The Best Christology In Nineteen Centuries?
The Vindication of Liberal Theology: A Tract for the Times, by Henry P. Van Dusen (Scribner’s, 1963, 192 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by James Daane, editorial associate, CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
This book has that blunt forthrightness and simple integrity so typical of an honest Dutchman. Its author freely expresses his convictions, reveals the warm piety of his heart, and defends both with courage. The now retired president of Union Seminary of New York is by his own avowal a liberal Christian who firmly believes that liberal theology “was—and is—the least inadequate, most credible and cogent interpretation of Christian Faith in the nineteen centuries of its history.”
Religious liberalism, says Van Dusen, was a child of the nineteenth century. It was not virgin born; its male parent was the scientific, intellectual mind, and its female parent, the evangelical religious resurgence. The child was conceived to make Christianity credible to a scientific age so that an intelligent, intellectual person could be both Christian and honest. To make this possible, liberal theology sought to rid Christianity of the graveclothes of tradition and outmoded superstitions, and to purge modern thought of its gross abberations.
It was the glory of liberalism to be “Christocentric” and to concentrate on Christology, for Christ, says Van Dusen, has ever been the true center of the Christian faith and the source of its spiritual power. Moreover, it is Christ as defined by the ancient classical creeds that is offensive to modern intelligence. The Christological problem is that God should himself have lived and walked as a man on the earth. The classical Christology, with its declarations concerning divine and human substances which were “without confusion, without change, without division, without separation,” was a “distilled nonsense” that left the problem just where it was at the start. From this quagmire and distortion of the true biblical faith “Liberal Theology offered deliverance and corrective.”
Modern philosophical scholarship has shown—so goes the vindication—that we can have no certain metaphysical knowledge, and science (both natural and historical) has demonstrated that Reality is of one piece, and in evolutionary process. Therefore there is a “continuity … between Christ and other men, between man and God,” and, consequently, traditional Christology is unacceptable. Moreover, argues Van Dusen, classical orthodoxy always placed the accent on the divinity as against the humanity of Jesus, and in greater or lesser degree was always guilty of the heresy of docetism. Liberal Christology, we are told, is purer and more adequate than any that preceded it, because it strongly and consistently emphasizes the humanity of Christ.
Rejecting discontinuity, and employing a continuous-Reality-in-process as a working presupposition, liberal theology defined Jesus as he who stands at the apex of the summit of man-in-process, has a true knowledge of the destiny of man and the purposes of God, and utterly commits himself in faith to God’s will. “Here continuity is at a maximum, total,” and therefore the “faith of Jesus,” the “mind” and “spirit” of Jesus is the highest truth about God and our highest inspiration and authority. “The only Christ whom Christianity knows is one who is at every point the direct continuant of Jesus of Nazareth” (italics added). In this sense God himself “was present, as fully present as it is possible for Him to be present in a truly human life.” If it be objected that this unity is merely ethical, Van Dusen will answer, “The ethical is the metaphysical in its most revealing aspect.”
This understanding of Christ is assertedly liberal theology’s grand Christological contribution, the most credible, the least inadequate of any produced by the Christian church in its nineteen centuries. We may thank Van Dusen for putting the matter so lucidly. We may also concede that the Christian church has always tended in subtle ways to docetism. But for the rest? Being equally Dutch I may be equally candid. Van Dusen’s liberal Christology contains no Incarnation. This Jesus is not a man that God became. And is this Jesus Christ more credible to modern man? If by “credible” is meant more provocative of Christian faith—then there is no evidence for it. Does the modern man stumble over the discontinuity involved in the classical Christological affirmation that God became this man? Is it this which offends his intellect? Is it this that he cannot believe and yet remain honest? Humbug. Modern man has been very agreeable to the idea that he himself is, or can become, divine. Modern man—intellectual or illiterate—is offended by the very same thing that offended the New Testament Jew—learned or otherwise: not the fact that God became a man, but the claim that God became this man, a man who claims that he, not we, is the Son of God, the Elect of God, the Lord of all and the Saviour of the world.
It is sophisticated nonsense that the offense of Christ is to man’s intellect rather than to his pride, a pride which is offended that the life and death, the tears, humility, and suffering of this man of Nazareth are the disclosure of the heart and will of God. If the Christ of Van Dusen’s liberal theology were really such that an honest, intellectual modern man would find Him credible, then one could rightfully expect modern intellectuals to crowd the Church to confess Jesus. Statistics lend no support to this expectation which liberal Christology gives us a right to entertain. Further, this interpretation of the offensive character of the classical Christology throws no light whatsoever on the fact that masses of people who do not have the faintest notion as to what the problem of discontinuity is about remain outside the Christian church.
