Full Text for CTQ Book Review 58-1

Book Reviews THE BOOK OF GENESIS: CHAPTERS 1-17. By Victor P. Hamilton. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990. ~righally planned as a commentary on the entire book of Genesis, this volume represents the first installment of what is now projected to be a two-volume work. The reason for the change is obvious as soon as one begins to read the work: Hamilton has done a thorough job of surveying modem scholarship on the Book of Genesis. His commentary skillfully draws upon the disciplines involved in the study of the ancient Near East-Northwest Semitic languages (especially Ugaritic), Assyriology, Sumerology, Egyptology-which have had such an impact on our under- standing of the cultural and linguistic milieu of the book of Genesis. It will simply take another volume to complete the task. The reader should expect a number of discussions of the relationship between Genesis and pagan mythology and between history as recorded in Genesis and as reconstructed by historians working with the discoveries of the past two centuries. Despite this wealth of research, Hamilton has written his commentary for the pastor who is not an expert in Near Eastern studies. Hamilton defends the unity of Genesis against the documentary hypothesis not merely in the introduction, but throughout the commentary. This tack provides a defense of the unity of Genesis which is not merely a conservative "knee-jerk reaction, but a rather well-reasoned, scholarly, Christian position. However, Hamilton side-steps the issue of the authorship of the Pentateuch; he defends the authorial unity of Genesis, but not its Mosaic authorship. Hamilton also includes a section in the treatment of each pericope entitled "The New Testament Appropriation," where he deals with the use of the pericope in the New Testament. His discussions here are generally well done, except in the case of the important messianic passages in this book (Genesis 3:14-19 and the promises to the patriarchs). He leaves the reader with the impression that these passages were not originally messianic but "became messianic" through Christian appropriation of them. The commentary's translation of Genesis generally tries to preserve the word order of the Hebrew when it is important for the discussion of literary features. However, several times the translation follows the Hebrew word order for no apparent reason, and at least once it does not preserve the Hebrew word order even though it is important (i.e., in Genesis 9:6, p. 31 1). Despite these problems, this commentary is recom- mended for the pastor who wishes to have an up-to-date (but not overly technical) resource which introduces him to current scholarly discussion 40 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY of the Book of Genesis. Andrew E. Steinmann Cleveland, Ohio THE LORD IS SAVIOR: FAITH IN NATIONAL CRISIS: A COM- MENTARY ON THE BOOK OF ISAIAH 1-39. By S. H. Widyapranawa. International Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990. This third and final volume on Isaiah in the International Theological Commentary is the first one in the series written by an author from the Far East. S. H. Widyapranawa is a professor at Duta Wacana United Theological College, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Like George A. F. Knight's earlier commentaries on Isaiah 40-55 and 56-66, Widyapranawa also presupposes the standard critical theory of "three Isaiahs." The portions of chapters 1-39 which are usually ascribed to later redactors are duly noted, as are other well-accepted critical views of the text. The commen- tary contains no introduction to the Book of Isaiah, but immediately plunges into the work of commenting on the text. Technical matters are kept to a minimum, and there is no attempt to offer new insights into the text; inventiveness is not the aim of this volume or of the series as a whole. Rather, the goal here is to give a simple explanation of what the text said to its ancient audience and draw from that exegesis theological insight for the modem world. The theology of this commentary is what Lutheran readers are likely to notice first. Widyapranawa presents well Isaiah's preaching of the law, especially the second use of the law. It is sharp and focused so that one feels the prophet's preaching personally. The treatment of the gospel in Isaiah 1-39 is by no means as focused. There is scant comfort in the way in which Widyapranawa applies the promises of God in Isaiah's message. They are often turned into a social message on such issues as nuclear arms, the environment, social justice, and the relationship of the developed countries to the Third World. This gospel is a temporal salvation brought about by God through the church rather than the eternal salvation won by Christ (which is mentioned only in passing on a few occasions). It is no surprise, then that Widyapranawa treats messianic passages as being about Christ only by virtue of their "appropriation" by the New Testament. Some passages are regarded as messianic only in the sense that they speak of an "ideal king and kingdom" in general. The reader is left to wonder whether Isaiah meant these to be fulfilled by an actual messiah, or Book Reviews 41 whether he was merely pointing to a theoretical ideal toward which the church should strive. While Widyapranawa's textual comments show a good grasp of many of the issues facing those who wish to understand Isaiah 1-39, confessional Lutherans will not find this commentary particularly useful. Andrew E. Steinmann Cleveland, Ohio A RELIGIOUS HISTORY OF AMERICA. New Revised Edition. By Edwin Scott Gaustad. San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1990. To interpret the impact of religion on the entire history of the United States in four hundred pages is an impossible task; Gaustad does not attempt it. Instead he has chosen to tell the unique story of this portion of the North American continent in terms of the overarching question of religious pluralism. The author's primary argument