Let Me Walk with Thee,” “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind,” “Nearer my God to Thee,” “O for a Closer Walk with God,” and “Blessed Assurance.” To be sure, some of these were not written by evangelical Christians. But a hymn is great in its own right, and some hymnologists who have held imperfect doctrine have written far better than they knew. The section devoted to the more informal Gospel hymns is excellent.
The nonmusical matter requires comment. It includes a selection of opening sentences, the Ten Commandments, and the Westminster Confession, but some will miss the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed. The Psalter section merits nothing but commendation. The forms for public profession of faith, baptism, services of ordination, and installation of church officers are, as is to be expected, denominational and as such might inhibit use of the book by other than Orthodox Presbyterian churches. Perhaps a nondenominational edition will some time be published. The indexes are thoroughly adequate.
Typographically the book is attractive and the binding serviceable and in good taste. All in all, Trinity Hymnal is a worthy achievement and reflects credit upon the denomination that produced it. It is to be hoped that its outreach will be a wide one. Certainly its use should serve to lift the level of worship in congregations that adopt it.
FRANK E. GAEBELEIN
Reading for Perspective
CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S REVIEW EDITORS CALL ATTENTION TO THESE NEW TITLES:
* Certainties for Uncertain Times, by John Sutherland Bonnell (Harper, $3). After 25 years in New York’s historic Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, well-known American preacher points to “the things that cannot be shaken.”
* The Man God Mastered, by Jean Cadier (Eerdmans, $3). Short, very readable biography of John Calvin.
* Christianity Divided, a symposium (Shced & Ward, $6), Eminent Protestant and Roman Catholic thinkers discuss the things which have long divided them and constitute serious obstacles to reunion.
Theology With Relevance
The Epic of Revelation, by Mack B. Stokes (McGraw-Hill, 1961, 240 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Samuel J. Mikolaski, Associate Professor of Theology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
This book is straightforward. Dr. Stokes, who is Associate Dean and Parker Professor of Theology in the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, writes an exposition of, and apologetic for, Christianity, bearing in mind traditional and contemporary viewpoints. Each chapter of the book (devoted to creation, providence, freedom, man, promise of redemption, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit) is approached from three directions: The Biblical Foundation, Theological Elaboration, and Existential Relevance. The last of these is no nod to contemporary jargon. Doubtless this division will be helpful to the person being introduced to the study of Christian doctrine.
The author ranges widely both in the history of philosophy and theology and amongst contemporary writers, yet he steers the reader on a straight course to what is distinctively Christian. The list of authors cited is impressive. Along with the best known of ancient philosophers reference is made to a significant number of contemporary philosophers and theologians. It is heartening to find appreciative references to the work of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, James Denney, H. B. Swete, B. B. Warfield, Geerhardus Vos, and of more recent evangelical writers such as Edward J. Carnell, Carl F. H. Henry, G. C. Berkouwer, and Bernard Ramm. Yet the work is not eclectic. With clear-sighted vision Dr. Stokes points out the strengths and weaknesses of deism, pantheism, and several process philosophies and doctrines of being, as against the Christian doctrine of God’s transcendence and immanence, the creation of man and the world by God and their dependence upon divine providential care, and God’s redemptive purpose and acts in history. Always the author has in view the biblical revelation. He is not afraid to say, “The Bible teaches …”, nor unwilling to give due respect to the “Thus saith the Lord.” History is of a piece, the great epic unfolding the sovereignty of God and moving toward the fulfillment of his purpose. The atonement is viewed primarily as at-one-ment (my hyphenation), thus, alienation and reconciliation are the modes of thought that dominate his exposition. If I may venture an observation, less a criticism than a regret, it is that Dr. Stokes has not given us more in some places. For example, while he rejects the notions of idealistic philosophy about evil and sin and shows appreciation for the insights of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and John Wesley, I think the reader needs help on what Dr. Stokes believes the fall of man is, where it attests not only the truth that man “stands ever in need of God’s redemption” (p. 174), but also about its impingement on traditional questions of the nature of sin as the act of finite will against God, its issue in human life and the world, and the solidarity of the race in its sinfulness. Similarly, when he discusses the atonement in five propositions I could have wished for deeper probing of these as casting light upon the moral relations between God and man. Presumably in the first of these the statement that through Jesus Christ “God performed the atoning work of revelation” (p. 177) means that reconciliation stands firmly on revelation, but do the words “atoning work of revelation” make that kind of sense to the reader? And when, on the second, he writes that “God has performed his atoning work of sacrifice,” it is not clear what “the suffering of one who loves in behalf of the beloved is inherently redemptive” (italics mine) means, and, as “transcending the whole sphere of life which measures out duties and punishments” (p. 178). The latter quotation may well be disputed as a misreading of the role of judgment in some traditional expositions of the atonement.
