The lover sings, “It’s a long, long time from May to December.” But for the harried minister striving manfully, if vainly, to keep abreast of the torrential outpour of religious works flooding from the presses, the time is catastrophically fleeting. Though well aware that some are still battling through last September’s productions, the calendar inexorably bids us warn our readers of further enticing challenges to budgetary ingenuity as regards their time and money. We say “ingenuity” in the hope that “cutting down the wife’s wardrobe” will not be resorted to as a cure-all, for we wish to retain some measure of feminine enthusiasm for this feature. We recall Harper editor Eugene Exman’s recent word concerning the widening lay interest in religious publications. Speaking out of 33 years’ experience in religious publishing, Dr. Exman observed that up to 10 years ago, one looked to clergy, seminary and college professors, and student groups to justify publishing a book. But now there is more lay interest, particularly in biography, simple theology, and the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. There is an increase of college courses in these areas. And the growing interest in devotional literature, said Dr. Exman, is largely a lay interest, there being not so much among the clergy. Paperbacks reflect the broadening of reading at both the general level and the intellectual.

Here then is a sampler of the attractive autumn and winter books which have begun their journey to press, to our reviewers, and to you, our readers.

In the field of SYSTEMATIC AND BIBLICAL THEOLOGY one is excited by the prospect of a new four-volume series on The Theology of St. Augustine, by A. D. R. Polman, professor of dogmatic theology at the Reformed Theological Seminary at Kampen, The Netherlands. Projected for November release by Eerdmans is Volume I: The Word of God in the Theology of St. Augustine. Translated by Arnold J. Pomerans, the volume fills a gap, for no previous work deals at length with the North African doctor’s view of special revelation. Our British Editorial Associate Philip E. Hughes finds here a “penetrating understanding of the mind of the famous Church Father.”

Another Dutch series from the same house, G. C. Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics, constitutes one of the great milestones of evangelical theology for this century. Now to be added to the series is Volume VIII, Man: the Image of God, which stresses man’s unity while taking cognizance of the complex and dynamic character of human behavior.

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Muhlenberg Press also brings from Europe two significant theological works: in The Essence of Christianity, Lundensian theologian Anders Nygren identifies the essence as atonement, forgiveness, love in Jesus the World’s Perfecter, the late Tubingen theologian Karl Heim treats of restoration of right relationship between God and man through Jesus Christ.

The Epic of Revelation, by Mack B. Stokes (McGraw-Hill) ranges through many doctrines from creation to eschatology with an emphasis mainly on existential relevance. Kendig Brubaker Cully has written Sacraments: A Language of Faith (Christian Education Press) in language the layman can understand, pointing to the sacraments as a major worship resource. In eschatology, J. Barton Payne’s The Imminent Appearing of Christ (Eerdmans) contends for the classical post-tribulationist form of premillennialism.

Books on APOLOGETICS, PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE include noted apologist Cornelius Van Til’s Christianity and Barthianism (Presbyterian and Reformed) crowning his extensive labors in this field. From Australia comes Karl Barth’s Doctrine of Holy Scripture, by Klaas Runia (Eerdmans). G. W. Bromiley, one of Barth’s translators, sees here fulfilled a long-standing need, a full exposition of Barth’s teaching on Scripture which brings it into lively interaction with the Reformation tradition and its modern proponents.

Karl Barth, by Jerome Hamer, O.P. (Newman Press), provides a searching study of Barth’s theology from a Roman Catholic viewpoint, while George H. Tavard affords the first full-length Roman Catholic study of Tillich’s theology in Paul Tillich and the Christian Message (Scribner’s), admiring but sharply critical: an opposition between the central Christian message and its “ontological” interpretation by Tillich does in fact exist, says Father Tavard. Gustave Weigel in Catholic Theology in Dialogue (Harper) surveys contemporary theology from a Catholic perspective as he continues probing the distance between the great branches of Christianity. Christianity Divided: Protestant and Roman Catholic Theological Issues, edited by Daniel J. Callahan and Heiko A. Oberman (Sheed & Ward) stresses the issues which divide, treating from both sides such questions as Scripture and tradition, the sacraments and justification. Barth, Weigel, and Oscar Cullmann are among the contributors. Roman Catholicism (Presbyterian and Reformed) is Loraine’s Boettner’s timely and extensive treatment of the many phases of the subject from evangelical perspective. The same house offers three more volumes in its Modern Thinkers Series: Tillich, by David H. Freeman; Toynbee, by C. Gregg Singer; and Wittgenstein, by William Young.

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Encounters between philosophy and religion provide the theme of: Reason and God, by John E. Smith (Yale University Press) and Religious Experience and Truth, a symposium edited by Sydney Hook (New York University Press). On a related theme is Paul F. Schmidt’s Religious Knowledge (The Free Press of Glencoe).

