Marriage: Pre, Mid, And Post
Living and Loving, by A. N. Triton (InterVarsity, 1973, 95 pp., $1.25 pb), Sex, Satan and Jesus, by Richard Hogue (Broadman, 1973, 160 pp., $2.95 pb), Marriage Encounter, by Antoinette Bosco (Abbey, 1972, 128 pp., $4.95), Heaven Help the Home, by Howard G. Hendricks (Victor, 1973, 143 pp., $1.45 pb), and Till Divorce Do Us Part, by R. Lofton Hudson (Nelson, 1973, 132 pp., $4.95), are reviewed by Andre S. Bustanoby, marriage and family counselor, Bowie, Maryland.

These four books handle a broad range of themes under the subject of marriage—everything from pre-marital sex to divorce, with stops in between.

Living and Loving is a provocative little book that pastors would find especially useful in their work with college-age people who are grappling with premarital problems such as dating, sexual behavior, and establishing a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex. The author emphasizes the necessity of building friendship and companionship into the relationship. Man does not live by bed alone—a harsh reality a couple faces after marriage when the only thing their relationship ever offered was sex.

Sex, Satan and Jesus is also geared to youth looking for ways to handle their sex drive properly. The style of the book is the same smash-wham-bang approach that Hogue uses in addressing youth conferences. He has packed his book with anecdotes and quotes that colorfully describe the sexual revolution and the pressure upon young people to join it. He also writes of the disillusionment of many who have. Though it is unlikely that a rebellious teen would read the book, it is a good resource for pastors, youth workers, and parents who need to get in touch with the kind of pressure their kids are under.

Hendricks is in a league by himself. If you’ve had the delightful experience of hearing him speak you’ll enjoy reading Heaven Help the Home. Hendricks has a genius not only for telling the reader what the Bible says about the Christian home but also for telling him how to go about implementing these biblical principles. At the end of the chapters on family worship and sex education he has a recommended reading list and resources for further research. At the end of the book he offers a worksheet for mothers and another for fathers—specific things they can do to improve the quality of the home life. He also offers a work sheet to help the reader formulate family goals. My shattered nerves! How practical can you get?

The reader should not get the idea, however, that building a Christian home is just a bag of tricks to be learned. Hendricks comes booming through again and again with the message that the real secret of a good home life is a good relationship between husband and wife and between parents and children.

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Marriage Encounter introduced me to an exciting new tool for marriage building—the marriage encounter. This is not the typical Carl Rogers type of group encounter. The encounters are private ones between husband and wife.

I was disappointed, however, that the book didn’t provide more specific information on what is done at the retreats where couples are instructed on how to have meaningful encounters.

’Till Divorce Do Us Part is a compassionate approach to the subject of divorce and remarriage. However, Hudson seems to fall victim to a malady that afflicts many counselors. The agonies of his clients seem to condition his exegesis. He sees a “literalistic” approach to the Bible as an impediment to the Christian who is trying to work his way out of the divorce dilemma. His exegesis leads him to the conclusion that the Bible permits divorce and remarriage for believers for reasons other than infidelity.

This book ought to be read by all who are caught up in the divorce/remarriage debate. Hudson does a good job of presenting his case, which forces the reader to evaluate carefully his own position.

All these books reinforce the fact that a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex can be either rapture or tribulation.

The Land Of Promise

Historical Geography of the Holy Land, by George A. Turner (Baker and Canon, 1973, 368 pp., $11.95), is reviewed by William Sanford LaSor, professor of Old Testament, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, California.

After decades of little apparent interest in biblical geography and history, the world of biblical scholarship has been blessed with an abundance of geographies and atlases, most of them of very high quality. Dr. Turner has added a historical geography, which combines the historical data and the geographical features in an interesting and lucid manner. He has illustrated this with many photographs, some of them of outstanding quality, and fifteen maps in the text in addition to twenty-six color maps.

