Spring Book Forecast

Like the eagerly awaited first breath of spring come the announcements of publishers’ “Spring Lists” in the field of religion. The lists for 1961 seem to be larger. More evangelical authors are represented. Several big-name publishers are announcing religious titles on a large scale for the first time. Religion is breaking into the “paperbacks” (see page 31). All this is a good omen for the future.

Before us is a wide panorama of books on systematic and biblical theology, apologetics and philosophy, church history and biography, Old and New Testament studies, pastoral problems, sermons, liturgy and worship, ethical and social problems, Christian education, ecumenism to say nothing of Christian fiction and poetry.

Only a mere fraction of the planned output for the first six months of 1961 will be noted here. There can be no attempt to pre-evaluate. Eventually most of the titles will receive attention from CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S 100 capable reviewers who offer trustworthy guidance in evaluation and interpretation.

Foremost on the horizon is a new translation of the Holy Scriptures. It is only a matter of anxious days until the New Testament of the New English Bible (CHRISTIANITY TODAY, September 26, 1960; January 30, 1961) will be in the bookstores. Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press are publishers in America, as in the British Isles. This work in current English is the fruit of the best non-Roman scholarship in Britain working for 13 years on the earliest Greek Texts. It is not just a version, as the new American Standard Revised, but (at least in prospect) something far richer and better. Dr. F. F. Bruce, noted English scholar, will provide CHRISTIANITY TODAY with an advance review.

Since the LENTEN season is just around the corner these 1961 titles bid for immediate attention: Clarence W. Cranford’s The Seven Last Words and Alfred Doerffler’s The Cross Still Stands (Baker); William D. Streng’s What Language Shall I Borrow? (Augsburg); Reginald Cant’s Heart in Pilgrimage (Harper); Howard Hageman’s We Call This Friday Good (Muhlenberg); Erwin Kurth’s The Passion Pilgrimage (Concordia); and a new reprint The Death and Resurrection of Christ, by Abraham Kuyper (Zondervan).

A classification by fields of interest may serve as a forecast framework:

In the field of SYSTEMATIC AND BIBLICAL THEOLOGY Eerdmans offers Man: The Image of God, by G. C. Berkouwer and Preaching and Biblical Theology, by E. P. Clowney. From Muhlenberg’s presses will come Meaning and Practice of the Lord’s Supper, a symposium edited by Helmut T. Lehman; from John Knox another Karl Barth volume, Anselm: Fidea Quarens Intellectum; Macmillan: A Theological and Historical Introduction to the Apostolic Fathers, by John Lawson; Corcordia: Follow Me: Discipleship According to Matthew, by Martin H. Franzmann; Nazarene: In Christ, by John Nielson; and McGraw-Hill: a collection of highly significant papers in The Theology of Christian Mission, edited by Gerald H. Anderson.

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Books on APOLOGETICS, PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE include Nihilism: Its Origin and Nature with the Christian Answer, by Helmut Thielicke (Harper); Natural Law and Divine Miracle, by R. Hooykaas, The Kingdom of Love and the Pride of Life, by Edward John Carnell and The Christian and His Bible, by Douglas Johnson (Eerdmans); Emil Brunner: An Introduction to the Man and His Thought, by Paul K. Jewett (Inter-Varsity); Love Almighty and Ills Unlimited, by Austin Farrar (Doubleday); Self, Religion and Metaphysics, edited by G. E. Hyers; The Spirit of Protestantism, by Robert McAfee Brown (Oxford). On the edge of science Concordia announces Modern Science in the Christian Life, by John W. Klotz; Abingdon: Science Technology and the Christian, by C. A. Coulson; Nelson: Life’s Long Journey, by Kenneth Walker; and Presbyterian and Reformed: The Genesis Flood, by John C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris.

