Introduction to the New Testament, by Everett F. Harrison (Eerdmans, 1964, 448 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by James P. Martin, associate professor of New Testament, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Richmond.

Introductions to the New Testament have been noted for density of argument and style. Yet attempts to avoid these dangers often result in uneven and superficial treatment of thorny questions. It is a pleasure to discover in Dr. Harrison’s book an eminently clear and comprehensive introduction to the New Testament that avoids turbidity and actually is interesting. Commendable features include the style, fairness toward differing viewpoints, balance of judgment, and up-to-date discussion of scholarly contributions. The problems traditionally associated with the New Testament documents are thoroughly discussed and admirably summarized so that the student is made aware of the complexity of certain questions but does not become lost in detail. Dr. Harrison is able to distinguish important questions and evidence from less important questions and second-rate evidence.

The major divisions of the book comprise, in order, Background, Language, Textual Criticism, Canon, and Literature of the New Testament. The final division on literature is the major contribution. The treatment of background is limited to the literature and history of pre-Christian Judaism of the inter-Testamental period. While recognizing that the language of the New Testament may properly be denoted as Koine Greek, Harrison does not go all the way with Deissmann but points out the peculiarities of the New Testament language. Students will find the discussion on the practice of textual criticism helpful as they train themselves in this science. The bibliographies appended to each chapter are good and up to date.

From this reviewer’s way of looking at it, the approach of this Introduction is primarily literary rather than historical. This is to say that the focus of attention is on the varieties of literature and the problems of composition, date, and authorship of each document. Historical material is used to help us understand literary questions. This approach is certainly justifiable; and in the way in which it is followed in this book, we are given a good balance of both literary and historical considerations.

One wonders, however, if a more adequate method would be to start with the actual history of the New Testament Church as the matrix out of which the literature grew. This approach would call for an enlarged discussion of background to include the Hellenistic world, and especially its religions, at the time of Jesus and the apostles. It would show how the Church engaged itself historically in the ongoing history of its time, and how its literature called forth in this history the record and deposit of its life and faith. The unity of the New Testament would be better served by this method.

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Of course, each of these basic approaches supports and requires the other, for some circular reasoning is inevitable in such historical analysis. Nevertheless, would not Introduction come even more alive when viewed in actual history? Does not any concept of revelation as history demand such a method? The New Testament Church was not, first of all, a literary society or a group of “publish or perish” scholars but a community of life and faith, which, because of how it lived and in whom it believed, was historically compelled (as well as inspired) to write about these matters. While we thus argue that Introduction is really a sub-division of a comprehensive historical approach to the New Testament Church, we may all profit from the quality of work given to us by Professor Harrison in his book.

It’s Not That Simple

The Omission of the Holy Spirit from Reinhold Niebuhr’s Theology, by Rachel Hadley King (Philosophical Library, 1964, 209 pp,, $5.75), is reviewed by Theodore Minnema, assistant professor of Bible, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In this provocative book the authoress levels a serious accusation at the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr. She is concerned not, as the title of the book might imply, with an accidental “omission” but with one that “is essential to the whole structure of Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought” (p. 1). The “omission” is best illustrated through the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, though it involves the whole reality of miracle: “The basic inconsistency that unhinges the whole theology of Reinhold Niebuhr relates to miracle” (p. 175).

Dr. King has organized her case against Niebuhr well. She states forthrightly her conception of miracle; it “is the sporadic breaking of the creation barrier by a power which is beyond nature, that is, by a super natural God” (p. 2). Miracles “are off-schedule activities of God, not the routines by which he regularly supports the ongoing of nature” (p. 185). This conception of miracle underscores that man’s life is not enclosed by inflexible natural law but open to special divine interventions.

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With this conception of miracle Dr. King analyzes the thought of Niebuhr. She points out in the foreword that Niebuhr does not accept the reality of miracles because his “science-conditioned confidence that all events in the created universe have their causes in previous events in the created universe makes it impossible for him to believe in miracle.…” Niebuhr believes that “natural causation is more closed, and less subject to divine intervention, than the biblical world view assumes” (pp. 4, 5).

