Beware Of Soviet Ecumenism

Nikolai—Portrait of a Dilemma, by William C. Fletcher (Macmillan, 1968, 230 pp., $6.95), is reviewed by Blahoslav Hruby, managing editor, “Religion in Communist Dominated Areas,” National Council of Churches, New York.

The world situation into which this new book comes makes it even more timely than it was at its conception. For one thing, there is the growing spiritual ferment among intellectuals and churches in the Soviet Union and the persecution of those who struggle for greater freedom. Even more striking is the present non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia, which with an unheard-of openness has demythologized twenty years of brutal and immoral rule and in so doing has brought to light the manipulation and infiltration of churches by the Communist party. This revolution is probably the best illustration of the problems raised in William Fletcher’s excellent study of Nikolai. Thus this book about the violent conflict between the Soviet state and the Russian Orthodox Church, personified by the tragic and enigmatic Metropolitan Nikolai of Krutitsy and Kolomna, transcends the Soviet scene. The questions Fletcher raises about church life in a totalitarian Soviet state apply to other Communist countries as well.

Fletcher does not attempt to write a biography of this controversial figure. To do so would be extremely difficult, for free research is impossible in this nation that, despite de-Stalinization, still remains a close society. What he offers is a scholarly, fascinating portrait. Nikolai was able to preach sermons arising from a deep Christian faith, nurtured by centuries of Russian Orthodox tradition and history, without paying any attention to the Communist state. Yet this same man indulged in the most lavish praise of Stalin and in the service of Soviet propaganda uttered violent attacks against the United States and the Vatican. He also served the Soviet interests in occupied territories. His accommodation to the regime brought many temporary advantages to the Orthodox Church, but at the same time, many clergymen suffered in prisons and concentration camps. And whatever Nikolai gained for the church from the Soviet state in return for his services “vanished almost overnight,” says Fletcher. “By the criterion of lasting results achieved, Nikolai’s career was an almost total failure.”

Fletcher is not trying to defend his subject, but neither is he passing judgment on him. Nikolai was considered by many as one of the leading Russian agents and by many others as a Christian martyr murdered by the Soviet secret police. Fletcher’s last sentence is the last sentence of Patriarch Alexei’s eulogy of Nikolai, echoing a phrase in the Russian Orthodox litany for the dead: “Though he sinned, yet he did not depart from Thee.”

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At a time of confusion and division in our churches, when clichés and fads often seem to be more welcome than cold facts (some people do not want to hear “horror stories” and seem insensitive to the suffering of fellow Christians), we are deeply grateful to the author and publisher for this study. Nothing is more dangerous for our understanding of religion under Communism than the ignorance, superficiality, and arrogance of instant experts. Nothing is more misleading than their statements that churches are now safe and that we can stop worrying about Christian churches in Communist countries because Communism is no longer monolithic. Nor should we take comfort in the dialogue now going on between Christians and Marxists.

Reading For Perspective


• What’s New in Religion?, by Kenneth Hamilton (Eerdmans, $3.95). An incisive explication and critique of the new theology that reveals its antisupernaturalism, humanism, and immature concern with newness for its own sake.

• Jesus—God and Man, by Wolfhart Pannenberg (Westminster, $10). The English translation of a scholarly work in Christology that contends for the historical resurrection of Christ and sheds light on Jesus’ deity and humanity.

• Dying We Live, edited by Helmut Gollwitzer, Kathe Kuhn, and Reinhold Schneider (Seabury, $2.75). Touching and inspiring letters and other writings of faith and courage by Germans who valiantly resisted Hitler and suffered triumphant martyrdom during World War II.

Seen in the context of the growing dissent in the churches and among the intelligentsia in the Soviet Union and other Communist countries, and in the context of revelations about the ordeal of church life during the past twenty years of Stalinist rule in Czechoslovakia, Rumania, and elsewhere, Fletcher’s study leads to a suggestion that the time has come to reappraise ecumenical relations with the churches in Communist countries. The problem of living in a meaningful fellowship with churches that in many cases are manipulated and infiltrated by the Communist party must not be ignored. Nor can it be swept under the rug of “ecumenical accommodation.” Our Christian brothers who struggle for the freedom of the Church of Jesus Christ, for “democratization,” “liberalization,” “humanization,” or whatever words they use, must not be forgotten by Christians in the free world.