The area of CHURCH HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY is rich with promise. Harvard University Press will produce The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher in two volumes, edited by Barbara Cross. Abingdon offers Methodism and Society in Historical Perspective, by Richard M. Cameron. Two comprehensive and definitive histories of American communions are announced—Standard: James DeForest Murch’s Christians Only: A History of the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ and Christian Education Press: A History of the Evangelical and Reformed Church by David Dunn and others. From an unusually long list of titles come: Romanticism in American Theology, by James H. Nichols (University of Chicago); Look Up and Live, a biography of Maud Ballington Booth, by Susan F. Welty (Nelson); Protestant Patriarch, the life of Cyril Lucaris, Patriarch of Constantinople, by George A. Hadjiantoniou (John Knox); Worship and Theology in England, 1690–1850, by Horton Davies (Princeton); Focus on Infinity, by R. M. Albright (Macmillan); This is Protestantism, by Arthur Mielke (Revell) and The Billy Sunday Story, by Lee Thomas (Zondervan).

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In NEW TESTAMENT Inter-Varsity adds to its “Introduction to the New Testament” Donald Guthrie’s The Epistles of Paul. Eerdmans announces E. Earle Ellis’ Paul and His Recent Interpreters. Varieties of approach are to be found in The Mind of Jesus, by William Barclay (Harper); The Secret Sayings of Jesus, the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, by Robert M. Grant (Doubleday); The Ethic of Jesus in the Teaching of the Church, by John Knox (Abingdon); Proclaiming the New Testament, edited by Ralph G. Turnbull (Baker); Great Personalities of the New Testament, by William Sanford LaSor (Revell) and another volume by the Greek evangelical leader, G. A. Hadjiantoniou—The Postman of Patmos (Zondervan).

An unusually long list of works in the field of OLD TESTAMENT includes: The Old Testament, Its Origin and Composition, by Curt Kuhl (John Knox); The Old Testament in the Cross, by J. A. Sanders and The Patriarchial Age, by F. Pfeiffer (Broadman); Glimpses of God in Genesis, a translation by J. W. Watts (Eerdmans); Adam to Daniel, edited by G. Cornfeld (Macmillan); King David, Shepherd and Psalmist, by Geoffrey de C. Parmiter (Nelson); The Message of Genesis, by Ralph H. Elliott (Broadman). These volumes are on the edge of archaeology: The Bible and the Ancient Near East, edited by G. Ernest Wright (Doubleday); The Old Testament and Our Times, by Margaret T. Munro (Longmans, Green); A History of Antioch in Syria, by Glanville Downey (Princeton); and Archaeology and the Bible by G. Frederick Owens (Revell).

General BIBLE STUDIES are relevant here. Topping the category and of special significance because of the New English Bible is F. F. Bruce’s The English Bible (Oxford). Somewhat related are The Design of the Scriptures, by Robert C. Dentan (McGraw-Hill); Palestine and the Bible, by Denis Baly (Association); Translating the Bible, by Frederick C. Grant (Seabury); Take and Read, by E. H. Robertson (John Knox); and Herbert Lockyer’s All the Kings and the Queens of the Bible (Zondervan). Baker’s New Bible Atlas will be a publication of more than ordinary significance to Bible students. It is edited by Charles F. Pfeiffer with consultants E. Leslie Carlson in Old Testament and Martin E. Scharlemann in New Testament.

In addition to the Lenten selections SERMONIC literature will be enriched by such titles as Karl Barth’s Deliverance to the Captives, sermons to the World War II inmates of Swiss prisons, (Harper); Frederick W. Schroeder’s Far From Home (Christian Education); D. R. Davies’ Down, Peacock’s Feathers (Abingdon) and Leslie Weatherhead’s Key Next Door (Abingdon); Alan Redpath’s Learning to Live (Eerdmans) and a collection of classics, Valiant for Truth, compiled by David Otis Fuller (McGraw-Hill). DEVOTIONAL works which come somewhat within this classification are Jesus Says to You, by Daniel A. Poling (McGraw-Hill); In Christ, by E. Stanley Jones (Abingdon); and a reprint of Abraham Kuyper’s classic Near To God (Eerdmans).

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Practical works in the field of PASTORAL PROBLEMS include: Faith and Pastoral Prayer, by Charles D. Kean (Seabury); How to Increase Church Attendance, by James L. Christensen (Revell). And those that lean toward a PASTORAL COUNSELING category: Minister and Doctor Meet, by Granger E. Westberg (Harper); The Healing Ministry of the Church, by Bernard Martin (John Knox); The Road to Power, by W. Glyn Evans (Moody); The Pastor and Vocational Counseling, by Charles F. Kemp (Bethany); The Minister as Marriage Counselor, by Charles W. Stewart (Abingdon) and Problems of a Spirit Filled Life, by William S. Deal (Nazarene).

