Full Text for CTM Book Review 31-12 (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY OL. XXXI John Theodore Mueller - A Tribute RICHARD R. CAEMM:ERER Faith Triumphant- Echoes from the Epistle to the Hebrew .. PAUL M. BRETSCHER Luther's Sola Scriptura LEWIS W. SPITZ The Conquest of Canaan According to Joshua and Judges WALTER R. ROEHRS Homiletic~ Theological Observer Book Review Tnde, for Volume XXX) Dcce1nber 1960 No. 12 MARTIN BUBER: JEWISH EXISTEN- TIALIST. By Malcolm 1. Diamond. New York: Oxford University Press, 1960. Cloth. ix + 240 pages. $4.50. Here we have a sympathetic and informa- tive study of Martin Buber's life and influ- ence. Diamond shows that Buber is not to be fitted into any category, Hasidism, ortho- doxy, etc., but thM l-te rathf'r ~npo his own way on many issues. The ground of Buber's thinking is the I-Thou relation. Diamond does a fine job of explaining and criticizing the implications of this dialogical thinking, which he claims is a middle position between absolutism and relativism. Those Protestants who would fol- low Buber, thinking that the I-Thou relation is an emphatic way of stressing /ides specialis, would do well to read Diamond's discussion which shows that to Buber theology at best is a necessary evil. But Buber, toO, must theologize. He seems to imply that one must know or be aware of the I-Thou relationship before he can possess it. But then I-Thou becomes an object, an It. And so it would appear that every relation must be I-It before it can become I-Thou. Buber speaks of "meaning" in concrete I-Thou encounters. In discussing Buber's attitude toward the Bible, Diamond stresses his conservatism. Buber has indeed treated the Old Testament with a kind of reverence; but although Buber breaks with higher criticism on many counts, he holds against supernaturalism and ex- plains it away dialogically (a tendency which Diamond finds also in Protestant neo- orthodoxy). ROBERT D. PREUS I BOOK REVIEW All books reviewed in this periodical ma:y be procured from or through Concordia Pub- lishing House, 3558 South Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis 18, Missouri. CALVIN'S DOCTRINE OF THE CHRIS- TIAN LIFE. By Ronald S. Wallace. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1959. xvi + 349 pages. Cloth. $5.00. This is Wallace's second study in Calvin's theology. Once more he has succeeded in bringing the reader to a real understanding and apprf'riarinn of Cah'in's theological depth and insight. The book tells us almost as much about Calvin·s Christo logy and ecc1e- siology as about his doctrine of the Christian life, and this is as it should be, for the Chris- tian's life is in Christ and in the fellowship of the church. The first section of the book treats the sanctification of the church in the royal priesthood of Christ. Wallace then deals with the themes of self-denial, cross bearing, dying and rising with Christ (always with Christ as Pattern), the image of God, the Christian in the present world, church discipline, the sacraments, the fruits of faith, and many more themes. Wallace works carefully and dispassion- ately, and he makes no attempt at criticism. This gives the book an enduring quality but also leaves something wanting. The facts speak pretty well for themselves, however, and we see both the strength and weakness of Calvin's theology from Wallace's discus- sions. More attention might have been given Calvin's "Ecclesiastical Ordinances" (which reflect both his legalism and his failure to understand the distinction between Law and Gospel) because of their concrete effects on the lives of the people of Geneva. It is always important to see how one's theology works out in practice. ROBERT D. PREUS 779 780 BOOK REVIEW CALVIN'S DOCTRINE OF THE KNOWL- EDGE OF GOD. By T. H. L. Parker. Revised ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1959. viii + 129 pages. $3.00. Calvin regards the knowledge of the exist- ence of God as innate; the problem of the knowledge of God, therefore, is the problem of revelation. "The idea of Deus absconditus is as native to Calvin's theology as to Lu- ther's." God reveals Himself in His creative and providential activity, the opera Dei. However, to understand the opera Dei the oracula Dei are needed. The Scriptures are the Word of God, self-authenticated by their function as the living Vlord of God. God has revealed Himself in Scripture; Scripture's function is to teach us of God as Creator and Providence. In Christ alone can we know God. Christ humbled Himself and became obedient. "It is that humiliation of obedience which is the exhibitio gratiae Dei, the reve- lation of the grace of God." These are some of the thoughts detailed by Parker in his two parts: the Knowledge of the Creator; the Knowledge of the Redeemer. His work is a concise but thought-packed summary of one of Calvin's chief doctrinal emphases. CARL S. MEYER CRITIQUE OF RELIGION AND PHILOS- OPHY. By Waiter Kaufmann. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958. xvii + 325 pages. Cloth. $5.00. Kaufmann is a debunker. He turns his little gun in every direction and fires away. Almost every philosophical and religious po- sition is his target, and he is bound to hit something. As a critic he is caustic and categorical, but helpful in pointing up the poverty and confusion in the views of many modern thinkers. But although the book is stimulating at first, after 300 pages of knock- ing and peashooting it grows a bit stale. Kaufmann favors a Socratic type of philos- opher, a poet with the imagination of an existentialist and the intellectual conscience of a G. E. Moore and the positivists. This may be a fine combination, but when it finds its acme of expression in a Nietzsche who in the name of insight makes mere declama- tions, one might well prefer a Kierkegaard or a Moore or abandon philosophy altogether. In discussing religion Kaufmann favors Judaism over Christianity or Buddhism. He dislikes Christianity because of its dogmatism and its doctrine of hell, which he attacks throughout the book as vengeful and sadistic. He is particularly insistent on the ambiguity of the idea of God and of theology in gen- eral. He asks questions (What is God? What does it mean that God exists?) and feels he has made a point when they are not answered to his satisfaction. In return one is tempted to ask Kaufmann what he means when he says that to exist is to take up space. Significantly, Kaufmann says after his attack on Christianity that his book is vulnerable to slander by critics who are structure blind or myopic. Is this poisoning the wells, or isn't it? ROBERT D. PREUS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE MOD- ERN WORLD: A Survey from the French Revolution to the Present. By Edward E. Y. Hales. Garden City, N. Y.: Image Books, 1960. 314 pages. Paper. 95 cents. The problem of church-state relations in Europe and America (chiefly North Amer- ica) is a major theme which Hales develops in this story of the Roman Catholic Church from 1789 to the present. He ii.nds the separation of church and state, religious toleration, and the support of democratic forms of government by the church highly commendable, although he says that the stand of Pope Pius IX in the Syllabus of 1864 is "logical." He endorses Dupanloup's explanation, borrowed from the Jesuits of the Civiltd Cattolica, of the "thesis" (the general proposition) and the "hypothesis" (a special application). Hales is not satisfied BOOK REVIEW 781 with the settlement of 1815; to him the Napoleonic Concordat of 1801 is of greater value. Communism, the fifth great challenge to the Roman Catholic Church during its centuries-long history (the "Reformation" was the third), greatly complicates current church-state problems. A number of points and interpretations might well be questioned. He favors, for instance, the payment of public funds to church-controlled schools. Hales' point of view throughout is that of a loyal but tol- erant son of the church. Yet he is an able historian and an interesting writer. The chief stricture to be made is that he deals only incidentally, in general, with the Roman Catholic Church outside Europe and America, although the title of the book speaks of its history "in the modern world." Nevertheless, his treatment is outstanding. CARL S. MEYER THE ABIDING WORD. VoL III. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1960. 