Problem Of Missions: Theological Softness
God’s Mission—and Ours, by Eugene L. Smith (Abingdon, 1961, 169 pp., $3.25). is reviewed by John H. Kromminga, President. Calvin Seminary.
The mission of the Christian Church is an all-embracing task in which the whole Church ought to be involved. It is a subject for profound study, involving the most basic Christian concepts; it is a complex subject, requiring adaptation of all facets of the Christian faith to many and varied cultures. These are among the important messages which author Smith forcefully drives home.
His book will prove helpful to many kinds of people. It will be especially so to the many loyal supporters of the Christian mission who have never been able to visualize conditions of life and culture in a foreign country. Drawing on wide contacts, making excellent use of a goodly store of illustrations, and writing with commendable vigor, the author has succeeded in lifting the reader out of isolation. Throughout the book he communicates the conviction that the Christian mission is carried out in a world of concrete reality and cannot ignore the burning issues of human interrelations.
The vivid style of this book is sometimes marred by abrupt changes of subject. Illustrations at times miss the point.
The author indicates, both directly and indirectly, that he is disillusioned with theological liberalism and its contribution to the Christian mission. He does not believe that neo-orthodox pessimism provides the proper antidote to liberalism. His attitude toward fundamentalism is ambiguous. He criticizes it. perhaps rightly, for rigidity and divisiveness. But it is not clear just what he means when he accuses fundamentalism of the heresy of failing to recognize the freedom with which Christ has made us free.
In the opinion of this reviewer, the author is too optimistic about the progress and growth of the Christian mission according to present indications. He is lacking in patience with theological precision. When he says that the differences between Orthodox, Nestorians, and Monophysites were less serious than the bitterness accompanying the divisions, his judgment is questionable even though this sort of statement is often made. At some places he seems too much at peace with modern Western culture (e.g. p. 116) to be consistent with the criticisms he makes elsewhere. This reviewer is particularly concerned over his doctrine of Scripture. It is not clear whether the author distinguishes in principle between revelation in the canon and revelation after the canon. This weakness is underscored by his failure to do justice to the orthodox interpretation of the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Word (p. 157).
Thus, in this very readable and helpful book, there is a theological softness that deprives this treatment of finality. It is just such a theological weakness which lies at the heart of the modern missionary problem. Therefore, for all the vigor and cogency of the author’s presentation, we are constrained to say: This ought he to have done, and not to have left the other undone.
JOHN H. KROMMINGA
God And The Unknowable
The Knowledge of the Holy, by A. W. Tozer (Harper, 1961, 128 pp., $3), is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry, Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
The gifted editor of The Alliance Witness, long a dedicated minister of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, here turns his ready pen to the exposition of the doctrine of God. Essentially a popular statement of the divine attributes, the book reflects Dr. Tozer’s incisive and clever turn of phrase.
“The loss of the concept of majesty from the popular religious mind,” the author tells us, has replaced the lofty Christian concept of God by another “so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping men.… We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence” (p. vii). Though the Church “may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false.”
The work breathes a spirit of devotion. Each chapter is preceded by an appropriate prayer, each relates the respective attributes to man’s daily outlook. Dr. Tozer is concerned, he says, to enrich the “heart” more than to illumine the mind. His real concern is the practical life, in his words “personal heart religion.”
Those who search this book for systematic theology are likely to be disap pointed. Indeed, evangelical theologians will be disturbed—and with good reason—over some of its facets. Dr. Tozer pictures thought and speech as “God’s gifts to creatures made in His image; these are intimately associated with Him …” and he ascribes the yearning to know God to the divine image in man. But he does not elaborate this in terms of a theistic view of reason and language.
The knowledge of God is viewed as a problem for several reasons. 1. Man’s sinfulness poses a barrier overcome by God’s revelation in Scripture. But God’s complete self-disclosure in Christ is said to be made “not to reason but to faith and love.” 2. Man’s finiteness assertedly precludes his bearing God’s “exact image” in any respect, and limits man’s knowledge of God to a shadowland knowledge (“Only to an equal could God communicate the mystery of His Godhead.…”). 3. God’s ineffability places “a great strain on both thought and language in the Holy Scriptures.” Dr. Tozer repeatedly quotes the mystics who assert the inconceivability of God. Indeed, he periodically presses the thesis that we have no knowledge of God-in-himself—a premise hardly serviceable to evangelical theology. We are told: “The name of God is secret and His essential nature incomprehensible.”
