Sparks From A Genius
Old Testament Theology, Volume II: The Theology of Israel’s Prophetic Traditions, by Gerhard von Rad, translated by D. M. G. Stalker (Harper and Row, 1965, 470 pp., $6.50), is reviewed by William Sanford LaSor, professor of Old Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.
On the dust jacket of this book, G. Ernest Wright calls it “the most original and one of the two most important treatises in the field of Old Testament theology to appear since the First World War,” and H. H. Rowley says, “It will stand alone among the spate of books on Old Testament theology.” Personally, I dislike book reviews based on dust jackets, and this review will not be such; but these two statements, made by cautious and well-read scholars, deserve to be quoted. This is indeed a great book. We are still too near to it to make such statements, but it may well be epoch-making in the field of Old Testament studies.
This is not to suggest that I agree with all the author says. But that is beside the point. Only a very few times in my life have I had the privilege of sitting under a true genius. (A genius, I would remind you, is one who strikes the sparks from which other men light their fires.) Professor von Rad’s work is the product of sheer genius. Whether other men will light many fires from it remains to be seen, but it is a pyrotecnic display of sparks.
Professor von Rad starts with the fundamental assumption that the prophets of the Old Testament were preeminently preachers of the “law.” This is a direct break with the critical position that the prophets were originators who were responsible for the creation of ethical monotheism. Professor von Rad also blazes a new trail in his concept of Old Testament theology, rejecting the approach through religious ideas and modifying the approach through “saving history.” In a postscript, which is additional to the German edition, he discusses these points at some length (pp. 410–29). It becomes clear that he is in effect following a living approach, which is basically drawn from the saving acts in Israel’s history, but which seeks at the same time to view them as they might have been viewed at any given moment in Israel’s history. This position is obvious in his outline.
In Part One of this volume the author takes up “General Considerations in Prophecy,” discussing such matters as “prophecy before the classical period (Elijah, Elisha),” “the oral tradition,” “the prophet’s freedom,” “the prophets’ conception of the word of God, and Israel’s ideas about time and history,” and “the prophetic eschatology.” This part is basic and should not be skipped over carelessly.
Professor von Rad has a habit of starting a chapter by stating the current view—unchallenged. The reader becomes aware that the author is attacking that position only as he reads the subsequent pages. For example, von Rad rejects the idea that the classical prophets were cult officials (p. 55), and stresses a call “through God’s direct and very personal address to them” (p. 57).
Part Two (pp. 129–315) deals with “Classical Prophecy” and takes up the prophets and their messages individually and chronologically. After each period there is a summary. For example, after considering Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah, Professor von Rad discusses “the new element in eighth-century prophecy”; similarly, after Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Deutero-Isaiah, he takes up the new elements in the Babylonian and early Persian period. Readers who may be disturbed by the author’s assumption of a Second Isaiah should be prepared to meet also Trito-Isaiah, not to mention Trito-Zechariah (p. 297). However, it should be strongly emphasized that in general Professor von Rad has rejected much of the older critical position. For example, he has no sympathy for the “gloom-and-doom” school that removed any glimmer of hope from the pre-exilic prophets.
Part Three deals with “The Old Testament and the New.” It is in many ways the most exciting part of the book and offers the most striking of the author’s many brilliant insights. Professor von Rad pleads with the reader not to read this until he has first read what goes before, since these words “stand or fall according as what preceded them is valid” (p. vii). It is obvious that the author considers Jesus Christ to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and believes that this new event in saving history must influence our understanding of the Old Testament. The discussion of the use of the Old Testament by New Testament authors is important (pp. 330 f.).
Within the space limits of this review it is not possible to enter into a critical evaluation of this great book. I have already indicated my frequent dissent, but to attempt to point out what I find objectionable—and why—would run on for pages. Nevertheless, for what they are worth, let me make a few blanket statements. I feel that Professor von Rad has continued to hold some critical positions that have no firm support; for example, anonymous prophets (such as Deutero- and Trito-Isaiah) violate the author’s own statement against anonymity (p. 77). I feel moreover, that Professor von Rad has not sufficiently divorced his thinking from Greek thought (e.g., pp. 101 ff.), even though his basic premise is not to impose other thought-forms on the Old Testament. Then, too, I feel that the author has gotten himself into difficulties through his confusion of “eschatological” and post-exilic (cf. pp. 280–88). If the prophets, when speaking of the saving acts yet to take place, were thinking only of the return from exile—or better, if God’s revelation to them concerned only that return—we are indeed faced with many difficulties. The eschaton, even in the prophetic message, was a very complex idea that, it becomes apparent, had to extend far beyond the events of the return and the Second Temple.
