A Scholar Speaks To Students

Stir-Change-Create: Poems and Essays in Contemporary Mood for Concerned Students, by Kenneth L. Pike (Eerdmans, 1967, 164 pp., $2.65), is reviewed by Elva McAllaster, professor of English, Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois.

To read Pike’s collection leaves me feeling a little as I felt after seeing a documentary film on Henry Moore at work on his sculptures, or after looking at a photo essay on Picasso in his studio. Here is a powerful mind engrossed in the processes of its own workshop. Professor Pike’s “studio” is of course that of linguistic analysis rather than of sculpture, but when a mind like his is willing to open the studio door, it is fascinating for the rest of us to look inside.

The name of Kenneth L. Pike is well known in his scholarly field; he is an eminent and respected professor at the University of Michigan. The name of Kenneth L. Pike is also well known in the missionary world, since he is a veteran in translation projects of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. In the poems and essays collected here, the reader meets and is inspired by both of these Pike selves. Professor Pike obviously delights in being the thoroughgoing linguistic scholar who pries open esoteric secrets of language analysis and conducts doctoral examinations over arduous research. He also delights in being the thoroughgoing Christian, who opens his own life to the grace of God and opens the Scriptures to university audiences or to primitive peoples. As scholar and as Christian, his mood is one of zest, of aliveness, of exuberance.

The subtitle suggests the scope and intentions of the book. There are brief articles written for His magazine, chapel talks now edited into essays, fragments of autobiography, and dozens of meditative poems. (I could wish that the “Acknowledgments” told where and to whom the chapel talks were first given; I assume they were presented to Wycliffe Translators’ study groups.)

Pike’s poems should stimulate lively discussions among “concerned students.” They are prickly with ideas and contain very clever word play. Many readers will find them useful both in private devotions and in the preparing of sermons and talks. I predict that “My Blue Refrigerator,” with its sardonic representation of American materialism and American lack of missionary vision, will become an often-cited composition.

Reading For Perspective


Nine Roads to Renewal, by Walden Howard (Word, $3.50). The story of how nine Christian groups entered into deeper personal relationships with Christ and thereby recovered the experience of genuine Christian fellowship.

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The Social Conscience of the Evangelical, by Sherwood E. Wirt (Harper & Row, $4.95). Contending that true evangelical faith leads to sensitive social concern, Wirt offers sound biblical perspectives on vital social issues of our day.

Adamant & Stone Chips, by Virginia Mollenkott (Word, $3.50). A state-college professor of English makes a passionate appeal for a genuine Christian humanism that will relate the Lordship of Christ and the message of the Bible to the full range of human knowledge and activity.

But I also venture a hope that “concerned students” will take other writers as their models when they turn to writing verse. In this collection, Pike’s poems tend to be rearranged prose rather than poetry. The effects are regrettably dependent on devices one wishes might have been pruned out: elision and inversion (“Why should I go/Beyond horizon mine,” “God sees/And values heart,” “As Image, His/Invent I”); archaic expressions (“Babe, clothes, man”); the overly colloquial (“Don’t talk wild./More I can’t stand”); the jargonesque (“Wheat seeks ground/For entropy to reverse”).

It is a pleasure to handle a book so attractive in typography, art work, and general format. Eerdmans should be commended on a production that is contemporary in its visual mood as well as in its content.

Balanced Look At Israel’S Religion

The Religion of Ancient Israel, by Th. C. Vriezen (Westminster, 1967, 328 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Robert B. Laurin, professor of Old Testament, California Baptist Theological Seminary, Covina.

The last few years have seen a resurgence of interest in the religion of ancient Israel. At least six important recent volumes about the topic are now available. This burst of writing has come largely because of the growth both of archaeological discovery and of critical methodology. Scholars for a long time have wrestled with the attempt to clarify the religious situation in Israel before the period of the Monarchy (before 1000 B.C.). What did the patriarchs really understand about the character of God? When was the worship of Yahweh introduced, and what did it involve? What was the nature of Canaanite worship faced by the Hebrew settlers? The answering of these and similar questions has been hindered by two primary factors—the lack of clearly identifiable extra-biblical sources from the periods in question, and the fact that the historical materials in the Old Testament that do deal with these periods have finally reached us only after being edited from the polemical perspective of the priesthood of the second temple in Jerusalem (after 500 B.C.). But now archaeologists have turned up an increasing abundance of comparative materials from ancient times, and tradition critics have suggested many fruitful ways of penetrating through the present text to the early situations. Vriezen has taken advantage of these developments and has given us a clearer, more balanced look than we have had in the past.

