Christian Missions In Biblical Perspective
An Introduction to the Science of Missions, by J. H. Bavinck (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1960, 323 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Harold Dekker, Associate Professor of Missions, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The author of this work (originally published in the Dutch language in 1952) has had extensive experience as a missionary in Indonesia, has taught missions subjects at several schools in the Netherlands and presently is Professor of Practical Theology at the Free University in Amsterdam. During the fall quarter of 1960 he served as Visiting Professor of Missions at the University of Chicago and gave lectures at various American schools, including a series at Calvin Theological Seminary.
The publishers have rendered a distinct service in making Dr. Bavinck’s ripe experience and scholarship available to English readers. Although not quite ideal as a textbook, in the opinion of this reviewer, we have here the best book on the market for primary use in connection with a college or seminary course in Principles of Missions.
The first part consists of a survey of the biblical foundations for a science of missions. Perspectives on the place of nations in the Old Testament are especially suggestive and, linked by successive steps to the eschatological element in the New Testament, provide a helpful biblical-theological background for what follows. This splendid expository material would have been more successfully used if tied more directly into subsequent systematic constructions.
The strongest chapters for the average student are those on the missionary approach. The author’s sensitive understanding of the relationship between the Christian mission and its cultural context, deeply grounded in Scripture and experience, is most instructive and challenging. Bavinck effectively distinguishes between the kerygmatic and the comprehensive approaches, but leaves no doubt that the deed communicates the Gospel in its own right and is not a mere auxiliary to the word. Regarding what has traditionally been called adaptation or accommodation, he makes a telling case for a more positive and dynamic concept which he calls possessio. This part on approach may be recommended not only to the special student of missions but also to the Christian in the Peace Corps, military service or any kind of overseasmanship.
Dr. Bavinck presents the Church in its duality as institution and organism, a distinction which cuts through much of the confusion found in current treatments of church and mission. Although he finds Hendrik Kraemer’s claim that the Church exists for the world to be inadequate, Bavinck is in essential agreement with the many voices which today declare that missions belong to the essence of the Church. In dealing with the relationship between the mother church and the church on the field he is particularly perceptive.
A short section on the essence, place and task of the history of missions as a subject for study is promising but little more than suggestive. More effective is a comparatively brief but tight-knit piece on Christianity and other religions. This subject Bavinck calls elenctics. Here he offers a convincing alternative to the polarity of the Hocking-Kraemer debate, a polarity which remains in most recent discussions of this problem.
The publisher would serve us well by producing an additional volume of Bavinch in translation, carefully culled from his other missions writings, especially those on elenctics. Or better yet, let Dr. Bavinck be encouraged to write in English, of which he is sufficient master, so that his recent and present scholarship may reach the ever-widening audience of which it is indeed worthy.
Through The Prism Of War
Messages from God’s Word, by Hanns Lilje (Augsburg, 1961, 196 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Ross F. Hidy, Pastor, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco, California.
Five meditations, originally published separately in German, express the dynamic faith of a world Christian leader, the Dr. Hanns Lilje, Bishop of Hannover, Germany.
The five devotional meditations are based on great Scripture characters or Scripture stories. “Abraham, the Father of Faith” is the first. “The Praise of God” includes meditations on the songs of Mary, Zechariah and Simeon. “Instruction for Life” is a series of meditations on the Sermon on the Mount “which we can understand only when we realize that here is a God speaking who is not made after the image of man.” “Wanderers on the Way” is based on the Emmaus experience, and the last of the five is “Christ at the Lake,” meditations on Peter’s conversation with the Risen Lord.
These meditations are almost conversational in style. If the reader has heard the bishop preach, he will almost hear the sound of his voice. Nothing is lost of the devotional depth that marked their writing during the war years, one of which was written during the author’s imprisonment. The meditations are marked by reverence and by a rare quality of Christian devotion. Through each, one catches the challenge of the sentence, “Real forgiveness is completed by being called into the service of the Lord.”
ROSS F. HIDY
Acute And Chronic
Paternalism and the Church, by Michael Hollis (Oxford University Press, 1962, 114 pp., $1.55; 9s. 6d.), is reviewed by Elton M. Eenigenburg, Professor of Historical Theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan.
It must have taken considerable courage for Bishop Hollis to write this book and let the world see what he had written. He knows there have been grave faults in the Church of South India, and still are, and he wants to do something about them while he’s still on hand to lend assistance.
