He’S There Before He Gets There
Upon the Earth, by D. T. Niles (McGraw-Hill, 1962, 277 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Harold Lindsell, Vice-President, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California.

Niles has written a fascinating and important book. He evidences tremendous gifts, writes interestingly, and has amazing insights in many instances. This book should be read by all who are concerned with the missionary task of the Church. Niles represents that branch of the Church involved in the WCC, or what is called the ecumenical movement.

Niles argues that Jesus is there before the Gospel arrives. The Holy Spirit is at work accomplishing the reconciliation of the world. The kingdom of God has come, is here, and God’s design for all creation will be achieved. The Church is here until Christ comes and has for its business the proclamation of Christ. The believer is part of the Church, has a discipleship, and is called to obedience.

The Church itself has a selfhood, and has an identity which includes Romanism, Russian Orthodoxy, and Pentecostalism. This Church is bound to the younger churches, and the problems of this relationship are delineated. Niles pleads for new financial arrangements between the younger and older churches. He argues that the younger churches must also engage in missions, and that despite outward appearances of defeat, victory is at hand. He concludes by dealing with the encounter of the Church on the religious and the secular frontiers.

Niles’s book suffers from at least one glaring theological defect. This defect, part of a growing problem in missions, has to do with universalism. The author declares that in his judgment the Bible does not say whether all men will or will not be saved ultimately (p. 96). But then he proceeds to imply universal salvation again and again. He unfortunately speaks of all men as being in Christ (p. 40) and concludes that we need to bring out the Christ who is already in men. Niles says: “All those to whom I am privileged to speak about my Lord are already one with me within His saving ministry. I believe Him and confess Him, they do not: and yet the essential facts of the Gospel remain true for them as for me. God made us. God loves us. Jesus died for us. Our trespasses are not counted. When we die we shall go to Him who will be our Judge. These affirmations are true of all men and for all men whether they know them or not, like them or not, accept them or not” (p. 104, italics mine).

Here, as in many other places, Niles seems to say that all men, here or hereafter, will be redeemed. In this he shares the view of Ferré, Neill, and others. It is the opinion of this reviewer that a universalistic theology which does away with the eternal sanctions of life and death, heaven and hell, has three significant results: (1) it emasculates portions of the Scriptures, treating them in a cavalier fashion; (2) it cuts the nerve of missions and vitiates precisely the objectives which Niles professes to believe in passionately; (3) it inevitably cancels out the differences between Romanist, Protestant, Buddhist, and atheist—all of whom ultimately arrive at the same place and receive the same salvation.

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Niles’s practical universalism should not keep anyone from profiting from his able treatment of many aspects of the missionary enterprise nor from coming to grips with many of the problems he discusses. But he must be read against the background of this serious theological defect and the implications which spring from it.


Feet Or Seat?
While I’m on My Feet, by Gerald Kennedy (Abingdon, 1963, 208 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by C. Philip Hinerman, Minister, Park Avenue Methodist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Someone has said that no one can write an autobiography but an egotist. Is this not the kind of cynical but clever word that makes the modest ones smile and nod their heads? But do the modest ones possess the ability to write? Or is there anything in their life sufficiently interesting to write about? Would it really sell?

Bishop Kennedy has evidently decided to throw caution and critics to the wind. Everything else has come early to him in life (a wife, a Ph.D., a world tour, big churches, and a bishopric)—why not an early biography? Once a soured bishop warned Kennedy that he had been elected to the episcopacy too early, and that the latter years of his life would be anti-climax. Gerald Kennedy says that he took a dim view of the warning, but what is interesting is that he has remembered the warning, and printed it. Perhaps he has now decided to do the autobiography (is it his nineteenth book?) before the lean years set in.

The man knows how to write, and this book contains much guidance and help for the parish minister who has always promised that someday he will write “something.” Chief among the exhortations of the book is the command to simply “write!” And do it now. Do not put it off. Do some of it every day, whether you feel like it or not. For, like doing one’s daily dozens, he who never gets around to writing is also the man who arrives at the end of middle age with nothing to show for his busyness except middle-age spread.

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The best part of the book for this reviewer was the passage on preaching; it reminded him of Kennedy’s first book (and his best?), His Word Through Preaching. It makes the spirit both sing and soar, and makes one not be ashamed of that which was once called the High Calling. Perhaps the poorest part of the book is that which resorts to a kind of travelogue reporting of places visited and seen, churches pastored, and prejudices held. But the greatest lack in the book is the person of Gerald Kennedy. An autobiography, to be justified, ought to reveal the author, not merely things about him. For this reader the real Gerald Kennedy did not stand up.