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The book deals with the whole period of “Israel’s” existence from patriarchs to Maccabees, but the most important material is concerned with the misty pre-Davidic era. After a very useful chapter on the character of the various ancient Semitic religions, showing the parallels and differences with Israel’s religion, and after another chapter summarizing Israel’s religious life at the time of David, the book proceeds to detail the beliefs and practices of the patriarchal, desert, and conquest periods. Here the thrust of Vriezen’s argument is both that Israel’s religion was always in process of change and adaptation in reaction to its theological environment, moving steadily toward the universal monotheism of post-Davidic days, and that the dominant element that enabled the tribes to persist in the face of the culturally superior Canaanites was their belief in Yahweh. The Israelites were convinced that Yahweh was an all-conquering “force,” one with whom they had personal and social relationships, one who was moving in history toward the goal of a new world, and this gave them the foundation for maintaining their vital identity even in darkest days.

Here is a book for those who want a cautious, highly informed guide to the intricacies of contemporary Old Testament research on the religion (not the theology) of Israel. Vriezen has already given us a fine theology of the Old Testament (1958). To a degree the book presupposes knowledge of debate on many topics, particularly on those that have centered around the work of von Rad and Noth. But detailed bibliographic notes give sure guidance to such areas. In general the author affirms a greater confidence in the historical memory of the Old Testament tradition, and admits a larger contribution by Moses, than has characterized scholarship in the past.

No City Of God

From Sacred to Profane America: The Role of Religion in American History, by William A. Clebsch (Harper & Row, 1968, 242 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by C. Gregg Singer, chairman, Department of History, Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina.

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Many historians view American society as an aggregate of secular institutions that have severed every tie with Christianity, but Professor Clebsch disagrees. He holds that religion has a very special relation to American life—indeed, that it is the basis of the American dream, which he defines as the yearning to bring the holy hope to an earthly fruition. He finds the religious foundation of American society in six campaigns that have characterized our history: education, pluralism, welfare and morality, participation (that is, the participation of all people in an open society), novelty, and nationality. In all these areas Christianity has had a dominant influence, he says, especially during the colonial and early national years.

No one would deny that Christianity has played a great part in shaping the American tradition and guiding the American dream. Clebsch presents many generalities that have long been accepted by historians, even those who have broken with orthodox Christianity. But he fails to present convincing evidence for his own position. Nor does he deal adequately with the theological issues involved in this study. Puritanism suffers in his hands, as does conservative theology in general. Yet liberalism also comes out short, and the impact of the social gospel is never clearly described. Clebsch does less than justice to the relation between liberal theology and social, economic, and political liberalism in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

His basic contention is that pluralism in religion was a major factor in the development of the cultural pluralism we have today. This new culture allows no City of God to rule or to inspire its many cities of man. And Clebsch concludes that if in twentieth-century America religion can no longer be the City of God, its true role is to remain one of the many cities of man. Thus we have moved from a sacred to a profane America.

Church And State In Century 21

In the Service of Man, by J. V. Lang-mead Casserley (Regnery, 1967, 204 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry, editor,CHRISTIANITY TODAY.

Dr. Casserley’s legitimate concern is to place technology in the service of human values by setting public and private life in the context of theological and moral realities. In expounding this objective he offers trenchant criticisms of secular theology and Marxist materialism, and calls Western man to life on a higher plane in the new world of technological advance. The most valuable and readable sections of the book deal with spiritual possibilities in an age of leisure and the challenge to pessimists about an overpopulated world.

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As a social critic Casserley labels himself a cultural conservative with a radical welcome for impending or proposed socio-political and economic changes. This becomes the more significant in view of his regard for Christian-Communist confrontation as “the most interesting and important area of dialogue,” one that at a later stage may involve “a renewed search for truth together.”

To be sure, he is highly critical of Marxism and of any advocacy of “a kind of Church and a species of faith quite compatible with totalitarian society” or state. But he is distressed that American conservatives do not share the English enthusiasm for socialism and the welfare state. “It seems quite obvious,” he contends, “that the coincidence of automation and population explosion definitely puts an end to any possibility whatsoever of continuing a form of social structure and economy that expects every man to keep his wife and family by performing some lucrative job made possible by the industrial, commercial and administrative system.”