Yet Dr. Tozer insists that, by divine revelation, we know certain of God’s attributes (sketched popularly along quite traditional lines). He ventures to define an attribute, curiously, as “whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.” But an attribute is “a mental concept, an intellectual response to God’s self-revelation.” “An attribute … is how God is, and as far as the reasoning mind can go, we may say that it is what God is, though … exactly what He is He cannot tell us.” “Love and faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead. Let reason kneel in reverence outside.”
Because of his dependence on Scripture, Dr. Tozer’s exposition is more orthodox than his theory of religious knowledge would permit if applied consistently. Those who seek “a reason for the hope within us” will not be content with a delineation exalting faith at the expense of reason, inasmuch as such a rationale would be serviceable to the Hindu or the Jesuit as much as to the Protestant.
CARL F. H. HENRY
Gautama And Christ
On the Eightfold Path: Christian Presence Amid Buddhism, by George Appleton (Oxford, 1961, 156 pp., $2.50), is reviewed by E. Luther Copeland, Professor of Missions, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the “Christian Presence Series,” of which this volume is the second, Christian writers attempt to stand within another religion, see through the eyes of its devout adherent, and find “how God has been speaking to him and what new understandings of the grace and love of God we may ourselves discover in the encounter” (p. 10).
The author of this volume, having known Buddhism at first hand in Burma, gives a very generous and appreciative estimate of this religion, particularly in terms of its original meaning. However, he maintains witness to firm Christian conviction in insisting that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ unveils the deficiency or “blind spot” of Buddhism.
Indeed, to study and discuss non-Christian religions in the spirit of this series, and to recognize, neither grudgingly nor nervously, such goodness and truth as they possess, demands a Christian faith that is large and strong.
E. LUTHER COPELAND
Religion In America
The Shaping of American Religion (514 pp., $8.50), Religious Perspectives in American Culture (427 pp., $7.50), and A Critical Bibliography of Religion in America (in 5 parts, bound separately—parts 1 and 2, 541 pp., parts 3, 4, and 5, 1219 pp., $17.50), edited by James Ward Smith and A. Leland Jameson (Princeton University Press, 1961), are reviewed by C. Gregg Singer, Professor of History, Catawba College, Salisbury, North Carolina.
These volumes along with another to appear later this year constitute a project known as Religion in American Life. It is a worthy and ambitious program growing out of the special study course in American civilization which has been conducted at the University for some time. Princeton is to be commended for its awareness of the importance of Christianity in the shaping of the American tradition. Volume I attempts to present an analysis of institutionalized religion in America (Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and the newer sects) along with some history of their development from the colonial era to our own day. At the same time there is some attempt to discuss the development of American theology.
The initial monograph by H. Richard Niebuhr is concerned with the relationship which exists between Protestantism and democracy in terms of the inner dynamics of its theology and spiritual heritage. Niebuhr freely confesses his difficulty in achieving a satisfactory definition of both Protestantism and democracy and his inability to do so haunts the whole essay. He never equates the two streams of thought, but because he has no clear conception of biblical redemption he sees in both democracy and Protestantism a certain kinship which becomes evident in parallel strands of thought. An equal indecision and confusion in regard to the inner meaning of democracy makes this introductory chapter very disappointing.
Of much greater merit is Henry J. Browne’s excellent historical treatment of the development of Roman Catholicism in this country. It is his conviction that the distinguishing characteristics of Roman Catholics in this country is their determination to prove that they belong to the American scene. Of particular interest and of great value for its insight is his treatment of the development of the parochial school and the reasons for it. Protestants and secularists will both be astounded at his candid admission that Catholicism has not made significant contributions to American culture to any great degree. The general effect of this chapter is to give a rather unusual insight into the pervading psychology of nineteenth century American Catholics.
Professor Oscar Handlin also uses the historical approach to give the finest short treatment of Judaism in this country known by this reviewer. With great insight he portrays the role of the Jew in American history and sets forth the circumstances and cultural factors which brought about the emerging of the Conservative and Reform movements within Judaism. He shows the attempt on the part of the American Jews to accommodate their heritage to the democracy of which they are a part. Inevitably this attempt produced serious stresses and strains within Jewish Orthodoxy with the result that its ecclesiastical unity was broken.