Books that emphasize EVANGELISM include: Man to Man, by Richard C. Halverson (Cowman); You Can Win Souls, by C. E. Autrey (Broadman); The Outsider and the Word of God, by James E. Sellers (Abingdon); Edge of the Edge, by Theodore E. Matson (Friendship) and The Suburban Captivity of the Churches, by Gibson Winter (Doubleday).

Another burgeoning area of religious book publishing is to be found in ETHICAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS. Among the volumes forecast for the next six months are Perry E. Gresham’s Answer to Conformity (Bethany); Paul Stephen’s answer to Communism, The Ultimate Weapon—Christianity (Nelson); Roswell P. Barnes’ Under Orders: The Churches and Public Problems (Doubleday); Carlyle Marney’s Structures of Prejudice (Abingdon) and Paul Ramsey’s Christian Ethics and the Sit-in (Association). Then there are: a symposium, Sex and the Church, edited by Oscar E. Feucht (Concordia); The Religious Factor, by Gerhard Lenski (Doubleday); Foment on the Fringe, by Shirley E. Greene (Christian Education); The City Church—Death or Renewal, by Walter Kloetzl (Muhlenberg); A Faith of Our Own, by Austin Farrer (World) and—something across the ocean—God and Caesar in East Germany, by R. W. Solberg (Macmillan). Broadman has three titles: Christ and Human Values, by A. C. Reid; Danger Ahead, by C. W. Scudder; and Introducing Christian Ethics by Henlee H. Barnette.

MISSIONS continues to be an inspiring theme for authors. The new books for Spring include: China Doctor, the story of Dr. Harry Miller, by Raymond S. Moore (Harper); Land of Eldorado, by Sante Uberto Barbiere (Friendship); On the Eight-Fold Path in which George Applebor deals with Christian Presence amid Buddhism (Oxford); and This is Haiti, by Paul Orjala (Nazarene). Of a more definitive nature are: Is Christ Divided, by Lesslie Newbigin (Eerdmans); God’s Mission and Ours, by Eugene L. Smith (Abingdon); Man’s Peace and God’s Glory, by Eric B. Fife (Inter-Varsity); and Earth’s Remotest End, by J. C. Pollock (Macmillan).

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION at the local church level and beyond inspires such works as Christian Approach to Educacation, by H. W. Byrne (Zondervan); Tools for Teaching and Training, by LeRoy Ford (Broadman); The Role of the Bible in Contemporary Christian Education, by Sara Little (John Knox); Seeking a Faith of Our Own, by E. Jerry Walker Abingdon); Academic Illusion, by Denis Baly (Seabury); and New Church Programs with the Aging, by Elsie T. Culver (Association).

There is a growing literature on LITURGY AND MUSIC. The Spring books include: The Reform of Liturgical Worship, by Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., (Oxford); The Eucharistic Memorial, seventh volume in a series of ecumenical studies, by Max Thurman (John Knox); A Well-appointed Church Music, by Howard J. Slenk (Eerdmans); Resources for Worship, by Clarice M. Bowman (Association).

In the CULTURAL realm are promised: The Protestant Mind of the English Reformation, 1570–1640 by Charles and Katherine George, and The Cathedral of Granada, by Earl Rosenthal (Princeton). Princeton is also producing with the assistance of 22 outstanding scholars a four volume work on Religion in American Life. James Ward Smith and Leland Jamison are the editors.

If anyone thinks that the well of religious literature has run dry the publishing prospects for 1961 will change his mind. The vitality of the Christian faith foreshadows even better days ahead although a better balance still needs to be achieved between liberal and evangelical in the new titles. Many books in this forecast will prove less than evangelical and sometimes error will be clad in literary artistry more attractive than the truth. But by and large these volumes will increase our capacity to clarify and illuminate our faith and to render a more effective service in the Kingdom of God.