561 pages. Cloth. $4.75. The Abiding Word was the title chosen for two volumes published in grateful re- membrance of God's goodness to The Lu- theran Church - Missouri Synod during the first century of its history. The doctrinal essays presented in these volumes are based on the writings of the fathers and founders of the Synod. The title implies that the essayists did not intend to bring any new doctrine but presented the doctrine of God's Word as it had been taught in the Synod's churches and schools during the first cen- tury - the theology of the Word. The present volume is proof that the Synod is determined to abide by the Word of God also in the second century, for the essays in this volume, like those in the two preceding it, are founded on "the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." This volume contains the following es- says: S. J. Roth, "The Lutheran School in the American Educational System"; Ar- thur H. Gerhardt, "Youth: First-Class Com- municants"; A. H. Schwermann, "The Last Things"; R. P. Sieving, "Our Divine Adop- tion"; Richard C. Jahn, "The Doctrine of the Angels"; W. H. Wente, "Christ in Co- lossians"; Alfred von Rohr Sauer, "The Doc- trine of the Church"; H. Richard Klann, "The Structure and Function of the Christian Church"; Carl A. Gaertner, "The Means of Grace in an Effective Church Program"; Ottomar O. Krueger, "The Lord's Supper"; A. E. Krause, "The Proper Use of the Sacra- ment of Holy Communion"; and Richard R. Caemmerer, "The Practice of Holy Com- munion." 1. W. SPITZ PATROLOGY. By Berthold Altaner. Trans- lated from the German by Hilda C. Graef. New York: Herder and Herder, 1960. Cloth_ xxiv + 660 pages. $10.00. This invaluable book excels in many re- spects. It is highly readable (unlike Cayre and some of the older patrologies) and makes patrology interesting. It is packed with copious and useful bibliographical data and in this respect goes far beyond any other manual or textbook. It is concise, pertinent, and informative. Altaner offers the basic facts on every early Christian literary work which is either wholly or partially extant, including even hymnography and epitaphs. His discussions of the more significant church fathers and their literary achievements usually include ( a) an account of their background and lives, (b) a list and description of their works, and (c) a summation and analysis of their doctrinal emphases. His studies take him into the sixth and seventh centuries. The almost total lack of tendentiousness in his discussions, even in his introduction to pa- trology and its place in Roman theology, makes for trustworthiness. ROBERT D. PREUS 782 BOOK REVIEW AN APOSTLE OF FREEDOM. By Michel Alexander Vallon. New York: Philosoph- ical Library, 1960. 370 pages. Cloth. $6.00. Here is another instructive, interesting, and readable biography of Berdyaev. The author traces thoroughly the background for Berdyaev's thought in the political, religious, and cultural climate of Russia, and he offers a detailed account of Berdyaev's life and spiritual development. Throughout his life we see Berdyaev's rebellious attitude toward every form of encroachment on man's liberty, whether it be the tsar or the Bolsheviks or the organized church. Although he thought himself an ardent and thoroughly Russian Christian, he was at the same time a most unorthodox one. Vallon's discussion of Berdyaev's ideas on God, freedom, existence and being, and other motifs, illustrates Berdyaev's depth of thought but also the vastness of his heterodoxy. For instance, to Berdyaev God is love but is not omnipotent. This accounts for man's fall and for the fact that God had no control over it; it also implies a denial of original sin and of hell and an idealistic Christo logy. One hopes that Vallon has not made Berdyaev more unorthodox than he was. For instance, he says that Berdyaev sees no significance in the historical man Jesus. To prove this thesis he points to Berdyaev's immanentism; but this by itself is hardly conclusive. ROBERT D. PREUS BROTHERS OF THE FAITH. By Stephen Neill. New York: Abingdon Press, 1960. 192 pages. Cloth. $4.00. As an active participant in the ecumenical movement since 1939 Bishop Neill has met many of the leading men and women in that movement. In Brothers of the Faith, which could be regarded as a companion volume to the History of the Ecumenical Movement of which he is co-editor, he condu.cts the reader along the receiving line of the men whom he regards as worthy of special honor. Beginning with the Edinburgh Conference in 1910 and ending with a hopeful look at the ecumenical future, he introduces the reader to John R. Mott, Archbishop Soderblom, Bishop Brent, Bishop Azariah, Archbishop Germanos, Archbishop Temple, Hendrik Kraemer, ';!Villiam Paton. Dietrich Bonhoef- fer, D. T. Niles, and John XXIII. It would be misleading to say that the line forms from left to right. Readers may disagree on the propriety of the title Brothers of the Faith. It is a far cry from the theology of Mott to that of men like Kraemer and Bonhoeffer, not to mention Germanos and John XXIII. Though these men share a heartfelt longing for church union, they differ widely on the basis for it. A promising sign in the ecu- menical sky, however, is a new appreciation of the importance of doctrine for true church union. Prospective readers can ill afford to ignore this lively and authoritative presentation. 