Bishop Hollis tells right out what is so often hidden from the eyes of the public. In chapter after chapter we are made to see how by a whole catalog of human failings, of missionary and Indian alike, the work of the Kingdom is sadly hindered and the Holy Spirit is grieved. The coming of the indigenous church to South India has not cured the old ills, but put them in a new setting. The old “mission mentality” of the nineteenth century (the “paternalism” of the title), with its attendant evils, has not yet been overcome. When one reads how the pride and avarice of the human heart connive, though unconsciously, against the Kingdom, one may well wonder how the Lord gets his work done at all.
The remedy for current ills, and the true basis of an effective future for the church, are to be found in a return to New Testament patterns both of individual Christian living and service, and of a genuine unity in Christ. Bishop Hollis’ analysis and remedy are applicable far beyond the geographical limits of South India. The whole church of Christ may well give heed.
ELTON M. EENIGENBURG
Over-Playing The Evidence
Fathers of the Victorians, by Ford K. Brown (Cambridge University Press, 1961, 569 pp., 55s.; $9.50), is reviewed by Bryan E. Hardman, Research Student, Selwyn College, Cambridge, England.
This book makes entertaining, informative, and—for the Evangelical—very uncomfortable reading. The author’s thesis is, that “no social institution as such gave the Evangelicals a moment’s concern. They were concerned solely with the best interests of the English people” (p. 28); or in Wilberforce’s own words, “the salvation of one soul is of more worth than the mere temporal happiness of thousands or even millions” (p. 383).
Mr. Brown illustrates his main theme, that the Evangelicals were concerned with philanthropy solely as a means to propagating the Gospel, with special reference to the work of Hannah More. Mrs. More had no interest in educating her poor Somerset people, and her schools were in fact little more than disguised conventicles where the pupils were taught to read just sufficient to enable them to use the Bible, and understand it in an Evangelical manner. None of her pupils was taught to write (pp. 193–195). In his full description of the strife this caused between the More sisters and the clergy, as well as in the detailed study of the founding of a branch of the Bible Society at Cambridge, we are given a very distasteful picture of Evangelical casuistry at work, justifying all kinds of unsavory means by the great end in view.
The Evangelicals did not, as Wesley and Whitefield had done, address themselves to the poor, but to the rich; it was this factor which made for their success, for as Amos Barton said, “Net a large fish, and you’re sure to have the small fry” (p. 450). It is on this count that the Methodists come in for some rough handling from our author who states that Wesley’s work considered as a reform of the moral and religious life of the nation was obviously a failure (p. 4), because it was designed to appeal to the wrong people (p. 45). It is therefore wrong to lump the Evangelicals and Methodists together into something called “the Evangelical Revival,” for this wholly misses the nature and accomplishment of the Evangelical reform movement (p. 5). But if the Methodists are given some hard knocks, the Evangelicals will find the implications of this appeal to the rich a bitter pill to swallow, for it involved our forefathers in the accommodation of the truth to the tastes of the rich. If vices had to be condemned they were the vices of the poor and not those of the rich.
Reading for Perspective
CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S REVIEW EDITORS CALL ATTENTION TO THESE NEW TITLES:
* Frontiers of the Christian World Mission, edited by Wilbur C. Harr (Harper, $5). An up-to-date report on development and changes in the missionary situation since World War II in key areas of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific.
* The New Testament Octapla, edited by Luther A. Weigle (Thomas Nelson, $20). For the first time, eight English versions of the New Testament in the Tyndale-King James tradition, all on facing pages for easy comparison and study. A major publishing event.
* The Church and the Older Person, by Robert M. Gray and David O. Moberg (Eerdmans, $3.50). A timely exploration of how the Church can help older people to adjust to the peculiar problems of their later years.
It is not possible to do justice to so large a work, comprising so many different strands, in a brief review. It is a pity that such a book has been written by an author who is not sympathetic to the Evangelical standpoint, for though his main thesis is sound, he seems to have overplayed his hand on more than one occasion.
Nevertheless this is a work which narrates an old story with a new insight, and it is good for us to know that our heroes were men and women of this earth and therefore partook of its frailties. The narrative should at least impress on its readers two basic truths; that it is more important to distribute the heavenly bread than earthly bread, though the latter is also important in its right context; and secondly, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God. Our fore-fathers had a firm grasp of the first truth but held too lightly to the second truth. Perhaps we may be in danger of reversing the emphasis, or of failing on both counts.