But this is a thoroughly Christian book and recommended for students of Christian theology and the philosophy of religion. It will prove a boon to those who are on the lookout for a well-written contemporary statement of what Christianity is in order to buttress their witness to friends and business associates.
SAMUEL J. MIKOLASKI
The Noblest Sermon
The Letter to the Romans, by Walter Luthi, translated from the German by Kurt Schoenenberger (John Knox Press, 1961, 221 pp., $4), is reviewed by John Weidenaar, Associate Professor of Bible, Calvin College.
The greatest danger that mankind faces today is God. God has good reason to be against us and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The Letter to the Romans meets man in his precarious plight. No one has even approached Paul in his devastating description of man’s misery and guilt. Romans is a difficult book but not a scholarly lecture. It is, of all things, a friendly letter for common folk. As Ezekiel put it, Paul sat where they sat, overwhelmed. Romans is therefore the noblest sermon of grace and Paul is the teacher, preacher, and poet of grace. Grace is an event rather than a doctrine; it is the history of the relation between Christ and any particular person. The Protestant minister, the Christian Church, and especially the Reformed pulpit should focus its attention on God’s grace. Luthi’s book of sermons is dedicated to that end. Luthi holds that it was Paul’s mission to tell us that God is for us. God decided to be merciful without relaxing his right by confirming and fulfilling it. That is the mystery of the Cross. In Christ God is both Judge and Saviour at the same time. Man’s perverseness does not baffle God.
Is that, then, the reason that Luthi writes in his sermon on Romans 9: “But this idol of twofold predestination must not be confused with the God of the Bible. The Father of Jesus Christ is not the same as the God of mechanical logic.” Let it be remembered that the fathers of Dordt in 1618–19 declared that: “some, whom such conduct by no means became, have violated all truth, equity, and charity, in wishing to persuade the public … that God, by a mere arbitrary act of his will, without the least respect or view to any sin, has predestinated the greatest part of the world to eternal damnation, and has created them for this very purpose; that in the same manner in which the election is the fountain and cause of faith and good works, reprobation is the cause of unbelief and impiety … which the Reformed Churches not only do not acknowledge, but even detest with their whole soul.”
Upon occasion Luthi does not hesitate to speak of the “unpardonable sin.” The reviewer confesses, however, that he finds it difficult to exempt those depicted in Romans 1:18–32 from the rank of the reprobates. Let it also be recorded that they became reprobates.
Three Faces Of Calvin
Calvin Theological Seminary Monograph Series, with forewords by J. H. Kromminga (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1961, $.40 ea.): Calvin’s Dying Bequest to the Church, by Marten H. Woudstra (46 pp.); Man Before God’s Face in Calvin’s Preaching, by Carl G. Kromminga (47 pp.); and Calvin’s Doctrine of Predestination, by Fred H. Klooster (77 pp.), are reviewed by William Young, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Rhode Island.
These three monographs discuss in turn aspects of the work of Calvin as an exegete, a preacher, and a systematic theologian. Dr. Woudstra’s monograph, subtitled “A Critical Evaluation of the Commentary on Joshua,” draws the conclusion that “Calvin’s approach to the text of Joshua is such that it excludes the possibility of actual mistakes or contradictions from whatever angle these might be so designated” (pp. 19–20). Calvin’s use of example in Scripture is examined and the bearing of his exegetical method on recent discussions of progressive revelation is investigated.
