Conflicts Within The Peace-Makers

Peace Shall Destroy Many, by Rudy Henry Wiebe (McClelland and Stewart [Toronto, Canada], 1962, 239 pp., $4.93), is reviewed by J. Wesley Ingles, professor of English, Eastern Baptist College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

It should cause concern and serious reflection among Protestant leaders that so little fiction of literary distinction and of genuine insight into our culture is being produced within the Protestant perspective. And in the evangelical Protestant tradition the paucity is even greater. By contrast, one can readily name an ever growing list of significant Roman Catholic and Anglican writers who make the novel a highly effective vehicle for communicating truth about life and the Christian faith as they see it.

Probably several factors contribute to this problem. One may be a lingering suspicion about the use of the theater and its cousin fiction as instruments for conveying truth. Further, the writer who would deal honestly with a particular segment of life often is under serious limitations. Taboos are imposed by a prudish public within the churches and by editors and publishers controlled by them. And there are also limitations within some writers themselves; they either have failed to master the craft of fiction or have a vision so limited or distorted that it makes an appeal only to an audience having no literary standards or having an equally limited understanding of life.

And therefore, when a young writer within a small branch of the evangelical tradition produces a novel worthy of a serious reading by intelligent people in all branches of the Christian Church, it is cause for rejoicing. This is what Mr. Wiebe has done in Peace Shall Destroy Many. It would be a great misfortune if such a promising first novel did not attain the wide reading it deserves.

Wiebe has set his novel on the edge of Saskatchewan wilderness. It is a study, sympathetic and yet critical, of a group of German-speaking Mennonites who migrated from Russia to Canada after the First World War, and the story is set in 1944, near the end of the Second World War. The life of one of the principal characters, Peter Block, has been shaped by and between these two great conflagrations.

Like the Quakers, these people are pacifists, and this conviction provides the basic dramatic tension within the central character, a young Mennonite farmer, through whom much of the action is perceived and felt. The awful paradox of the pacifist position in relation to the struggle of free peoples against the threat of Nazi enslavement is forcefully conveyed though ineffectively resolved. The apocalyptic events of this enormous struggle in the world beyond the wilderness wall of the community break in upon it constantly. There is no longer any hiding place.

Article continues below

The deeper paradox of the conflicts within a fellowship of “peace-makers”—tensions among themselves and with their neighbors—provides a significant central theme that in turn ramifies into related problems of a “separated” fellowship of believers withdrawing into a closed communion in serious danger of becoming an arrested society. They send missionaries to proclaim the Gospel of love to India but find it unthinkable to admit the Indian “breeds” of the wilderness settlement to membership in their communion. (The parallel to this horrifying anomaly in some branches of the Christian Church in the States is apparent.)

But while the novel embodies perplexing problems confronting the Christian conscience, it is fortunately more than a fictional projection of ideas. Fiction is to be taken most seriously when it reflects a segment of life with honest judgment and sensitive perception.

Stylistically, Wiebe has something of the poetic art of Alan Paton, though not yet, by any means, his mastery of fictional techniques. The novel is divided into four sections: “Spring,” “Summer,” “Autumn,” “Winter” (of 1944), each of which is introduced by a brief prose-poem prelude. These and other descriptive passages throughout the novel should be a delight to any perceptive and imaginative reader. Wiebe has the power to convey sensory experience directly to the mind in concrete terms, fresh images, musical rhythms, and unusual syntax constructions—all evidence of a genuine artist. Here, for instance, is a paragraph from the final prelude. The first great blizzard of the winter has struck at the end of November.

Now barns seeped cold, thick straw-sheds gave no protection. Bunched together, the stock crouched inside their heavy hides, stiffening, or stumped across squawking snow to watering, stirred only by the desperate beating of men. The trough-heaters, under prodding pokers, plumed smoke into the air; without them each pail of water had spread solid in the trough. Every breath drew a knife-wound down the throat. No one thought of the howling blizzard now. The men, dumping hay in mangers and heaping straw under the bellies of their stock, knew that the silent malignancy was far more deadly.

Not only can Wiebe draw the reader into a setting sharply perceived and powerfully presented; he is able also to create a convincing and varied cast of characters, from boys and girls to mature men and women. The dialogue is generally authentic, but in it lies one of the weaknesses of the novel; occasionally it stiffens out of its natural shape into formal English, or gets out of character, and it too seldom communicates the actual idiom of the spoken German in an English equivalent. We need to be told that people are speaking Low German or High German; we are not made to feel it. Wiebe has not yet mastered Hemingway’s technique of communicating the idiom of Spanish in literal translation and Baton’s similar technique of handling the Zulu idioms in English.