Much that Van Dusen says in his book is eminently worth reading—and I recommend the reading of it. But his critique of classical Christology, his definition of the nature of the modern man’s offense, and his reconstructed liberal Christology are an exercise in sophistication, one which gains no credence from a considerable amount of loose and imprecise language—language especially ill-fitted to a vindication. All in all, the book elicits the word justify rather than vindicate.
Narcissistic Or Apostolic?
Call to Commitment, by Elizabeth O’Connor (Harper & Row, 1963, 205 pp., $3.50), is reviewed by Charles D. Kean, rector, The Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D. C.
Elizabeth O’Connor’s book is really a love story—not with a man, as such, but with a Christian congregation. The book is an account of the origin and development of the Church of the Saviour (an ecumenical church) in Washington, D. C., the founder and minister of which is the Rev. Gordon Cosby.
Those who have read of Gordon Cosby’s thought and work know that his primary concern is with committed church membership. From its outset the Church of the Saviour has stood in sharp contrast to the mass psychology so prevalent in American life, whether in the form of mass evangelism or mass sales. Here is a church which is more concerned with the depth commitment of its members than with the number of names on the role.
The book gives the history of the parish, the background of its minister, and a kind of sermon—all put together. A large part of the text consists of what appears to be the author’s reflection on what she has picked up theologically from Mr. Cosby’s sermons and from the adult classes which are such a prominent part of the church’s program.
This reviewer has had a chance to know the Church of the Saviour a little bit from the inside since he conducted a program in advanced adult education technique for the Education Committee some four years ago. A good many of the people whom the author mentions were part of the class, and there is no gainsaying their commitment to the Church of the Saviour and what it stands for.
The book tells of the parish’s experiments with its retreat center, “Dayspring.” and its coffeehouse, “The Potter’s House.” with its associated workshop. It also describes the congregation’s attempts to minister effectively to needs in metropolitan Washington in a variety of ways. It brings out the important fact of racial inclusiveness across the board.
Gordon Cosby has a vision, which many of the members of his congregation share. This reviewer cannot help wondering, however, particularly when he reads Miss O’Connor’s book, whether what we have is the fullness of the Church in microcosm or, rather, a “cultural island” which, because of the very intense involvement of the members, becomes somewhat irrelevant to the needs of a pluralistic America.
There is no doubt that the Church needs greater commitment on the part of its members. There is no doubt that serious discipline and prayer and Bible study are essential to this end. There is no doubt that Christians reinforce each other during the long, dry periods in the life of the soul. There is no doubt that the witness of the Church of the Saviour is a challenge to superficial church membership wherever it may exist. But there is real doubt whether the experiment in Washington isn’t in continual danger of turning inward as its members, unconsciously or semi-consciously, mistake commitment to the Church of the Saviour for commitment to the Holy Fellowship. Many of its members admit the problem, at least verbally, but the turning inward continues.
CHARLES D. KEAN
Pseudonyms of Christ in the Modern Novel, by Edwin M. Moseley (University of Pittsburgh, 1963, 231 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by William R. Sengel, minister, Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Alexandria. Virginia.
“The chief sources for an explanation of this sort are simply what one knows: a bit of Greek mythology, a bit of the Bible, a bit of Oriental religion, some more of Faulkner.”
In the above note at the end of his essay on William Faulkner, Professor Moseley reveals what is to me the chief problem of his work; namely, that his image of Christ is drawn from so wide a syncretism as to keep it ever uncertain and obscure.
Reading for Perspective
CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S REVIEW EDITORS CALL ATTENTION TO THESE NEW TITLES:
•Let Europe Hear, by Robert P. Evans (Moody, $3.95). The “spiritual plight” of Europe emerges from a careful country-by-counlry study of historical backgrounds. theological influences, and national idiosyncrasies.
• Calvin, by Francois Wendel (Harper & Row, S6). Incisive summary of Calvin’s life and thought in the turbulent context of the political and intellectual ferment of his age.