The allegation against Niebuhr is supported by approaching his thought as a system. Basic to his system is his conception of God, and Niebuhr believes in the righteousness of God. In holding to the righteousness of God Niebuhr distinguishes himself from the liberal emphasis on God’s immanence. In contrast to liberalism he emphasizes God’s transcendence. God is righteous because he transcends the processes of history with their injustices and moral ambiguities.

Niebuhr relates the righteousness of God to history apart from miracle. In this process the righteousness of God is reduced to a deistic moral process or “prophetic deism” (p. 8). Niebuhr demonstrates the righteousness of God merely in terms of the moral experiences of human communities. When human communities corrupt their power, history discloses that retribution eventually follows, vindicating the righteousness of God.

Niebuhr applies the righteousness of God to relations between communities and nations on the assumption that the structure of history naturally results in judgments over corrupt groups. This assumption corresponds to part of the prophetic message as found in the Old Testament prophets, particularly Amos, and yet excludes the necessity of believing in miracles.

The denial of miracle in Niebuhr’s thought is most conspicuous and consequential in his reinterpretation of Jesus Christ. Niebuhr consistently avoids the simple positing of a unique divine power or activity in the historical person, Jesus of Nazareth. The results of divesting Jesus as a man of miracle are that “Jesus Christ was not actually incarnate Deity” and “did not actually rise from the dead” (p. 148). From these denials about Jesus Christ, Dr. King draws significant conclusions. The two most startling ones are that if Niebuhr holds to his position consistently, then Calvary becomes “entirely man’s gift to God,” and that the belief in a God of righteousness, the doctrine foundational to Niebuhr’s theology and ethics, is untenable. “The claim that God is righteous breaks down if he permanently left Jesus of Nazareth in the lurch on Good Friday” (p. 148).

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This book makes its point that miracle in the traditional sense is absent from the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, but the reason for this is only partially revealed. Dr. King attributes the absence to Niebuhr’s “science-condition confidence.” But this does not do justice to Niebuhr’s basic assumption that human existence consists of more than the order of nature or natural law. He assumes that human existence has a dimension of spirit, self-transcendence, or freedom. Assuming this dimension, he can lay claim to all the trans-natural factors (grace, resurrection, and so on) of Christianity, and still believe that human life on the natural level is enclosed by natural laws. This assumption, I believe, does not harmonize with Scripture, and forces a reconstruction upon biblical teachings. However, it gives intellectual warrant to Niebuhr’s use of the doctrinal terms of Christianity. He honestly represents his reconstructed use of Christian terms by defining them rather accurately throughout his writings, as well as by placing them in quotation marks. To recognize this is to say that it is not fair to speak about Niebuhr’s “debased verbal coinage” or to imply that he is guilty of “deception” (p. 182).

Finally, I find the distinction of the authoress between “beliefs to which Reinhold Niebuhr subscribes” and “ideas Reinhold Niebuhr loves but does not believe” (p. 201) somewhat presumptuous. I believe that his assumptions permit him to have a normal sense of integrity between belief and love, unless he personally admits to the contrary. The latter admission I never sensed in his teaching, writing, or speaking.


The Issue Won’t Sit Down

The Chair of Peter: A History of the Papacy, by Friedrich Gontard (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964, 629 pp., $12.50), is reviewed by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, professor of church history and historical theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.

First published in German under the title The Popes, this book is not a discussion of the doctrine of the papacy but a history of the popes themselves. Beginning with an account of the relations of Peter to Rome, it moves on through the centuries to the election of the present pope, presenting the various characters in all their qualities and failings and working them into the colorful events with which they were associated.

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Although it is a large work of more than 600 pages, it is written for the ordinary reader rather than the specialist. Much first-hand material is used. The story is told vividly, and the generous illustrations fulfill the promise of the flamboyant cover. Chronological tables help to keep the historical background and development clear, and a summary of the ecumenical and papal councils is also a valuable aid.

The attempt to write in popular fashion produces the main academic weakness of the work: that the many references and quotations are not documented, so that it is quite impossible for anyone not familiar with the field to exercise any kind of check on them. The lack of a basic bibliography is also a serious weakness in a work of this size and nature.