Article continues below

One of the strengths of the books is also a weakness. The author has adopted the multiple point of view to create a community portrait, shifting his stance frequently from the perspective of one character to that of another. This constant shifting does extend our understanding of complex relationships, but it tends also to weaken the story line. And the most dramatic events of the book are not associated directly with the central character, young Thom Wiens; they are related rather to the family of Peter Block, the deacon, a dogmatic, inflexible, passionate, and at times violent protector of the code of the fathers, who destroys the life of his daughter and who is finally broken when his own tendency to violence appeal’s in the son for whom he would sacrifice almost anything.

There are scenes of homely simplicity and beauty in which the life of the wilderness community is authentically conveyed. And there are scenes of violence, such as Block’s experiences in Russia, recalled in his memory. There is an almost Dostoevskian power in these Russian episodes, dealing as they do with the terrible paradoxes within man’s nature, the violence in the theoretical pacifist, and the explosion when his personality is whirled about in the cyclotron of suffering and anger.

Some of the scenes are melodramatic, the last one in particular. And there is a somewhat unsophisticated treatment of a supposedly sophisticated character. She is a “worldly” young schoolteacher who replaces Joseph Dueck, who has gone into the service after a struggle with his conscience and who has made a permanent impression on Thom Wiens. She is obviously introduced to serve as the fuse that ignites the final explosion, but she is not entirely convincing. (Perhaps she is no less convincingly portrayed than are Baptist deacons generally in the works of Faulkner!)

Article continues below

The book has, then, some of the weaknesses of a first novel. But it has so many strengths and so much good writing that it deserves the attention of all Christian readers concerned about encouraging better fiction within the evangelical perspective.


The Rest Are Now Obsolete

The Setting of the Sermon on the Mount, by W. D. Davies (Cambridge, 1964, 547 pp., $12.50), is reviewed by David H. Wallace, professor of biblical theology, California Baptist Theological Seminary, Covina, California.

The author of the important volume Paul and Rabbinic Judaism (S.P.C.K., 1955) has written another contribution to the enlarging concentration upon the Jewish foundations of the Christian faith. It is immediately clear that this massive and learned study has made obsolete all prior discussions of the subject, has brought new evidence and analysis to light, and will be the point of departure on this issue for many years to come, for English-language scholarship as well as Continental. Professor Davies’s control of the materials of late Judaism and his mastery of the critical problems of gospel history become apparent in the table of contents, and are thereafter confirmed in the body of the book. He is at home with the finds at Wadi Quintan and makes them highly relevant for this study.

In the development of the theme he has responded to the key scholars in this field of inquiry: Bultmann, Daube, Dodd, Jeremias, T. W. Manson, Schoeps, and, of course, Strack-Billerbeck.

The declared goal of the book is to determine by means of critical historical analysis the actual details surrounding the Sermon on the Mount. Source criticism, form criticism, and liturgical criticism have all added to the “tortuous” mass of problems that the historian must sift. In working his way through these questions Davies takes up the place of the Sermon in Matthew’s Gospel, in Jewish messianic expectation, in the Judaism of Jesus’ own day, in the primitive Christian community, and, finally, in the whole of Jesus’ ministry itself insofar as this may be ascertained.

As to the setting of the Sermon in Matthew, Davies concludes that the evangelist presents it as a “law” of Jesus (p. 108), but that Matthew does not simply promote Jesus to the status of a new Moses, nor is the “mount” a new Sinai. Late Jewish sources reveal that there was no uniform notion of the Messiah, and Matthew’s picture of Jesus of Nazareth fulfills only a part of those varied expectations. Next, in the light of contemporary gnosticism, the Qumran community, and the Jewish Council at Jamnia, the author holds that the Sermon is a primitive Christian answer to the issues raised by Jamnia; for just as Old Israel was required to re-identify herself, so was the nascent Church under obligation from within and without to state its identity and nature in the ancient world. The setting in the early Church is assessed in terms of the movement against Paul, his relation to tradition, the document Q, and several additional literary developments that are traced in part to the impact of the Sermon in primitive Christian thinking. Thus the Sermon is regarded as a transition between the early and post-apostolic churches, especially in respect to the forging of a new law established by Christ. Lastly, Davies considers what the Sermon meant in Jesus’ ministry; i.e„ how did Jesus himself regard these words? Impatient with the protracted search for the “real” Jesus, Davies maintains that the only Jesus available to us is the Jesus portrayed in the Gospels, and despite Matthew’s editorialization, the moral demand of Jesus persists in the Sermon. In his final statement the author makes two points: (1) the current dogmatic interest in theology has focused on the Pauline issue of law and grace, and this has led to the neglect of the Sermon, which in fact unites both themes, and (2) the hard demands of life in the early Church required not iconoclasm, nor antinomianism, but the royal “law of love” that supplanted the Torah of Judaism. A moral law for life was a necessity even for the eschatological people of God; and the Sermon provided, and still provides, a Christian response, a response that grows out of the “infinite demand of Christ.”