What psychological damage did he suffer all of his life because he was the son of an unlearned, fundamentalist, local preacher, whom he neither admired nor greatly loved? Why his present antipathy to things psychological, when psychology would attempt to probe the depths of a man’s being? Who is the woman to whom he is married? And what more than a “very beautiful relationship” exists between them? These and many other questions, whose answers might have told us much about the man, remain, after 200 pages, unresolved.

But the style is there, and the book carries the reader along in spite of its blank spaces. There is something terribly alive about this most unconventional of modern Methodist bishops, and he will not permit you to be long bored with his own story. For whatever is hidden, much is also reported, (although truthfully not much is revealed that has heretofore been unknown). But if this hiddenness is the book’s weakness, the vigorous style of the man and his apparent joy in living are the book’s strength.


Adam’S Sons
Palestine Before the Hebrews, by Emmanuel Anati (Knopf, 1963, 495 pp., $8.95), is reviewed by William Sanford LaSor, Professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.

In 1952 the Israel Department of Antiquities assigned a young man to escort us over the important archaeological sites in the land. His name was Emmanuel Anati, and we have many fine memories of those days. I lost contact with him until recently, when his publications began to come to mv attention. With the publication of his book Palestine Before the Hebrews, he has once more put me in his debt. This is one of the few books that can be called “monumental.”

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Anati (pronounced uh-nah′tee) first sketches the geographical setting and the cultural areas, and then the geology and the changing environment. He follows this with “A Bird’s-eye Look at Cultural Evolution.”

Part Two is concerned with “The Age of Hunting and Gathering,” or the Paleolithic Age, in which the various stone cultures are explained and the progress of Stone Age man is traced. This occupies the period from c. 600,000 to 14,000 or 12,000 B.P. (before the present). Part Three is concerned with “The Transitional Cultures” (often called Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age), which in the Middle East lasted until c. 9,500 B.P. It is a constant source of amazement how numerous and how widespread are the remains of the Early and Middle Stone Ages. Certainly we can no longer claim that the Stone Age man is composed of “a tooth, a leg bone, and imagination.”

Part Four deals with “The Age of Early Farming,” and Part Five with “The Urban Age.” These chapters, about half of the book, will be most useful to the Bible student, since biblical man is portrayed entirely within the cultural framework that begins with the Neolithic or food-producing stage. Adam’s sons, let us not forget, domesticated cattle and cultivated cereals. Anati has offered a new system of terminology—as have a few other scholars recently—and it is constantly necessary to make correlations with the standard system. The Age of Early Farming includes both the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic, and The Urban Age is subdivided as follows: Proto-Urban (transitional), Early Urban I, II, and III (approximately equivalent to Early Bronze I, II, and III, respectively), Intermediate I and II (Early Bronze IV and Middle Bronze I), Middle Urban I and II (Middle Bronze II and III), and Late Urban I and II (Late Bronze I–III, or [according to others] I-A, I-B, and II). The terminology is at least an improvement over some that have been suggested, but I still see no urgent reason to forsake the well-established terminology.

Chapters on the Hebrew Patriarchs and the Hyksos Period are particularly valuable.

The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs, line drawings, maps, and charts. Anati has the splendid ability of being able to keep his reader interested and informed in technical matters, and he has summarized each division. A good bibliography is included, and there is an index—but one wonders why both the Introduction and the Index are paginated with duplicate sets of Roman numbers.


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This Is It
The Coming of the Kingdom, by Herman Ridderbos, translated by H. de Jongste and edited by Raymond O. Zorn (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1962, 556 pp. $8.95), is reviewed by Richard C. Oudersluys, Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan.

In the face of an already sizable literature on the subject, some readers may view with apprehension the notice of another book on the Kingdom. This is, however, not the kind of book that can be polished off easily in an hour. But if one is interested in one of the most comprehensive and scholarly expositions of the Kingdom available in the English language, this is it. Here is a study of the theme in theological depth by a scholar of international reputation who obviously possesses the skills in exegetical and biblical theology requisite for the task. It is a discussion that makes the word “definitive” more than a cliché. The nature of the Kingdom in its present and future dimensions, its bearing on the related themes of salvation, Church, commandments, Lord’s Supper, are laid out with consummate skill and thoroughness. The stress falls on the message and meaning of the Kingdom in the preaching of Jesus as reported in the Synoptic Gospels. Texts of long-standing difficulty are freshly studied, and some eminently sensible interpretations are given to the abused parables and miracles of Jesus and the little apocalypse of Mark 13.