1. W. SPITZ BOOKS RECEIVED (The mention of a book in this list acknowledges its receipt and does not preclude further discussion of its contents in the Book Review section) Geschichte des Landes Hessen. By Karl E. Demandt. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1959. 536 pages. Cloth. DM 21.50. Das Evangelium nach Markus. By Walter Grundmann. Berlin: Evangelische Verlags- anstalt, 1959. xiv and 330 pages. Cloth. DM 14.80. American Christianity: An Historical In- terpretation with Representative Documents. Vol. 1: 1607-1820. By H. Shelton Smith, Robert T. Handy and Lefferts A. Loetscher. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1960. XV and 615 pages. Cloth. $10.00. Medieval and Renaissance Studies. By BOOK REVIEW 783 Theodor Ernst Mommsen. Edited by Eugene F. Rice, Jr. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1959. xiii and 353 pages. Cloth. $5.75. The Russian Revoluti01z and Religion: A Collection of Domments Concerning the Suppression of Religion by the Communists, 1917-25. Translated and edited by Bole- slaw Szczesniak. Notre Dame: University of Norte Dame Press, 1959. 289 pages. Cloth. $6.75. Worker in the Cane: A Puerto Rican Li/e History. By Sidney W. Mintz. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960. ix and 288 pages. Cloth. $4.75. Church Dogmatics. Vol. III: The Doctrine of Creation, Part 2 (Die kirchliche Dogmatik, III: Die Lehre von der Schijp/ung, 2.) By Karl Barth. Translated by Harold Knight, G. W. Bromiley, ]. K. S. Reid, and R. H. Fuller; edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1960. xiii and 661 pages. Cloth. 55/-. Children in the Church. By Iris V. Cully. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1960. 204 pages. Cloth. $3.75. Die Mission del' Weltreligionen. By Georg F. Vicedom. Munich: Chr. Kaiser Verlag, 1959. 183 pages. Paper. DM 8.00. How to Work With Teen·Age Groups. By Dorothy M. Roberts. New York: Asso- ciation Press, 1959. 62 pages. Board. $1.00. You Shall Be My People: The Books of Covenant and Law. By Edwin M. Good. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1959. 96 pages. Cloth. $1.50. Atlas of the Arab World and the Middle East. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1960. 64 pages. Cloth. $9.00. A Reformation Paradox: The Condemned New Testament of the Rostock Brethren 0/ the Common Life. By Kenneth A. Strand. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Publishers, 1960. 101 pages. Cloth. $2.50. Biblia Sacra Vulgatae editionis Sixti V Pont. Max. iussu recognita et Clementis VIII auctoritate edita. Turin: Marietti, 1959. xiv and 1238 pages. Cloth. Price not given. Index to Periodical Literature on the Apos- tle Paul. Compiled under the direction of Bruce M. Metzger. Leiden: E. ]. Brill, 1960. xv and 183 pages. Cloth. 14 guilders. The Mormon Conflict 1850-59. By Nor- man F. Furniss. New Haven: Yale Univer- sity Press, 1960. 328 pages. Cloth. $5.00. History of Religion in the United States. By Clifton E. Olmstead. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1960. xii and 628 pages. Cloth. $10.00. Approaches to Christian Unity: Doctrine and Prayer (Vel's l'unite Chretienne). By C-]. Dumont. Translated by Henry St. John. London: Helicon Press, 1960. ix and 226 pages. Cloth. $4.50. The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology. By Thomas Langan. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1960. ix and 247 pages. Cloth. $3.92. Recent Developments in the So?!th African Mission Field. By G. B. A. Gerdener. Lon- don: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1958. 286 pages. Cloth. 17 /-. Sources and Resources: The Literary Tradi- tions of Christian Humanism. By Barry Ulanov. Westminster: Newman Press, 1960. xv and 286 pages. Cloth. $4.50. Studies in Lutheran Doctrine. By Paul F. Keller. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1960. 