Provocative in promise for the dialogue between Christianity and science are: Christian Belief and Science, by Cambridge scientist Robert E. D. Clark (Muhlenberg); Physicist and Christian, by Episcopal priest and atomic scientist William G. Pollard (Seabury); and The Bible in the Age of Science, by Alan Richardson (Westminster).

Dominant category of the fall and winter offerings appears to be that of CHURCH HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY. Perhaps a listing of titles within a chronological perspective will indicate the wealth of material and conserve space: Gnosticism, by Robert M. Grant (Harper); From Glory to Glory, edited by Jean Danielou, selections from Gregory of Nyssa’s mystical writings, translated and annotated by Herbert Musurillo, S.J. (Scribner’s); The Emperor Theodosius and the Establishment of Christianity, by N. Q. King (Westminster); Charter of Christendom: The Significance of The City of God, by John O’Meara (Macmillan), Augustine’s classic examined; The Pre-Conquest Church in England, by Margaret Deanesly (Oxford), first volume of a new series: An Ecclesiastical History of England, under the general editorship of J. C. K. Dickinson; The Medieval University, by L. J. Daly, S.J. (Sheed & Ward); The Council of Constance: The Unification of the Church, translated by Louise Ropes Loomis, edited and annotated by John Hine Mundy and Kennedy Woody (Columbia University Press), a translation of three contemporary accounts of the Council; Reformation and Catholicity, by Gustaf Aulén, translated by Eric H. Wahlstrom (Muhlenberg); Luther and the Bible, by Willem Jan Kooiman, translated by John Schmidt (Muhlenberg); Luther and Melanchthon, edited by Vilmos Vajta (Muhlenberg), lectures delivered at the Second International Congress for Luther Research; The Man God Mastered, by Jean Cadier, promising biography of the titanic Frenchman John Calvin by the Dean of the Faculty of Protestant Theology, University of Montpellier, translated by O. R. Johnston (Eerdmans); Plain Mr. Knox, by Elizabeth Whitley (John Knox Press), biography of Calvin’s Scots counterpart by the wife of the present minister of Knox’s St Giles Cathedral; Anabaptism in Flanders, by A. L. E. Verheyden (Herald Press), covers period of 1530–1640; The Yale Edition of the Works of St. Thomas More, edited by Louis L. Martz, Richard S. Sylvester, and others, twin editions of More’s works—a 14-volume scholarly edition and a popular seven-volume edition, the latter beginning with St. Thomas More: Selected Letters, edited by Elizabeth F. Rogers (Yale University Press, which also releases St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography of His Works and of Moreana to the Year 1750, compiled by R. W. Gibson with a Bibliography of Utopiana compiled by R. W. Gibson and J. Max Patrick); The Catholics in England: 1559–1829, by M. D. R. Leys (Longmans, Green); Henry More: The Rational Theology of a Cambridge Platonist, by Aharon Lichtenstein (Harvard University Press); Swift and Anglican Rationalism, by Phillip Harth (University of Chicago Press); John Wesley, by Ingvar Haddal (Abingdon); David Brainerd: Beloved Yankee, by David Wynbeek (Eerdmans); Fathers of the Victorians: The Age of Wilberforce, by Ford K. Brown (Cambridge University Press), a new assessment of the Evangelical Revival in the Church of England at the beginning of the nineteenth century; Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, edited by C. S. Dessain, Volume XI, first of a series of volumes, this one covering October, 1845-December, 1846 (Nelson); Great Evangelical Preachers of Yesterday, by James McGraw (Abingdon), from Wycliffe to Jowett; American Protestantism, by Winthrop S. Hudson (University of Chicago Press); The Twentieth Century in Europe, by Kenneth Scott Latourette, Volume IV of the series Christianity in a Revolutionary Age (Harper); Luther in the 20th Century, by D. Peter Brunner and Bernard J. Holm (Augsburg), the relevance of Luther’s ideas today; Religion in the Soviet Union, by Walter Koslarz (St. Martin’s Press); The Wild Goats of Ein Gedi, by Herbert Weiner (Doubleday), Jewish and Christian religious life in modern Israel; The Ecumenical Movement, by Charles Boyer, S.J., Volume 138 of The Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism (Hawthorne); and to summarize: Who’s Who in Church History, by Elgin S. Moyer (Moody Press).

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Turning to OLD TESTAMENT AND ARCHAEOLOGY, one sees the Decalogue as a compelling theme, witnessed by two works titled The Ten Commandments, by James Burton Coffman, Church of Christ minister (Revell) and Terence J. Finlay, Episcopal rector (Scribner’s), and a third volume called The Ten Commandments in Modern Perspective, by Baptist minister Owen M. Weatherly (John Knox Press). Other offerings: God’s Covenant of Blessing, by John P. Milton (Augustana); Ancient Israel—Its Life and Institutions, by Roland De Vaux (McGraw-Hill); The Living World of the Bible, M.-J. Steve (World Publishing Co.), a profusion of photographs and maps; and Prophecy and Religion, by John Skinner, studies in the life of Jeremiah (Cambridge).