This book deserves wide and careful reading. Scholars and teachers who are committed to positions based on older critical views should work over it and re-evaluate their position. Conservatives should use it for a similar purpose and. in addition, to add vitality and stimulation to a position that is too often lifeless and boring.
WILLIAM SANFORD LASOR*****************************
The Meaning of Modern Atheism, by Jean Lacroix (Macmillan, 1965, 115 pp., $2.95), is reviewed by Carl F. H. Henry, editor,CHRISTIANITY TODAY.
The French philosopher Lacroix of Lyons aims to understand rather than to disprove atheism, of which there is no scarcity in French life and literature. “For millions today atheism is a way of life” (p. 18).
The newest schools do not reject theism in order to pursue immorality but supposedly in the interest of ethics and responsibility. Just as belief in God is viewed as destructive of responsibility, so too is original sin.
When faith and prayer do not spur the Christian to action but survive as a mystique, this atheistic misunderstanding may be encouraged.
Yet the “moral atheist” has utopian expectations of the elimination of poverty, war, injustice. And Marxists champion the dogma that “all social action is ineffective in so far as it is spiritual” (p. 37). Besides political atheism, however, there are scientific humanism and ethical humanism. “The atheists of today are no longer libertines … and their ethical behaviour is hardly to be distinguished from that of Christians—a fact which poses some delicate questions for the latter!” (p. 41).
A partial reply is, of course, that modern atheists borrow more from the Christian outlook than their views consistently permit—including the vision of social justice and the sense of personal responsibility.
In the closing half of his book Lacroix seems to accept the naturalistic notion that all knowledge of God is permeated by inadequate representations (p. 55), and he praises negative theology. But he does not conclude his book without upholding the ontological capacity of reason and saluting the Vatican Council’s declaration that human intelligence can reach God by natural means.
CARL F. H. HENRY
Christ and Architecture: Building Presbyterian/Reformed Churches, by Donald J. Bruggink and Carl H. Droppers (Eerdmans, 965, 708 pp., $20), is reviewed by Scott Turner Ritenour, director, Division of Christian Life and Mission, National Council of Churches, New York, New York.
This compendium of data for “Building Presbyterian/Reformed Churches” seeks to interrelate theology and architecture through a scholarly text enhanced by photographs and charts. The illustrations, coming largely from the Continent—Holland, Switzerland, and Germany primarily—are well selected and help to unify a cumbersome (and physically heavy) volume.
The authors are well qualified. Dr. Bruggink, professor of historical theology at Western Theological Seminary, probes deeply into questions of history and theology in the first seven chapters of the book. Mr. Droppers, a practicing architect and assistant professor of architecture at Western Reserve University, puts those ideas into pictures and diagrams, and also expresses his views in words in the last six chapters. The resulting volume is one of the handsomest books on church design published in this nation.
In evaluating so rich a source book I have very mixed feelings. It is comprehensive within the limited circle of church groups rooted in the Reformed tradition. The essential basis for the whole is in Part I, where the theological and historical point of view is presented. On this are built the practical and technical issues. Although church leaders and architects may be greatly helped by knowing the background, I suspect that even very interested members of building committees would be receiving information that is beyond their ken, thus making a little knowledge more confusing than helpful. To put it another way, the first part is basic to all readers—clergy, students, builders, and architects—because theology determines liturgy, which in turn defines function and space needs for architecture. The second part deals primarily with technical matters, which are essentially the concern of the architect and builder. Such quickly gotten knowledge may cause committees to be more troublesome than helpful in the building process.
Although theology is of great importance in church architecture, I am not convinced that an approved formula—a series of well-stated criteria—ensures a successful building program. Theology can become sterile when it is not related to life, and I did not find any relevance of the theological position presented to the dynamic forces that are molding the life of churchmen today. (Incidentally, I was a little surprised that despite exhaustive research, the authors failed to cite such sources as “Towards a Theology for Church Architecture,” by Paul Chapman, which appeared in the May, 1959, issue of motive magazine, and an important essay by James Whyte, professor at the University of Edinburgh, entitled “The Theological Basis of Church Architecture,” in Towards a Church Achitecture, edited by Peter Hammond and published in 1962.)