198 pages. Paper. $2.50. Readings in Church History. Vol. I: From Pentecost to the Protestant Revolt. Edited by Colman J. Barry. Westminster: Newman Press, 1960. xx and 633 pages. Cloth. $7.50. Light From Above: Christian Doctri1ze Ex- plained and Applied. By Alfred W. Koehler. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1960. 165 pages. Paper. $1.50. A Handboo,k of Christian Social Ethics. Vol. I: Man in Society (Herders Sozialkate- chism us: Band I, Grundfragen und Grund- k1'Ci/te des sozialen Lebens.) By Eberhard Welty. Translated by Gregor Kirstein; re- vised by John Fitzsimons. New York: Herder and Herder, 1960. xvi and 395 pages. Cloth. $6.95. The Proverbs /or Today. By Thomas Coates. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing 784 BOOK REVIEW House, 1960. xi and 116 pages. Boards. $2.00. One Body and One Spirit: A Study of the Church in the New Testame·nt. By Oscar J. F. Seitz. Greenwich: Seabury Press, 1960. 188 pages. Cloth. $4.25. God and History in the Old Testament. By Harvey H. Guthrie, Jr. Greenwich: Sea- bury Press, 1960. viii and 179 pages. Cloth. $4.25. An American Dialogue: A Protestant Looks at Catholicism and a Catholic Looks at Protestantism. By Robert McAfee Brown and Gustave Weigel. Garden City: Double- day and Company, 1960. 216 pages. Cloth. $2.95. God Our Contemporary. By J. B. Phillips. New York: Macmillan Company, 1960. x and 137 pages. Cloth, $2.50; paper, $1.25. An Outline of Old Testament History. By Charles F. Pfeiffer. Chicago: Moody Press, 1960. 160 pages. Paper. Price not given. Meditations on the Old Testament: The Psalms (365 Meditations sur la Bible - Les Psattmes). By Gaston Brillet. Translated by Jane Wynne Saul. New York: Desclee Com- pany, 1960. 243 pages. Cloth. $3.50. Why? Divine Healing in Medicine and Theology. By Graham Lesser. New York: Pageant Press, 1960. 144 pages. Cloth. $2.75. After the Storm, the Restoring Fire. By J. Walter Rich. Boston: Christopher Pub- lishing House, 1960. 254 pages. Cloth. $3.00. Essay on the Freedom of the Will. By Ar- thur Schopenhauer. Translated by Konstantin Kolenda. New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1960. xx and 103 pages. Paper. $ .80. The Pastoral Genius of P1'eaching. By Samuel Volbeda. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960. 85 pages. Cloth. $2.00. An Introduction to a Catholic Catechism: Its Concepts, Usage, and Aims (Ein/iihrung in den neuen Katechismus). Edited by Hu- bert Fischer, translated by Bernard Adkins. New York: Herder and Herder, 1960. xiv and 169 pages. Paper. $2.50. Why Did It Happen to Me? Christian Answers to Questions About Faith and Health. By David Belgum. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1960. 110 pages. Paper. $1.75. The King's Business: A Handbook for Christian Workers. By Godfrey C. Robinson and Stephen F. V/inward. Chicago: Moody Press, 1957. 128 pages. Paper. Price not given. The Protestant Faith. By George W. For- ell. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1960. xi and 321 pages. Cloth, $6.60; classroom edition, $4.95. Freedom and Immortality: The Forwood Lectures in the University of Liverpool 1957. By Ian T. Ramsey. London: SCM Press. Naperville, Ill.: Alec R. Allenson, 1960. 157 pages. Cloth. $3.25. The Encounter of Religions (La recontre des religions). By Jacques Albert Cuttat. Translated by Pierre de Fontnouvelle and Evis McGrew. New York: Desc1ee Company, 1960. 159 pages. Cloth. $3.50. MOI'als and Man (Morals Makyth Man). By Gerald Vann. Revised edition. New York: Sheed and Ward, 1960. 223 pages. Cloth. $3.50. What's Wrong with Gambling? By Rich- ard Sommerfeld; 5 pages; tract; $2.00 a 100. The Christian View of Sex; by Harry G. Coiner; 17 pages; tract; $5.00 a 100. 6 Training Tasks of Christian Parents; by Oscar E. Feucht; 4 pages; tract; $2.00 a 100. 6 Teaching Tasks of Christian Parents; by Oscar E. Feucht; 3 pages; tract; $1.50 a 100. Parents, Stand-ins for God; by Oscar E. Feucht; 3 pages; tract; $1.50 a 100. Going Steady; by Alfred Paul Klausler; 13 pages; tract; $4.00 a 100. The Lutheran Church- NIissouri Synod; by Elmer A. Kettner; 11 pages; tract; $3.00 a 100. You're a Mother! by Beulah Kaul; 8 pages; tract; $3.00 a 100. A Catholic President?: The Predicament; by Carl S. Meyer; 10 pages; pamphlet; 5 cents each (100 or more, 4 cents each). Ottr Way of Worship; by R. Jungkuntz and R. Gehrke; 17 pages; pamphlet; 20 cents each (100 or more, 16 cents each). St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1960.