There are several kinds of geography. There is physical geography, such as Denis Baly has given us in The Geography of the Bible (1957) and (with A. D. Tushingham) Atlas of the Biblical World (1971). There is also political geography, an example of which is James Parkes’s A History of Palestine From 135 A.D. to Modern Times (1949). The biblical scholar may be interested in the physical data such as Cenomanian and Eocene limestone, and he certainly should be interested in the mountains, valleys, watercourses, rainfall, and other physical characteristics that find a large place in the biblical account. He may have a keen interest in the political tides that have swept over Palestine, from the Egyptians in the fifteenth century B. C. (or even earlier) to the British, Jewish, Syrian, and others of the twentieth century A. D.—though much of this lies outside the biblical period. But he can hardly call himself a biblical scholar if he does not have a deep interest in historical geography, for the Bible combines geography and history with a revelation of God in a way not found in any other religious literature. In fact, the covenant with Abraham, which is basic to biblical theology (Gal. 3:6 ff.), is tied to the land of the promise (Gen. 12:1 and often elsewhere in the Bible).

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Turner has limited himself to Palestine, including the Negeb and part of Sinai but excluding Transjordan, and he has developed his work geographically rather than historically. In other words, an area such as Upper Galilee or the Maritime Plain or Judea is discussed as a unit, with the historical elements ranging from the earliest (8000 B. C. in the case of Jericho) to the latest (A. D. 1972, in the case of Jerusalem) for each. Jerusalem is treated in three chapters with the historical development as a basis. An author has to decide on a plan, and then stick to it. The geographical outline has its advantages and is well illustrated by what is possibly the greatest of all historical geographies, that of George Adam Smith. The reader is concentrating on geography rather than history, and the author is supplying geographical details for that area. Obviously, these do not change greatly from period to period.

On the other hand, the biblical student is usually working from the record of events rather than from geographical units. Therefore, in the opinion of this reviewer, the historical development would have been more useful. Turner, however, has sought to meet this problem by supplying thorough indexes, both of persons and places and of Scripture references. But the historical continuity is lacking. If the student is seeking help in tracing the wilderness journey, for example, he will find little here. He will, on the other hand, find insights connecting Sinai with Moses and Elijah, and even extending to the transfiguration scene with Jesus, and he will learn that Ain Qudeirat rather than Ain Qedeis is the more likely location of Kadesh Barnea.

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Turner supplies many bits of information from archaeological discoveries, and in some cases reviews the evidence for or against the various theories of the identification of a biblical site. Therefore the student will learn, for example, that four sites have been proposed for Emmaus; Turner gives a brief discussion of each and seems to favor Qubeiba as the most likely. Obviously, because of space limitations, Turner could not treat every disputed site this way.

Turner obviously has visited Palestine carefully and is familiar with many nooks and crannies that the tourist rarely gets to see. In numerous instances his descriptions of views are very graphic, sometimes even exciting.

There are some points that raise the critical eyebrow. Why, for instance, does Turner quote the fifteenth edition of George Adam Smith (1909) when the twenty-fifth edition (1931) is better, is still in print, and is the one generally quoted? And why does Turner refer to the historic route on the east of Megiddo as “Iron Wadi,” “the Valley of Iron,” and “the Iron Road” but never by the familiar name Wadi Ara? Some will probably question the statement referring to striking contrasts of climate, elevation, and flora and fauna, “These features make Palestine a uniquely favorable site for divine revelation.” Using other data from the Bible, we might conclude that God could and did reveal himself in all sorts of geographical locations. Palestine was, however, uniquely favorable for the people of God to receive and meditate upon divine revelation, in part, at least, because of its “splendid isolation.” The statement, “From Herzliyya east to the border of the west bank of the Jordan at Qalqilya is only ten miles,” is confusing; Turner is obviously referring to that part of Hashemite Jordan which was known as the “West Bank,” and not to the west bank of the Jordan river. To speak of the Yarqon as “the major river of the south of the Litani” makes no sense to me; I assume that some word or words have dropped out of the sentence. The statement that “the canyon of the Kidron” is “known locally as the ‘Valley of Fire’ ” is not quite accurate; the Kidron valley and the Hinnom valley join southeast of Jerusalem to form Wadi en-Nar, “the valley of fire.” The seaport of Antioch (in Syria) is not Salamis but Seleucia; Salamis is located on Cyprus.

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Turner gives seven pages of bibliography, with many titles of great value to the student. He deserves our appreciation for this useful and interestingly written volume.


Christian Faith in Black and White: A Primer in Theology From the Black Perspective, by Warner Traynham (Parameter [705 Main St., Wakefield, Mass. 01880], 121 pp., $7, $3 pb). An instructor in the Episcopal Seminary in Cambridge presents a case for a distinctively black theology, since the prevailing one is distinctively white. How about trying biblical theology?