What he hopes to conserve are the traditional Westem-Christian values: once welfare institutions are created, the conservative task is to infuse them with the spirit of reform to protect the initiative and relative freedom of the individual. In the new age the problem of incentive will be moral and cultural rather than economic. A world federal state will emerge, and with it will come sweeping social planning.

This well-known Episcopal author and philosophical theologian views the drift to one indivisible world church as the most important modern event. He criticizes pro-union propaganda for concealing the fact that reunion will eliminate the existing churches (and their “second rate” existence). This reunion of Christendom would destroy the basic presupposition of separation of church and state in the conventional understanding; in the twenty-first century, the new Church must directly influence the nations. “What the members of suoh a Church are agreed about will hardly consist of a thesis with which any great political party will care to disagree,” he says.

What Casserley does not establish is that the values he prizes can be nourished by a politico-economic schema within which they did not arise, and which in fact threatens if not subverts them. Are the solid theological traditions and values characteristic of Western civilization as compatible as he thinks with the socialist structures that he accepts, or does he in fact dilute those traditions and values in deference to what he views as a historical inevitability? Casserley writes of “almost providential” historical trends, but the realities of history are apparently such that political and economic nonconservatism have a place in God’s plan not accorded political and economic conservatism: “The political and economic types will tend inevitably to disappear as it becomes more and more lucidly clear that radical institutional changes are inevitable, and will indeed shortly have taken place quite irreversibly.”

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Such irreversibility seems to the reviewer easier to reconcile with a view of unlimited governmental power than with the idea of divine providence or human freedom.

Theism In The Public Schools

Religious Values in Education, by John A. Stoops (Interstate Printers and Publishers, 1967, 161 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Edwin H. Rian, educational consultant, Princeton, New Jersey.

This book is distinctive in at least three ways: (1) Its author is a prominent non-theological educator, (2) it presents a fresh approach to the problem of religion in public education created by the Supreme Court decision against Bible reading and prayer in public schools, and (3) it is written in a scintillating and penetrating literary style, with all major points made in dialogue and polemic as well as in discourse.

Dr. Stoops, dean of the School of Education at Lehigh University, has had years of experience in secondary and higher education as teacher, administrator, and consultant. He holds that every student is confronted with the choice of a God-idea. In public education today, he says, the God-ideas presented are in part pantheistic, in part atheistic; traditional theism is not presented effectively, partly because of the Supreme Court decision. He believes that all choices—atheism, pantheism, and theism—should have their place as educational options.

Stoops bases his argument on the Kantian doctrine that the idea of God is heuristic (learned by experience) and not ostensive (learned by presentation or argument). In other words, it is not effective to teach theism as a literary or history course in the cognate style of American education, because God is not simply an academic thought or object, such as a fact of history. To be a meaningful option, theism demands attachment, acceptance, faith. A large educational void exists when students are deprived of this kind of exposure.

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Dean Stoops does not pretend to be a legal expert or attempt to say what constitutional steps must be taken to remedy this neglect of theism, this absence of meaningful religious options that should be a part of every student’s educational experience. He considers it his duty as an educator to describe the situation.

It is good to find a non-theological educator who ably points up the importance of presenting a value system for the student’s consideration. This book merits discussion by educators, religious leaders, politicians, parents—all who ought to be concerned about a serious weakness in our educational system.

Why Davis Left Catholicism

A Question of Conscience, by Charles Davis (Harper & Row, 1967, 278 pp., $6.95), is reviewed by James Forrester, president, Gordon College and Divinity School, Wenham, Massachusetts.

For twenty years Charles Davis served the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, theologian, and articulate proponent of his faith. During that period he also passed from tacit acceptance of all the claims of the Roman church to a rejection of the church as “a credible embodiment of Christian faith, hope and love.”

The radical decision was not sudden. Davis (who published the Maurice Lectures at King’s College, London, under the title God’s Grace in History while editor of the “Clergy Review”) describes his decision as “an assessment reached by a cumulative experience built up over many years.” So prominent had he been in ecumenical affairs that his departure from priesthood and church was a public event. A Question of Conscience is the vibrantly personal documentation of his pilgrimage of mind and spirit.