• The Sanctity of Sex, by Stephen F. Olford and Frank A. Lawes (Revell, $2.95). A popular New York City pastor joins a popular Glasgow pastor in reverently presenting under the theme “Jesus Christ is Lord” the facts and facets of sex in life’s varying situations.
“Who do men say that I am?” is still Christ’s valid question to us. And the answers reported by the modern novelists. here further clouded by a jargon of literary criticism, are far more varied and wide of the mark than those first reported by Peter on the road to Caesarea Philippi.
The choice of novels covers a wide range from the esssentially orthodox religious focus of Conrad, Dostoyevsky, and Turgenev, through the naturalism of D. H. Lawrence, Remarque, and Fitzgerald and the social novels of Faulkner, Forster, Steinbeck. Silone, Malraux, and Koestler, to the “new orthodoxy” of Camus and Hemingway. The Christ archetype and the religious symbolism in many of these works Professor Moseley admits he did not see in his earlier readings of them. The vision, finally arrived at, appears to have been tailored to a pre-arranged pattern of interpretation.
One further note. It is certainly a proper exercise for the modern artist, including both novelist and critic, to describe the profound depths of man’s contemporary plight. But if the claim is made that our chaos and need can be understood in terms of the mighty act of God in Christ—the Word made flesh—then some acknowledgment is needed that Christ’s suffering is redemptive, that into the midst of man’s deepest need comes the hope for reconciliation, salvation, peace. One wishes that the author might have included, say, an Alan Paton in his lists. There the symbolism is not so obscure nor the pseudonym so contrived.
WILLIAM R. SENGEL
Five Minutes More
The Urgency of Preaching, by Kyle Haselden (Harper & Row, 1963, 121 pp., $2.75), is reviewed by Sherwood E. Wirt, co-editor, Decision magazine, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Amid the general poverty of ecclesiastical writing, this book is a pleasure to read. Editor Haselden’s Andover Newton preaching lectures are constructed in the classic style of Horne, Gossip, Sockman, and Stewart. There is the majestic argument, the subdued passion, the telling quote, the deft allusion, the crisp turn of phrase.
Dr. Haselden knows his compass: “It is not flesh and blood that makes a minister, but God’s appointment” (p. 114). His pulpit illustrations are masterful: “If a doctor, arriving at the scene of an accident, knows that he has only twenty minutes at most in which to save a victim’s life, he will waste none of them combing the patient’s hair or brushing his clothes.… He will move as swiftly as he can to the most critical and threatening wound.… Something similar is demanded of the minister in the pulpit. He has his twenty minutes …” (p. 100).
With its quotations from Spurgeon, this volume is no apology for liberal preaching. It criticizes the “ambiguity” of the World Council’s stand at New Delhi on the issue, “Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.” If it views the professional evangelist with distaste, at least it takes him seriously: “Better a Jonathan Edwards holding men like a spider over the flaming hell, than a namby-pamby preacher who assures his people that they have no cause to fear God’s wrath in this world or the next” (p. 51).
Despite their overall excellence, one comes away from these chapters with a feeling of wistfulness and sadness. A noble profession is heading for the rocks. The situation is not so much one of “urgency” as of “desperation.” No real ultimate solutions are pointed out. There is no supernatural victory in Jesus Christ set forth here, no mighty salvation, no trumpet note of the resurrection, no everlasting glory, no white radiance of eternity.
One wishes that Dr. Haselden had gone further, and had pointed out that whatever the preacher’s predicament, revival is always possible. There is hope—even for preachers! There is always the Lord, and “he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy … [and] singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
SHERWOOD E. WIRT
Newman Then And Now
Newman: The Pillar and the Cloud (Vol. I) and Newman: Light in Winter (Vol. II), by Meriol Trevor (Doubleday, 1962 and 1963, 649 and 659 pp., $7.95 each; Macmillan (London), 1962, 50s. each), are reviewed by Roderick H. Jellema, instructor in English, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
Professor Walter Houghton, our keenest student of Victorian literature, calls Newman “the most highly gifted of all the Victorians.” Other scholars do not seem eager to dispute it. Christians ought to do more to lay claim to such a judgment, for they have always heard by a kind of hand-me-down tradition that Newman is also the greatest Christian apologete of the nineteenth century.
“The most highly gifted”—in a dazzling age that produced Arnold, Browning, Mill, and Huxley? Few of Newman’s contemporaries would have agreed. To them he was merely reactionary, at times even darkly sinister. He was out of step with the Parade of Progress. A brilliant mind driven to lonely dissent, he held with confidence to his vision of Christ and history: “I see that men are mad awhile, and joy to think the Age to come will think with me.”