Preaching In Lent

Heart in Pilgrimage, by Canon Reginald Cant (Harper, 1961, 147 pp., $3); The Cross Still Stands by Alfred Doerffler (Baker, 1960, 135 pp., $2.50); What Language Shall I Borrow?, by Wm. D. Streng (Augsburg, 1961, 191 pp., $3); The Seven Last Words, by Clarence W. Cranford (Baker, 1960, 78 pp., $1.50); We Call This Friday Good, by Howard G. Hageman (Muhlenberg, 1961, 83 pp., $1.50), are reviewed by Andrew W. Blackwood, Professor of Homiletics, Emeritus, Princeton Seminary.

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For Lent Canon Cant of Britain writes about Christian prayer. Unlike other such books he quotes much from the Bible and little but well from other books; he relies largely on theology (Anglican), and starts with God, Father, Son, or Spirit, not with man; and he also stresses holiness (32 pp.). The first half deals ably with what undergirds prayer. The latter half, which is more directly about prayer, proves less interesting and profitable to a non-Anglican. This scholarly and informative book suffers somewhat from lack of a clear title, and much more from the absence of an index. A wise reader will make his own index, especially in the first half, with its countless “leads.”

Lutheran Pastor Doerffler paints well with a wide brush. In five pages he treats clearly “Five Enemies of the Cross,” then and now. Sixteen topical studies deal with broad subjects, such as, “The Claims of the Cross.” This is a worthy book of its kind, but much of the writing would have served better had it developed into a semi-expository message explaining and applying what a given Bible passage teaches about the Christ of the Cross.

Lutheran Professor Streng reveals learning and clarity in writing about 30 Lenten subjects in five compact series, each one more difficult than the last. In little more than four pages he can deal with the Nicene Creed, or the Athanasian. The professor has done well with what he has undertaken. But would it not have proved more helpful to have a book about any one of the five series, such as “A Long View of Lent”?

American Baptist Cranford has the only conventional title, but among his ten chapter headings seven or eight seem unique and striking, such as, “The Bridge that Only God Could Build,” and “A Conversation Between Crosses.” He has many good ideas, without space to develop any of them biblically, or theologically. Unfortunately, a three-hour service usually allows a speaker only ten minutes or so. That is time enough to deal suggestively with one or two of the easier words, but not enough to get started on the second, or the fourth.

Reformed (Dutch) Professor Hageman deals with the Seven Words in a way new to me. No chapter has a topic, or a clear unifying phrase. After a brief opening chapter, suggested by a great text from Paul, a full-page symbolic mood, cut clear only to lovers of modern art, precedes each of seven examples of the “new preaching,” in the hands of a master. If these eight meditations raise more questions than they answer, then perhaps that is the professor’s purpose in preaching to believers “suggestively, not exhaustively.”

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Not being a devotee of the “new painting,” or the “new preaching,” I do not feel competent to appraise either “art,” but I feel that any evangelical minister can learn more from the reading and study of an able book with which he does not agree than from one that states what he already knows and believes. In his later years Benjamin B. Warfield told me that he had practically quit reading books with which he agreed. Then he told me that he had just read one of mine!

If the reader ever arranges for a three-hour service, may he allot enough time to deal with the difficult “Words,” and ask every interpreter to keep Christ in the center of each passing scene. What a revolution that would cause on Good Friday!


Lenten Trilogy

The Pathway to the Cross, by Ralph G. Turnbull (Baker, 1959, 126 pp., $2); Culture and the Cross, by G. Hall Todd (Baker, 1959, 111 pp., $2); Messages on the Resurrection, by Herschel H. Hobbs (Baker, 1959, 87 pp., $1.75), are reviewed by Charles Ferguson Ball, minister First Presbyterian Church, River Forest, Illinois.

Many facets of the truth gleam in these three little volumes. Dr. Turnbull displays the artistry and the charm which characterizes so many Scottish preachers. The Pathway to the Cross is a scholarly attempt to select the great and outstanding events in the life of our Lord by which He moved toward His cross.

Beginning with the pre-existent Christ and the eternal aspect of the cross the author takes us through the silent years to the baptism, the temptation, the transfiguration, the Passover, the Upper Room scene, the trial, the crucifixion, the resurrection victory and finally the little spoken of ascension. The chapter on the Passover and the Lord’s Supper is especially strong and informative.