Throughout his discussion Ridderbos enters into lively dialogue with Barth, Bultmann, Cullman, Dodd, and others, and one is quickly made aware of the author’s courage and competency in establishing positions of scriptural validity in an area where speculative and tendentious interpretations are rife. The exposition is of such comprehensive character that it provides a fundamental reference work not only on the Kingdom concept, but on the theology of the Gospels as well. A full compend of notes and extended comments together with three indices enhance the work for those who delight in scholarly exactness.

The importance of the subject in contemporary theological discussion and the quality of the work fully justify the publishers’ courage and investment in making it available in English translation. Perhaps some form of financial subsidy should be provided for books of scholarly scope such as this one, in order that their price tag may not prevent them from reaching the ever widening audience of which they are indeed worthy.

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Riches For Sermons
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians, by Handley C. G. Moule (Pickering & Inglis, 1962, 165 pp., 20s.), is reviewed by R. Peter Johnston, Vicar of Islington and President of the Islington Clerical Conference.

The late Bishop Handley Moule’s great-nephew has gone to great pains to compile this devotional commentary from various sources.

Those familiar with Bishop Moule’s commentaries on other Pauline Epistles will at once recognize the general approach. There is an original translation of the text given in heavy type, and connections of thought are printed in lighter type. Comments of varying length come between the paragraphs. The text is taken straight from the Bishop’s lecture notes, but for the accompanying comments the compiler often had to turn to other sources. As a result the treatment of various passages seems somewhat unsatisfying.

Despite the inevitable deficiencies which result from this method of compilation, the careful reader will find here some rich spiritual treasures, and the preacher suggestive sermon material. There is, in the comment on chapter 4, an interesting suggestion regarding the state of the believer between death and resurrection. The Bishop’s gift of homely illustration comes out in the same section: the one in whose heart Christ dwells is “not only kept going, somehow maintained in some sort of tolerable working order, beating like an old clock not quite worn out … [but] filled ever afresh with a strong, bright, life.”

The appendices include an interesting and suggestive section entitled “Coalescent Inspiration,” in which the author develops a suggestion made by Canon T. D. Bernard.


Relief For Dialectitis
What Is the Incarnation? (Vol. 24, Sec. II of the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism), by Francis Ferrier, translated from the French by Edward Sillem (Hawthorn, 1962, 176 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by L. B. Smedes, Associate Professor of Bible, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Anyone suffering intellectual distress from prolonged indulgence in the dialectics of certain Protestant theologians can find temporary relief by taking up this unparadoxical and unequivocating study on Christology by French Catholic Francis Ferrier. Ferrier knows that the Incarnation of our Lord is the Christian mystery, but believes that it can be made “intelligible and thinkable” to anyone willing to try to understand what the Church has tried to say. When the Church confessed that Jesus Christ was a concrete, historical being with two utterly distinct natures united in One Person, it was not talking nonsense or paradox. Understand that by person is meant a “metaphysical source or foundation of a man’s whole being,” an entity distinct from a man’s self-awareness or moral consciousness, the suppositum which any nature must have in order to exist as an individual thing, and you have the materials for an intelligible Christology. The human nature created by God was united with the preexistent Divine Person who became the suppositum or “metaphysical foundation” for that nature and thus the basic Ego of Jesus Christ. But, what if one simply believes that such a suppositum or “metaphysical foundation” is not required for the existence of things—indeed, that this suppositum exists only in the mind of the theologian and nowhere else? Ferrier would answer that such a man, if he be theologian, is going to have a hard time with Christology and would likely tend either to heresy or to confusion.

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At any rate, Ferrier writes a fine book, covering the ancient Christological controversies with verve and clarity, discussing the problems of Christ’s human knowledge, the “beatific vision,” and the communication of properties, as well as the hypostatic union as such. If the volume is not as forceful an apologetic as Karl Adam’s Christ of Faith and if it does not enter the lists against contemporary heresy, it does set out in clear and unequivocal language the doctrine of the Catholic Church. And this reviewer is always grateful for the faith in the Divine Lord that he discovers in Catholic theology. The book is one in the vast series of minor Catholic works published as the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism. None in this series is likely to be controversial or trailblazing in Catholic circles, but every one that I have seen is well written and edited, and most probably a reliable source of Catholic thought for the Protestant reader.