Professor Kromminga’s study of Calvin’s preaching, based on the sermons readily available in English translation, stresses the idea that Calvin seeks to bring the hearer to an awareness of standing responsibility before God’s face.
Dr. Klooster has provided a careful analysis of Calvin’s doctrine of double predestination, fitted to clarify contemporary debate on “predestination in Christ” and “the equal ultimacy of election and reprobation.” The practical significance and biblical source of the doctrine are considered and the doctrine is represented as setting forth God’s sovereign gratuitous election and sovereign just reprobation. Dr. Klooster observes in conclusion “that one test of one’s loyalty to Scripture may be evident in how Calvin’s doctrine of predestination fares in the crisis of our age” (pp. 59–60).
Couches For Clergymen?
A Christian Therapy for a Neurotic World, by E. N. Ducker (George Allen & Unwin, 1961, 225 pp., 21s.), is reviewed by A. P. Waterson, Lecturer in Pathology, Emmanuel College, Cambridge, England.
This book gives an account of several years of an unusual ministry. Its aim is that such a ministry should before long cease to be so unusual. The author has equipped himself to deal with problems of psychiatric treatment, even fairly major ones, while at the same time he serves as a vicar and rural dean. The time, energy and devotion that he has lavished on his patients (or should we say clients?) is obvious, and his effectiveness equally so. The outstanding impression is of a man who is coping in a realistic way with the Church’s ministry of healing. In view of the current spurious and sensational activity in the name of healing, this is refreshing. Canon Ducker’s thesis is that there should be a number of clergy trained to do the kind of work which he is doing, and that all clergy should be equipped to have an insight into their people’s psychological needs.
Naturally, many clergy have this kind of insight, both into their parishioners and themselves, and many are skilled in using the social resources of their church and their community to help those in trouble. How far there should be a body of specialists in pastoral psychology is debatable. Should the best men be diverted into this kind of work, and, if so, how many? Relations with doctors need some care. Such workers should know when they are out of their depth and need an experienced psychotherapist to help them. There is always the danger of missing a case of organic illness needing treatment, and, allied to this, there is the question of the increasing range, use, and value of drug treatment. Who should prescribe when these are necessary? There is an even more subtle danger, namely, that psychotherapy should oust evangelism. Admittedly, therapy often is necessary in a seriously-disturbed patient before evangelism can be effective. But every new venture has risks as well as opportunities, and doubtless these risks can be avoided. Dr. Frank Lake’s foreword is inspiring, though it is doubtful whether his exegesis of 2 Timothy 1:7 is justified. Surely σωφροσυνη means “self-control,” not “a sound mind”?
A. P. WATERSON
The Heart Of Lutheranism
Theology of the Lutheran Confessions, by Edward Schlink, translated by Paul F. Koehneke and Herbert J. A. Bouman (Muhlenberg Press, 1961, 353 pp., $5), is reviewed by Carl S. Meyer, Professor of Historical Theology and Director of the School for Graduate Studies, Concordia Seminary.
Lutheran Confessionalism has become almost a byword in an age that has floundered in liberalism, the social gospel, and neo-orthodoxy. It was high time, therefore, that someone should make a systematic analysis of that Confessionalism. This “someone” had best be a recognized German theologian and his translator (or translators) at home in German theological language. Such a felicitous combination has brought about a detailed, authoritative, analytical presentation of Lutheran Confessionalism. Its vehicle is a very readable English that avoids the proverbial obscurity of the German theological idiom.