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A Chunk Of Life

Journey Inward, Journey Outward, by Elizabeth O’Conner (Harper & Row, 1968, 175 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Keith Miller, author and Christian layman, Austin, Texas.

Elizabeth O’Conner has done a great job of writing. As I finished her book I felt I had seen beyond its pages into the world about which she has written. A thousand miles from a depressed area in the nation’s capital, I heard the horns in the five o’clock traffic she describes, smelled the rotting back steps of a tenement, saw a little black princess with a rag for a cape as she paraded down a trash-littered alley. I could see small groups of Christians sitting around a table at night in a coffeehouse church, trying to love one another in spite of the bitterness that had arisen as they argued about the right way to love other people for Christ’s sake.

This is a real book about the real world. Its subject is life—life within each one of us as it gropes for meaning and love and creative expression, life that often hides beneath the surface of our religious habits. And yet this is also a book about life out in the street, beyond the tight, brittle boundaries of many of our church meetings and programs. Miss O’Conner vividly describes the problems and meanings people found as they tried to restore run-down tenements, help culturally crippled Negro children in a ghetto, and bring group therapy into their own congregational life.

Of all the books I have read on church renewal, I think this one best presents the built-in paradoxes confronting those who honestly try to be God’s persons. There is no question here that a Christian must be involved in the world. And yet the author feels that the outward relating needs to have its roots in a deeper inner relatedness with God and one’s self.

I like this book very much and recommend it strongly to anyone who seriously wants to become involved in the world … because of Christ.

Jesus As A Secular Contemporary

Secular Christ, by John J. Vincent (Abingdon, 1968, 240 pp., $4.95), is reviewed by Robert L. Reymond, visiting lecturer and administrative assistant, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

Here is a contemporary interpretation of Jesus that contends for his “essential secularity.” Joining those who are convinced that a meaningful Christology is yet to come, Vincent, who holds a Basel Th.D. in New Testament studies, rejects the traditional assessment of Jesus.

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He divides his book into three main sections. In Part I, he confronts the Cambridge “radicals” and the secular theologians with the question, What is Christ for man today? Agreeing in many respects with both in what they make of Jesus, he nevertheless argues that they “do not take seriously the Gospel picture of Jesus” nor do they “depend explicitly on the ‘one word’ of God to man in Jesus Christ.” He concludes this part by setting his own effort within the context of recent gospel studies. He is not uncritical of scholars who separate the Jesus of history from the Christ of faith, believe that the “Gospel” dates only from the resurrection, and fear that the words of Jesus have little historical reliability.

In Part II, he re-examines (mainly) Mark’s picture of Jesus and concludes that his is a “secular gospel” about a secular event within this world. Vincent projects Christ in activist terms and hangs Christology upon the actions of Jesus and the ability of the seeker to see in them “the actual living presence of that which is messianic.” Jesus’ healing and teaching ministries are seen as supporting this secular messianism, and human response to Jesus is seen always and only in deeds, in involvement in God’s actions, and as the continuation of Jesus’ work.

Vincent does not think that the story of Jesus’ resurrection adds “anything new” to this picture; it merely points to the contemporaneity of Jesus’ secularity. The task of New Testament theology today is to show how Jesus, our contemporary, now conducts his secular ministries in our midst. And by participating in these ministries, today’s man finds guidance for living and true significance (salvation).

In Part III, Vincent seeks to develop a new “dynamic” theology in which concern for Jesus’ actions has priority. By interpreting Christian discipleship within this theology as “ethical existentialism,” he can regard all men as “secular Christians” participating in Christ’s “hidden lordship” in the world.

Vincent shows a very thorough acquaintance with all the recent existentialist and secularist sources. His criticisms of Bishop Robinson and the Bultmannians are indeed cogent. But the orthodox Christian must conclude that, operating with a view of Scripture that permits him to pick and choose among the Evangelists’ descriptive statements about Jesus, Vincent fails to do justice to the biblical Christ. The Synoptics alone, not to mention John’s Gospel, yield a far different picture of him. Need we say he is depicted precisely as Chalcedon describes him?

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Finally, existential involvement in the political, ethical, and personal decisions of the secular realm utterly fails as a description of biblical soteriology, which portrays man as fallen, lost, deserving of hell, and desperately in need of the redemptive merits of Christ’s atoning work applied to him through faith.