Davis discounts the desire to marry as a motivating factor. Consistently the crux of the matter is the invalidity of a fixed religio-social system with a divinely sanctioned hierarchy as over against the dynamic nature of the Christian faith and the “becoming” characteristic of man in his society. He sees his action as a total pattern of personal response to “the working of the Spirit.” To remain within the church was something he could not do “without surrendering my integrity and freedom.”

He brings to the surface the fundamental conflict within the Roman Catholic Church by skillfully assembling sources in the New Testament, church history, the declarations and encyclicals of the popes, and the struggles of the Second Vatican Council. The ecclesiastical accretions of dogma, governance, and practice he examines with irenic objectivity. His conclusion is that the Roman Catholic Church is “not credible as an embodiment in this world of the truth and love of Christ.”

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Present evidences of reform within the church, Davis says, only show the impotence of the hierarchy to allow more than superficial adjustments. These are not spontaneous or interior; they are only reluctant concessions to the forces of change operative in secular society and in the consciousness of modern man. The inflexible obsolescences of a hierarchical system are in irreconcilable conflict with the liberating influence of God’s presence in Christ in the world. The dead language of the Mass, the subordination of truth to authority, secrecy as a weapon of power, the distortion of history, the indifference to the concept of man as a “freely constituting person,” the insupportable primacy of Peter, and the monopolistic salvation claims of the Roman church are some of the issues Davis raises.

The impulses here are reminiscent of those of the Reformation, but with significant differences. Biblical criteria for judgments are present, but so also are the prevailing psychosocial understandings of man. The Roman Catholic system, according to Davis, leaves the individual with a “distortion of personality” and the incapacity to make any “truly personal moral decision.”

Davis emerges with a personal faith in Christ and a trinitarian theology. He is suspicious of all church organizations and sees the Church as made up of all believers, who constitute “a Christian presence in the world.” He advocates, with Harvey Cox, “creative disaffiliation” but acknowledges nostalgia for the Eucharist.

Davis offers no formula for church union. Rather, he claims that the Christian community cannot be coterminous with traditional structures so “inimical to the self-understanding and freedom of man and to Christian truth and love.” Cannot he and the many others he describes as “disaffiliated” find any church of reformed faith and congenial fellowship? Perhaps the pilgrim is saying something to all of us who take our Reformation heritage so much for granted.

A Christian Novel To Cherish

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Michael Glenny (Harper & Row, 1967, 394 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by Edward E., Ericson Jr., assistant professor of English, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.

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Particularly since so little serious modern literature reflects Christian values, a novel that presents parallels to Christian doctrines is of much interest to the Christian intellectual community. The Master and Margarita is thoroughly Christian in content and presents nearly all the basic doctrines: the creation of man in the image of God, human depravity, the moral universe, divine providence, a personal God who intervenes in human history, a personal devil who does likewise, the intimate relation between the supernatural realm and the natural realm, the centrality of the Incarnation, the death and resurrection of Christ, Christ’s intercession for man, the forgiveness of sins, the life everlasting, heaven and hell.

The author, Mikhail Bulgakov, was a Russian writer who published during the twenties, was suppressed during the thirties, and died in 1940 with the work of his last decade unpublished. More than a quarter century after his death, the Soviet government has allowed release of a censored version. Now available in English are this censored version (published by Grove) and an unabridged version (by Harper & Row in hard cover and Signet in paperback).

Bulgakov employs a mixture of comic realism and fantasy to convey his theme—that the supernatural and the natural are inextricably intertwined, that nature is not the whole of reality. Because of the fantasy, the plot is totally unpredictable. Meanings are not always easy to pin down.

There are three strands of plot, each of which contributes significantly to the theme of the novel. In one, Satan appears in contemporary Moscow. He becomes engaged in some ironically amusing conversations with Marxists in which they try to convince him that, on the basis of their naturalistic presuppositions, he cannot exist. In this “Satanic incarnation” Satan comes unto his own but his own know him not. In his aesthetic indirection, Bulgakov uses the self-evident existence of Satan to argue for the existence of God.

In the second strand of the plot, a novelist who is known only as the master and his mistress (at least in the fantasy), Margarita, find their existences wretched and hopeless and turn to God for aid. “Where else can such wrecks as you and I find help except from the supernatural? So let’s see what we can find in the other world.” This plot presents the theme of Christian redemption, a theme conspicuously absent from contemporary literature.