The Lutheran Confessions claim to be the church’s normative exposition of Scripture and aims to be the exposition of the ancient Trinitarian creeds. Difficulties can he found in them, to be sure; for them, nevertheless, the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament is the sole norm of teaching. As witness, exposition, and a consensus of agreement, the Confession is an obligatory model for all the doctrine in the church. “Therefore the decisive theme of all theology, not only of certain moments of church history but of all times, day by day, must be: Sin and grace, law and Gospel, judgment and forgiveness, God’s wrath and God’s mercy” (p. 55). The “Law and Gospel” concept plays a large role in Lutheran theology, and perforce also in the Lutheran Confessions. The Law tells of sin and wrath and despair; the Gospel proclaims love and mercy and hope. Christ’s death was a substitutionary death; God pronounces the sinner righteous for Christ’s sake apart from the Law by grace. Faith is the work of the Spirit of God; like justification, so also regeneration and new obedience are gifts of God’s grace. The means of grace are the Word and the Sacraments. Without these means of grace the assembly of believers, the Church, cannot exist. Yet there remains the conflict between the devil’s kingdom and Christ’s kingdom. The distinction between Law and Gospel attests also to the Last Day, as it points to the separate functions of civil and ecclesiastical government.
There is a solid fare in Schlink’s expositions of the Lutheran Confessions. It is an inviting fare. The careful savoring of it will prove it to be wholesome and rewarding food.
CARL S. MEYER
This Is God’s World, by Reuben K. Youngdahl (Augustana, 1961, 365 pp., $3). Daily devotions for entire year written from perspective of all parts of world by world traveling pastor.
Yon and Your Grief, by Edgar N. Jackin (Channel Press, 1961, 64 pp., $1.50). Very short, very fine words to people in grief brought by death.
Branch of Almond, by Warren B. Blumenthal (Bookman Associates, 1961, 271 pp., $5). Lucid account of Jeremiah and his times by research chemist.
The Mature Christian, by A. Morgan Derham (Marshalls, 1961, 128 pp., 10s/6d). A handbook on Christian living by an evangelical minister with a shrewd insight into everyday problems.
Remembered With Love, by Roscoe Graham (American Press, 1961, 106 pp., $2.50). Scripture readings and religious poetry selected by one who prefers “Memorial” to “Funeral” services.
Bill and Betty Learn About God, by Margaret Anderson (Zondervan, 1961, 48 pp., $1.95). Bible Pictures with Simple Stories, by A1 Bryant (Zondervan, 1961, 60 pp., $2.95). Attractive biblical pictures with simple stories and added questions for boys and girls.
Facing Facts and Finding Faith, by F. P. Wood (Marshalls, 1961, 127 pp., 10s/6d). A simple outline of the basic facts of the Gospel explained by a veteran evangelist.
The Saving Life of Christ, by Major W. Ian Thomas (Zondervan, 1961, 152 pp., $2.50). Founder and Director of Torchbearers reflects on the Christian life and the story of Israel.
Science Returns to God, by James H. Jauncey (Zondervan, 1961, 120 pp., $1.95). A slight, once-over treatment of the Scientific Revolution, Origin of Man, Archaeology, and a half dozen other large themes, which rarely touches the ground.
The Road to Power, by W. Glyn Evans (Moody, 1961, 160 pp., $2.75). Cheaply-bound book seeks to reveal power of eternal life for men of today.
Personality Development in the Christian Life, by John D. Frame (Moody, 1961, 191 pp., $3.25). Medical doctor and onetime missionary strikes out into field of psychology with much sound practical advice.
Dawn of Devotion, by Sarah Anne Jepson (Moody, 1961, 560 pp., $2.95). Warm, radiant, brief devotional for each day of the year by an able pen.
I Live by Faith, by Alvin B. Martin (Moody, 1961, 124 pp., $2.50). Late author tells story of his conversion and of his Christian service especially to teenagers.
Son of Man, by Leslie Paul (Dutton, 1961, 287 pp., $4). BBC broadcaster attempts to fill in background gaps in life of Christ.
The Junior Hymnal, (Augustana, 1961, 327 pp., $2). Excellent (revised) Junior Hymnal of the Augustana Lutheran Church for use in church schools.
They Sang Through the Crisis, by John Malcus Ellison (Judson, 1961, 159 pp., $3). Editor of the Baptist Herald analyzes the social ethical crisis of our times and strives for Christian orderly society.
Kant and Current Philosophical Issues, by Bella K. Milmed (New York University Press, 1961, 239 pp., plus supplemental notes, bibliography, and index, $5). A closely-reasoned exposition of empirical features of Kant’s doctrine of knowledge which remain influential in naturalistic philosophy.