From the standpoint of Protestant-Roman Catholic relations, the book performs the useful service of presenting the individual popes candidly and truthfully. No kind of favorable or hostile propaganda is attempted. Not all the popes were bad, but many popes defy idealization. The papal claims cannot be supported or overthrown in terms of individual characters.

This is to remind us, however, that large doctrinal claims are in fact made for the institution represented by these men. In this respect the book suffers from the defect of reading the earliest days far too one-sidedly in favor of the papal succession (cf. the treatment of the important passage in I Clement). At the same time, it has the quality of reminding us, in face of unrealistic ecumenism, that no matter what changes are made by the Second Vatican Council, the claim to papal headship will still be made, not merely for the Roman Catholic Church, but for any reunited Christendom. In other words, whatever we make of the men, the issue remains.


Where The Rats Live

The Spire, by William Golding (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1964, 215 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Roderick Jellema, assistant professor of English, University of Maryland, College Park.

William Golding’s fifth novel confirms the genius that was apparent in The Inheritors and in The Lord of the Flies. He is now in the front rank of this century’s writers. Like most of the great ones in our contradictory century, he is essentially a religious writer. I mean simply that what he is concerned about in man is the spiritual and the religious, and that the quality of his vision can only be called religious.

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His setting this time is not the Neanderthal Age or World War III, but between them, in that age of spiritual cohesion that we somewhat too sneeringly refer to as the “Middle” Ages. He evokes the “feel” of medieval life brilliantly: the textures, the smells, the grey and black fears, the inner values, the workings of the mind, the sounds of real people making the whole of their age incarnate in the very tones of their speech. But his subject has not really changed at all. What he wants to clarify is still the struggle between good and evil in the human race. What he recreates is again the mind and soul of man—man with all his vanity, noble striving, self-deception, sweetness, treachery, compassion, and insufficiency.

The story itself is spare and simple. A cathedral dean named Jocelin, driven by his “faith,” dedicates himself to the building of a 400-foot spire, a magnificent “diagram of prayer” for his cathedral. The pillars and foundations creak and sway under the weight of “Jocelin’s Folly” as it stabs its way obsessively toward the heavens, flying defiance at the laws of stress. But there is no real triumph. In the end there are ruined lives, the spire hanging precariously over the dark and abandoned cathedral, and a sick, guilt-haunted, half-crazed Jocelin stripped naked and beaten by a mob in the street.

What matters here, as in Hamlet, is not so much the plot. What matters in a piece of literature is the intense vision of reality which the author can create and form and communicate to all the senses of his reader as the “story” unfolds. What Golding creates, by image and tone and symbol, is a powerful sense of the terrible ambiguity of human motives, even in self-effacing religions acts. His book is a painfully unforgettable religious experience—and an ennobling one, too.

At one level Jocelin is a persistent martyr-saint, sacrificing himself to the work that God has given him. He will not be diverted merely because his task is irrational; he knows that God has dealt such tasks before:

Out of some deep place comes the command to do what makes no sense at all—to build a ship on dry land; to sit among the dunghills; to marry a whore; to set their son on the altar of sacrifice. Then, if men have faith, a new thing comes.
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But he is more complex than that. One innocent slip of the tongue to his master-builder begins to unmask him: “You’ll sec-how I shall thrust you upward by my will. It’s God’s will in this business.” My will; God’s will. The equation assumes too much.

Slowly through the novel—just a step ahead of Jocelin himself—the reader comes to know and feel the terrible bifurcation of Jocelin’s whole being. He is driven not only by religious fervor but also by pride, grand illusions, and thwarted sexuality. When an old priest cries out with pain and astonishment to the dying Jocelin, “They never taught you to pray!,” we have the final ingredient in the complex of motives that sent his spire soaring, overshadowing the “specks” and “apes” that his people had become.

Though the book is tender and compassionate, its vision is appalling. An amusingly vain Jocelin is transformed by the wreckage of his monomania into realizing that he is “a building with a vast cellerage where the rats live”; he orders for his tomb a sculpture of “himself without ornament … a prone skeleton lapped in skin, head fallen back, mouth open.”