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In the field of NEW TESTAMENT, Zondervan announces a new translation: Norlie’s Simplified New Testament, by Olaf M. Norlie, which will include The Psalms for Today, a new translation by Roland K. Harrison. Eerdmans offers Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, by Philip E. Hughes, which sustains the quality of its series, The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Concordia releases The Word of the Lord Grows, by Martin H. Franzmann, a guide to origin, purpose, and meaning of the New Testament; Westminster, Paul and His Predecessors, by A. M. Hunter. John Knox Press presents Walter Lüthi’s The Letter to the Romans; Loizeaux, August Van Ryn’s Acts of the Apostles; and Harper, D. T. Niles’ As Seeing the Invisible, a study of the book of Revelation.

Spanning the two testaments is a remarkable five-volume set, The Illustrated World-of-the-Bible Library, the four Old Testament volumes having been revised by the board of editors from a 1959 Israeli work, Views of the Biblical World. For its dazzling photographic portrayal of Bible lands with each illustration tied to a text and commentary, McGraw-Hill announces an $87.50 price until June 1—$100 thereafter. Wives, look to your wardrobes!

In the critical area of MISSIONS, Eerdmans announces Pentecost and Missions, by Harry R. Boer (formerly of Calvin Seminary), on the nature and task of the Church, with foreword by W. A. Visser ’t Hooft; Zondervan, Facing the Unfinished Task, the messages of the Congress of Foreign Missions in Chicago last December, sponsored by Interdenominational Foreign Missions Association; and Doubleday, The Churches and Rapid Social Change, by Paul Abrecht, on the social and economic revolution in Asia, Africa, and South America and its effect on the indigenous churches.

And what of the mission to our young? In RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, evangelicals await Human Development, Learning and Teaching, by that able educator Cornelius Jaarsma, as he presents a Christian approach to educational psychology (Eerdmans). Rachel Flenderlite calls attention to the tragic influence of secular philosophies upon Christian education in Forgiveness and Hope (John Knox Press); while Bernhard E. Olson examines “roots of bias”—racial, ethnic, and religious—in Protestant church-schools (Yale University Press).

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Then there is the cure of souls. In PASTORAL THEOLOGY, one awaits a Dutch work, Soul Care, by G. Brillenburg Wurth (Presbyterian and Reformed); of U. S. origin there is Daniel Day Williams’ The Minister and the Care of Souls (Harper); and to the minister’s relief comes Counseling for Church Leaders, by John W. Drakeford (Broadman)—how church leaders can share the pastor’s counseling load!

With this help, perhaps more can be done about THE PREACHER AND HIS SERMONS. Toward this end, read The Preacher’s Portrait in the New Testament, by John R. W. Stott, this being Fuller Seminary’s Payton Lectures by the London Minister and Queen’s Chaplain (Eerdmans). Baker announces further volumes in its series, Proclaiming the New Testament, edited by Ralph G. Turnbull: The Gospel of John, by Ronald Ward; The Epistles of 1–11 Peter, by Cary N. Weisiger III; and The Epistles of fames, I–II–III John, Jude, by Russell Bradley Jones. Joseph Sittler seeks to help the minister preach to his times in The Ecology of Faith, the Lyman Beecher Lectures (Muhlenberg).

In LITURGY AND WORSHIP, there are: Enter with joy, by Stephen F. Bayne, Jr. (Seabury); Christian Worship, by T. S. Garrett (Oxford); and The Worshipping Church, by James Earl Massey (Warner Press).

The theme ETHICAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS covers a multitude of ills. On war and peace: The Christian and Power Politics, by Alan Booth (Association Press), “hard international realities in the light of the Gospel”; Pattern for Peace, compiled and edited by Harry W. Flannery (Newman Press), papal recommendations for the international order gathered from official commentaries of recent years. On a familiar deterrent to peace: Communism, Its Faith and Fallacies, by James D. Bales (Baker). On racial tension: Antislavery, by Dwight L. Dumond (University of Michigan Press), on the origins of the Civil War; Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin (Houghton Mifflin), a white disguised as a Negro in the South. On social action: Methodism and Society in the Twentieth Century, by Walter G. Muelder (Abingdon), development of the Methodist social conscience; Protests of an Ex-Organization Man, by Kermit Eby (Beacon Press), sharp criticism of over-organization of labor, religion, and education.

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So there they are—many-splendoured in variety but waxing dissonant to the discriminate ear as the variant voices become shrill in defense of diverse canons of loyalty to the Word of God. Evangelical voices command a hearing but speak with nothing like the comparative volume of other eras … such as days when thunder rolled from Wittenberg, Zurich, Geneva, and Edinburgh.

There is yet too much contentment with less than the best in literary productivity. That truthful content ultimately outshines artistic error cannot be denied, but the servant of God may not be at ease until form and content are woven into a harmony of truth and beauty reflective, in a measure, of the glory of God.


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