The Boy Who Stayed Cool, by Carl F. Burke (Association, 125 pp., $2.95 pb). Forty stories of young people of the Bible retold in the vernacular of the street. Follows in the tradition of this jail chaplain’s other books. Appealing to younger teens.

The Religion of Dostoevsky, by A. Boyce Gibson (Westminster, 216 pp., $6.95). A thorough and penetrating study of the seeming contradictions between the Russian author’s personal profession of faith in Christ and his writings. Especially for the literature student.

Education and the Endangered Individual, by Brian V. Hill (Teachers College Press, 322 pp., n.p.). An examination of ten modern thinkers—including Kierkegaard, Whitehead, Buber, Maritain, and Reinhold Niebuhr—to see how consistently they held to the worth of the individual. Of considerable value to educational theorists, including those who are Christians.

Psalms 1–72, by Derek Kidner (InterVarsity, 257 pp., $5.95). Eighth addition to the highly regarded “Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries” series.

Faith and Morality in the Secular Age, by Bernard Haring (Doubleday, 237 pp., $6.95). In contrast to past ages in which the secular and religious were everywhere conjoined, modern secularization has made religion the object of personal choice and commitment. The author, a Roman Catholic priest, points out the challenges this affords to communicate Christianity in language faithful to truth but intelligible to contemporary man.

John Wesley: A Theological Biography, Volume II, Part 2, by Martin Schmidt (Abingdon, 320 pp., $12.95). Final portion of a major study of the founder of Methodism.

The Angry Arabs, by W. F. Abboushi (Westminster, 288 pp., $8.95). A Palestinian-American’s balanced overview of the history and thinking of the Arabs, especially where related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Jews For Jesus, by Moishe Rosen with William Proctor (Revell, 126 pp., $3.95). Account of the conversion of a leader of the Jews for Jesus movement. Well written and very informative.

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The Geography of the Bible, by Denis Baly (Harper & Row, 288 pp., $10.95). Thorough revision of a widely commended reference tool. Written with both advanced and beginning Bible students in mind. Numerous charts and photographs help bring to life the Palestinian setting of the Scriptures.

The Pastor and the Patient, by William Jacobs (Paulist, 186 pp., $1.95 pb). A starting-point for becoming aware of the wide range of new issues in medical ethics that have arisen in recent years.

Liberal Christianity at the Crossroads, by John B. Cobb (Westminster, 125 pp., $4.95). A liberal Christian’s attempt to speak for the position of that branch of the Church after the social upheaval of the sixties. Enlightening, but certainly not encouraging.

No Hope But God, by Claude Fly (Hawthorn, 104 pp., $4.95). Inspiring account of the author’s eight-month ordeal as a captive of Uruguayan rebels and the spiritual growth it produced.

The Vagrant Lotus, by Douglas A. Fox (Westminster, 222 pp., $3.50 pb). A basic but thorough introduction to Buddhist philosophy.

You and Your Retarded Child, by Nancy Roberts (Concordia, 77 pp., $.95 pb). One minority group for which others will have to speak up is the retarded. This is a helpful introduction for parents of a retarded child. Stresses parental adjustment made possible by faith. Many choice photographs.

Deuteronomy, by Anthony Phillips (237 pp., $11.95, $4.95 pb), Jeremiah 1–25, by E. W. Nicholson (221 pp., $9.95, $3.95 pb), and The Wisdom of Solomon (136 pp., $6.95, $2.95 pb). The three latest additions by Cambridge University Press to its “Cambridge Bible Commentary” series.

Pentecost Behind the Iron Curtain, by Steve Durasoff (Logos, 128 pp., $1.50 pb). Despite persecution, Pentecostalism is flourishing in the Soviet Union.

Two Centuries of Methodist Concern: Bondage, Freedom and Education of Black People, by James P. Brawley (Vantage, 606 pp., $12). Recounting of the role of the United Methodist Church in black history and education in America. Includes the contribution of each of the colleges, extant and extinct.

Flavius Josephus: Selections From His Works, edited by Abraham Wasserstein (Viking, 318 pp., $8.95). Useful selection with annotations from writings of a Jewish historian born shortly after the beginning of the Church.

The Decision-Makers, by Lyle E. Schaller (Abingdon, 223 pp., $5.95). Study of the decision-making process within the local church and suggestions for improving it. Mixes the academic with the practical. A guide for the church leader; provides helpful definitions and some constructive suggestions.