What we win in the end is a sense of man’s terrible ambiguity. He is a muddle of good and evil. Jocelin dies half-crazed by a sense of his own evil. Although the book ends there, its point does not. The final irony must be brought in from outside the book. That spire—“Jocelin’s Folly”—is identifiable as the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, still standing, still shooting its hymn of prayer and praise to the heavens. To anyone who has read this book, the spire will be more real, but never quite the same. And the other “spires”—the hymns, the acts of charity, the books, the prayers—may not be quite their proud and unmixed selves, either. But they too—though brought in broken vessels—they too can stand.


The Flesh Persists

The Nature of the Resurrection Body, by J. A. Schep (Eerdmans, 1964, 251 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Merrill C. Tenney, dean, Graduate School of Theology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

Theological literature of the last decade has shown an increasing interest in the subject of the resurrection; the repudiation of the historic Jesus by the school of Bult mann and an increasing stress on eschatology have brought the topic into the focus of attention. Dr. Schep has concentrated his study on the resurrection body and on the problems accompanying the concept of a physical restoration of material flesh.

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In five chapters, dealing with “The Resurrection-Body According to the Old Testament,” “Flesh and Body in the New Testament,” “The Resurrection-Body of Jesus Christ,” “The Body of our Exalted Lord, the Life-Giving Spirit,” and “The Nature of the Believer’s Resurrection-Body According to the New Testament,” he covers the subject in fine detail and with meticulous care. His bibliography is extensive, and his treatment of views on the resurrection is comprehensive and dispassionate.

Dr. Schep concludes that the resurrection will involve a body of flesh, “however great a change our present bodies may undergo at the Parousia.” Sexual and digestive functions may cease, but existence will continue to have its material aspect; resurrection means more than “spiritual survival.”

Like most published theses, this work has both the advantages and disadvantages of being a revised dissertation. It is exhaustive, thoroughly documented, and logical in its reasoning; from the standpoint of the casual reader it is technical, involved, and occasionally tedious. It is, however, refreshingly positive in its affirmation of scriptural authority, and it exegetes quite satisfactorily the pertinent biblical texts.


Tyndale Rediscovered

The Work of William Tyndale, edited and introduced by G. E. Duffield (Sutton Courtenay Press [Appleford, Berkshire, England], 1964, 406 pp., 16s.), is reviewed by J. Stafford Wright, principal, Tyndale Hall, Bristol, England.

It is appropriate that the principal of Tyndale Hall should have the privilege of reviewing an anthology of the work of William Tyndale. This is the first volume in the Courtenay “Library of Reformation Classics.” To my knowledge there is no other selection of Tyndale readily available at a reasonable price.

The editor has wisely avoided the scrapbook method of collecting whatever takes his fancy and has concentrated on Tyndale’s writings on the Bible, even though this meant omitting what he wrote on the sacraments.

After a twenty-seven-page introduction that gives a fair estimation of Tyndale and his work, there is his prologue to the New Testament, enlarged by him as “A Pathway into the Holy Scripture.” Then follow prologues and prefaces to various books of the Bible, with notes on different words in the Pentateuch. The prologue to the Epistle to the Romans contains an excellent exposition of justification by faith and its relation to works wrought through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

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These prologues occupy some 150 pages and are followed by Tyndale’s exposition of Matthew 5–7, a lively piece of work. (“Let every man have his wife, and think her the fairest and the best-conditioned, and every woman her husband so too” [p. 229].) Tyndale regards these chapters in Matthew as “the key and the door of Scripture” for refuting the ideas both of the scribes and pharisees and of the papists.

There follows tire dispute between Tyndale and Joye, who had made alterations to Tyndale’s version without permission, and then comes the substance of the “Obedience of a Christian Man” with its discussion of the proper interpretation of Scripture. A section of Tyndale’s answer to More sets out justification by faith.

“The Practice of Prelates” is chiefly concerned with Henry’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon, and Tyndale attacks the bishops for justifying it. The book ends with two letters to John Frith and Tyndale’s famous letter from prison.

The text has been carefully collated, and where necessary the manuscript source of minor variations is indicated. Some extra footnotes have been prepared for this edition.