The entire series holds one’s attention and reveals a satisfying depth of Biblical exposition. This is not oratory; this is something that will stay with us a long time. The author’s aim was: “to assist us in devotion and spiritual discipline, especially during the season of the year which stresses more than any other the sufferings and passion of our Lord.” This he has most certainly accomplished.

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Dr. Todd’s book, Culture and the Cross, contains ten very keen portrayals of lesser known characters in the New Testament. These all center in the cross of Christ. They contain amazing evidence of historical research and wide-read habits on the part of the author, especially in history and the classics. They are scholarly and Biblically sound. The sermons are not couched in ordinary sermonic style. This is stimulating and at the same time disturbing. The disturbing thing is that so much space is given to the building up of an obscure point and so little to the application.

Dr. Hobb’s book, Messages on the Resurrection, is a thrilling exposition of the great fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians. He shows this to be the very heart of the logic of the resurrection. His little book contains only seven chapters but should not be regarded lightly because of its brevity. On the flyleaf the publishers have called it “a masterful exposition.” Careful reading will reveal that this is not fulsome flattery but is indeed the truth.

Dr. Hobb’s book holds the attention effectively and cleverly by a structure that binds the messages together. He sets the scene in a courtroom with a trial by jury progress. God is the judge. We are the jury. The attorney for the defense is the Apostle Paul himself who presents his argument magnificently under the titles: “Exhibit A, B, C, D, and E.” With rare insight he calls his witnesses—Cephas; then the twelve; and then the five hundred; and then two opposing witnesses—James, the Lord’s brother and Paul himself. In the remaining six chapters, the attorney for the defense addresses the jury and hammers home his reasons, one by one, for the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and our resurrection. He concludes his case and makes his appeal for an affirmative verdict. Since we are the jury, the verdict is ours. The work is scholarly and satisfying.


Erotic Candor

The Biblical View of Sex and Marriage, by Otto A. Piper (Scribner’s, 1960, 239 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Edward John Carnell, Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion, Fuller Theological Seminary.

This is a revision of a volume which students of Christian ethics have come to regard as a standard work in the field. The author exhibits a happy balance of candor and reserve. He deals with some of the most delicate overtures between male and female, yet he never raises a blush nor does he treat sacred matters with frivolity or morbidness.

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The author examines the possibilities and disappointments of sex in the light of the biblical evidence concerning the creation, fall, and redemption of man. This evidence is handled with a fairness which is beyond reproach.

Male and female complement their spiritual capacities by gratifying their erotic capacities. When sex is indulged without love, the divine image is perverted and shame is experienced. Sex is not an end in itself; it is a means by which male and female experience intimacies which would otherwise remain concealed. These intimacies open the door to manfestations of love which outlast the transient pleasures of the erotic life.


Christ’S Command

The Healing Ministry in the Church, by Bernard Martin (John Knox, 1960, 125 pp., $3), is reviewed by William Henry Anderson, Jr., Pastor, Fourth United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh.

A plea for churches and pastors to submit to Christ’s command to preach the Gospel and to heal the sick. Pastor Martin of the Reformed Church in Geneva has two aims in this excellent book: first, to present the biblical teaching on healing; and second; to consider the spiritual issues involved in healing. Neither psychosomatic medicine nor case histories enter this discussion, but submission to the authority of Scripture is the main emphasis. The virtues of depth of understanding and brevity are well combined which make this an ideal book for the busy pastor who wishes to learn how to enlarge his ministry.


True Science

The Christian Approach in Teaching Science by R. Hooykas (Tyndale Press, 1960, 20 pp., 1s.6d.), is reviewed by A. P. Waterson, Lecturer in Pathology, Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

This booklet by Dr. Hooykas never palls, but nevertheless it is something of a surprise on reaching the end to find that it is only 20 pages long. The amount which he has packed into this short space is enormous. He begins with an exposure of the falseness of the ideal of complete objectivity which to many is the hallmark of true science. Hence the importance, as the author points out, of the personality of the experimenter. Scientists (and students of science) are people, although “in real life we never meet one in a chemically pure state” (p. 11).

Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is probably at least as great a proportion of Christians in the ranks of the scientists as outside them, even though since the days of Mrs. Eddy it has been rather difficult to know what to call them. It is one of Dr. Hooykas’ main burdens that such a one cannot keep his faith and his work in thought-tight compartments. In tracing the history of scientific thought, he shows that, while we owe much to the Greeks, Greek ideas in the end led up a blind alley. Science was liberated in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, just as religious thought was; and the Puritans, he maintains, were not backward in either cause. The present danger is that science will become “a new idolatry,” a new form of worship of the works of men’s minds. Science taught by an avowed Christian will mean that it is seen by the pupils in the correct light.

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Early Communism

Original MarxismEstranged Offspring: A Study of Points of Contact and Conflict Between Original Marxism and Christianity, by Robert Frank Fulton (Christopher Publishing House, 1960, 167 pp., $3), is reviewed by Charles Wesley Lowry, Author of Communism and Christ.

This work, based on a Yale Ph.D. thesis and written by a theologian with intensive experience in China over the period 1935–50, will be useful both to theologians and political scientists. It is a study of the first phase of Communism, and we are to understand by this term, written with an upper case “C,” the historical movement which today dominates an entire globe.

This phase called “original Marxism” is carefully distinguished by the author from lower case “c” communism of the sectarian and religious variety; from socialism in general, being interpreted as implying democratic methods; and from “various amalgams” of original Marxism “with the teachings of such later Marxists as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Tito and others.”

The central thesis developed is that Marxism arose as the natural child of the Judaeo-Christian heritage—might one not say ideology?—but through the influence of such theological radicals as Strauss, Bruno Bauer, and Feuerbach it was alienated from its spiritual parent and became an estranged offspring. Professor Fulton carries this position out very consistently, going so far as to affirm that the basic difference between “Original Marxism and Christianity” is “the absence in Marxism and the presence in Christianity of an explicit and articulate theology” (p. 130). He goes on quite logically to minimize, as fundamental factors in the equation, both atheism and the rejection of Christian ethics.

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The work is, as stated above, useful but must be viewed critically. It moves too much on the surface analytically and abounds in dangerous oversimplifications. Essentially it is illustrative of the fact that non-Communist students and commentators on Marx fall into two classes: the tender-hearted and the tough-minded. A surprising number of able people—one thinks immediately of such names as Tillich, Fromm, Alexander Miller—have had a compulsion to be tender toward Marx. Fulton falls into this category, and this is perhaps the concealed but basic flaw lurking in his study.

By way of contrast, one may mention Professor and Mrs. Harry Overstreet who though their point of view is that of ethical humanism, deal firmly and even severely with the character and person of Karl Marx in What We Must Know About Communism. It would be a good thing if Christian theologians generally read this book.


Book Briefs

We Wrote the Gospels, by John Calvin Reid (Eerdmans, 1960, 61 pp., $2). Striking and imaginative personal testimonies of the men who wrote the Four Gospels.

The Gospel According to Moses, by W. A. Criswell (Zondervan, 1960, 175 pp., $2.50). Sixteen sermons which trace “the vein of God’s grace that runs through the Pentateuch.”

The Principles of Moral Philosophy, by Ben Kimpel (Philosophical Library, 1960, 234 pp., $3.75). An attempt to develop empirically a sound moral idealism apart from divine revelation.

Messages for Men, edited by H. C. Brown, Jr. (Zondervan, 1960, 150 pp., $2.50). Laymen speak to pastors and laymen concerning their common tasks in the church and the community.

Existential Metaphysics, by Alvin Thalheimer (Philosophical Library, 1960, 632 pp., $7.50). An attempt to apply a definition of “existence” in the solution of a wide range of philosophical problems.

Luther’s Works (vol. 2), edited by Jaroslav Pelikan and Daniel E. Poellot (Concordia, 1960, 433 pp., $6). Luther’s lectures on Genesis, chapters 6–14. Freshly translated from the Latin by George V. Schick.

Conservative Baptists—A Story of Twentieth-Century Dissent, by Bruce L. Shelley (Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary, 1960, 164 pp., $2). Capable chronicle of the Conservative Baptist movement, with extensive space given to documents.

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