Particularly disappointing is Leland Jameson’s presentation of what he calls “Religion on the Perimeter.” He examines the sects and the cults and finds their principal courses in social unrest and psychological instability and he pays little or no attention to the theological factors. He also fails to make a proper distinction between the cults properly so called and those groups which have felt it necessary to secede from the major denominations because of their liberalism. The remaining monographs in Volume I dealing with various aspects of American theology and its psychological aspects are more satisfactory. Evangelical Christianity in general and Calvinism in particular failed to receive the treatment they deserve. Nowhere does Calvinism stand out as the great living force which shapes so much of our theology down to 1860. Neither is the rise of liberalism Hewed as a serious departure from orthodoxy and threatening the very life of the church; rather it is portrayed as a normal response of the religious mind to the impact of Darwinism and industrialism in American life. This casual treatment of orthodoxy is the pervading weakness of Volume I.
Volume II, Religious Perspectives in American Culture, is basically an attempt to interpret our national culture in terms of a religious but not necessarily Christian world and life view. The first monograph on Religious Education in America, by Will Herberg, despite some good observations on the early relationship existing between public education and Christianity in this country, falls far short of presenting in its true light education in the colonial and early national periods. Herberg conveniently omits the evangelical presuppositions and leadership which brought education into existence. Much of the chapter is devoted to attempts to find a principle for determining what the relationship between religion and public education should be in the light of recent decisions of the Supreme Court. The succeeding chapters in Volume II fall far short of its announced intentions. Lacking in both of these volumes is a basic theology which alone can support such a study as was contemplated by the Princeton group. There is no clear recognition of the sovereignty of God, the depravity of man, salvation by faith alone, and the infallibility and supremacy of the Scriptures. The frame of reference for both volumes is a nebulous religion rather than historic orthodoxy, and for this reason these volumes will be deeply disappointing to those evangelicals who look for an evaluation of American culture in terms of a basic Christianity.
The redeeming feature of this project lies in the two volumes containing a critical bibliography of American Christianity. It is by far the best collection that has come to the attention of this reviewer.
C. GREGG SINGER
Preaching Book By Book
Preaching on the Books of the Old Testament, by Dwight E. Stevenson (Harper, 1961, 267 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Clarence S. Roddy, Professor of Homiletics, Fuller Theological Seminary.
Decrying the neglect of true biblical preaching in the modern pulpit, the fragmentation of the books of the Bible by basing a sermon on a verse or a phrase, Dr. Stevenson challenges the minister to regain the true message of the Bible by preaching the total message of a book in a single sermon. This, he maintains, confronts the man in the pew with a whole message. It brings him under the impact of the Bible as a unit. It produces biblical consciousness. Dr. Stevenson has produced a well-written, practical volume of principles, methods, and examples of true, expository preaching. Such preaching is not easy, but it is worth while. This is a fine addition to the preacher’s tools.
CLARENCE S. RODDY
Chronicle Of Revival
The Inextinguishable Blaze, by A. Skevington Wood (Eerdmans, 1960, 256 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by J. Edwin Orr, Missioner, International Council of Christian Leadership.
This is an excellent book by a Methodist scholar whose warmth of heart matches his erudition. It interprets the spiritual advances of the eighteenth century in the light of accumulated knowledge of 15 decades following.
Very properly, the author begins with the sad condition of Protestantism in the English-speaking world at the beginning of that century. His chronology in tracing the rise of the Evangelical Revival is commendable, in that he begins not with the Wesleys or even Jonathan Edwards, but commences with the morning star of the movement—Griffith Jones of Wales. In America, notice is taken of the outbreak of revival in New Jersey under Theodore Freylinghuysen, a link with the pietism of the European Continent which affected the Methodists by way of the Moravians later.
Unlike some recent authors who have tried to make a case for Calvinism or for Arminianism as the deciding element of evangelical revival, Dr. Skevington treats the contributions of both schools of thought and action in proper balance. It is a pity that there is a dearth of material upon the effects of the Awakening among the Ulster Scots, who profoundly influenced the course of affairs in America. There is also a need of fuller consideration of events on the Continent.
As this volume is one of a series edited by Professor F. F. Bruce, it is to be hoped that someone like Skevington Wood will be persuaded to give an adequate coverage to the great awakenings of the nineteenth century, an area in which little comprehensive writing has been done.
J. EDWIN ORR
To Combat Caricature
The Word of God and Fundamentalism (Church Bookroom Press, 1961, 127 pp., 4s.), is reviewed by Martin H. Cressey, Minister, St. Columba’s Presbyterian Church, Coventry, England.