Article continues below

This book does not belong in every minister’s library. It is not easy reading. It offers no facile solutions to old ethical problems. It will not do to peruse this book lightly: to be grasped the book must be lived with. However, for the reader who wants to be taught by a master scholar, sometimes urged to conclusions that are uncongenial, this volume will prove to be a greatly rewarding investment despite its high cost.


Obstacle Course

The Kingdom of God in the Teaching of Jesus, by Gösta Lundström, translated by Joan Bulman (John Knox, 1963, 300 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by Herman C. Waetjen, assistant professor of New Testament, San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, California.

Article continues below

At first it is hard to conclude whether this is a poor book because it was ineptly written or because it was badly translated. In the course of reading one becomes convinced both are true. And if one can survive to the end, he can only conclude that this book is not worth buying or reading. He may even wonder why John Knox Press published it.

To try to read and understand the text is to encounter an obstacle course. One cannot help laying the book down again and again in sheer exasperation. What is going on? What is the point? The intention is stated as succinctly in the introduction as it is in the subtitle: “A History of Interpretation from the Last Decades of the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day.” But nothing more! Except for this subtitle, the title of the book is misleading. This is not an analysis of the Kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus. It is a survey of nineteenth-and twentieth-century interpretations of the Kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus. There is no real consideration of the New Testament, of the Old Testament, of apocalyptic literature, of linguistic evidence. There is rather a systematic treatment that attempts to illuminate the theological and philosophical presuppositions of the major thinkers on this subject, who often, according to Lundström, were not even aware of their assumptions, much less acknowledged them. This, of course, is a very ambitious undertaking: to throw light on the foundation structures of a man’s thought deep in the subterranean regions of his sub or un-consciousness.

In presenting the thinking of each theologian Lundström tries to be objective, but he cannot help adding a hint of criticism here and there. This creates a certain ambiguity: one is never quite certain whether the author is presenting the thought of his theologian or airing his own criticism. This uncertainty arises because there is no clear vantage point from which these men of the past are viewed and criticized. Many a thinker is declared to be wrong, but the why and what are never clearly stated. The more one reads, the more one becomes convinced that the author’s own presuppositions stand in the way of his grasping the true intent and nature of the theologians he has studied. The many fragmentary quotations woven into the text are often not lucid and are sometimes so numerous that the reader wonders whether he ought not to read the theologians themselves rather than Lundström.

Finally, at the very end of the book some sort of vantage point for the review is presented. And here it becomes clear that Lundström has not understood what the New Testament says about the Kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus. That is the tragedy of this book. The question, “What is the Kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus?” is answered, not by an examination of the New Testament, but by a cautious selection of various appealing ideas Lundström has from the theologians he has surveyed. Such a procedure is offensive, to say the least. And when the author is not even able to maintain accuracy, as when he fails to distinguish between the English scholars William Manson and T. W. Manson, and presents an inaccurate picture of J. Jeremias’s eschatology, one cannot but despair of the book’s integrity. For this the minister and student of theology should pay $7.50?

Article continues below

If there is any redeeming feature at all, it is the impressive bibliography of some 300 titles. Unfortunately, this does not offset the deficiencies of the book.



God’s Stewards, by Helge Brattgard, translated by Gene J. Land (Augsburg, 1963, 248 pp., $4.50), is reviewed by W. Stanford Reid, professor of history, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

The author, pastor of the Annedals congregation in Gothenburg, Sweden, is one of the leading Lutheran authorities on the subject of stewardship. In this book he seeks to articulate its theological basis. He does so in a clear and concrete manner so that congregational study groups can understand and apply basic principles of stewardship.