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Two Become One, by J. Allan Peterson (Tyndale, 127 pp., $1.50 pb). Thirteen Bible studies on marriage and the family. Intended for married couples to use together or in groups.

A Major Philosopher

Wittgenstein’s Vienna, by Allan Janik and Stephen Toulmin (Simon and Schuster, 1973, 314 pp., $8.95), is reviewed by Robert Brow, Anglican rector of Cavan, Millbrook, Ontario, Canada.

Here at last is the required interdisciplinary introduction to Wittgenstein. Janik and Toulmin rescue Wittgenstein from the confines of English philosophy and set him where he belonged: in the dazzling circle of pre-1918 Viennese intellectuals. This will be a standard work for philosophers, but it should also be of interest to scientists, historians, and theologians.

The authors demonstrate, I think conclusively, that Wittgenstein came to study under Bertrand Russell with a quite definite problem in mind. Kant set the form of the problem when he attempted to define the limits of reason, and thereby distinguish the sphere of facts from that of values. The heart of Wittgenstein’s problem and his tremendous moral earnestness derived from his exposure to Kierkegaard and Tolstoy. His methodology depended on the scientific models of Herz, Boltzmann, and Planck, as opposed to knowledge by impressions in the tradition of Hume and Mach, the fathers of the Vienna circle of logical positivism.

Armed with this background to Wittgenstein’s thinking, Janik and Toulmin show how both Bertrand Russell and the logical positivists approved and yet totally misunderstood the Tractatus. They offer a satisfying explanation of the sudden shift to values, ethics, and mysticism in the last few sections of the Tractatus. A key of tremendous philosophical importance is that the difficult word Bild should be translated “model” rather than “picture.” In the seventh chapter the authors brilliantly outline the continuity and yet the great changes in Wittgenstein’s later work.

Theologians will inevitably find themselves more and more out of their depth if they fail to grapple long and hard with Wittgenstein. Here is an excellent book to begin with. For a brief introduction to the theological problems Donald Hudson’s paperback is worth buying, Ludwig Wittgenstein (John Knox, 1968). A sixty-five-page bibliography is given in K. T. Fann, Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy (University of California, 1969). Wittgenstein’s work first agitated theologians through Peter Winch’s The Idea of a Social Science (Humanities Press, 1958). Systematic theology will eventually have to be written in the light of Wittgenstein’s later work, but as yet nothing of significance has appeared.

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Prophets Without Transcendence

The Psychology of Religion, by Wayne E. Oates (Word, 1973, 291 pp., $7.95), is reviewed by Orville S. Walters, clinical professor of psychiatry, University of Illinois, Peoria.

The psychology of religion is a concerted effort to bring sacred and secular definitions of human life into dialogue with each other. This is the broad conception of the task Wayne Oates sets for himself on the first page of the book. He believes that the value systems of contemporary psychologists of personality embody the humanistic elements of prophetic religion with the transcendental aspects stripped away.

Oates is a well-known author and seminary teacher, having contributed to the literature of pastoral counseling for many years. This is frankly a textbook, developed in and written for the classroom. Each chapter concludes with study questions in addition to extensive citations. Oates draws widely upon literary as well as technical sources.

He states his orientation as phenomenological, describing as the primary features of the method setting aside one’s biases and interacting with another person as a participant observer. The method recognizes another’s selfhood and requires an emptying of rank and viewpoint on the part of the helper.

A chapter considering the origin of religion deprecates simplistic and reductive concepts in favor of theological considerations that include the character and intention of God, and Jesus Christ as the revelation of God. The separate soliloquies of religion and psychology, Oates affirms, must become an active dialogue through a deep reciprocity of methodology. He closes the chapter without enunciating the steps to such a common methodology.

Christian experience is examined as a dynamic process of development that is determined by decisions occurring at crucial points during movement toward an ultimate goal. Oates allows that God may break through some of the distortions of interpersonal relationships to encounter the person directly, or through other personalities or communities.

Following chapters on conversion and mysticism that are fairly conventional, the author ranges widely to mingle such far-out topics as LSD, laboratory studies of sleep, operant conditioning, the counter culture, and demon possession with more common subjects such as prayer, temptation, sin, forgiveness, and faith.

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As a former student of Anton Boisen, Oates has long had an interest in psychopathology and religion and has conducted studies in that direction. The present volume is strongly influenced by this interest, and at times there is an overvaluation of the pathologic. Examples: inclusion as a type of conversion a category that is “part of the psychotic process,” or Boisen’s view of psychosis as a frequently constructive reaction.