Miss Trevor’s massive biography, culled from the literal tons of papers and letters and notes that Newman left stuffed in the cupboards of the Birmingham Oratory, recreates something of Newman the man. He steps out of his long years of misunderstandings and disappointment as a man of humility and poise, a man of deep vision and high integrity.
It is the Christian vision that really matters, of course. Somehow, Newman’s critique of liberalism rings harder and truer in our age than it did in his own. By setting his life in order, Miss Trevor gives that ring still more room in which to resound.
Newman’s struggles involved not only the skeptics and the liberals, but also the powerful and mistrusting Catholic hierarchy, the frightened cardinals and bishops who were moved, said Newman, “in automaton fashion from the camarilla at Rome.” The whole of Christendom must blush to take this second look at one of her most brilliant apologetes.
Perhaps it is we Protestants, whose compromising or retreating ancestors helped drive the middle-aged Newman to Rome, who now need him most. His life, says Miss Trevor, reversed the story of the wayward young intellectual and the weeping, saintly mother. He was “an Augustine weeping over a Monica who refused the challenge of thought.” What he wanted most was to orient the coming generations so that they could “explore the new worlds of knowledge and yet be firmly rooted—not in the old, but in the eternal.”
RODERICK H. JELLEMA
Natural Theology Dominates
Reason and God, by John E. Smith (Yale University Press, 1961, 274 pp., $5), is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry, editor,CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
The chairman of Yale’s philosophy department gives a useful survey of encounters of philosophy with religion in such post-Kantian figures as Bultmann, Berdyaev, Heidegger, and Tillich, and then assesses the present state of natural theology. He rejects the adequacy for philosophy of the current emphasis on Existenz. He thinks a reconsideration of a positive relationship between Christianity and philosophy one of the necessary tasks of our time.
Christianity has a large stake in the survival of metaphysical thought: “attacks upon metaphysics are also attacks upon theology” (p. 114). But he rejects the view that Christian theology forms a system of certain propositions in no way dependent on philosophy, contending that this position reduces the Christian in philosophy to the role of “a ‘fifth columnist’ in the ranks of worldly wisdom” (p. 138). He rejects the possibility of a “Christian philosophy,” and holds that the two must maintain a distinct, autonomous relationship. In this turn Dr. Smith seems hardly to follow the lead of his own assertions that the special Christian concept of Logos results in an essential relationship between theology and philosophy. The cause may be found in the rejection of “Christian” concepts, that is, in a view of divine revelation which does not allow for God’s special communication of truths about himself and his purposes. The volume assigns wholesome emphasis to general revelation, but then permits natural theology to dominate the biblical arena of special revelation.
CARL F. H. HENRY
1930 To 1956
The Fundamentalist Movement, by Louis Gasper (Mouton & Company [The Hague, Netherlands], 1963, 181 pp., 18 Dutch guilders; American agent: Humanities Press, $5), is reviewed by Wilbur M. Smith, professor of English Bible, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Bannockburn, Illinois.
Histories of fundamentalism in our country began to be published over thirty years ago; the most important of these was the 1954 volume by Furniss, which carried the history down to 1931. This new work should have as a subtitle “Since 1930,” a starting point announced in the very first sentence of the Preface. This is a most thorough piece of work, sympathetically written. All groups are treated with fairness. How the author, a professor in the Los Angeles Pacific College, could find time to read and analyze the hundreds of items he refers to in footnotes—including obscure magazines, Bible institute catalogues, standard works on this subject, and biographies of those involved—I do not know. There is no complete collection of this relevant literature in any one place in America.
The author states that “religious Fundamentalism in American Protestant Christianity has its roots in Apostolic times, Medieval-Reformation theology, and American revivalism.” The book brings us as far as 1956 in the annals of this vigorous movement. Here we have the story of the attack of the American Council on the National Council of Churches and the National Association of Evangelicals, with the accusations thrown back and forth among evangelical Christians for these many years. Here we have also a full story of the evangelical forces of America contending for time for gospel broadcasting and ultimately winning—a defeat for the National Council. In discussing the new evangelical seminaries of our country, the author concludes that they have “proliferated a body of erudite literature demonstrating that they are not only articulate, but that they can also deal responsibly with opposing theologies.”