Poetic Probings
Images of Eternity: Studies in the Poetry of Religious Vision, from Wordsworth to T. S. Eliot, by James Benziger (Southern Illinois University Press, 1962, 324 pp., $6), is reviewed by Calvin D. Linton, Professor of English and Dean of Columbian College, The George Washington University, Washington, D. C.

This is a work for the professional student of literature rather than the lay reader. But when one has said so, a problem at once emerges: while the weight of scholarship, the technical nature of the vocabulary, and the meticulous use of footnotes clearly aim it at the professional, the lengthy sections devoted to summarizing the content of well-known poems would seem to be useful chiefly to the amateur. The section on T. S. Eliot, for example (seven pages), does little more than touch on the most familiar peaks of religious meaning in the chief poems. On the other hand, the sections dealing with the Romantics and with Browning are substantial and filled with keen insights into the working of the poetic imagination.

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The term “religious vision” in the subtitle is taken broadly to mean any use of the creative imagination to probe beyond the world of sense, whether the channel used be Platonism, pantheism, mysticism, Christianity, or some other transcendental philosophy. The emphasis, therefore, is upon romantic writers (with a small r), who have traditionally depended upon the inner light (or intuition, or Imagination—in the Coleridgean sense—or whatever the capacity for spiritual insight may be called) to produce a “natural religion” of wonder and reverence. The Christian orientation of the author may be hinted at (though perhaps partially and unfairly) by a quotation: “The historic fact is that the long emergence of the human race is more like a rise [than a fall], and that most of the rise occurred before the advent of Christianity.” And again: “In the presence of the figure of Christ as portrayed in the New Testament, even the most mature may still feel themselves transcended.”

Mr. Benziger, who took his bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees at Princeton, has taught at Southern Illinois University since 1950. His book, born out of ten years of work devoted to the metaphysically oriented imagination of the chief poets from Wordsworth to the present, amply attests to his wide reading and painstaking scholarship.


A Unique People
Jews, God, and History, by Max I. Dimont (Simon and Schuster, 1962, 463 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Carl S. Meyer, Professor of Historical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

Jews, God, and History are three factors with which any Christian theologian will have to reckon. The Jews were God’s chosen people, the people of the Covenant. That Jesus Christ Was Born A Jew is the title of a pamphlet by Luther (1523) which expresses a historical fact and a factor in Christian theology. Mr. Dimont—who is neither a professor nor a doctor, but a personable St. Louis businessman with a facile pen and a flair for history—has linked these three factors together in the title of a work which pulls together 4,000 years of Jewish history.

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It is a “popular” work, and scholars will find errors. There are generalizations that come off too easily and “facts” that cannot be substantiated. Too often the author simply states several interpretations of an event or a movement and then lets the reader decide which to adopt, or even tells the reader he must choose for himself. He holds, he says, “with the psychoanalytic, philosophical, and existentialist interpreters of history, that ideas motivate man and that it is these ideas which create history.”

“It Happened Only Once in History!” No other people has had a continuous living history for 4,000 years, and for 3,000 years the Jews have been an intellectual force. They preserved their ethnic identity among alien and often hostile cultures. Six major challenges confronted them during these millennia, and they survived.

Apikorism, with its “baited pin-up culture,” challenged the Jews. Centuries later, after their slaughter by the Romans and the coming of Christianity, the “ ‘Ivy League’ Yeshivas” preserved Jewish culture. The ghetto and the yellow star of ignominy helped them maintain their identity.

Ganz schrecklich is the murder of the Jews by the Nazis, estimated at about 4,500,000. Dimont does not tell the tale in maudlin fashion, but his telling will not leave consciences unpricked.

The strength of the volume is its veer and freshness. Its weaknesses will vary for various classes of readers. Few, however, will miss its excitement; some will even see for themselves the covenant people of the God of History, “beloved for the sake of their forefathers.”


Book Briefs

In Spite of Dungeon, by Dorothy C. Haskin (Zondervan, 1962, 150 pp., $2.50). Interesting stories of modern men and women who suffered, and sometimes tasted death, for Christ in the Orient.

Representative Verse of Charles Wesley, ed. by Frank Baker (Abingdon, 1962, 413 pp., $11). 335 poems selected to show Wesley’s representative verse. With 50 introductory pages by the editor.