Part I by Dr. Bruggink is based on the conviction that since the preached word conveys a message, the architecture of the church should proclaim in a sympathetic way the same living Word. Dr. Bruggink develops criteria in relation to space so that there will be a visual experience of both Word and sacraments. In describing the people of God, he differentiates the functions of the ministry, the elders, and the deacons, and sees the whole congregation as participants in the liturgy. In speaking about the choir, he defines its true function as communicating the people’s gratitude rather than showing God’s grace.
In “Heresy in the Sanctuary” Dr. Bruggink sharply criticizes the fact that often too many materials are used, too many things are assembled, too many flags are shown, too many decorations are employed beyond their symbolical significance, too many windows are used, too many memorial gifts are accepted, too many lecterns clutter up the worship area, and too many interruptions are permitted that have no relevance to Reformed worship according to the Word of God.
Part II is developed from the theological basis that has been laid, and Mr. Droppers seeks to encourage a fruitful relation between the client church and the architect. Therefore there are chapters on “Teamwork in the Church Building,” on “Economy …,” on “Expression …,” on “Structure …,” on “Shape of the Church Building,” and finally on “Programming.…” In these six chapters, twenty-one charts deal with such aspects as various “principles” for site selection, water supply, window operation, heating, lighting, and space and volume selection.
In general, I feel that Christ and Architecture does present the Reformed position, but that if it were more apologetic and showed an irenic spirit, then the true purpose of the Church would be better fulfilled. To be polemical at a time when the liturgical movement is expanding and deepening is most unfortunate. The churches that are built now and in the future should reflect their tradition, to be sure, but they not be so tightly authenticated that those of other backgrounds would be ill at ease in them. If the basis of the Presbyterian/Reformed position is to be encouraged and the truest in the liturgical movement is to be provided, then we should also seek an ecumenical emphasis rather than allowing our zeal to protect our rationale.
SCOTT TURNER RITENOUR
Ezekiel For Today
Ezekiel: Prophecy of Hope, by Andrew W. Blackwood, Jr. (Baker, 1965, 274 pp., $4.50), is reviewed by David W. Kerr, professor of Old Testament interpretation and dean, Gordon Divinity School, Wenham, Massachusetts.
Many epithets have been applied to Ezekiel: apocalyptist, which he surely was: genius, which he may very well have been; cataleptic or pervert, which he surely was not. Dr. Blackwood sees him as an existentialist—not, of course, the agnostic who sees in life neither purpose nor hope, but the theist who knows God and lives his truth in the heartaches of existence.
Every interpreter of Ezekiel, because he is dealing with apocalyptic literature, has to decide over and over again how particular symbols are to be understood, where the line is to be drawn between the parabolic and the narrative, as in Ezekiel 4 and 5, between the figurative and the literal, as in chapters 37–39. The lines of distinction are well drawn in this book, and most of the author’s decisions are reasonably supported.
In adopting a “spiritual” interpretation of the difficult Gog and Magog passage in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and more particularly of the temple vision in chapters 40–48, Dr. Blackwood parts company with many conservative expositors. By so doing, however, he not only avoids the problems raised by literalism, such as the renewal of Levitical offerings in the millennial era, but also focuses attention upon the abiding lessons of the Spirit that the literalists so often miss. As the author says in connection with Ezekiel 3:22, Christians sometimes display a curious inconsistency when they act as if the spiritual were less “real” than the material. The “cords” were “real” enough, but Ezekiel could not have tied a package with them.
In the exposition of chapters 16 and 34 there is a fine recognition of the covenant idea, which appears as a thread of thought in several chapters. It would seem, however, that the same thread could have been detected more readily than it has been in chapters 36 and 37, where the covenant formula, “I will be your God, and you shall be my people,” is an emphatic promise.
I cannot help having some regret over two features of the introductory chapter of the book. One is that the reader is promised a message of hope in the prophecy if he is willing to endure the repetition, to face what is ugly, obscure, and disgusting. From one point of view, perhaps all these adjectives apply to Ezekiel. Nevertheless, one gets the feeling that he should hope for the best but expect the worst, even if this is God’s Word. The other disappointing feature is that the analytical school of such critics as Hölscher and Irwin is treated more kindly than scientific criticism demands. (Admittedly, this last comment reveals as much about the reviewer as it does about the author.)