Preachers At Their Best

Best Sermons, Volume X, edited by G. Paul Butler (Trident, 1968, 409 pp., $7.95), is reviewed by Evelyn K. de Voros, professor of speech and English, California State Polytechnic College, San Luis Obispo, California.

Best Sermons contains fifty-two addresses by leading American religious spokesmen delivered during 1966–68. Although we cannot here mention all the speakers who have selected topics suitable to the times, presented dynamic ideas that inspire and persuade, and used satisfactory rhetorical methods to reach their listeners, the few singled out in this review will show the merit of the collection.

Perhaps the most significant sermon is Joseph R. Sizoo’s “How to Handle Doubt,” in which he takes doubt, man’s deep fear in his most alone hours, and leads his listener toward assurance in seeking a “satisfying God.” Sizoo counsels:

Do not be afraid of doubt … Doubt implies the presence of faith.…

Religion is not a formal garden with carefully arranged beds of petunias, lilies, violets, and roses and well-manicured lawns, but a wild, windblown field with pools so deep they cannot be fathomed, with fruit so unusual it has never been classified, and with flowers so rare they have never been catalogued.

This timeless sermon, with its rhythmic sentences, simplicity of style, and abundance of biblical references, is indeed a memorial to the greatness of the man who until his recent death was director of university chapel at George Washington University.

Also outstanding are two sermons based on extended analogies. Carl F. H. Henry’s “Mars Hill and Modern Myths” shows how Paul’s address to the Athenians, with little change in terminology, is in every respect most timely today. John McClanahan’s “The Ecstasy and the Agony” (the title comes from Irving Stone’s book on Michelangelo) presents discipleship as a combination of vision (derived from vital worship) and work. With beauty of expression he summarizes:

God doesn’t want men on the mountain who are not willing to go to the valley.
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God doesn’t need men in the valley who have not been on the mountain.
God wants men to live in the valley with the mountain in their hearts.
This is the ecstasy and the agony of Christian discipleship.

Pointing a finger directly at a special ill of the times, Robert James McCracken, in “The Human Touch,” reiterates: “We have achieved propinquity, not community.” The use of a slogan method also helps make impressive Lynn Harold Hough’s “The Glory of the Christian Church”; a line from Ezekiel about healing “waters” issuing “out of the sanctuary” is repeated for transition from one main idea to another and is effective until the final point, which centers on the Church in the modern world.

A number of the speakers who have worthwhile messages do not completely fulfill their purposes. The reasons vary. They place too much emphasis on negative ideas, make unproved controversial statements, violate the tone by intermingling commonplace material with elevated expression, lose unity and clarity by shifting from the message seemingly intended to one perhaps more readily acceptable, or allow method to dominate rather than idea. Among those using poetry as a medium, for example, only one successfully subordinates the form to the message: Thomas W. Kirkman, Jr., in “Twelve Inches from God.”

Much variety of method and material is contained in this volume. And, more important, the speakers whose sermons Dr. Butler has selected for his 1968 collection show such a fine appreciation of language and unusual depth of thought in advancing the Christian message that few readers will remain unmoved.

Rumblings In Dutch Catholicism

A New Catechism: Catholic Faith for Adults, by the Higher Catechetical Institute, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, translated by Kevin Smyth (Herder and Herder, 1967, 510 pp., $6), and Those Dutch Catholics, edited by Michel Van Der Plas and Henk Suer, translated by Theo We stow (Macmillan, 1967, 164 pp., $4.95), are reviewed by M. Eugene Osterhaven, professor of systematic theology, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan.

In all the change going on within Roman Catholic theology these past years, Dutch Roman Catholicism has been second to none, as these two books clearly show.

During the Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands was reduced to a minority with an inferiority complex. Not until 1853, when the hierarchy was reconstituted in the country, did Catholicism begin to play a part in Dutch social and political life commensurate with its size. Today it includes over 40 per cent of the population and shows remarkable vigor.