Within The New Testament

The Earliest Christian Confessions, by Vernon H. Neufeld (Eerdmans, 1963, 166 pp., $4), is reviewed by Herman C. Waetjen, assistant professor of New Testament, San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California.

In the last decades various studies have appeared devoted to the history of the early creeds. Few, however, have been concerned with the origin, structure, and development of these creeds in the earliest Christian confession contained in the canonical writings of the New Testament. Of course, the New Testament has been drawn upon to reconstruct later creeds. But none of the elaborate theories on creedal development has focused exclusively on the forms of Christian confession inside the New Testament. This is precisely what Neufeld proposes to do in this book, which is Volume V in the “New Testament Tools and Studies” series edited by Bruce M. Metzger.

Three major questions serve as the basis for this investigation: (1) Is there a form of tradition that has a distinct confessional structure? After undertaking a number of important Greek word studies and comparisons as well as a scrutiny of confessions of faith in Judaism, Neufeld answers affirmatively. This, then, leads directly to the second question: (2) What were the content and the meaning of these early creeds? To answer this the author examines the major writings of the New Testament in a thorough, scholarly way. Finally: (3) What role did the primitive Church assign to these confessions of faith? On this question, unfortunately, Neufeld is all too brief in his conclusions.

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The book is a fine dissertation with good documentation and a valuable bibliography. It deserves careful study. And the subject it deals with demands further exploration both by the author and by other scholars. Those who have a working knowledge of Greek and the discipline required for scholarly pursuits will enjoy this work and find it rewarding.


The Handicapped Child

No Language But a Cry, by Bert Kruger Smith (Beacon, 1964, 165 pp., $5), is reviewed by Dorothy L. Hampton, publicity chairman, Metropolitan Association for Retarded Children, Denver, Colorado, and member of the Colorado Governor’s Committee for the Employment of the Mentally and Physically Handicapped.

The plight of the estimated 1–1½ million American children who are emotionally disturbed is desperate, and the situations in which their families find themselves is often no less desperate. In this eloquent and moving volume the author, using case histories, outlines various types of disturbances, possible causes, symptoms, and, more heartening, research and advances in the care and treatment of emotionally disturbed children.

Mrs. Smith makes plain in her outline of symptoms that these are only possible signs, and that parents and counselors should not be stampeded into premature diagnosis by the appearance of some of these symptoms. This is one example of the sensible as well as sympathetic approach used. An especially informative chapter is the one describing the “team approach” to problems of the mentally ill child at home and in the community. Also covered very well is the pressing need for increasing preventive mental health programs, for school programs, for day-care centers, for more trained personnel, for residential treatment centers, and for more parent counseling. Mention is made of the need for help from churches.

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Although the author knows much about the emotionally disturbed child, she seems to be somewhat less informed about mental retardation. Her definition of mental retardation, for instance, is greatly oversimplified and describes only one type of retardate. Although mental illness, not retardation, is the subject of this book, the two fields seem intertwined in many childhood disturbances. There is much confusion of the two in the public mind, and some more specific discussion by Mrs. Smith would have been welcome. She also should have explained more fully her uses of the term “brain damage,” congenital and otherwise; and there is little mention of the numerous retarded children with emotional overlay.

It is time that Christians showed more concern for the handicapped, and this book will open to many an area of real opportunity. It will be a particularly valuable tool for families of an emotionally disturbed child and for pastors and counselors who will sooner or later be confronted with the heartbreaking problems of children “out of step, out of tempo, the halting and the swift, the inward bound, tied into themselves.”

No Language But a Cry is a secular book, and no mention is made of the assurance and hope that faith in Jesus Christ can give. Indeed, though Mrs. Smith quotes freely from Gibran and Emerson and chooses her title from a line of Tennyson, her book lacks quotations from the Bible, which has so infinitely much more to offer. The reviewer, who is the parent of a mentally handicapped child, wishes that at the conclusion of her book Mrs. Smith had placed a verse from Matthew 5, Mark 10, or John 14 to bring her readers from the hopelessness of Tennyson to the blessed hope of our Saviour.