Ezekiel’s essential message of hope in its Babylonian setting of the sixth century B.C. does sound forth clearly in this book, which is characterized by sound interpretation throughout. The language and style are attractive. Anyone who reads the prophecy of Ezekiel with this volume as a companion will have a better grasp of the entire biblical message and will see how the Spirit of God works through all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. I highly recommend the book.
DAVID W. KERR
Two Good Ones
Dialogue at Calvary, by John A. Holt (Baker, 1965, 79 pp., $1.95) and Listening to God on Calvary, by George Gritter (Baker, 1965, 143 pp., $2.50), are reviewed by Robert G. Rayburn, president and professor of practical theology and homiletics, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
Here are two small books that will certainly be a blessing to any who read them, no matter how many volumes they have read on the seven words of Christ from the cross. The work of John A. Holt is especially interesting, for it is a treatment of seven words addressed to the cross by those who stood on Calvary. In spite of a few unfortunate grammatical errors (e.g., “how could anyone put their faith in a man who was unable to preserve his own life”), the author has very definite literary gifts, and his work is also thoroughly biblical and intensely practical. The capable and conscientious minister will not copy the general plan of the discourses in this volume, but the work should be a good seed-plot for those who want suggestions they can develop in their own way. Holt has a stimulating and original approach to thinking about the cross.
One wishes that in considering the first word of defiance, “Ah, thou that destroyest the temple …,” the author had pointed out that it shows the complete lack of spiritual discernment typical of the man who refuses to believe God’s Word. Although Holt makes it clear that the answer to the defiance was the resurrection, the non-believer would be no more persuaded by the resurrection than by the other miracles.
Listening to God on Calvary concerns the seven words that Jesus spoke from the cross. Because these have received very extensive treatment by many preachers and scholars, I was tempted to give this book only a casual reading. I soon discovered, however, that this was no ordinary book of sermons. George Gritter’s deep spiritual insights are unquestionable. He writes with beautiful style. He is a master of unaffected alliteration that gives force to his treatment.
The flyleaf indicates that these were sermons. The one thing I find lacking in them is a direct, personal application of the striking truths so clearly presented. The preacher can never assume that those in his congregation will apply God’s truth to their own needs.
Both these books are heartily recommended, especially for the Lenten season.
ROBERT G. RAYBURN
The Ministry’S Many Faces
Ministry, by Robert S. Paul (Eerdmans, 1965, 252 pp., $5), is reviewed by Herbert Giesbrecht, librarian, Mennonite Brethren Bible College, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“The Protestant Ministry is perplexed, and it does not quite know why.” These are the opening words of Robert S. Paul’s new book, and they express succinctly what many Christians (ministers and laymen alike) feel.
This rather pessimistic mood has been expressed in recent studies of the shortcomings of seminary training, as well as in recent pleas for greater participation of the laity in the essential “ministry” of the Church. The disquietude of sensitive Christians and their earnest questioning of the very nature and purpose of the Christian ministry compels us to examine the matter once again.
This author’s full and forthright work is probably the only contemporary study in America that seriously grapples with the basic issues from the standpoint of biblical theology and exegesis. Paul is acquainted with the views of M. Luther and J. Calvin, Richard Baxter and Cardinal Newman, T. S. Manson and A. M. Ramsay, W. D. Davies and John Baillie, P. S. Minear and D. T. Jenkins, D. Bonhoeffer and Hans-Ruedi Weber, and he draws effectively upon their thought. Yet he is fundamentally concerned with the scriptural evidence.
The author’s theological discernment impresses one immediately and repeatedly. It is revealed in his observation that all questions “concerning the Church are at root theological” (p. 181). It is also revealed in his reiteration of the truth that all questions about the Christian ministry must ultimately be referred back to “the source of the Church’s own ministry and of all ministry in the Church, and to the place where the only valid theology of ministry can begin, to the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ himself” (p. 100).
But his discernment is most evident in his discussion of what seems to be his central thesis, that the ministry of the Church finds its continuing justification and its continuing pattern in the ministry of Christ himself, and not anywhere else. Paul’s clear and convincing exposition of this thesis and of its connections with specific aspects of the doctrine of the Church and its ministry makes his work intriguing and a genuine “theology of Christian Ministry.”