BRYAN E. HARDMAN
The People’S Amen
On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine, by John Henry Newman (Sheed & Ward, 1961, 118 pp., $3), is reviewed by Ian Rennie, Minister, The Presbyterian Church, Petawawa, Ontario.
In every quarter of the Christian church there seems to be a renewed emphasis upon the laity; a matter which gives great encouragement to all evangelicals. One of the forerunners of this development in Roman Catholicism was John Henry Newman, who wrote this essay in 1859, 14 years after his conversion from Anglicanism.
In Newman’s day the widespread attitude to the laity within Roman Catholicism appeared to be expressed in Msgr. Talbot’s famous phrase: “What is the province of the laity? To hunt, to shoot, to entertain, but to meddle with ecclesiastical matters they have no right at all.…” Newman realized that such a policy would drive the educated layman to indifference and the poor to superstition. His was the noble ideal of uniting the intellectual inquiry of the educated laity to the devotional strength of the church.
Newman’s patristic studies had propelled him toward Roman Catholicism, where he believed he found the universal agreement—the fullness of the church. Now Newman contended that the laity should be recognized—not as definers of doctrine—but as one of the constituent elements in the fullness of the church which bore witness to the consensus of the infallible church.
Newman’s view of the laity was not a product of his Evangelical Anglican phase, but was dictated by the more liberal strands in his thinking. Roman Catholicism had stressed that doctrine never changed. The only development was enlargement; truth known by few was gradually shared with all. But Newman was a humanist as well as a Roman Catholic, and well aware of the stresses which contemporary thought were placing upon traditional belief. To preserve doctrine he believed a measure of accommodation was necessary. So he posited a new form of the development of doctrine, which included modification and change. Before these evolutionary modifications could be defined, however, the mind of the church would have to be discovered. The necessity of consultation brought the idea of the fullness of the church to the fore once again in Newman’s mind, and with it the place of the laity.
No one can leave Newman without a word about his literary and dialectical style. Although a nineteenth-century romantic in many ways, Newman’s prose belongs to the Augustan age of the previous century. It is expository and intellectual, and its clarity could surely serve as a model for anyone planning to participate in theological dialogue.
From The Ozarks
The Gospel of John, by Paul T. Butler (College Press 1961, 267 pp., $3.95); Romans Realized, by Don De Welt (270 pp., $3.95); Guidance from Galatians, by Don Earl Boatman (200 pp., $3.95); The Glorious Church: A Study in Ephesians, by Wilbur Fields (207 pp., $3.95); Helps from Hebrews, by Don Earl Boatman (457 pp., $4.95); The Church of the Bible, by Don De Welt (431 pp. $3.95); The Greatest Work in the World, by Willie W. White (255 pp., $3.95); The Bible Student’s New Testament, by Paul Meherns (288 pp., $3.95); are reviewed by James DeForest Murch, Christian Church (Disciples) minister, author, and lecturer.
College Press, a new publishing venture in the Ozarks, is making a sincere and earnest effort to produce a “student-participation” Bible Study Textbook Series in which it will seek to include volumes on the whole Bible and on the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.
Eight volumes have been published so far, five on the books of John, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians and Hebrews. They are designed as textbooks, workbooks and teacher’s manuals. Based on the text of the American Standard Revised Version, they present paraphrases, comment, outlines, tests and questions. Two of the volumes are topical studies on the Church and the fundamentals of the faith. The eighth proposes a unique, popular plan for the study of the New Testament.
There is little evidence of editorial planning, or uniformity in style or quality. With one or two exceptions the authors give small indication of scholarly background, of critical, classical or historical study. The series is characterized by no systematic theological unity. Interpretation of mooted doctrines follows a pattern reminiscent of the views held by conservative Churches of Christ (Disciples).
All the studies are biblical and practical and have been used effectively in many local churches, Sunday schools, midweek Bible classes and Bible institutes. Their appeal is to the uncritical layman who is seeking a practical working knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures. All writers exhibit a complete, even passionate, commitment to the authority and all-sufficiency of the Word of God in matters of doctrine and life. They manifest a deep desire to inculcate this loyalty to Bible truth.