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The third plot element concerns the confrontation between Christ and Pontius Pilate, the representative of mankind. It is the story that the master is telling in the novel he is writing. The whole story of man’s alienation from God and potential reconciliation appears in miniature in this plot.

Here is a novel that presents an orthodox Christian message and is already being taken seriously by the literary critics. It is a book for literate Christians to cherish.

Changes In Catholic Scholarship

Modern Biblical Studies, edited by Dennis J. McCarthy, S. J., and William B. Callen, S.J. (Bruce, 1967, 186 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by Clark H. Pinnock, associate professor of theology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, Louisiana.

This work, an anthology of biblical studies by Catholic authors originally published in Theology Digest, gives the reader an excellent sampling of the new direction Catholic biblical scholarship has taken in the past two decades. Among the outstanding contributors are Cardinal Bea, R. A. F. Macenzie, Pierre Benoit, Rudolf Schnackenburg, and Jacques Dupont. All the writers are eager to return to the literal sense of the Bible and believe that Christian theology ought always to be based upon Scripture. For men weary of the tedious parade of mini-theologies hastily fashioned by Protestant faddists, this emphasis is most refreshing! All the writers are solidly trinitarian and do not shrink from concepts like biblical inerrancy and infallibility.

They frequently assert, however, that the Bible must be critically studied in accordance with accepted modern literary techniques. The two specifically mentioned in the introduction and practiced in the various essays are form criticism and Redaktionsgeschichte (an untranslatable term that describes the theological aims operative in the compilation of the biblical material). Where these techniques are actually applied in the book, the writers handle them with considerable moderation. Schnackenburg, for example, rejects the historical skepticism and pessimism of the Bultmann camp and uses form criticism to explain why facts were included in the gospel accounts, not why they were invented. None of the writers apparently feels any basic incompatibility between the doctrine of inspiration and certain alleged literary procedures. Surely inspiration cannot be compatible with a literary hypothesis that imputes deceit to the author (e.g., pseudepigraphy) or error in his assertions. But the authors feel no anxiety along these lines. Luis Alonso-Schökel, S.J., for example, feels free to call the fall of man an etiology, and Lucien Legrand to discuss the evidence for pagan cosmogonies in the Old Testament.

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Can a circle have corners? The evangelical is set to wondering what inerrancy in the presence of errors might mean. The new-shape Catholic criticism uses the language of the historic doctrine of inspiration, but in a somewhat dishonest way. These scholars are being praised for saying basically the same things for which the older modernists were excommunicated, namely, that the Bible does not always tell the truth. This book reveals a growing tendency in Protestant and Catholic circles, including evangelical groups, to restrict the inerrancy of Scripture to “saving truth” (veritas salutaris) and deny it to other matters that it teaches. This decision means that the Bible is not necessarily free from error in matters not deemed “saving.” It is, however, the witness of history that when such a dichotomy is introduced, the area of inerrant revelation begins to shrink rapidly in accord with the shape of the interpreter’s own theology. Certainly the attitude of our Lord to Scripture was one of total trust and permits no such process of sifting.

In the articles dealing with the text of the Gospels there are many pleasant surprises. Benoit and Dupont, among others, reveal a sturdy belief in the messianic self-consciousness of Jesus against the pressures from radical criticism. Franz Mussner, in his article on the Paraclete, recognizes the special charisma of inspiration that Christ bestowed uniquely on his disciples and that lies beneath the divine truthfulness of the New Testament writings. We are surprised and disappointed, however, by Stanislas Lyonnet, who, writing on “expiation,” surrenders the idea of vicarious substitution. Denial of this feature of the Gospel has a disastrous effect on Christian theology, for which the finished work of Christ is foundational.

The shape of Roman Catholic biblical scholarship is changing. It has moved a long way from proof-texting. But if in its zeal to catch up with the twentieth century, it stumbles into the trap of nineteenth-century rationalism and gets hung up on negative criticism, evangelicals will have to wonder whether this is progress.

Book Briefs

Two Studies In The Theology of Bonhoeffer, by Jürgen Moltmann and Jürgen Weissbach (Scribners, 1967, 160 pp., $3.95). Two German scholars participate in the theological sport of pinning down the elusive theology of Bonhoeffer. Weissbach concludes that Bonhoeffer’s ethics teaches that “the dominion of Christ over all realms frees everything for its own proper concern for genuine worldliness,” so that “the world does not have to be Christianized.” The book helps one to recognize the German martyr’s significant influence on current secularized theology.