Among the many aspects and issues discussed are: the call to the ministry; the ordination of ministers; popular conceptions of the ministry; church structure and government; church worship and church sacraments; church work and its problems and perils; church unity (ecumenicity); the minister’s responsibilities and relations to family, church, and the secular world.
Besides theological discernment, the second main quality of Paul’s work is its spirit of Christian charity and tolerance. While he often expresses deeply held convictions in emphatic language, his discussions of divergent views are never marred by ill-humored argument or sarcastic wit. This irenic quality is especially apparent in his comparison of high-Anglican and free-church conceptions of the ministry (pp. 114 f.), in his discussion of the various forms of church government and church worship (pp. 216 f.) and of the various attitudes of divergent views about the final source of spiritual authority in the Church (pp. 166 f.), and in his sane comments on whether the minister ought to be a “scholar-preacher,” an administrator and counselor, or something of both.
I might speak of other merits of this author, such as his shrewd and practical understanding of human nature, and his sense of balance. But I must conclude my comments with a reference to the book’s literary style, which is refreshingly plain and colloquial and often suggests the simple and fluctuating movements of excited speech among “student-friends.” Often the discussion is imaginatively colored by anecdotes and images culled from history, literature, and legend.
It’S In The Title
Jesus and the Son of Man, by A. J. B. Higgins (Fortress, 1965, 224 pp., $4.25), is reviewed by Andrew J. Bandstra, dean of students and assistant professor of New Testament, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The conjunction is important in the title of this book. The author, professor of New Testament at the University of Leeds, attempts to show that although Jesus did use the phrase “Son of Man,” he did not think of himself as the Son of Man nor as one destined to become the Son of Man. Thus it is not correct to say that Jesus is the Son of Man or that he thought he was the Son of Man: rather, one should speak of the correlativity of Jesus and the Son of Man.
A crucial passage is Luke 12:8, 9: “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” This passage is crucial, according to Higgins, because, first, it reveals that Jesus made a clear distinction between himself as he spoke and the future Son of Man, and secondly, it illustrates the only way in which Jesus himself ever spoke of the Son of Man, namely, in terms of his future glory.
Through his form-critical study of the Son of Man passages, Higgins is constrained to hold that all references to the Son of Man that speak either of his earthly activity or of his sufferings are, in that form, not authentic sayings of Jesus but are rather expressions of the faith of the early Church. The author’s position on Mark 10:45 is instructive. Jesus said: “I shall give my life as a ransom for many.” The earliest stage of the church tradition put it: “The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many.” The present form with the insertion on serving is the third and final stage of this tradition. Thus, for Higgins, Jesus knew himself to be the Son of God in a unique way; he also considered himself to be fulfilling the role of the Suffering Servant on earth (of which he spoke in the first person); but he never designated himself the Son of Man.
How does Higgins give meaning to the conjunction in the expression, Jesus and the Son of Man? Basic to his understanding is the position that “the Son of Man” was never an objective reality but an idea in the mind of certain Jews. Jesus took this idea and adapted it to denote himself as the Son of God he already believed himself to be, reinstalled in his heavenly seat. The concept Son of Man is used to describe the Son of God exercising his intercessory or judicial functions. This is the connection—and the only connection—that Jesus himself made between himself and the Son of Man. It is from this authentic base that, according to Higgins, the Son of Man Christology of the early Church was developed in the post-resurrection period, as reflected in the Son of Man passages in John, in most of those in the Synoptic Gospels, and in those in the rest of the New Testament.
To someone, such as this reviewer, who holds that Jesus himself made the synthesis of the Suffering Servant and the Son of Man concepts, Higgins’s argument will not be persuasive. What seem to the author to be assured results of critical studies are often simply the collective judgments of subjective opinion. On the other hand, the “obvious” fact—to Higgins—that Jesus knew himself to be the Son of God is really an expression of faith on the part of the author that will not be shared by all. Jesus, as portrayed in this book, is made a bit more “understandable,” but somehow in the process something of the mystery of the Incarnation is obscured and the reality of the serving, suffering, and glorified Son of Man is replaced, in part, by the early Church’s proclamation of and justification for her faith.