These books are “first steps” toward the objectives of the College Press. If men do not take first steps, they will never take second steps. The Bible Study Textbook Series may well be helpful in many ways in the areas of service for which they were designed.
JAMES DEFOREST MURCH
Self-Conscious To Breezy
Livingstone’s Missionary Correspondence 1841–1856, ed. by I. Schapera (Chatto and Windus, 1961, 341 pp., 42s.), is reviewed by J. C. Pollock, author of Hudson Taylor and Maria, and Contributing Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
Adding to his now famous series of Livingstone sources, Professor Schapera presents the correspondence with the London Missionary Society between the arrival in South Africa and Livingstone’s amicable withdrawal after his first great transcontinental journey. The letters are edited with an introduction, full footnotes and index.
What lengthy letters missionaries and their directors could write in those days! Livingstone’s early ones have a tone somewhat self-conscious. By the close several are quite breezy. They reveal the high measure of confidence between Livingstone and the L.M.S., and the degree of control they sought despite the weary months that elapsed between letter and reply.
Livingstone saw “no hope” for the “large masses of immortal souls” in the interior of Southern Africa “except in native agents.” If his was not a true indigenous policy as understood today, since he regarded them as substitutes for white missionaries, it was an advance, criticized by his local committee but encouraged by his enlightened Home Board. There were not enough whites serving in the uncolonized hinterland, yet the “Colonial market is literally glutted with missionaries.… With such an overflowing supply from Europe, will the Hottentots ever bestir themselves to become preachers?” Livingstone always “felt an intense desire to carry the Gospel to the regions beyond.” The thought of their eighteen centuries without a single visit “to make known the light and liberty and peace of the glorious Gospel,” of souls eternally lost, weighs upon him, while travelling alone in distant parts gives “a greater disgust at heathenism than ever before.”
J. C. POLLOCK
To Each His Own
Our Churches and Why We Believe in Them. A symposium (Seeley, 1961, 251 pp., 10s. 6d.), is reviewed by J. Stafford Wright, Principal, Tyndale Hall, Bristol.
It would be fascinating to have this book reviewed by a young convert who knew little of our denominations. Which of the churches described here would make the strongest appeal to him? I fancy that he would be much attracted by the Rev. Rupert Davies’ presentation of the Methodist Church, because he writes so persuasively, and yet so disarmingly when he admits how far short the reality falls from the ideal. Moreover he does not have to plough through such heavy history as does Principal Burleigh in treating of the Church of Scotland, or Dr. Erik Routley with the Congregational Church.
Dr. L. G. Champion presents the Baptist position, and the Society of Friends is described by George H. Gorman.
The publishers realize that there are members of the Church of England who take its Protestantism seriously! Thus, alongside of Canon N. S. Rathbone’s Anglo-Catholic case, there is the Evangelical chapter by Archbishop Gough of Sydney.
This plan of letting church leaders speak for themselves is a useful one. One can see what each considers to be the strong and vital points, and can thus have a fuller understanding of what counts, theologically and emotionally, when our churches try to come together.
J. STAFFORD WRIGHT
Taylors In China
Hudson Taylor and Maria, by J. C. Pollock (McGraw-Hill, 1962,207 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by J. Gordon Jones, Pastor, The First Baptist Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
This is a fresh approach to the life story of Hudson Taylor. It paints a colorful word picture of courage and adventure on behalf of Christ in Imperial China of the last century. It describes how a Yorkshire youth made his way from Barnsley in England to Shanghai in China where he met Maria Dyer, and how their acquaintance ripened into mutual admiration and affection. Together they became the first Protestant missionaries to reach the interior of China, where they founded the China Inland Mission. If your mind was stimulated by reading about the Moffats in Africa and the Judsons in Burma, you will be equally inspired by this carefully written and spiritually exciting description of the Taylors in China. This is more than a biography; it is another chapter in the story of Christianity’s outreach in modern times.
J. GORDON JONES
The Nimble Dane
A Kierkegaard Critique, ed. by Howard A. Johnson and Niels Thulstrup (Harper, 1962,311 pp., $6), is reviewed by James Daane, Editorial Associate, CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
This is the most scholarly and incisive critique of the thought of Sören Kierkegaard available in English, and perhaps in any language. A team of 17 international scholars combine to put the brilliant, slippery, elusive, dialectical and poetic thought of Kierkegaard through the fine comb of critical evaluation in the hopes of clarifying what this nimble Dane is trying indirectly to communicate to us.