Oates’s book is a stimulating addition to recent psychologies of religion. It may rather quickly become dated, however, because of its emphasis upon some contemporary and perhaps transistory phenomena.

An Important Reference Work

A Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions, by Geoffrey Parrinder (Westminster, 1973, 320 pp., $10.95), is reviewed by Mathias Zahniser, Program in Religious Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

In reading, conversation, and through the media, Christian pastors and reading laymen frequently encounter references to deities, beliefs, practices, and places of worship that are a part of non-Christian religions. In addition, more attention is being drawn daily to these religious traditions in the public schools. Very timely, then, is the appearance of this handy, one-volume Dictionary of Non-Christian Religions, the best such dictionary available. As a dictionary, it will be useful for defining and illustrating beliefs, practices, and places of worship of the great religions of the world, but it will not serve as a tool for research or the preparation of lessons or sermons.

Although the emphasis is on Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, a considerable number of entries relate to the religions of the Far East, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Europe and the Americas have been included as well. The only serious competitor on the market, S. G. F. Brandon’s Dictionary of Comparative Religion (Scribners, 1970, 704 pp., $17.50), treats both Christianity and biblical Judaism in addition to the religions treated by Parrinder. Although it is larger, it is no more adequate for information on non-Christian religions than Parrinder’s volume.

Another excellent feature of Parrinder’s work is its abundant line drawings. These drawings show details much better than photographs do and thus better illustrate the corresponding entry. Black and white photographs are also included, illustrating objects of worship, temples, holy men, sacred writings, and places of pilgrimage. Brandon’s work contains neither line drawings nor photographs.

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The dictionary is also free of the annoying abbreviations and other reference jargon that are present in many encyclopedias and dictionaries. A reference book is enhanced if the reader does not have to consult a table of symbols and abbreviations every time he tries to read an entry.

Unfortunately, the bibliography at the end of the volume is inadequate and poorly balanced. Nevertheless, this excellent volume can be recommended wholeheartedly as a one-volume dictionary of non-Christian religions.

How Old Is Gnosticism?

Pre-Christian Gnosticism: A Survey of the Proposed Evidences, by Edwin M. Yamauchi (Eerdmans, 1973, 208 pp., $7.95), is reviewed by David M. Scholer, assistant professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

Yamauchi, a history professor at Miami University (Ohio), has written a timely, important, and helpful book in the field of gnostic studies.

The book is timely because of the contemporary interest in the Coptic gnostic texts from the Nag Hammadi library discovered in 1945. Although specialists have studied these texts for several years, their complete publication and translation into English, scheduled to be completed in a few years, means that a broad range of New Testament and early church history students will be giving their attention to these writings.

Yamauchi’s book is important because it deals with the most crucial question about gnosticism for those whose focus of interest is the New Testament and the development of early Christianity. That question is whether or not gnosticism was a pre-Christian religious movement. The traditional view is that it was not. However, if it was, then New Testament writers could have been influenced by it and could have engaged in polemic against it. Yamauchi, through a systematic analysis of the available evidence, argues correctly that it is not historically established that there was a pre-Christian gnosticism. Therefore this book serves as a judicious reminder to all who read and study in the area of early Christianity to be diligent in assessing evidence concerning gnosticism.

This book’s helpfulness lies in its survey of the evidence. Yamauchi reviews a mass of detail on the texts and history of scholarship, not otherwise easily available, in the areas of patristic literature, Hermetica, Iranian, Syriac and Coptic literature, Mandaeism (Yamauchi’s specialty), and Judaism. Everyone, including specialists, should find this extensive survey of opinions useful. However, this book will probably be difficult reading for the person not already somewhat familiar with gnosticism.

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A major flaw of this book is that too often the argument is developed by simply citing scholarly opinion for and against a position rather than through an assessment of the primary texts. Further, it is difficult to perceive the rationale for the order in which the evidences are presented.

It should be observed that although Yamauchi established his main point, questions about gnosticism are not yet settled. Even if there is no pre-Christian gnosticism, the evidence may indicate a non-Christian gnosticism that would also revise the traditional picture of early Christian history. Furthermore, the forthcoming full publication of the Nag Hammadi gnostic texts means that the answer to Yamauchi’s question will be debated for some time in terms of the new evidence. It is not certain, therefore, that the position he defends, that there was no pre-Christian gnosticism, can always be maintained.

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