This does not mean that the book has no value for the scholar not holding the author’s view of the New Testament and its Christology. On the contrary, the book can serve many purposes. In the first place, it is a good exhibit of a competent scholar “doing form criticism” on one specific subject. Again, it is a good exhibit of one line of the “new quest of the historical Jesus.” Higgins is convinced that the Jesus who proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom and the Jesus who became the subject of the post-resurrection Church’s own proclamation are identical. Finally, this book will serve to illumine certain problems and facets of the Son of Man passages with which the New Testament scholar, irrespective of his position, must deal responsibly.
ANDREW J. BANDSTRA
How To Help
Help Your Minister to Do His Best, by Owen M. Weatherly (Judson, 1965, 156 pp., $3.95), is reviewed by Paul R. Gilchrist, pastor, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Levittown, Pennsylvania.
This is a fascinating and thought-provoking book written in an easy-going style, by a man who “as pastor and educator … has experienced both sides of the relationship he sensitively describes in this book.” He puts the point of his title across. From the first chapter, where he introduces the pastor as the one who is often responsible for finding extra ping-pong balls, to the last chapter, which closes on a very serious note of advice to the congregation that is about to call a new pastor, Weatherly’s book is exceedingly well written. Those who sincerely want to help their pastor do his best will find a treasury of helpful information.
The author shows his practical wisdom in such passages as these:
But, if he devotes all of his time to pastoral care and church administration and gives no thought to sermon preparation, he will necessarily come to the pulpit on Sunday morning with nothing to offer you but a full heart and an empty head. And I don’t have to tell you that a combination like that is poor fare for a hungry soul [p. 30].
People aren’t defeated because their problems are too big or too complicated to be solved; they are defeated because they won’t seek and accept the help that is available to them until their lives have already been ruined. Take your problems to your minister no matter how far advanced they are; but, if you want to get the maximum in help, take them to him as early as possible [p. 111].
You can keep your minister busy swatting flies all week if you want to. But it would make more sense to let him help you clean up the garbage pile of ethical ignorance and moral ineptness where the flies are breeding. Systematic group instruction in the principles and practice of Christian ethics is the “preventive medicine” of the pastoral ministry [p. 115].
Weatherly offers much helpful advice on marriage, evangelism, pastoral counseling, church administration, and community leadership, and his book has tremendous value.
There are, however, elements to which I take exception. The liberal theology underlying the book is seen in such a statement as: “Worship is man accepting all men as his brothers because God is the Father of all men” (p. 40). To say this is to fail to recognize the clear teaching in John 8:42 and 44, where Jesus says: “If God were your Father, ye would love me,” and adds, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”
Furthermore, there is an evident lack of biblical orientation. The de-emphasis on Scripture is expressed, for example, when, speaking of the pastor’s visiting the sick, Weatherly says, “He will certainly want to pray with you and possibly read some Scripture …” (p. 53, italics mine). The Scriptures ought to be the primary source of comfort and blessing to the sick. Again, this lack of a biblical foundation is shown when the author tells of a girl who sought the advice of her minister because the young man whom she wished to marry “happened to have a religious and cultural background completely different from her own”: this fact, says Weatherly, “posed no problem which could not be overcome if the parties to the potential marriage had the love and determination and strength and temperament and personal resourcefulness to seek a solution” (pp. 74 f.). This runs counter to the Apostle Paul’s warning about the unequal yoke with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14), which is especially important in such a bond as that of marriage.
The book is weak in that it lacks a solid biblical foundation. Yet, with this caution clearly stated, I would nevertheless recommend it to the Christian public, and to seminary students as parallel reading in pastoral theology courses.
PAUL R. GILCHRIST
Teaching the Troubled Child, by George T. Donahue and Sol Nichtern (Macmillan, 1965, 202 pp., $5.95). A radically new approach—tested in experience—to the education of hundreds of thousands of emotionally troubled children through existing community facilities.
Helping Youth Avoid Four Great Dangers: Smoking, Drinking, VD, Narcotics Addiction, by Hal and Jean Vermes (Association, 1965, 157 pp., $3.95).
Song of Songs, by Watchman Nee, translated by Elizabeth K. Mei and Daniel Smith (Christian Literature Crusade, 1965, 155 pp., $3). An interpretation that sees Song of Songs as a portrayal of the union between Christ and (not the church but) the believer.
The Feminine Crisis in Christian Faith: The Bible’s Challenge to Today’s Woman, by Elizabeth Achtemeier (Abingdon, 1965, 160 pp., $2.75).