Kierkegaard predicted that men would come to him for help when the times became sufficiently serious. He also predicted with a shudder that he would eventually fall into the hands of the Herr Professor. Both predictions have come true.
No one ought to go to Kierkegaard to get a theology. He is rather a sharp and brilliant corrective, especially for those for whom Christianity is merely an impersonal system of truth, a canon by which to judge heretics, or an aesthetic object of intellectual contemplation.
As the tide indicates, this book is not an introduction to Kierkegaard. It is for those who have read, agonized, and sweated their way through much of his writing. For such it is invaluable.
The book faces the crucial aspects of Kierkegaard’s authorship: the paradox, the concept of dread, subjectivity, faith, the offence, and most of the rest.
Few men can be more easily misrepresented by “quotations” than Kierkegaard. The purpose of his authorship, and the nature of his thought no less, required the use of indirect communication; that is, the devices of pseudonym, poetic expression, humor, irony, sarcasm, and satire. This writer could wish that the book had given special treatment to this “acoustical device” since it is precisely here that the knotty problems of Barth’s idea of revelation, and Bultmann’s idea of history and encounter, relate to the thought of Kierkegaard.
No book is perfect—but this one is the best of its kind. Howard A. Johnson deserves our gratitude for this critique of the man who perhaps more than any other shapes the mind of the Western world today.
A Good Work
Japan’s Religious Ferment, by Raymond Hammer (Oxford, 1962,207 pp., $2.95), is reviewed by Harold Lindsell, Vice-President, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.
The author is a professor at St. Paul’s University and Central Theological College in Tokyo. He is an Anglican priest. This volume is the third in the Christian Presence Series, having been preceded by volumes on Islam and Buddhism. The author traces the backgrounds of Japanese religious life with a survey of Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity and competing sects. He relates the religious past to recent Japanese history at the time of, and subsequent to, World War II. His review of the new religions and the varieties of old ones which have sought the allegiance of the Japanese since the war is penetrating, succinct and profitable. His final chapter on Christianity in relation to the Japanese picture is excellent. He does not accept a syncretistic view but regards Christianity as unique. The Appendices, Table of Dates, Word-List and Bibliography serve to make the volume more understandable and worthwhile. It is a good short work of usefulness to laymen and students alike.
This Is Sanity
The Nature of Man in Theological and Psychological Perspective, ed. by Simon Doniger (Harper, 1962,264 pp., $6), is reviewed by Emile Cailliet, Stuart Professor of Christian Philosophy Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.
There admittedly is hidden away in stacks of periodicals a wealth of first rate papers that should be rescued from what Lord Macaulay called, “the dust and silence of the upper shelf.” Publishers are well inspired when they turn their attention to such a need amid the dearth of truly great writings that characterizes these days of printed matter inflation. Harper and Brothers accordingly deserve credit for having bestowed their blessing upon the undertaking at hand, even as Simon Doniger’s occasional leniency in the matter of selection reveals him as an editor plenteous in mercy.
While the present volume is meant to multiply contacts between the psychological and the theological sciences, a certain amount of enmity or suspicion occasionally promotes alienation, or perhaps exposes a degree of incompatibility. Thus Carl R. Rogers takes to task Reinhold Niebuhr’s assumed predilection for the formulations of others as “absurd,” “erroneous,” “blind,” “naive,” “inane,” and “inadequate.” He finds himself “offended by Niebuhr’s dogmatic statements and feels ready to turn back with fresh respect to the writings of science, in which at least the endeavor is made to keep an open mind.” The incisive thrust of Hans Hofmann’s comments leaves him irresponsive and more puzzled still. All he can see is that Hofmann lives in a world in which the scientist searches for the truth in the scientific area and the theologian has the truth in the theological area. “This must indeed be a comfortable world in which to live,” he concludes, “but unfortunately for me, it is not the world I live in. Mine does not contain this built-in division, and I can see why he (Hofmann) views me as an ‘outsider’.” Meanwhile Bernard M. Loomer and Walter M. Horton have hurried to the rescue of Niebuhr, appealing to the witness of works which Rogers has not read. Somewhat mollified, Rogers confesses to his need for more home work on the subject—incidentally the only case of genuine conversion to be found in the book, a symposium on “Human Nature Can Change” not withstanding. (In all fairness I should add that same symposium had been held under the auspices of the Auxiliary Council to the Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis.)