There are spelling errors in the book, which need not be enumerated; but one factual error should be pointed out: Ernest Gordon was never editor of the Sunday School Times. The formation and early history of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, founded by Dr. Machen in 1933 and thus within the generation the author sets out to review, has unfortunately not been given adequate consideration. Also, while other similar organizations are mentioned, neither Campus Crusade nor Young Life is included.
The author makes no flippant remarks concerning basic evangelical beliefs. It would seem, however, that the basic issue between modernism and fundamentalism, namely, their divergent approaches to revealed truth, has not been as adequately treated in the text as have such secondary issues as economic influences and antagonism toward Communism. The book is, nonetheless, a very thorough piece of work.
WILBUR M. SMITH
For Pastoral Care
Christian Counseling: In the Light of Modern Psychology, by G. Brillenburg Wurth (Presbyterian & Reformed, 1962, 307 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Lars I. Granberg, professor of psychology, Hope College, Holland, Michigan.
Some things are not credited for what they are because they fail to meet expectations concerning what they should be. Such could be the fate of this book. Its original Dutch title, Christian Pastoral Care in the Light of Modern Psychology, is a reasonably accurate description of the book’s thrust. It is too bad that this title was not retained for the English edition, for the book is not about counseling, as that word is currently used among pastoral counselors or psychologists. It is about pastoral care.
When taken for what it is, this is a commendable piece of work. It contains an analysis of the implications for biblical anthropology of some of the more recent thinking in psychology of personality. While his discussion of the American scene is not as current as could be desired, Professor Wurth’s discussion of the European scene—in particular the contemporary Dutch existential psychologists—is excellent. This is followed by movement toward a working synthesis of psychological contributions with biblical anthropology.
When the author turns to application, one finds an interesting blend of compassionate wisdom, biblical understanding, and Calvinistic austerity. The commonly met pastoral problems are considered with thoroughness—e.g., doubt, suffering, bereavement. Chapters on general religious development and on the need of pastors for pastoral help also have been included.
In these discussions Professor Wurth’s commitment to Reformed theology is evident and consistently applied. Our brethren from the pietistic tradition may find his pointed criticisms uncomfortable, but they stand to profit from much of what he has to say.
The book represents the considered opinions of a learned and experienced pastor who has thought deeply about what he has encountered. It should have particular appeal to those who take seriously their pastoral responsibility to persons and those who are interested in the working out of a biblically based synthesis between the view of man presented in the Scriptures and the thinking of personality theorists.
One feature which detracts from the book’s usefulness is the absence of an index, which militates against ready reference.
LARS I. GRANBERG
The Vatican Today
The World of the Vatican, by Robert Neville (Harper & Row, 1962, 256 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Leslie R. Keylock, doctoral student in religion, State University of Iowa, Iowa City.
For those many Protestants who want background information for the second session of the Second Vatican Council, which will open on September 29, this book by a foreign correspondent and former chief of the Time-Life Bureau in Rome is a real desideratum. Although it opens with a brief historical sketch, it is primarily a picture of the Vatican State (the political side of Vatican City) and the Holy See (its religious side) as they exist today.
The core of the book is an interesting resume of the childhood, education, and previous ecclesiastical responsibilities of Pius XII and John XXIII. The volume has twenty-nine excellent pictures, including views of St. Peter’s Basilica (where the council meets) and of some of the buildings surrounding it on the 108 acres of Vatican City. There are also portraits of the two popes and of some of those who played important roles in the life of the Roman Catholic Church during their pontificates. A detailed and somewhat slow-moving discussion of the election of John XXIII in 1958 will give ample information to anyone interested in this. At least a year before Pope John’s death Neville correctly predicted the election of Cardinal Montini to the papacy.
Three miscellaneous chapters discuss matters that only a person with the author’s background could write. There are now about ninety cardinals, more than at any other time in history, but the doctrine of papal infallibility seems to have deprived them of much of their dignity and function. Although Neville does not refer to this, the second session of the council will undoubtedly attempt to remold and redefine the offices of both bishop and cardinal. Such an attempt will seek to rectify the unavoidable onesidedness of the First Vatican Council (1870), which defined the infallibility of the pope but failed to discuss the authority of bishops and cardinals because war brought it to a premature and undignified close. The question of the financial sources of the Holy See and the problems of a news reporter confronted with the traditional secrecy of the Curia (Vatican civil service) are among the more “sensational” topics with which the author deals (and in a manner that might prove irritating to a sensitive Catholic).