British Empiricism

Reason and Authority in the Eighteenth Century, by Gerald R. Cragg (Cambridge, 1964, 349 pp., $8.50), is reviewed by Arthur F. Holmes, professor and director of philosophy, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

The professor of historical theology at Andover Newton Theological School has presented what promises to become an authoritative study. He concentrates on the heritage of Locke and Newton, with particular reference to the role of religious authority in intellectual matters and the role of political authority in ecclesiastical matters. The account is restricted to British thought.

The opening chapter summarizes Locke’s view of reason in relation to faith and freedom, and Newton’s concept of natural law in relation to his religious presuppositions. This sets the theme for the following century: intellectual self-confidence and optimism. Chapters follow on Samuel Clarke and the Latitudinarians who in Lockean style constructed rational proofs for truths that are confirmed (and transcended) by revelation, and on the Deists, with their all-sufficient reason. But the responses of William Law, George Berkeley, and Joseph Butler forced a reassessment of Enlightenment assumptions; appeal is now made, not to abstract reason, but to common sense and experience, to probabilities rather than logical conclusiveness. The skepticism of Hume and Gibbon takes these doubts further, discrediting the entire rational basis of religious belief, whether natural or revealed.

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This is a familiar story to students of intellectual history, and Cragg helps us to see the overall picture in the light of the theological tensions of the day. He is especially illuminating in his chapter on Wesley and the eighteenth-century evangelicals, who shared much of the Enlightenment attitude but gave new authority to a “revitalized faith.” The growing authority of science is cited in a discussion of the physiological psychology of Hartley, Priestley, and Godwin, who supplanted abstract metaphysical reason with scientific empiricism.

The breakdown of an intellectual tradition has social implications. Cragg traces this in church-state relations, in the problem of tolerance for Dissenters, and in the demand for reform within the English church. What the French Revolution did in Europe in sweeping away the foundation and edifices of the Age of Reason was accomplished in Britain by lawful processes undergirded by a critically reformed epistemology.

Cragg’s volume provides as objective a history as is possible. Insofar as a thesis emerges, it is that while reason can never be repudiated, it can and must be reformed; that the superficial and overconfident externalism of the rationalists provoked revolt; and that this came in the Romanticism of the nineteenth century. The book represents a vast amount of research and provides excellent synopses of a wide variety of thinkers, with careful documentation.


Required Reading

Pastoral Care in the Church, by C. W. Brister (Harper & Row, 1964, 262 pp., $5), is reviewed by William B. Oglesby, Jr., professor of pastoral counseling, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Richmond.

Of the making of books on pastoral care and counseling there seems to be no end, and one might wonder whether there is anything significant left to be said. That there is has been demonstrated by C. W. Brister, who combined pastoral experience with solid research to produce this exceedingly helpful volume. It is a comprehensive book; yet for all its scope it is replete with practical wisdom that will commend it to seminarians, parish ministers, and laymen who see themselves as involved in the pastoral care of the Church.

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Brister sees the substance of pastoral theology to be none other than theology itself and argues for the crucial importance of a Christian doctrine of man in all pastoral concern. On the basis of this thesis he deals with the preparation of the minister, the role of the Church in pastoral care, and the procedures essential for carrying on a responsible nurture of the people of God. At every point the principles are illustrated with helpful case material so that the reader can examine the experimental data that draw upon and point to the overall hypotheses. Moreover, there are copious footnotes and references indicating resources for additional investigation.

The only question raised in the mind of this reviewer concerned the seeming assumption that insight or the understanding of one’s own problem was of primary importance in the cure of souls. At certain points the author argued cogently for the Christian view of man, which sees his distress as sin rather than ignorance and the cure as forgiveness rather than knowledge. Nevertheless, in the discussion of the “dynamics of the pastoral conversation” there seemed to be the kind of stress—“to enable the counselee to clarify his thoughts or feelings,” or “to confront the counselee in order that he or she may perceive …” (p. 193)—that presupposes a view of man of a somewhat different order. If the first, rather than the second, is Brister’s position, then it would be a pity that the use of certain familiar terms and phrases implies a contradiction.