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The Dutch church, strongly influenced by Calvinism, was an irritation to conservative circles in Rome even before Vatican II. It had a strong sense of independence from Roman control, insisted on going pretty much its own way in many matters, and was characterized by progressive theological thinking, often strongly biblical. Evidences of the Dutch spirit are its challenge to remove the celibacy requirement for priests, its questioning of traditional hierarchical structure, its attitude toward birth control, its numerous experiments in liturgy, ecumenics, catechetics, training for the priesthood, and religious life, and its inclination to consider the code of canon law a “moldering monument.” Although Rome has warned of impending schism, Dutch Catholics deny the probability (though in the next breath they affirm their determination to go their own way).

A New Catechism is the only published translation of a Dutch work that has sold half a million copies in the Netherlands in the two years since it appeared. The Vatican has held up its publication in other languages until the controversy in the Netherlands has subsided, misunderstandings have been cleared up, and, according to reports, certain passages have been rewritten. It is no ordinary book of questions and answers but rather a down-to-earth discussion written for the thinking adult. Its purpose is to further the renewal now going on within Roman Catholicism.

The text has five parts: the mystery of existence; the way to Christ; the son of man; the way of Christ; the way to the end. The writing is a skillful blending of apologetics, history, and biblical exposition, with a good deal of theological acumen and psychological insight thrown in. The authors try to meet man where he is, show him who he is and what his existence means, and lead him to Christ.

The reader who has not kept abreast of developments in Roman Catholic theology will find many surprises. For example, he will note that:

1. Evolution—superintended by God, of course—is accepted without question.

2. A considerable amount of higher criticism of Scripture is adopted.

3. The Reformation is seen as partly the fault of Rome, which was corrupt at the time. “It is impossible to estimate the immense amount of goodness and holiness which the Reformation, even in what is most peculiarly its own, has to offer all Christianity. The Catholic Church cannot do without the Reformation.”

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4. Transubstantiation is not mentioned in the discussion of the Mass. Although the bread “becomes something quite different,” the mystery is left unexplained; the only sacrifice is the one which “has already been offered” at Calvary. The one element in the Eucharist that should never be lost from sight is “the memory of what our Lord did.”

5. Teachings on indulgences and the treasury of merits of the saints are called “antiquated customs,” and the authors consider them an embarrassment. The limbus patrum, moreover, is relegated to limbo.

6. Persons are advised to consult a doctor about birth control.

One of the finest things in the book is the support it gives to family and private devotions. At a time when many Protestants regard the family altar as something that died with Grandma, it is both frightening and heartening to learn of the surge of interest in the devotional life among lay Roman Catholics. The Bible must be read in the home, the authors say. Moreover, Christians should kneel in prayer before retiring at night; and they should have daily periods of prayer and meditation, especially before and after meals.

The book by Van Der Plas and Suer is a symposium describing in some detail the background and spirit of the renewal going on. The authors, all avant-garde Roman Catholics, know their church well and speak honestly. May their tribe increase!

Involvement In ‘Worship Drama’

Words, Music, and the Church, by Erik Routley (Abingdon, 1968, $4.95), is reviewed by Donald P. Hustad, professor of church music, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Since 1950, we have come to expect that about once every two years Erik Routley will publish a book on church music or hymnology. Most of his books have been worthy contributions to long-neglected fields. In this latest one there are, as usual, good ideas, often expressed brilliantly. But the total result does not come up to Routley’s usual standard of lucidity.

The volume’s subtitle, “The Drama of Worship in a Changing Society,” should be printed in large letters at the top of each page; for it is a sign the reader needs to keep constantly in view as he is led through a maze of musicological discussion, some of which seems to head down the garden path of irrelevancy. Church music is indeed Routley’s basic concern, but only as it is an integral part of the “worship drama.” As he says in the foreword, this is a theological approach to the analysis of contemporary church music he outlined in Twentieth Century Church Music (Oxford. 1964).

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Worship is drama, says Routley, designed not for the amusement but for the involvement of the audience, as demonstrated in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town and Benjamin Britten’s Let’s Make an Opera. This kind of worship involves dialogue (between minister and worshiper as well as between man and God) in statements of faith and in prayer. Its central act is the reading of Scripture “as poetry, history, legend and gospel”—not the exposition of Scripture. In another day, a Jonathan Edwards or a Joseph Parker was able to provide most of the action through eloquent preaching. But today, even if a minister in the non-liturgical church had that degree of talent, his culture would not receive it with grace and understanding.