The concluding chapter, a discussion of the Second Vatican Council itself, is disappointing, largely because it was written before the opening of the first session. Several predictions are made which did not come true. And there is no adequate treatment of the more than three years of preparation for this council. The discussion of the major obstacles to a reunion of Protestant and Orthodox Christians with Rome clearly shows Neville’s limitations: he is a secular reporter and grossly oversimplifies theological complexities.
This does not mean that the chapter is without merit. In fact, all in all this book is probably the best on the market for the layman interested in the world behind the council. It is not, however, a book that one interested in the theological heart of the Vatican will read with profit.
LESLIE R. KEYLOCK
Look to Your Faith, by J. N. Smucker (Faith and Life, 1963, 111 pp., $2.50). Culled from the editorial writings of Smucker, for ten years editor of The Mennonite. Selections are not strictly editorials at all, but devotional writings.
Questions and Answers on the Catholic Faith, by John V. Sheridan (Hawthorn, 1963, 319 pp., $4.95). Questions sent in by the public; answers by the director of the Catholic Information Center in Los Angeles. More for the curious than the serious student.
Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, by A. N. Sherwin-White (Oxford, 1963, 204 pp., $4 or 25s.). A studied consideration of the Roman legal, administrative, and municipal settings of the Book of Acts and the Synoptic Gospels. The meaning of Roman citizenship, and the trials of Jesus before Pilate and of Paul before Felix and Festus are included.
The Baptizing Work of the Holy Spirit, by Merrill F. Unger (Dunham, 1962, 147 pp., $2.50). Dispensationalist author traces the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit in biblical thought and distinguishes it from the believer’s experience of the Spirit’s power.
American Pluralism and the Catholic Conscience, by Richard J. Regan, S. J. (Macmillan, 1963, 288 pp., $5.95). An excellent study of the inter-relationships of a theologically dogmatic church and the American democratic political system which posits the separation of church and state. Candidate J. F. Kennedy’s claim that his religious views were “his own private affair” is said not to point toward the solution of the church-state problem.
Maturity in Sex and Marriage, by Joseph Stein (Coward-McCann, 1963, 318 pp., $6.95). A highly sophisticated analysis, supplemented with case histories; often informative, though basically oriented on unchristian premises.
Guilt: Where Psychology and Religion Meet, by David Belgum (Prentice-Hall, 1963, 148 pp., $5.25). A thoroughgoing study of how the Church should deal with guilt; with a reconsideration of penance and a discussion of a “functional confessional.” Author confesses that for sixteen years he thought he could combine secular psychotherapy with a clerical collar.
The Preaching of the Gospel, by Karl Barth (Westminster, 1963, 94 pp., $2.50). Lectures on practical theology delivered long ago, when Barth was young. A general discussion on preaching—selecting a text, composing the sermon, and the like.
Salvation, by Ernest F. Kevan (Baker, 1963, 130 pp„ $2.50). A good biblical exposition; substance with clarity. Adapted to individual or group study.
A Baptist Manual of Polity and Practice, by Norman H. Maring and Winthrop S. Hudson (Judson, 1963, 237 pp., $4.50). A wealth of information about Baptists, presented to make them identifiable to themselves and others.
Camping for Christian Youth, by Floyd and Pauline Todd (Harper & Row, 1963, 198 pp., $3.95). Leaves nothing unsaid.
Children of the Developing Countries, A Report by UNICEF (World, 1963, 131 pp., $3.95). A detailed report with pictures tells what the United Nations Children’s Fund ($40 million a year) is doing to improve the health, education, job training, and home conditions of 500 million children in 120 “developing countries” of the world.
Church in Fellowship, edited by Vilmos Vajta (Augsburg, 1963, 279 pp., $5.95). The problems and history of altar and pulpit fellowship in American, German, and Scandinavian Lutheranism.
A Man Named John, The Life of Pope John XXIII, by Alden Hatch (Hawthorn, 1963, 288 pp., $4.50).
The Rise of the West, by William H. McNeill (University of Chicago, 1963, 829 pp., $12.50). Grounded on evolutionary presuppositions, the author in this massive work develops the theme of cultural diffusion, rejecting the Spengler-Toynbee view that many civilizations developed independently. Numerous excellent illustrations help to make this a book of fine craftsmanship.