He points out that Europeans, presumably Lutherans, have known little about the meaning of stewardship. He goes on to discuss its biblical basis and provides a large amount of extremely useful material, discussing not only the various terms for stewardship but also related subjects, such as the things over which the Christian is steward.

The author then turns to a discussion of stewardship in the light of the Lutheran confessions. Here one might wish he had broadened his scope and touched on other confessional positions. If he had, he might have found that the concept of stewardship is not so strange to those of the Calvinistic or the Anabaptist tradition as he thinks, for these churches have not always held, even in Europe, “established” positions. Yet, despite its tendency to myopia, the work has sufficient scope to prove extremely valuable to any minister who wishes to bring home to his congregation the theological foundations of stewardship.

Article continues below


British Criticism

Teaching and Preaching the New Testament, by Archibald M. Hunter (Westminster, 1963, 192 pp., $3.75), is reviewed by George Eldon Ladd, professor of New Testament theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.

From the pen of Aberdeen’s prolific professor of New Testament comes a collection of essays and sermons illustrating his methodology for teaching and preaching the New Testament.

The first seven chapters consist of essays on various critical problems. Two of these (on the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables) have been expanded and published in book form. Other essays include a critique of the New English Bible, “Unfamiliar Sayings of Jesus,” “Recent Trends in Johannine Studies,” “The Style of St. Paul,” and a delightful paper (which the reviewer heard read before the Society of New Testament Studies in St. Andrew’s) on the authenticity of the much debated passage in Matthew 11:25–30. It is refreshing to hear a scholar of Hunter’s stature assert the authenticity of this important Christological periscope. These essays are followed by twelve brief sermons on such themes as “Tetelestai,” “Recall to Fundamentals,” and “What is Christianity?” Appended to these nineteen essays and sermons is a fifty-page essay on the theology of P. T. Forsyth.

This volume is an excellent illustration of the conservative tendency of some of the best British New Testament criticism. The thoughtful pastor and student of the Word will find in it many stimulating insights.


Worthy Cause, Worthy Effort

The Layman in Christian History, edited by Stephen Charles Neill and Hans-Reudi Weber (Westminster, 1963, 408 pp., $7.50), is reviewed by John H. Kromminga, president, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In a day when the Christian Church is hard put to communicate meaningfully with an estranged world, this without question is a needed and valuable book. It does not quite measure up to the claim made in the preface, that it is “a genuinely original book” in which “unmistakably new ground has been broken.” Not many of the facts presented were unavailable before. But in assembling between one set of covers a reasonably smooth and progressive chronicle of the ups and downs of the Christian layman, the editors have performed a real service in an important cause.

This “enterprise of the Department on the Laity of the World Council of Churches” (p. 11) traces the layman’s lot in life through the various eras and areas of the history of the Church. It is occasionally marked by the inconsistency that plagues composite works; e.g., monks are dealt with as laity in some chapters and as clergy in others. Under the necessity of being selective, eyebrow-raising omissions sometimes appear, among them Alcuin of York and Marsilius of Padua. The most disappointing fault, although an understandable one, is the absence of a description of the function of the general membership of the Church in accepting or rejecting the decisions of the Church’s leaders and councils. This aspect of the laity’s function, which might have appeared as early as Chapter 2, does not come into view until Chapter 12, which deals with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Admittedly this is an elusive subject, requiring a penetration, little aided by the existing documents, into the centuries-old life of ordinary people. If the near-miracle of this penetration had been accomplished, the book would have been epoch-making. If this penetration had been more diligently pursued, the book would have been better than it is.

Article continues below

Nevertheless, there are some fine flashes of insight. One example is found on page 311: “A survey of church history since the Edict of Milan suggests that the vigour of lay activity in the Church varies inversely with the intimacy of the links connecting Church with State.” Another is given in a quotation from the Willingen Conference of the International Missionary Council (p. 381): “We believe that God is calling the Church to express its mission not only through foreign missionaries sent by the boards, but also through an increasing flow of Christian lay men and women who go out across the world in business, industry and government, and who do so with a deep conviction that God calls them to witness for him in all of life.”