To those readers on each side of the fence who greet each other without being on speaking terms, the most valuable papers may prove to be such as written within the sphere which is proper to them—objective, essentially informative presentations of views pertaining to the author’s field. Particularly rewarding in this respect are chapter 1, “The Psychoanalytic View of Human Personality,” by Edith Weigert, M.D.; chapter 2, “Know Thyself: The Biblical Doctrine of Human Depravity,” by James I. McCord; chapter 11, “Emotional Maturity,” by Franz Alexander, M.D.; chapter 12, “The Attainment of Maturity,” (with special attention to college students and their growth) by Elliott Dunlap Smith; and Margaret Mead’s paper, “The Immortality of Man,” (written from the point of view of the cultural anthropologist) which opens up the symposium in chapter 17.
Constructive criticism arises when specialists familiar with the other’s field of research are motivated by a genuine concern for the other’s problems. Thus, Paul Tillich in chapter 4, “Existentialism, Psychotherapy and the Nature of Man,” and the late Dean Willard L. Sperry in his pungent, penetrating four pages on “A Credible Doctrine of Man,” with a rich sense of humor to boot. In a class by itself is the original, much needed contribution of Valerie Saiving Goldstein, “The Human Situation—A Feminine Viewpoint,” an overall consideration of the fact that theology has been almost exclusively written by men.
Yet it is only when fields are related internally that the theological understanding of man is immediately affected by the findings of the psychological sciences. This is the case for chapter 9, “Modern Psychology and Moral Values,” by Noel Mailloux, and particularly for chapter 10, “Pastoral Psychology and Christian Ethics,” by Seward Hiltner who has undeniably become the leading American scholar in the field of pastoral counseling. The chapter here under consideration draws the best of its information from a masterly case study in that very field. This study of a single pastoral contact is a beauty. Deserving special attention also is Karl Menninger’s chapter 16, “Hope,” which reveals the possibilities of psychiatric contributions to the understanding of Scripture. Richly illustrated, it brings out the sustaining function of hope in life—hope being distinguished from expectation as well as from sheer optimism, and ultimately construed in terms which echo 1 Corinthians 13: “But hope is humble, it is modest, it is selfless.” Kept alive in hope, this is our human condition. And so Menninger singles out love, faith, hope, these three—in that order.
I am still old-fashioned enough to read from cover to cover the books I rereview, and the present one has proved no exception. What has finally impressed me is the fact that in spite of its title, this volume does not offer more of a perspective than does the unincorporated area where I live. The so-called “chapters,” of course, are no chapters in the current acceptation of the word. They mostly correspond to so many papers written by scholars on their own. Neither does the casting of chapters into three sections suggest more than convenient artifice. Indeed Seward Hiltner, who is the true hero of this undertaking, has done his best to elicit some kind of perspective from this vast accumulation of parts. It is noteworthy, however, that what should normally have been a summation at the end of the book, has been turned by him into a preview of what each of the papers is about. And when the end of the publication is reached, Hiltner again provides a “conclusion” which actually constitutes an “introduction” to the dialogue he is longing for, between psychologists and theologians. Then, and only then, does a perspective appear, one envisioned by a pioneering prophet of goodwill. This perspective owes hardly anything to the 18 papers which precede. Hiltner does not hesitate to say so in his humble way. He makes “the honest confession that comparatively little true dialogue has taken place or is now going on, and that even most of the book itself falls short of genuine dialogue.” The “conclusion,” then, is admittedly Hiltner’s own. Not the conclusion of the book, but paper no. 19—and an outstanding paper at that.
It is Hiltner’s perspective on the subject at hand which confronts us in the last analysis. Now a perspective, in this context, is made to appear from a presentation of facts or matters with regard to their proportional importance. That which lends such relative importance to facts or matters, is conditioned by a special point of view. What, then, is Hiltner’s point of view? To him, the psychological sciences, besides being seen as autonomous disciplines in their respective spheres, also provide a psychological branch destined to become a proper branch of theology. This branch he views as dialectical interaction both with the other branches of theology and related cultural disciplines. Does this not mean that the resulting perspective is that of a psychological approach to Christianity?