Winning Jews to Christ, by Jacob Gartenhaus (Zondervan, 1963, 182 pp., $3.50). A storehouse of information about the Jews—their history, tradition, and beliefs—presented to help Christians make a Christian approach to the Jew.
American Immigration Policies, by Marion T. Bennett (Public Affairs Press, 1963, 362 pp., $6). A massive, valuable study of our basic immigration policy: what it is; how it developed, was criticized, and changed; how it affected the composition of our population; and how pending proposals would change it further.
The Reconstruction of Theology, edited by Ralph G. Wilburn (Bethany Press, 1963, 347 pp., $6). A panel of scholars representing the major seminaries of the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) seeks to clarify what Disciples believe. This is Volume II in a three-volume series, “The Renewal of the Church.”
The Turin Fragments of Tyconius’ Commentary on Revelation, edited by Francesco Lo Bue (Cambridge University Press, 1963, 199 pp., $11). The late editor Lo Bue by modern critical techniques has established beyond reasonable doubt that this commentary on the Book of Revelation can be ascribed to Tyconius After, an influential Donatist in the Donatist-Roman Catholic struggle in the churches of fourth-century Africa. Tyconius’ writings are important for their influence on St. Augustine, and for their light on the church struggles in Africa and on the Book of Revelation. What was long little more than a title is now a book come to life.
Right Side Up, by Betty Carlson (Zondervan, 1963, 120 pp., $2.50). The author with an easy style and a Christian perspective addresses herself to the massive amount of unhappiness in life.
The Faith of Christendom, A Source Book of Creeds and Confessions, edited by B. A. Gerrish (The World Publishing Company, 1063, 371 pp., $1.95). Texts of and commentary on the principal statements of faith; with excellent introductions.
North American Protestant Foreign Mission Agencies (Missionary Research Library, 1962, 119 pp., $2.50). Directory of North American Protestant mission work done outside of the United States and Canada. Basetl on replies received from 427 agencies. Fifth edition.
One Church: Catholic and Reformed, by Lewis S. Mudge (Westminster, 1963, 96 pp., $1.75). Declaring the ecumenical honeymoon to be over, the author cites the responsibilities of the present situation and seeks for a theology of ecumenical decision that will move toward unity. A provocative discussion.
Fifty Years of Faith and Order, by John E. Skoglund and J. Robert Nelson (World Council of Churches, 1963, 113 pp., $1).
A Guide to Religious Shrines in the Nation’s Capital, by Glenn D. Everett (Capital Church Publishers [926 National Press Building, Washington, D.C.], 1963. 48 pp., $.75). Fine pictures with descriptive write-ups of the national capital’s religious shrines; tells when they’re open and how to get there.
These Cities Glorious, by Lawrence H. Janssen (Friendship, 1963, 175 pp. $1.75). The author sketches the urbanization of our culture and tells how the Church must alter its patterns of ministry if it is to meet its task.
Bible Personalities, by Mary Jane Haley (Broadman, 1963, 192 pp., $2.75 for teacher’s, $1 for student’s edition). A highly useful, biblically grounded series of lessons on thirty biblical persons. For teachers of children in the ten-year-old range.
Patterns of Passing, by Charles Waugaman (privately printed [order from author at American Baptist Convention, Valley Forge, Pa.], 1963, 36 pp., $1.75). Rich, lovely, affective poems on nature and its God.
Ras Shamra and the Bible, by Charles F. Pfeiffer (Baker, 1962, 73 pp., $1.50). An introduction, for the non-specialist, to the significant discoveries made at Ras Shamra since 1928.
God’s Messengers to Mexico’s Masses, by Jack E. Taylor (Institute of Church Growth [Eugene, Ore.], 1962, 82 pp., $1.50). A study of the needs and problems of that “mission held” of 100,000 to 200,000 Mexicans, a field that crosses the border and confronts the Church in the United States.
New Testament Follow-up for Pastors and Laymen, by Waylon B. Moore (Eerdmans, 1963, 192 pp., $1.95). How to do effective follow-up work so as to conserve, mature, and multiply converts instead of losing them through the back door almost as fast as they come in the front.
One Way for Modern Man (American Bible Society, 1963, 78 pp., $. 15). The Gospel of John in modern English (J. B. Phillips); done in attractive form, with modern photography that ties in with the text.
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