Mater et Magistra, by His Holiness Pope John XXIII, translated by William J. Gibbons (Paulist Press, 1961, 96 pp., $.25). An English translation by the Paulist Fathers of the Encyclical Letter of Pope John XXIII relative to Christianity and Social Progress.
Knowledge: Its Values and Limits, by Gustave Weigel and Arthur G. Madden (Prentice-Hall, 1961, 120 pp., $1.75). Discussion of phenomenology, certitude, and other problems of human knowledge by prominent Roman Catholics.
Religion and the Knowledge of God, by Gustave Weigel and Arthur G. Madden (Prentice-Hall, 1961, 182 pp., $1.95). An epistemological discussion of proof for existence of God, natural theology, issued under imprimatur of the Archbishop of Baltimore.
Dialogue in Romantic Love, by Prentiss L. Pemberton (Judson, 1961, 64 pp., $1). A frank discussion of sexual expression before and during married life.
Faith’s Unclaimed Inheritance, by Frank Houghton (Inter-Varsity, 1961, 107 pp., $1.25). Fine religious writing, sometimes reminiscent of The Screwtape Letters. First published in 1952 under title We Believe.
The Meaning of the Cross, by Martin J. Heinecken (Muhlenberg Press, 1961, 122 pp., $1.50). Lenten meditations of substance; built on the proposition that we are not, as is so often thought, to have faith in faith, but faith in the objective deeds of God wrought in Christ for all the world.
The Final Destiny of the Heathen, by Richard Wolff (Back to the Bible, 1961, 111 pp., $.39). Raises and answers question whether men dying without hearing the Gospel are eternally lost.
Barabbas, by Par Lagerkvist (Random House, 1961, 180 pp., $1.25). The sensitive, speculative story of the man who lived because Jesus died, by Nobel prize winner for literature in 1951. Movie version of Barabbas (first published in 1951) soon to be released by Columbia Pictures.
The Spirit Bade Me Go, by David J. Du Plessis (David J. Du Plessis, Dallas 16, Tex., 1961, 96 pp., $1). Contains survey of work of the Holy Spirit in the ecumenical movements of 1951–61.
The Purgatorio, by John Ciardi (New American Library, 1961, 350 pp., $.75). John Ciardi’s fine new translation of the soul’s rise from Purgatory, as through suffering it makes its journey to purity and God. This is Dante in readable English.
God in the Hands of Man, by Theodore E. Johnson (Augustana, 1962, 74 pp., $1.65). In a devotional for each week of Lent the author selects an individual man (or group) as a symbol of how God fares at the hand of man. Here is material with substance and point.
Witness of the Spirit, by Gerald Kennedy (Upper Room, 1961, 64 pp., $.35). Well-known Methodist bishop with sparkle and sense shines the witness of biblical characters on modern dilemmas.
Christian Perspectives 1961 (Guardian Publishing Co., 1961, 221 pp., $2). The Association for Reformed Scientific Studies presents three lectures informed by conviction that the Word of God provides the leit motif for the cultural and scientific task.
Man’s New Image of Man, by Oliver Reiser (Boxwood Press, 1961, 174 pp., $3.50). Author interprets the development of American philosophy from Puritanism to World Humanism and spells out his own pantheistic, cosmic humanism.
The Gospel According to St. John, Volume II, and The First Epistle of John, by John Calvin, translated by T. H. L. Parker (Eerdmans, 1961, 327 pp., $4.50). This is a volume in the completely new translation of Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries. The reader is brought closer to Calvin’s thought through the clarity and excellency of the translator’s English.
Heaven on Earth, by Thomas Brooks (Banner of Truth, 1961, 320 pp., 5s). A Puritan Treatise on Christian Assurance first published in 1654; a massive examination of the Bible evidence broken down into sections, easy to read and refer to.
Josephus, translated by William Whiston (Kregel, 1960, 770 pp., $6.95 hard cover, $4.50 paperback). Complete works of the eminent Jewish historian, contemporary of the Apostle Paul’s, which cover Israel’s history from creation to the time of Jerusalem’s destruction by Titus.
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