Protestantism in Transition, by Charles W. Kegley (Harper and Row, 1965, 282 pp., $5.75). This well-written book makes the author appear a dilettante rather than a scholar. Book and author are theologically liberal, naïve, unscholarly, glib. The book touches many things but really grasps nothing. Kegley’s disregard of books, magazines, and men commonly called evangelical these days does little to commend his understanding of Protestantism. Until he recognizes it, there is little chance he will see it move.
Ten Fingers for God, by Dorothy Clarke Wilson (McGraw-Hill, 1965, 247 pp., $5.50). The true story of a surgeon’s quest for an end to the ravages of leprosy.
Farrar’s Life of Christ, by Frederic William Farrar (World, 1965, 427 pp., $6.50). A new edition of Canon Farrar’s classic work on the life of Jesus, illustrated with full-color reproductions of famous paintings.
Record of Revelation: The Bible, by Wilfrid Harrington, O. P., (Priory Press, 1965, 143 pp., $3.95). A very lucid discussion by a Roman Catholic of the text, canonicity, and inspiration of the Bible, and of textual, literary, and historical criticism. The validity of the latter is not excluded, and the inerrancy of Scripture is affirmed but in such a way as not to exclude biblical scientific and historical inaccuracies.
The Study of the Synoptic Gospels: New Approaches and Outlooks, by Augustin Cardinal Bea (Harper and Row, 1965, 95 pp., $3.50).
Guidance from Men of God: Fifteen Inspiring Messages about People You Know in the Bible, by John A. Redhead (Abingdon, 1965, 144 pp., $2.50).
An Introduction to the History of the Christian Church, by Wilfred W. Biggs (St. Martin’s Press, 1965, 238 pp., $4.95). A lucid and compact history of the Church.
Join Your Right Hands: Addresses and Worship Aids for Weddings, edited by Arthur M. Vincent (Concordia, 1965, 143 pp. $3). A general discussion of what makes a biblical wedding address, followed by twenty-four such addresses.
Handbook of Denominations in the United States (Fourth Edition), by Frank S. Mead (Abingdon, 1965, 272 pp., $2.95).
Dictionary of the Bible, by John L. McKenzie, S.J. (Bruce, 1965, 976 pp., $17.95). The kind of book that gives a cross section of Roman Catholic views.
Horace Bushnell, edited by H. Shelton Smith (Oxford, 1965, 407 pp., $7). The writings of Bushnell that show his theological method and his theological reconstruction. With extensive introductions by the editor.
Concilium, Volume 8: Pastoral Reform in Church Government, edited by Teodoro Jimenez-Urresti and Neophytos Edelby (Paulist Press, 1965, 184 pp., $4.50). A presentation of Roman Catholic “church polity.”
The Mystery of Death, by Ladislaus Boros, S. J. (Herder and Herder, 1965, 201 pp., $4.50). A searching analysis of what death is and what it means. For the serious reader with a very lively mind.
Telling a Child about Death, by Edgar N. Jackson (Channel, 1965, 91 pp., $2.95). A good book on a difficult, rarely written-about subject.
The Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, by Alan Cole (Eerdmans, 1965, 188 pp., $3.25). Volume 9 in the New Testament series of the “Tyndale Bible Commentaries.” A sturdy little commentary, both reliable and brief.
The Anchor Bible, Volume 14: Ezra and Nehemiah, translated with introduction and notes by Jacob M. Myers (Doubleday, 1965, 267 pp., $6). The author says that Nehemiah, “the master international politician,” “tended to the body of Judaism,” and Ezra “ministered to its soul.”
The Continuing Search for the Historical Jesus, by Jacob Jervell, translated by Harris E. Kaasa (Augsburg, 1965, 106 pp., $3). A good popular introduction to the old and “continuing” quest for the Jesus of history.
Twentieth Century Catholicism, No. 2, edited by Lancelot Sheppard (Hawthorn, 1965, 251 pp., $6). All about the liturgical changes which are occurring in Roman Catholic worship because of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Liturgy.
The Faith of JFK, edited by T. S. Settel (Dutton, 1965, 127 pp., $3.50). Reflections, mostly oblique, of the faith of John F. Kennedy.
This We Believe: The Background and Exposition of the Doctrinal Statement of The Evangelical Free Church of America (revised and enlarged), by Arnold Theodore Olson (Free Church Publications, 1965, 376 pp., $4.95). A churchman in a church that allows no official creed writes a book about the credo of his church.