Basic to the concept of worship drama is the drama of the liturgical year. The entire “drama of redemption” must be evident in the inclusion of both Old and New Testament truth in Scripture readings and hymnody. Worship symbolism and verbiage should also be clearly related to the drama of contemporary life. We must not eschew physical action—processions, genuflection, perhaps even ballet. Finally, the use of modern “miracle and mystery” plays may be one of the best ways to preach the Gospel today.

The music for Routley’s “worship drama” must be chosen to fit the context. To perform an anthem because it is “good music” is not enough. It must be judged principally by its text and carefully integrated into the worship script. Its musical setting should be the expression of the total “congregation of artists,” and in our day this may mean that the folk-song style is the best new medium.

Routley seems unaware that the liturgical revival of the 1950s has already brought these ideas into the worship life of many American congregations. He does give polemical and musicological support (I found little that was truly theological) for this new trend, and for this many readers will be enthusiastically grateful. Others will agree that new forms of communication are desirable but may still wonder whether the divine office of the “prophet” is really so outmoded.

This reviewer must express his approval of Routley’s attack on the myth that “art lovers” should be entrusted with the choosing of music for the worship of God. Church music must not be “romantic”—an evoker of emotion alone. It must not be “pedagogic”—a slave to correctness and tradition. As the author says, a true work of art will “involve a listener or a beholder in response to things which he and the artist agree to be fundamental data of life.” “Good church music” is truly existential; it speaks directly to the worshiper where he is, culturally and spiritually.

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The Church’S Effect On Environment

The Impact of the Church upon its Culture, edited by Jerald C. Brauer (University of Chicago, 1968, 396 pp., $8.50), is reviewed by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, professor of church history and historical theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.

This book of essays is not, as its title might suggest, an examination of the general interaction of church and culture. Rather, it is devoted to a series of specific themes, men, and movements, ranging from the use of the prefix auto-in the early Church, by way of Grossetete and the Anabaptists, to Hurban and Hamack in the modern period. The general aim is to show that the Church has affected its environment; in this respect the book is complementary to an earlier one, Environmental Factors in Church History (1939), in which a previous generation of Chicago scholars stressed the influence of environment upon the Church.

In general one may say that despite its multiplicity of theme and authorship, this is a useful and stimulating work. Although some of the topics are perhaps too esoteric for the ordinary reader, they are on the whole aptly chosen. The writers maintain good standards of scholarship, insight, and composition, and, though some of their judgments are debatable, they avoid overemphasis and rash generalization. If there are criticisms, the first is the one common to works of this type: unevenness in the merit of the various essays. More serious is the fact that some of the articles hardly indicate what was the specific cultural contribution of the man or movement presented. The title and introduction promise more than the performance warrants.

But there are brilliant exceptions. While it is perhaps invidious to single out one essay for special attention, that by B. A. Gerrish on “The Reformation and the Rise of Modern Science” might serve at least as an example. Here is a theme of indisputable importance, both intrinsically and because of the confusion and misinformation relating to it. The author takes the opportunity to bring some order into the material. He also engages in an enjoyable and effective refutation of myths based on Luther’s isolated judgment on Copernicus and the persistent Calvin “quotation” that no one has yet been able to find in his works. More positively, he argues cogently that Luther’s idea of “multiple discourse” and Calvin’s doctrine of accommodation both allow for scientific research and discovery, though one should take with a grain of salt the suggestion that Calvin is perhaps a father of demythologization.

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In view of the general excellence of the book, one notes with some regret that its own contribution to culture includes in places some very peculiar English; there are even one or two dangling participles!

Scripture Is The Foundation!

Revelation and Theology, Volume I, by Edward Schillebeeckx, translated by N. D. Smith (Sheed and Ward, 1967, 266 pp., $5.95), is reviewed by Lynn Boliek, assistant minister, First Presbyterian Church, Burlingame, California.

This collection of articles comes from the hand of an influential representative of the new Rheological viewpoint within the Roman Catholic Church. The man whose name even Karl Barth found “difficult,” E. Schillebeeckx, is professor of dogmatic theology at the Netherlands University of Nijmegen. The articles date from 1945 to 1962 and have the definitive character of contributions to theological dictionaries, which a number of them are.