This volume consists of the papers read to the 1960 Oxford Conference of Evangelical Churchmen (Anglicans). The subject was chosen for two reasons. First, 1961 is the 350th anniversary of the King James Version. Second, there is a great deal of misunderstanding of the conservative evangelical position, much of which centers on the word “Fundamentalism” and its varied meanings.
One may question the wisdom in general of publishing conference addresses. They often lack the lucidity and polish required by the careful reader; the lack was doubtless supplied by the emphases and enthusiasm of the original speakers, but these cannot be reproduced in print. One gets this feeling from several of the papers, and unfortunately the book also bears marks of some carelessness in production.
It is greatly to be hoped, however, that this will not hinder what is presumably the main object of publication, namely, the correction of misunderstanding of conservatives by liberals. The papers have no great originality, but they make it plain that theological conservatism is by no means the same thing as obscurantism, a mechanical doctrine of inspiration, or a literal interpretation of biblical passages which are plainly metaphorical or figurative. These papers will not resolve all the liberals’ doubts. That could hardly be expected of a short paperback. But they may encourage fruitful discussion in place of name-calling.
The criticism of “the American type of fundamentalism,” mentioned on the back cover, is a criticism of extremists and emphatically does not embrace all American conservatives, one of whom is quoted at some length to support the criticism of his fellow-countrymen.
M. H. CRESSEY
A Case Of Identity
The Origin and Meaning of the Name “Protestant Episcopal,” by Robert W. Shoemaker (American Church Publications, 1959, 338 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by William B. Williamson, Rector, The Church of the Atonement, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This is an important book which unfortunately was written and published 50 years too late to be a positive and objective influence to the partisan “sides” in the “frequently disputed (an issue in every convention except three triennially since 1877) name ‘Protestant Episcopal.’ ” It is a scholarly contribution to the knowledge of a particular area in the history of American religious life and especially that of the Episcopal church. Curiosity regarding the dispute (“Nothing I read was satisfactory; it was largely shallow opinion and virtually all polemic”) led this young assistant professor of history at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute into seven years of well-organized research where he utilized documentary materials from 25 libraries and the professional assistance and guidance of more than a dozen church and secular scholars. The final production is a unique and careful, though at times tedious, study in the field of religious semantics and specifically in the usage in America of the words “protestant” and “catholic.” One mechanical weakness is the location of abundant and accurate footnotes in the back of the book. The hardship of relating 177 footnotes to the 30 pages of text in chapter one is an example of the inevitable problem of printing logistics.
The main burden of the book is a thorough examination of the meaning of the word “protestant” from the sixteenth century to the present. While protestant was first used to describe Lutherans in the mid-sixteenth century, it was also applied to Anglicans to the end of the seventeenth century. Finally in the eighteenth century “protestant” was expanded to include all nonpapal Western Christians. The author records thousands of examples to give abundant evidence of this semantic change. The words “papist” (Roman Catholic) and “dissenter” (sectarian Christian) are also discussed along with the changing meaning of antonyms (opposites compared), for example, protestant versus papist (now protestant versus catholic).
The author’s discussion of “catholic” takes up the two most popular definitions—universal, which he identifies as a carry-over from “billy-goat” Greek, and Roman Catholic, which he reveals as a geographical and not a theological definition. He insists the word “catholic” is not a definition but a description of the body maintaining apostolic “Doctrine and Sacraments, and the Discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded” (in the Holy Scriptures) (Ordinal of the Book of Common Prayer), without Roman Catholic additions and sectarian deletions.
The how, what, where, and why analysis of the name “Protestant Episcopal” reveals that prior to the American Revolution “protestant” was used to describe the Anglicans in Maryand and in other southern states. Also the word “episcopal” was a rare, pre-revolutionary designation, except in New England where it was used in opposition to “pres-byterial or congregational.” Indeed the author insists that “Protestant Episcopal did not exist in our language … prior to its general adoption in 1780” (p. 29).
The first convention of post-revolutionary American Anglicans met to repair their war-tattered church. It was composed mostly of Maryland and Pennsylvania churchmen which is the reason the author gives for the adoption of the name “Protestant (nonpapist) Episcopal (noncongregational) Church in the United States of America.” To the middle states delegates both terms were well understood and no issue whatever is recorded. The author points out that “a dearth of evidence” surrounding this convention makes historical reconstruction impossible. (Only one document supporting later opinions and accounts of the adoption of the name could be found.)