Nevertheless, even if this criticism is justified, it must be read in the larger context of genuine appreciation for a most helpful book—one that will undoubtedly become “required reading” for theological students and is enthusiastically recommended to all who would have a deeper understanding of their own role in the work of the cure of souls.


For The Record

Archaeology of the New Testament, by R. K. Harrison (Association, 1964, 138 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Francis Rue Steele, home secretary, North Africa Mission, Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

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True history is essentially a record of personal experiences, not a mere chronicle of impersonal events. And the Bible is a record of true history, its characters real people in a real world. But since the Bible does not give many details of secular history and society, some tend to regard the people and the incidents of the Bible as mystical and unreal. Moreover, opponents of the Scriptures have attempted to undermine its authority by claiming that it does not contain a reliable historical record. For these reasons it is very useful to have the type of evidence contained in Dr. Harrison’s book. A knowledge of the accuracy with which the Bible records the story of Jesus’ life and the growth of the Church he founded gives confidence to the wary reader. And the multitude of available data which permit a remarkably complete reconstruction of the life of biblical days make the events and people seem real indeed.

The present volume is unfortunately rather sparse in content; but its approach is conservative and competent, and it will be useful to those who have a general interest in New Testament history.


What A Procession!

The Hidden Life of Prayer, by D. M. McIntyre (Stirling Tract Enterprise [Scotland], 1964, 94 pp., 7s. 6d.), is reviewed by Andrew MacBeath, principal, Bible Training Institute, Glasgow, Scotland.

Scientific research is infinitely patient and painstaking. The men who make persistent experiments, even to reach and explore the moon, deserve to succeed.

How does it stand with Christians—the people God invites to explore the realms of prayer? Most of us are both inefficient a and spasmodic. We are more like the frenzied and despairing Esau than his resolute brother who became a prince with God.

A most hopeful sign is the appearance in its seventh printing of this book first published nearly sixty years ago. This pocket edition should be kept always at hand, a book to consult constantly. Deeply read in the Scriptures, the former principal of the Glasgow Bible Training Institute was an earlier Dr. Tozer in the intimacy of his acquaintance with the contemplationists of the Middle Ages and with the mystics and men of prayer and fruitful action in all lands and centuries. This volume will be valued as a treasury of precious words from the very heart of many friends of God. Indeed, it is worth buying for the footnotes alone. What a procession of the saints is made to pass before us! Make your own index of them and become a true disciple and a humbler man.

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But prayer is not dreaming. It requires “The Direction of the Mind” (chap. 3), which prepares us for “The Engagement.” The core of the book lies in chapters 4 to 6, where the three aspects of engagement are shown to be Worship, Confession, and Request. Afterward we are shown “The Hidden Riches of the Secret Place” and “The Open Recompense.” On the next-to-last page the author wishes he were only beginning his task, for so much more of the might and glory of God as shown in the lives of his servants comes crowding upon his memory, kindling his imagination. But strictly speaking, the book only ends by turning us back to the beginning again. We are so ashamed of our shallowness and feverishness that we are resolved to reexplore “The Life of Prayer” (chap. 1) and “The Equipment” for it—a quiet place, a quiet time, and the quiet heart.

An appropriate and illuminating introduction was contributed by Dr. McIntyre’s successor as principal of the Bible Training Institute, Dr. Francis Davidson, while the preface to the second edition with its notable tribute to Dr. Andrew Bonar by his son-in-law adds still more insight and incentive to the life of prayer.


Book Briefs

The Road to Salvation: A Handbook on the Christian Care of Persons, by Theodor Bovet (Doubleday, 1964. 249 pp., $4.95). A readable, informative, and substantial treatment.

The United Evangelical Lutheran Church: An Interpretation, by John M. Jensen (Augsburg, 1964, 311 pp., $6.50). A picture of the Danes in North America with special focus on Danish Lutherans.

Putnam’s Dark and Middle Ages Reader: Selections from the 5th to 15th Centuries, edited by Harry E. Wedeck (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1964, 362 pp., $5.95). Selected writings to give the popular reader a taste of the Middle Ages.