Renewed attention to the layman is a ground swell that runs across theological and ecclesiastical lines. While this book traces that ground swell chiefly in terms of the ecumenical movement, it serves as an excellent sourcebook for those in other groups who recognize this as a uniquely proper and profitable development and thus seek to encourage it. Catholic thinking and writing has been giving the layman vastly increased attention. Fundamentalist Protestantism has always been strong on the witnessing function of the layman but is today struggling toward a broader conception of the manner in which that witness is to be carried out. Conservative Protestantism defined the layman’s place long ago; but here, as elsewhere, it is struggling to live up to its own definitions. The ecumenical movement has done some real pioneering in rethinking the role of the layman. Now it faces its own struggle, to recognize his maturity in its own larger assemblies and to make this new insight of the few the possession and profession of the many.

Article continues below

It is not easy for a professional ministerial class to recognize the Christian maturity of the layman. The designation of special functions easily passes over into the claim of special prerogatives or magical powers. But the day may be coming when the Christian layman will come into the full realization of his place, under Christ, as prophet, priest, and king. That will be a good day. The authors of this book deserve our thanks for helping prepare us for its arrival.


A Comparison

From Moses to Qumran: Studies in the Old Testament, by H. H. Rowley (Association, 1963, 293 pp., $7.50); and The Meaning of the Qumrân Scrolls for the Bible: With Special Attention to the Book of Isaiah, by William Hugh Brownlee (Oxford, 1964, 309 pp., $7.50), are reviewed by J. Barton Payne, associate professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College Graduate School of Theology, Wheaton, Illinois.

Established scholars inevitably accumulate journal articles and special lectures. How understandable, then, that they should succumb to pressures for books, even of heterogeneous content and unedited lecture-style, especially when each commands a price, it is hoped, of $7.50. Yet republication and potpourri may be justified when they make truth more generally available; and the above-noted anthologies have in common, not only a significant subject—Qumran—but also a multi-lingual thoroughness in well-documented research.

The eight essays of H. H. Rowley, Britain’s distinguished emeritus professor of Hebrew at Manchester University, extend literally From Moses to Qumran. They are re-issues of articles dated 1940–1961, and their augmented footnotes sparkle as Professor Rowley interacts with those who criticize his original releases. Of chief interest is his hitherto relatively inaccessible discussion on the authority (but not inerrancy) of the Bible. He rejects what he styles “bibliolatry” (p. 10) by syllogisms such as the following: since the Bible exhibits human elements it must be fallible; since men today do not need inerrant copies of the Bible there can be no additional need (such as Christ’s teaching?) to require infallible autographs; since “grandeur and loftiness” do not characterize all parts of Scripture there must exist levels of inspired truthfulness (pp. 12–15). It is regrettable that such an erudite scholar as Rowley (cf. his citation of recent American evangelical writings in the Evangelical Theological Society’s volume on Inspiration and Interpretation) should demonstrate such a misapprehension of historic orthodoxy.

Article continues below

Concerning Old Testament sacrifice, Rowley maintains a commendable balance between the primacy of the sacrificer’s heart attitude and the validity of the ritual as a means through which God really worked. On the relation of the prophets to ceremonial law, he repudiates the antithesis drawn by an older liberalism between priests and prophets, as well as the amalgamation proposed by certain modern critics of the canonical prophets into the class of cult functionaries (cf. E. J. Young’s My Servants the Prophets). Little wonder that he becomes skeptical of early Old Testament monotheism when he dismisses passages like Deuteronomy 4:35 and 39 as “quite certainly not issuing from Moses” (p. 42); and he questions the historicity and full unity of Job (contrast Brownlee below), though he has a positive conclusion on a sufferer’s need to trust in God. His final sections on Qumranic Messianism and on pre-Christian baptism exhibit an evident sympathy with the unique Saviourhood of Christ.

William H. Brownlee, author of The Meaning of the Qumrân Scrolls for the Bible and, since 1959, professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School, California, is best known for his participation in the initial Dead Sea scroll discoveries in Palestine in 1948. He utilizes Rowley’s eighth essay in insisting that Qumran provides no antecedent to the central Christian doctrines of the Incarnation and of the atoning Death and Resurrection of Christ (Brownlee, pp. 125, 143–147; Rowley, pp. 248, 249). Both writers censure Qumran’s hatred of its enemies, its withdrawal from temple and community, and its legalism and unfulfilledness as contrasted with Christianity’s actual attainment of the New Age (Brownlee, pp. 147–150; Rowley, pp. 251–253, 275). Rowley, however, goes further in denying to Qumran any genuinely priestly-Messiah concept—its priest is anointed, but not really a deliverer (p. 268; contrast Brownlee, pp. 98, 113, cf. p. 149)—or a true initiatory baptism or sacramental communion service (pp. 264–266; contrast Brownlee, pp. 114, 115).