A comparison of the words “protestant” and “catholic,” as they refer to the Episcopal church and the Anglican communion, causes the author to claim that modern American use of “protestant” describes a position far removed from that of the basic Episcopal-Anglican position. He cites a recent (1954) action of the Diocese of Pennsylvania in approving a report of a special committee appointed to study the National Council of Churches publications, for example, Primer for Protestants and What Protestants Believe. The committee censured these publications because “reviewed in relation to the Anglican formularies [they] evidence the promotion of a body of doctrine that is in opposition to the Episcopal church (Journal, 1954, p. 277).
The author’s final conclusion comes as no surprise at all. He states that the name “Protestant Episcopal” is inaccurate in the view of the semantic change which has taken place. It should, he believes, be amended immediately; “then the church can get on to more important matters.” After discarding several possibilities, such as Reformed Catholic, American Anglican, The Episcopal Church, he recommends the name The American Episcopal Church which he calls “accurate, concise, palatable, and historical” (p. 296). Many would agree that change in the corporate name should be made as a clarifying move toward a sharper witness for Episcopalians among the nonpapal Christians of the Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox communions.
Regardless of the name, one factor will undoubtedly remain unchanged however, and that is the admitted paradox and dilemma of the dual nature of Anglicanism. The catholic-evangelical nature of the Episcopal church is a real and vital tension under which God seems to will that we should live in unity. “Hold that fast which thou hast,” is Christ’s command to the Church in the Book of Revelation (3:11). Thus by holding each paradoxical nature as essential and continuing “steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42), and by loving fellowship and Gospel witness the Episcopal church will achieve the reward promised by our Lord and be “a pillar in the temple of … God.”
WILLIAM B. WILLIAMSON
The Bible School on the Mission Field, by Hubert Reynhout, Jr. (privately published by the author in care of Barrington College, Barrington, Rhode Island, no date, 72 pp., $1.25), is reviewed by Harold Lind-sell, Vice President, Fuller Theological Seminary.
Part of a doctoral dissertation written at Harvard, this work touches on missionary Bible schools overseas, and delineates their weaknesses and strengths, and projects an image of what the ideal Bible school should be like. The work is based upon information obtained from missionaries engaged in Bible school endeavors, and it brings into focus the experiences and recommendations of those closest to the problem. It could serve admirably as a handbook to missionaries and missionary leaders engaged in, or expecting to begin, this kind of educational endeavor. Unfortunately its usefulness will be limited both by the nature of the subject and the fact that it is privately reproduced.
Nothingness: An Iron Fist
Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature—With a Christian Answer, by Helmut Thielicke (Harper, 1961, 186 pp., $5), is reviewed by Harold B. Kuhn, Professor of the Philosophy of Religion, Asbury Theological Seminary.
Discussions of post-Christian paganism have not overlooked the last “ism,” nihilism, but many of them have failed to note that the nihilist of the cafe has never really faced the realities which belong to his discussion of Nothingness. The present Rector of the University of Hamburg, Helmut Thielicke, faced a generation of genuine disillusionment in his Germany of 1945, and in his Tubingen lectures he captured the timeless elements which exist in the “existential” situation. The one who would review these lectures is at a loss for a place to begin, for the volume contains a certain vastness of content. In one sense, nihilism is a study in distinctions. The author sees with clarity that which is so frequently camouflaged in discussions of existentialism, namely, the distinction between naive, cultic nihilism on the one hand, and the implicit, serious, and covert form on the other. Dr. Thielicke sees likewise the proximate and exhibitionist character of faddist existentialism, and the far-reaching character and dimensions of the anxiety which has seized the man to whom nihilism is a really serious mood.
This book has at its core the contention that every “autarchy of this-world” leads ultimately in the same direction. Applied to the individual, it brings him to loss of the ego and into the iron grip of Fate; applied to jurisprudence, it leads to unsubstantial positive law, with its foggy relativism; applied to medicine, it fragments therapy so that it cannot cope with a vast sector of contemporary illness; applied to politics, it creates a dialectic out of which the arbitrary authoritarianism of the dictator may easily arise. The author’s discussions in these several fields are frightening precisely because they are so accurate in their description of what exists in Western society.
Some writers in this area attribute the loss of the human ego to the vast impersonalization of today’s world; Dr. Thielicke sees that the loss of “self” by the modern man is causal to the inhumanity of his world. Man’s self-definition is what it is in the twentieth century precisely because of the loss of the controlling relationship by which he is man, namely, his relation to God. The loss of value in terms of “man-under-God” issues easily and simply in “utilizable value” which equals wonvaluc. To compensate for the loss of the awareness of God, so characteristic of modern paganism, modern man seeks to create his synthetic “gods” in terms of the absolutizing of this or that.