Miracles: Yesterday and Today, True and False, by Benjamin B. Warfield (Eerdmans, 1965, 327 pp., $2.25). Originally published under the title Counterfeit Miracles in 1918.
Church Library Manual, prepared by Charlotte Newton (self-published [892 Prince Avenue, Athens, Georgia], 1965, 22 pp., $1).
Questioning Christian Faith, by F. R. Barry (Seabury, 1965, 192 pp., $1.65). Stimulating writing that informs the mind and makes it think about the deep problems of the heart.
Life in Christ Jesus: Reflections on Romans 5–8, by John Knox (Seabury, 1966, 128 pp., $1.25). A very thoughtful and provocative discussion.
Christians and Jews: Encounter and Mission, by Jakob Jocz (S.P.C.K., 1966, 55 pp., 6s. 6d.). Short essays by a competent theologian.
Speaking with Tongues, by Stuart Bergsma (Baker, 1965, 26 pp., $.85). Some physiological and psychological implications of modern glossalalia.
The Mark of Cain: Studies in Literature and Theology, by Stuart Barton Babbage (Eerdmans, 1966, 157 pp., $1.95). Delightful reading.
Sermon Suggestions in Outline, Series I, by R. E. O. White (Eerdmans, 1965, 78 pp., $1.45). Sermonic material rather than sermon outlines, and sometimes more moralistic than theological.
The Epistles of John and Jude, by Ronald A. Ward (Baker, 1965, 102 pp., $1.50). A study manual.
Toynbee, by C. Gregg Singer (Presbyterian and Reformed, 1965, 76 pp., $1.25). An evangelical evaluates Toynbee.
His Only Son Our Lord, by Kent S. Knutson (Augsburg, 1966, 113 pp., $1.50). A luminous discussion in down-to-earth language. Many a lay reader will be surprised at how much theology he can understand.
The Life of John Birch, by Robert H. W. Welch, Jr. (Western Islands, 1965, 128 pp., $1). Only about half the book is about Birch, and the few pages on Birch as a preacher reflects a total misunderstanding of Christianity.
O Sing Unto the Lord: Music in the Lutheran Church, by Henry E. Horn (Fortress, 1966, 156 pp., $2).
Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, Volume III: John Duns Scotus, 1265–1965, edited by John K. Ryan and Bernardine M. Bonansea (Catholic University of America, 1965, 384 pp., $6.95). A major tome on the life, works, and influence of a too much neglected medieval thinker whose emphases on voluntarism contrasts with Aristotelean-Thomistic intellectualism.
Christ Encountered: A Short Life of Jesus, by Roger Tennant (Seabury, 1966, 135 pp., $1.45). The author writes as one who has taken a deep draught of the new wine of the Gospel.
The Christian Case Against Poverty, by Henry Clark (Association, 1965, 128 pp., $.50).
Marriage Customs Through the Ages, by E. O. James (Macmillan, 1965, 254 pp., $1.50). By an author who believes that the family unit has always been the basic unit of human society. First published as Marriage and Society.
The German Church Conflict, by Karl Barth (John Knox, 1965, 77 pp., $1.75). Republished for the light it throws on the ecumenical situation today in Britain and the United States. First published in German in 1956.
The Future of John Wesley’s Methodism, by Henry D. Rack (John Knox, 1965, 80 pp., $1.75). An attempt to show the original nature of Methodism and why and how it should merge with Anglicanism.
Youth Considers Parents as People, by Randolph C. Miller (Nelson, 1965, 93 pp., $1.50). A view from the other end.
The Light of the World: A Reconstruction and Interpretation of the Life of Christ, by Greville Cooke (Icon Books, 1965, 352 pp., 5s.). A well-written but often highly imaginative account. First published in 1949.
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.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more
More from this Issue
Read These Next
- TrendingRussell Moore: I Already Miss Tim Keller’s Wise VoiceThe late pastor theologian gave strong counsel to me and so many others in ministry.
- From the MagazineWhen Politics Saved 25 Million LivesTwenty years ago, Republicans, Democrats, evangelicals, gay activists, and African leaders joined forces to combat AIDS. Will their legacy survive today’s partisanship?
- Editor's PickBecome a Shadow of Your Future SelfManifesting isn’t the answer. Consenting to holiness is.