However heterogeneous they may be, the 18 papers which make up the body of the book suggest a different outlook, as may already have appeared from this review. The autonomy of both the sciences once for all acknowledged, it is only when internally related that they can derive from each other a helpful understanding of their own problems. Even so, the dialectical tension between them remains unrelieved, until the psychologist becomes a Christian or the Christian a psychologist; until a man be given eyes to see—to see what is there. And mind you, Mr. Psychologist, this is sanity.
No Other Way
I Am Persuaded, by David H. C. Read (Scribners, 1962, 182 pp., $3), is reviewed by William Childs Robinson, Professor of Historical Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia.
Here are twenty sermons by the popular Scottish pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. They are rich in Scripture, Christian experience, telling illustrations, and literary allusions. In a sermon titled Rational Religion he distinguishes between a rational and a rationalistic religion. In another he reminds us that one can be Alone but not Lonely. Adam and the Astronaut is timely and helpful as it anchors even one who flies to the uttermost bounds under the wings of the Saviour who has all power in heaven and on earth. It does not seem to us, however, that Read really meets the question whether God has given to man interstellar space, or only that realm where the birds of the heaven, the beasts of the field, and the fish of the sea roam. Speaking of The Inevitable Cross, Read rightly concludes: “He came to die.… Because there was no other way in which He could reach to the depth of the human agony He came to share, could ‘bear our griefs and carry our sorrows.’ And because there was no other way in which He could draw upon Himself the hopeless weight of our sins, and expose and absorb the evil that blocks us from the holiness of God, ‘The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’ The only way a God of perfect peace and joy can reach His suffering family is in this amazing way to share that suffering. The only way a God of perfect purity and goodness can reach His disobedient people is to offer Himself (as) the sacrifice for sin.”
WILLIAM CHILDS ROBINSON
The Book of Mormon—True or False?, by Arthur Budvarson (Zondervan, 1961, 63 pp., $1). Documented evidence that the teachings of the Mormons are contrary to the Book of Mormon and to the Bible. First printed in 1959.
Discipleship; Life’s Problems; Simple Things of the Christian Life, by G. Campbell Morgan (Revell, 1961, about 90 pp. each, $.95 each). Guidance for the Christian life from the extraordinary Morgan. Reprints.
The New English Bible: New Testament (published jointly by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, 1962,447 pp., $1.45). New translation from the original in language neither antiquated nor self-consciously modem. Complete New Testament with footnotes.
Darwin, Evolution, and Creation, ed. by Paul A. Zimmerman (Concordia, 1961, 231 pp., $1.95). Well-written survey of Darwinism and creation. Second printing; first published in 1959.
The Meaning of justification by Faith, by Frank Colquhoun (Tyndale, 1962, 32 pp., Is.). A brief discussion of a basic doctrine from an evangelical standpoint; intended for students.
The Essene Writings from Qumran, by A. Dupont-Sommer, tr. by G. Vermes (World Publishing Co., 1962,448 pp., $1.95). The most complete translation of the Dead Sea literature, prepared by one of its foremost interpreters.
Liturgies of the Western Church, ed. by Bard Thompson (World Publishing Co., 1962,448 pp., $1.95). Each liturgy is accompanied by an introduction elucidating both the liturgy and the tradition in which it stands. An original.
A Preface to Metaphysics, by Jacques Maritain (New American Library, 1962, 144 pp., $.60). A philosophical journey into the nature of Being with brilliant Thomistic Maritain as guide. First printed in 1939.
Temperament and the Christian Faith, by O. Hallesby (Augsburg, 1962, 106 pp., $2). Description of the role played by the sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic temperament in Christian life. First English translation of Norwegian book of 1940.
Can A Christian Be A Communist?
In many corners of the world, a number of Christians are being deceived by the Communist propaganda that a Christian can be a Communist.
By “Christian” we mean … one who believes in a personal God and accepts Christ as his Saviour, and who takes the Bible as the supreme criterion of his faith and conduct. By “Communist” we mean one who believes in Marx (Leninism) and who endorses, supports and encourages the Russian system of Communism.
Here are reasons why a Christian cannot he a Communist:
1. Communists replace a personal God with the deification of dialectic materialism, supported by a firm conviction, a system of philosophy, and a strict organization.
