Twenty-five years ago, published evangelical scholarship was decades, even centuries, behind.
I can vividly recall receiving volume 1, number 1, of CHRISTIANITY TODAY when I was a college student in 1956. I can also recall our evangelical books—or lack of them—at that time. Indulge me a moment while I reminisce.
For Old Testament, we had E. J. Young’s Introduction (1949); for Old Testament theology, Gustave Oehler (1883); for New Testament theology, G. B. Stevens (1899); for Christology, Warfield’s Lord of Glory (1907) and Canon Liddon’s Bampton Lectures of 1866; for commentaries, Lightfoot, Westcott, Godet, Meyer, and Keil and Delitzsch (all before 1900); for systematics, A. H. Strong (1907), L. S. Chafer (1947–48), or W. G. T. Shedd (1888). For the doctrine of Scripture, we had L. Gaussen (1863) and W. Lee (1854); and for apologetics, Wilbur M. Smith’s Therefore Stand (1945), affectionately called Therefore Quote because of his style. These are just a few, and they are a noble lot indeed. The less said about works of lesser quality the better.
What was missing was painfully obvious to all of us, with whole areas virtually untouched by living evangelicals. These included such areas as social ethics (Carl Henry being the notable exception), biblical ethics, psychology, pastoral care, aging, death and dying, theory of missions, biblical monographs on just about any topic, or theological monographs on current issues.
Several things stand out in my mind about that situation. First, there was the high quality of some of the available material. Skimmed off the top, one could read material that was challenging and valuable. The only problem was that, with a few exceptions like Lenski, Pieper, ...1
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