Jungle Doctor’s Progress, by Paul White (Paternoster, 1962. 215 pp., 16s.). The author of the famous Jungle Doctor series highlights more than a quarter-century of progress in African missions, medicine, and nationhood, and discusses current developments and problems.

14 Africans Vs. One American, by Frederic Fox (Macmillan, 1963, 171 pp., $3.95). A minister, onetime Eisenhower White House staff member, tells what the new African thinks of himself and of us.

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War and the Gospel, by Jean Lasserre, translated from French by Oliver Colburn (Herald Press, 1962. 243 pp., $3.75). A serious, scholarly defense of pacifism in the name of Scripture.

Daily Life in the Time of Jesus, by Henri Daniel-Rops (Hawthorn, 1962, 512 pp., $6). The author conveys the detail and spirit of Jesus’ times and the land where he lived.

The Dawn of Modern Civilization, edited by Kenneth A. Strand (Ann Arbor Publishers [Ann Arbor, Mich.], 1962, 422 pp., $7.50). A series of essays on diverse aspects of the Renaissance and the Reformation in honor of Albert Hyma, recently retired professor of the University of Michigan.

The Better Part of Valor, by Robert P. Adams (University of Washington, 1962, 363 pp., $7). Study of humanist (More, Erasmus, Colet, and Vives) attempts by satirical and other methods to undercut the scholastic view of a just war. The author is associate professor of English at the University of Washington and a specialist in Renaissance literature.


Shorter Atlas of the Classical World, by H. H. Scullard and A. A. M van der Heyden (Thomas Nelson, 1962, 239 pp., also 112 pp. of illustrations and 10 pp. of maps, $3.95 or 15s.). Polished account, fine maps, and excellent photographs convey the spirit of ancient Greece and Rome.

Audio-Visual Resource Guide 1963 (National Council of Churches, 1963, 450 pp., $2.95). Classified evaluations of more than 3,750 current, church-related A-V materials; for use in religious education.

The Beginning of History: Genesis, by Bernhard W. Anderson (Abingdon, 1963, 96 pp., $1; Lutterworth Press, 5s.). Genesis is interpreted as the story of “the formation of Israel,” parts of the story being regarded as non-historical. Brief, readable.

Outposts of Medicine, by Steven and Mary Spencer (Friendship, 1963, 126 pp., $1.25). A heartwarming story of medical missionaries grappling with disease in distant lands.

The Medieval Church, by Roland H. Bainton (Van Nostrand, 1962, 192 pp., $1.45, Canada $1.75). The story of the role of the medieval Church in the formation of Western civilization, told by a competent historian. Brief, readable.

Africa at the Crossroads, by James H. Robinson (Westminster, 1963, 83 pp., $1.25). Writing calculated to unsettle the American and bring him to a mature, Christian understanding of Africa and its modern problems.

The Unity We Seek, ed. by William S. Morris (Oxford, 1963, 150 pp., $1.75). Short lectures delivered by Roman Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, and other writers, on the kind of church unity we should be looking for.

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Young Married Couples in the Church, by Wayne Saffen (Concordia, 1963, 87 pp., $1.25). Advice for starting and maintaining an effective “couples’ club” in the church.

The Use of the Bible in Teaching Youth, by Charles M. Laymon (Abingdon, 1962, 175 pp., $1.50). An author with a faulty view of the Bible shows how it should be used.

One Life to Live, by Arndt Halvorson (Augsburg, 1963, 93 pp., $1.75). Five Sunday-evening, after-church lectures; readable and helpful for both Christian and non-Christian.

The Methodist Church in Urban America, by Robert L. Wilson and Alan K. Waltz (Board of Missions of The Methodist Church, 1962, 94 pp., $1). A book of sociological facts. Valuable for reference.

Sermons from the Upper Room Chapel (The Upper Room, 1962, 149 pp., $.75). Short sermons from such men as John Knox, Brooks Hays, Kenneth Scott Latourette, and many others.

Dating Tips for Christian Youth, by Robert A. Cook, Clyde M. Narramore, Mel Larson, and Jim Smith (Back to the Bible Publishers [Lincoln, Nebr.], 1962, 63 pp., $.15). A wide range of practical advice by evangelical youth leaders.

The Church and Social Welfare, by Alan Keith-Lucas (Westminster, 1963, 84 pp., $1.25). A brief but substantial discussion of the Church’s stance toward the wide spectrum of social welfare. Provocative material for group study.

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