The major contribution of Nihilism is not, however, merely the drawing of trenchant distinctions, valuable as this may be. Dr. Thielicke sees beyond what is for the post-Christian pagan, and sketches with bold strokes what may he for the man who will permit the living God to knock out the dungeon-wall which surrounds him. The core of the answer is that the total threat of meaninglessness has been overcome by the God-Man who, in the dark hour of Golgotha, fled to the Father. Our author does not wait to the final lines to point the way out of man’s predicament, but weaves this into his discussion and expresses it in its most powerful form in Chapter 10, “The Anxiety of Life.”
Important for the understanding of existentialism as a whole is Professor Thielicke’s continual distinction between the cultic, naïve nihilism and the reflective form which “continues to stand its ground in the face of the question of meaning.” It would be interesting to overhear him in discussion with a beatnik who explains, with practiced hesitation and with each sentence beginning with the word “like,” precisely and learnedly how he became mixed up in the first place. It is probable that Dr. Thielicke would penetrate this sham with a few well-placed sentences. More instructive still would be a dialogue between him and one who has experienced “Nothingness” through authentic experiences.
Nihilism is a work born out of a genuine, visible shattering of human foundations through the bombings of World War II. For this reason it has the ring of reality, so absent in many current “existential” discussions. After all, there is something hollow about the sound of a pampered product of the uninterrupted enjoyment of the American Lebensstand-ard discussing “existential anguish” and “life at the boundary.”
It is to the good that Professor Thielicke omits the theatricals which so frequently characterize “existential” writings whose authors seem to delight in leaving the reader engulfed in “anxiety’s horrible vacuum.” This volume is unique in that it presents the Inescapable One who stands at the limits of what parades as the Abyss of Nothingness, and who will continue to triumph gloriously after man’s ersatz “gods” of past and present (including communism) pass into the limbo of oblivion.
The reader who desires a piquant freshness and a pungency of style will be delighted with Nihilism. Professor Thielicke utilizes with great effectiveness his wide acquaintance with German literature, and illustrates his major propositions by its permanent insights. His volume is not one to be read once and then put on the shelf. This reviewer has already marked his copy generously and cross-referenced it at a dozen points. The lectures which comprise its contents are as relevant today as when they were delivered fifteen years ago. The course of today’s history seems to indicate that they will still be contemporary for decades. The thoughtful reader will particularly appreciate two merits of Dr. Thielicke’s work: first, his keen distinctions between the genuine and the cultic in extentialism, and his evangelistic patience with the honest heart that seeks a way out of the iron fist of the feeling of Nothingness.
HAROLD B. KUHN
The Edge of the Edge, by Theodore E. Matson (Friendship Press, 1961, 165 pp., $2.95) is reviewed by M. Jackson White, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Clarendon, Arlington, Virginia.
The author makes a very clear and penetrating analysis of our times. Special attention is given to population trends. To meet the new challenges presented today, the church is called upon to exercise a greater spirit of co-operation in locating its buildings and in developing its programs to meet the spiritual needs of the people.
Though the author calls for a thorough adaptation of the church to all changing conditions of the world today, he never loses sight of or compromises the true mission of the Church as given by Christ himself.
All our denominational leaders and church planners could profit greatly by carefully studying the principles presented in this book.
M. JACKSON WHITE
Dear Doctor: I have a problem …, by M. R. De Haan (Radio Bible Class, 1961, 278 pp., $3). The second volume of Bible questions and answers aired on radio by the well-known Bible teacher.
Christians in Racial Crisis, by Thomas F. Pettigrew and Ernest Q. Campbell (Public Affairs Press, 1959, 196 pp., $3.50). A study of the predicament and behavior of Little Rock’s ministers during the 1957–58 school desegregation crisis. Included are statements on race relations by leading U.S. denominations.
The Heritage of the Reformation, by Wilhelm Pauck (Free Press, 1961, 399 pp., $6). A three-part study of the Reformation, Protestantism, and liberalism, with a plea for “the further development of the ecumenical theology,” by the Union Seminary church historian (revised and expanded from the first edition of 1950).
New Testament Guide, by John H. Bratt (Eerdmans, 1961, 144 pp., $3). Revised and enlarged New Testament introduction designed especially for young people (first published in 1946).
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