Much of Brownlee’s work concerns the contribution of Qumran’s great Isaiah scroll to Old Testament textual criticism. While claiming to present only “samples,” he has produced a useful introduction to the subject through his observations on some forty-eight key passages in Isaiah. His well-documented discussion of the resurrection of the Lord’s Servant (pp. 226–233), arising from IQ Isay’s reading of Isaiah 53:11, He shall see “light,” warrants serious consideration. Yet his enthusiasm for conjectural emendations, especially for the sake of poetic meter—cf. Isaiah 41:17, “We must trim it to size” (p. 143)—belies his more sober theory, “Be slow to emend” (p. 296). Stylistically, his attempt to produce a work for the nontechnical reader, well done on pages 131–134, sinks into cheapness, with phrases like “so revolutionary and so revelationary” (p. 45); and a number of his digressions seem frankly out of place: e.g., his caricaturing of scriptural difficulties (pp. 73, 74), his philosophizing on calendars (pp. 46, 47), or his anti-fundamentalist pleading for JEDP (pp. 76–78).

Article continues below

Among the somewhat repetitious articles and appendices, Brownlee strangely omits from his “summary of the better positions” concerning the name Yahweh the widely accepted meaning, “I am present.” Yet conservatives will appreciate his messianic understandings of Deuteronomy 18:15 and First Chronicles 29:22 (pp. 99, 100); his belief that Isaiah 49 ff. was written in “the Holy Land” (p. 226), with portions of 56–58 being “of possible pre-Exilic origin”; and his organization of the whole of Isaiah into two parallel halves of thirty-three chapters each.


Devotional Study

Paul’s Pentecost, by A. Skevington Wood (Paternoster Press [Exeter, Devon, England], 1963, 144 pp., 8s. 6d.), is reviewed by R. Peter Johnston, vicar of Islington, London, and president of the Islington Clerical Conference.

This book consists of a careful, detailed analysis and exposition of the eighth chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. It is primarily a devotional study, to which the author brings rich scholarship and an obvious concern for intellectual integrity, reminding one of Bishop Westcott’s words that it is possible to bury one’s head in a lexicon and rise in the presence of God. Deep spiritual truths are uncovered as the exact meaning and scriptural usages of various words are brought before us. “No form of Bible study is more profitable,” suggests Dr. Wood, “than the coverage in depth as we compare Scripture with Scripture and allow the Word of God to be its own interpreter.”

Article continues below

The title of the book may cause those in the stricter Reformed tradition to raise their eyebrows, but they will find little to which they cannot wholeheartedly subscribe. In dealing with the inner witness of the Spirit, the author emphasizes that it is “a witness which confirms what is already assured to the believer by the Word of God.” This is but one instance of the balanced approach that characterizes the whole.

The preacher will find here a fund of illustrative matter; no doubt the excellent outlines and headings will find their way into many a sermon—to the profit of many a congregation.


Book Briefs

Philosophy and History, edited by Sidney Hook (New York University, 1963, 404 pp., $6). A symposium that probes into the nature of history, the possibilities of knowing historical phenomena, and the problems of historical writings. For scholars only.

All the Parables of the Bible, by Herbert Lockyer (Zondervan, 1963, 381 pp., $4.95). By making the term “parable” include “different phases of figurative language, such as similitudes, comparisons, sayings, proverbs, and the like,” the author presents a study and analysis of more than 250. In the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman, the author finds the “Parable of the Puppies,” and in Jesus’ remarks about the weather the “Parable of Weather Forecasting.”

The Psychology of Loving, by Ignace Lepp, translated by Bernard B. Gilligan (Helicon, 1963, 256 pp., $4.95). The discoveries of depth psychology applied to the reality, problems, and frustrations of human loving. A book of substance and insight for those who have time to read. With case histories.

Worship in Scripture and Tradition, edited by Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (Oxford, 1963, 178 pp., $4.50). A substantial study of liturgies; the essays were written by members of the Theological Commission on Worship of the North American Section of Faith and Order. Theologically uneven, but provocative and profitable for the discerning.