2. Based on dialectic materialism which is absolutely atheistic, Communists offer a comprehensive and systematic world view, which conflicts with the Christian view in the creation of the universe, the origin of man, the purpose of life, the problem of sin, the way of salvation, the value of the individual, the ethical standard, the means to attain social justice, and human destiny.…
3. Communism makes Marx as interpreted by Lenin the infallible authority of belief. Marx and Lenin have the last and final word on everything. The Christian believes in the infallibility of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Christ has the last word. A Christian cannot have two conflicting infallible authorities; he has to take one or the other.
4. Communism teaches a different purpose of life. Matter is reality, the Communist believes, and it works inevitably through dialectic toward a classless society. The purpose of life for an individual is to be part of that historical movement. But the Christian believes that the chief end of man is to glorify and to enjoy Him forever.
5. Communism deduces morality from the needs of the class struggle of the proletariat, therefore any means to further the cause of the proletariat is justifiable. The Christian deduces his ethics from the nature and will of God.
6. Communism teaches that the proletariat (free from sins as a class) will inevitably work for the good of humanity when in power, as the destined savior of the world. In other words, the proletariat will through its dictatorship bring redemption from all sins and social evils in the classless society, the Heaven on earth. The Christian believes Christ to be the only sinless One who died on the cross for our sins and that He is the only Redeemer and Saviour and that sins cannot be removed except through his blood.
7. Communism depends on hatred as its driving force. Since they believe that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” and since hatred is the dynamic force of classless struggles, the Communists have to fan up and keep up hatred as the dominant emotion among man. The Christian believes that love is the driving force of Christian living and it is to be sought after through the Holy Spirit as the greatest of all gifts.
8. Communism demands a complete and ultimate allegiance. This explains why the Communists have such a strict and militant party organization with conscious discipline. It allows no deviation whatsoever in thought or action. The Christian, while loving his country and being subject to the higher powers, owes his ultimate allegiance to God and to God alone.
9. Communism’s ultimate hope is the materialistic and atheistic classless society when production reaches perfection and all religions are liquidated. The Christian believes in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will reign on earth in love and righteousness with all men bowing before his throne.
10. Communism in its very nature requires world revolution for its final success. The Communists believe in the inevitability of their success. It is with fanatic faith in their ideology and its success that the Communists are working in every corner in the world today. The Christian is committed to the Great Commission, to preach the Gospel to every creature unto the end of the earth. He believes that the great task of the church, the body of Christ, is to preach the Gospel of salvation till the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These are the basic differences between Communism and Christianity.… The Communist International in the sixth World Congress in 1928 declared: “One of the most important tasks of the Cultural Revolution affecting the wide masses is the task of systematically and unswervingly combating religion, the opium of the people.” It is more than pitiful that some Christians try to rationalize the “contradictions” which the Communists realize to be irreconcilable. But a real Christian remembers the closed doors of the many churches behind the iron curtain and the thousands of Christians being persecuted from day to day. Fully convinced of the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ, he follows Christ and Christ alone. He knows human ideologies come and go, but the Word of God will last forever.—CALVIN CHAO, summary (here abridged) of a forum held by Chinese For Christ, Inc.
THE STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM—Events today in both Eastern and Western lands fully and tragically … prove that wherever belief in God and His creation of man in his own image is abandoned political freedom perishes. The validity of the struggle for freedom in which the Anglo-Saxon democracies are now engaged against Soviet and Chinese Communism rests ultimately upon the Christian evaluation of human personality. And the pursuit of that struggle for freedom by liberal democrats is rendered perilously precarious if the Christian valuation of human personality is banished from the scene. That peril is apparent in many contemporary social trends. It is apparent in the dilemmas of the welfare State. In pursuing the liberation of our poorest citizens from the frustrations of poverty, insecurity and ill-health, the Governments of the Provinces and States, and of Canada and America, now find themselves regimenting the lives of Canadians and Americans to an extent which the liberalism of a few decades ago would have found intolerable.… In all these cases we are on the verge of a denial of what the State, education and work have meant in liberal society, and the cause of this denial lies in the more fundamental denial that man is created in God’s image.—The Rev. E. L. H. TAYLOR, Rector, St. James Anglican Church, Caledon East, Ontario, to the Annual Convention of the Christian Labour Association, on “The Cross of Christ and Human Freedom.”
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