The Search for God, by R. W. Gleason, S.J. (Sheed & Ward, 1964, 311 pp., $5). A study of atheism, anxiety, existentialism, and the ontological proof for the existence of God, by a Roman Catholic.

How Jesus Helped People, by Alan Walker (Abingdon, 1964. 160 pp., $2.75). Sermons on lonely, distressed, or fearful people; pleasant reading, and at times a wee bit shocking.

Culto Cristiano and Ritual Cristiano (“El Escudo” Publications, 1964, 743 and 145 pp„ $3 and $2.50). A service book and hymnal in the Spanish language, prepared by major Lutheran bodies in the United States.

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The Bible as History in Pictures, by Werner Keller (William Morrow, 1964, 360 pp., $7.95). A valuable pictorial history of biblical events in the light of archaeological finds.

The Supreme Task of the Church, by John T. Seamands (Eerdmans, 1964, 126 pp., $2.95). A warm, popular, readable declaration of the need to preach Jesus Christ at home and abroad.

Effective Oral Interpretation for Religious Leaders, by Harold A. Brack (Prentice-Hall, 1964, 184 pp., $6.60). Specific practical suggestions for more effective oral reading in worship, baptismal, communion, wedding, and funeral services.

From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought, by Karl Löwith (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964, 464 pp., $8.50). A definitive history of the period between the development of Hegel’s reconstruction of Christianity and Nietzsche’s rejection of Christianity. First published in Germany in 1941.


A Handbook of Theological Terms, by Van A. Harvey (Macmillan, 1964, 253 pp., $1.45). The definitions are both theological and historical, always lucid, and frequently perceptive. Naturally they reveal the theological bias of the definition-maker, which is often left of center.

Man Amid Change in World Affairs, by Leonard J. Kramer (Friendship, 1964, 176 pp., $1.95). A discussion of the profound social and political changes of our time by a director of the Department of International Affairs of the NCC.

Older Members in the Congregation, by Arthur P. Rismiller (Augsburg, 1964, 128 pp., $1.95). A lucid and helpful discussion.

Cathedral Reborn (Alec R. Allenson, 1963, 58 pp., $1.75). A souvenir publication commemorating the reconstruction and consecration of the famous Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Coventry, England, damaged in World War II.

Five Minutes a Saint, by John Foster (John Knox, 1964, 112 pp., $1.25). Forty-two “five-minute” sketches of as many saints (such as Augustine, Bede, Patrick). Informative, delightful reading.

Evangelism and Contemporary Issues, edited by Gordon Pratt Baker (Tidings, 1964, 158 pp., $1.50). A symposium on facets of evangelism by churchmen of a variety of theological outlooks.

The Existence of God, edited by John Hick (Macmillan, 1964, 305 pp., $1.95). From Plato to A. J. Ayer on the question, “Does God exist?”

Atheism in Our Time, by Ignace Lepp, translated by Bernard Murchland, C. S. C. (Macmillan, 1964. 160 pp., $1.45). A psychoanalyst’s dissection of the modern varieties of unbelief.

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The Preacher’s Portrait, by John R. W. Stott (Eerdmans, 1961, 124 pp., $1.45). The portrait of the preacher as drawn by the meaning of some New Testament words: steward, herald, witness, father, servant.

Karl Barth and Evangelicalism, by Cornelius Van Til (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1964, 33 pp., $.60). An essay intending to show that Barth has no right to classify his theology as evangelical.

The Man for Others, by Erik Routley (Oxford, 1964, 107 pp., $1.50). The author, who long believed that a restatement of Christology was overdue, asserts that J. A. T. Robinson’s Honest to God set his mind in order, and he now presents his view of Christ.

Patterns of Part-Time Ministry in Some Churches in South America, by Douglas Webster (World Dominion Press, 1964, 48 pp., 5s.).

Bells of Bethlehem, The King of Love, and Love’s Unfading Flower, by John Deane; Love’s Questions, by John Pritchard (Moody, 1964; 62, 62. 48. 48 pp.; $.95 each). Devotionals.

Sam Shoemaker at His Best (Faith at Work. 1964, 128 pp., $1.50). Some of the finest writings of the late remarkable Sam Shoemaker.

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