Amish Society, by John A. Hostetler (Johns Hopkins, 1963, 347 pp., $6.50). The moving and pathetic story of the sectarian Amish people, who withdrew from society and who kept the insider in by threat of excommunication and the outsider out by doing no evangelizing or proselytizing. A valuable study, since the Amish differ from many Christians only in degrees.

The Apostles’ Creed: An Interpretation for Today, by Gardiner M. Day (Scribner’s, 1963, 174 pp., $3.50). The author’s announced purposes are to help those who would like to belong to the Church but cannot subscribe to historic creeds, and to examine a creed that has large significance for ecumenical unity. He does this, for example, by explaining the return of Christ as nothing more than the ultimate triumph of goodness.

Article continues below

The Sufficiency of God (Westminster, 1964, 240 pp., $5.50). Prominent ecumenical leaders present a series of essays on various facets of the ecumenical movement by way of paying tribute to its Hooft on the twenty-fifth year of his service as general secretary of the World Council of Churches.

The Validity of the Virgin Birth: The Theological Debate and Its Evidence, by Howard A. Hanke (Zondervan, 1963, 122 pp., $2.50). An attempt to vindicate the Virgin Birth by making it the foundation and keystone of all truths about Christ. An apologetic method that urges that unless the one is true nothing is true, will not greatly persuade either conservatives or liberals.

The Eternal Now, by Paul Tillich (Scribner’s, 1963, 185 pp., $2–95). Sixteen sermons providing insight into Tillich’s thought.

Philosophies of Judaism, by Julius Guttmann, translated by David Silverman (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964, 464 pp., $7.50). Christians and even secular philosophers are not well aware of the development of Jewish philosophy. Spanning the period from Hellenistic times to the beginning of this century, this book fills an unfortunate gap in our knowledge.


A Christian’s Guide to Bible Study, by A. Morgan Derham (Revell, 1964, 63 pp., $.75). Written to promote an activity frequently praised but often neglected.

Pharisaism and Christianity, by Hugo Odeberg, translated by J. M. Moe (Concordia, 1964, 112 pp., $1.75). The author delineates the real difference between Pharisaism and Christianity in order to remove the leaven of Pharisaism from the Church. A valuable study.

God and Evil: Readings on the Theological Problem of Evil, edited by Nelson Pike (Prentice-Hall, 1964, 114 pp., $2.25).

A Factual Study of Latin America, by W. Stanley Rycroft and Myrtle M. Clemmer (Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations, United Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., 1963, 246 pp., $1.50). A wealth of information about that great variety of peoples which is Latin America.

Modern Man and Spiritual Life, by Max Thurian (Association, 1964, 80 pp., $1.25). The sub-prior of the Community of Taizé discusses prayer, worship, and the inner, contemplative life. Stimulating reading.

Article continues below

A Christian’s Guide to Prayer, by Derek Prime (Revell, 1964, 63 pp., $.75). A very practical, down-to-earth discussion of prayer that reaches to the heavens.

The Israel of God, by John M. Oesterreicher (Prentice-Hall, 1963, 118 pp., $1.95). Christians of every persuasion can read this with profit.

New Songs and Carols for Children and More Songs and Carols for Children, by William Grime (Carl Fischer; 1955, 1959; 63, 64 pp.; $1 each). Two volumes of songs, some for Christmas. Simple, pleasant tunes and meaningful words will be well liked by primary-age children.

Strategy of Missions: An Evangelical View, by Harold R. Cook (Moody, 1963, 123 pp., $1.50). Author urges that greater unity among evangelicals is the only hope for achieving a missionary strategy of cooperation and coordination.

Love for the Neighbor in Luther’s Theology, by Donald C. Ziemke (Augsburg, 1963, 109 pp., $1.95).

The Riddle of Roman Catholicism: Its History, Its Beliefs, Its Future, by Jaroslav Pelikan (Abingdon, 1964, 272 pp., $1.50). A very reliable Protestant exposition of the Roman church. An Abingdon Award Winner. First printed in 1959.


Great Sermons on the Resurrection, by Alexander Maclaren. Charles H. Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, T. DeWitt Talmage, and Canon Liddon (Baker, 1963, 127 pp., $1.95). First published in 1896.

The English Free Churches, by Horton Davies (Oxford, 1963, 208 pp., $1.70). This book deals with English Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and the Society of Friends of English church history. First published in 1952.

The Death of Christ, by James Denney (Inter-Varsity, 1961, 207 pp., $3.95). An evangelical classic by a fine theologian of the great tradition.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.