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American Theology in the Liberal Tradition, by Lloyd J. Averill (Westminster, 1967, 173 pp., $4.50). A survey of the varieties of religious liberalism in the past century by an author who thinks that the American theological scene is heading toward the recovery of liberalism.

A Christian and His Money, by John R. Crawford (Abingdon, 1967, 176 pp., $3.75). Don’t read this unless you are prepared to take an honest look at your financial practices. The author’s probing, Bible-studded approach might lead some to say, “He’s stopped preachin’ and started meddlin’!”

A Functioning Faith, by Billy Simmons (Word, 1967, 144 pp., $3.50). Popular and practical expositions on the Book of James by the holder of a doctorate in New Testament from New Orleans Baptist Seminary.

The Sense of Absence, by Geddes MacGregor (Lippincott, 1968, 158 pp., $4.50). In line with new emphases in secular theology, MacGregor claims that a sense of the absence of God is necessary that we may perceive his presence. He should consider Psalm 139.

The Names of God in Holy Scripture, by Andrew Jukes (Kregel, 1967, 226 pp., $3.50), and Number in Scripture, by E. W. Bullinger (Kregel, 1967, 304 pp., $4.95). Reprints of widely read volumes from the late nineteenth century.

The First Person, by Lehman Strauss (Loizeaux, 1967, 256 pp., $3.75). Devotional studies on God the Father that consider the necessity for God, his nature, and his names in Scripture. Informative and inspiring.

Readings in Luther for Laymen, edited by Charles S. Anderson (Augsburg, 1967, 304 pp., $4.95). Laymen who know Luther only as a historical personage will meet him in these selections as a powerful reformer and a wise pastor.

Understanding and Counseling the Alcoholic, by Howard J. Clinebell, Jr. (Abingdon, 1968, 336 pp., $5.95). A revised and enlarged edition of an important work that includes an analysis of three religious approaches to helping alcoholics: those of The Salvation Army, the Emmanuel Movement, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Pastors should own this book.


New Directions in Theology Today, Volume III: God and Secularity, by John Macquarrie (Westminster, 1967, 157 pp., $1.95). A Union Seminary (N. Y.) professor offers a clear exposition of the secular theology now in vogue among seminary firebrands.

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Personal Ethics in an Impersonal World, by C. Eugene Conover (Westminster, 1967, 159 pp., $2.45). Conover reviews five perspectives in personal ethics. His own recommendation: We should “extend the range of open-ness and intercommunication in order to make the large cities and institutions of a technologically advanced society as human as possible, and to open our tribal moralities to the wider perspectives that offer hope for man’s continued existence.” Interesting but not very satisfying.

Theology in America, edited by Sydney E. Ahlstrom (Bobbs-Merrill, 1967, 512 pp., $7.50). A Yale professor’s extensive compilation of the writings of certain influential theologians shows the vitality of this field of study in American history. Well worth buying despite its over-representation of liberal thinkers.

The Work of The Clerk, by Zelotes Grenell and Agnes Grenell Goss (Judson, 1967, 63 pp., $1.50). Help for the valiant but ill-prepared servant who takes on the important job of church clerk.

From Religion to Grace, by John F. Crosby (Abingdon, 1967, 126 pp., $1.95). A Presbyterian pastor attempts to help laymen understand the doctrine of justification by faith.

The Mythology of Science, by Rousas John Rushdoony (Craig, 1967, 134 pp., $2.50). A well-read author levels some devastating criticisms against the myth of evolution that exerts unmerited influence on scientific thought.

Israel, Act III, by Richard Wolff (Tyndale, 1967, 94 pp., $1.25). Sketches the role of Israel in God’s universal purpose in relation to present-day developments in the Middle East.

Censorship, Obscenity, and Sex, by Alfred P. Klausler (Concordia, 1967, 104 pp., $1.25). A thoughtful discussion of a thorny problem in society to which the Church must intelligently address itself.

Contemporary Forms of Faith, by Paul R. Sponheim (Augsburg, 1967, 126 pp., $1.50). Sponheim offers an oversimplified comparison of fundamentalism, neo-orthodoxy, and neo-realism but lands nowhere himself, except to affirm a “Church of the Center” that “reads no one out.”

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