Schillebeeckx is deeply concerned to avoid any shrouding or obscuring of the revelation of God in the history of Israel and in Jesus Christ as made explicit in the word of Scripture. It is this desire to hear God’s word that ties these essays together. Behind the theological discipline we see a man in search of the living God and responding to him in faith.

The reader will see clearly that Schillebeeckx represents the new theology in rejecting any resting of dogma, including Mariology, upon some unwritten tradition. All dogma must grow out of Scripture itself—not as logical conclusions but, at the minimum, as the implicit sense of the Scripture. The church in its living tradition is only reflecting upon the biblical authority, sometimes in its fuller meaning (sensus plenior) for its Mariology and Christology. This kind of explicit submission to scriptural authority has opened up new possibilities of discussion between Catholics and Protestants.

The Protestant will do well to understand the deep evangelical motive in the new Catholic theology. With theologians such as Berkouwer, he should see that the objection to Mariology in the Reformation derived not from docetism but rather from the fact that the biblical presentation of the work of Christ was obscured by a non-biblical intrusion of a work of Mary. Also, the Reformation was not rejecting the offices within the church when it rejected the tension between faithful biblical exegesis and the “infallible teaching authority of the church,” says Schillebeeckx. But he does not make it clear how he feels he can avoid a tension here. Out of evangelical motivation, the Reformation insists that no static or abstract concept of an infallible teaching office should be permitted to interfere with the dynamic quality of the church’s submission to the God of Scripture.

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Beyond the questions of inter-church discussion, this book opens up rich insights into problems to us all. To me, Schillebeeckx is refreshing in his candid statement that theology results in an overview or system of biblical truth. There is not just one possible system, and all systems have some contributions to make, though not all systems are equally good. No system is final; all reflect the social and intellectual climate of their times, as they should. Nevertheless, they are systematic structures of understanding. Protestants who have always had systems but are sometimes reluctant to say so might be helped by this section. Schillebeeckx shows that it is not necessary to play systematic (speculative) theology against exegetical (positive) theology. Both are grounded in biblical authority.

Another fascinating area of remarks has to do with the way philosophy and theology converge. Schillebeeckx rightly sees the parallel between Bultmann’s doctrine of Vorverständnis and the Catholic concept of the praeambula fidei. He is aware that philosophy is not neutral on the question of God and man. His brief remarks leave us with the hope that his evangelical motivation might lead to a critique more profound than Bultmann’s of the religious influence upon philosophy. He realizes that philosophy untransformed by the Gospel will obscure it.

This book is an appeal to us all for theological responsibility. It brings to us careful reflections within the broad area of theological method and authority. It particularly challenges us to work along with Schillebeeckx’s deepest motivation: to let theology become in our time a servant to the church as it seeks full obedience to the God of Scripture.

Book Briefs

Kierkegaard on Christ and Christian Coherence, by Paul Sponheim (Harper & Row, 1968, 332 pp., $9.50). A systematic treatment of the fragmentary writings of the Dane who criticized theological system-building.

The Broadman Minister’s Manual, by Franklin M. Segler (Broadman, 1968, 154 pp., $3.50). A guide for ministers: orders of worship, special services, church organizational principles, visitation, other helpful materials.

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The Lord’s Supper, by William Barclay (Abingdon, 1968, 128 pp., $2.75). The history, liturgy, and meaning of the Lord’s Supper are discussed by a scholar who views it as a sacrament.

Atheism Is Dead, by Arthur J. Lelyveld (World, 1968, 209 pp., $5.95). A Jewish scholar contends not only that atheism’s day is past but also that the secularizing of theology is moving the Church toward the basic position of Judaism.


Man in God’s Milieu, by Bastian Kruithof (Baker, 1968, 144 pp., $1.95). Brief but incisive considerations of the relation of the Christian faith to such theological and cultural questions as revelation, science, history, secularism, evil, beauty, and morality.

The Sermon: Its Homiletical Construction, by R. C. H. Lenski (Baker, 314 pp., $2.95). If your pastor’s sermons lack analysis and organization, give him this paperback reprint of a classic in homiletics. From the “Notable Books on Preaching” series.

Evangelical: What Does It Really Mean?, by Ernst Kinder (Concordia, 1968, 105 pp., $2.75). A German systematic theologian stresses that true evangelical Christianity is based on the New Testament Gospel as reclaimed by the Reformers.

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