is that religious diversity is not merely a curiosity that accompanies religion in America; it is the primary factor in the success of religion in this country. Two emphases proceed from this basic outlook. First, doctrinal issues are downplayed and discussed most often in relation to denominational schism. Secondly, through the use of this approach Gaustad tends to emphasize those religious movements which differ from what Gaustad calls "mainstream Protestantism" (not surprisingly, the author has previously produced a work entitled Dissent in American Religion [Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 19731). As a result, Gaustad explains American religious history anachronistically, giving proportional- ly more attention to certain dissenting groups in the early history of the country than their numbers warrant. This approach becomes problematic when other important traditions are given insufficient attention. For example, the German Reformed Church receives only one citation in the entire book, even though in the early 1790's it boasted about 40,000 aherents, 13,000 communicants, and 178 congregations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and beyond the Alleghenies. In contrast, at the same time adherents to Judaism numbered 1200 from Maine to Georgia with synagogues in only five cities. Yet this group is constantly highlighted. More problematic for readers of this journal is the lack of attention afforded the Lutheran Church. Gaustad puts Lutheranism under the general heading of "mainstream Protestantism" with little discussion of its distinctive history, characteristics, and impact on the religious life of the 42 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY American church. The one Lutheran figure who does receive specific attention is Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. The author favorably reviews the work of Muhlenberg because "he served not only Lutherans alone" @. 92). However, he does not develop fully Muhlenberg's ecumenical intentions. Muhlenberg was committed to the state church tradition of his native Germany and supported only those traditions which enjoyed a like background. Simultaneously he vigorously opposed the dissenting traditions present in America, such as the Methodists, Baptists, and particularly the Moravians, and strove unceasingly to overcome the influence of these schismatic bodies. Only over the course of time did he come to acclimate and resign himself to the pluralistic setting of the Untied States. By treating Muhlenberg in such a cursory manner, the author has missed the opportunity to use Muhlenberg as a paradigm for his thesis of the success of pluralism in America. Even more unfortunate in this regard is Gaustad's failure to include material for further study on Lutheranism-though a biography of Muhlenberg which is little more than a decade old is still in print (Leonard R. Riforgiato, Missionary of Moderation: Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and the Lutheran Church in English America [Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press, 19801). Nevertheless, Gaustad's constant stress that religion is something that cannot be overlooked when interpreting the history of the United States is refreshing in an age when many purely secular histories seek to avoid it. Thus, despite the shortcomings in regard to Lutheranism, Gaustad's book is a valuable contribution to the history of religion in America. The work is superbly written and enjoyable to read. As a general religious history, it provides a sound and comprehensive overview of the role of religion as an integral contributor to American thought and life by offering the reader a thorough introduction to the subject which will ground him well in the subject. Gaustad also offers bibliographies at the end of each section of the book which incorporate most of the important contemporary works available for further studies. Finally, for the Lutheran pastor, who daily faces the challenge of American pluralism, this book will root his thought historically in our country's diverse religious past and thus offer him a sufficient basis on which to respond when confronted by people of other religious expressions. Lawrence R. Rast Nashville, Tennessee Book Reviews CHARLES GRANDISON FINNEY, 1792-1875: REVIVALIST AND REFORMER. By Keith J. Hardman. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990. The spirit of revivalistic Christianity is embodied in the person of Charles Finney, a spirit which is very much alive and active more than a hundred years after his death. This work, which is the first critical biography of Fimey since 1891, is an important work for the American church. It studies the man most responsible for the movement of American Christianity away from puritanistic Calvinism towards Arminianism and its characteristic stress on the free will. Hardman asserts that Finney's emphasis on man's ability to choose salvation developed out of his legal background through the influence of Sir William Blackstone's discussions of crime and guilt. Finney denied original sin and stated that man was not a sinner from birth but by choice. He argued that since God endows each person with free moral agency, conversion does not consist in the creation of a new heart by God, but rather consists in a change in the moral preferences of the mind. To achieve this end Finney developed his "new measures," psychological devices that helped the sinner make his decision for God. These included denunciatory sermons that emphasized the wrath of God and the punishments of hell (with little mention of God's love for men in Christ), protracted public meetings, private prayer meetings, and the anxious bench, the enduring symbol of his work. Finney found that the number of converts was higher when he required some action on the part of the people. And so he required those sinners who desired conversion to make the public act of coming forward to the anxious bench where they would receive prayer and personal ministrations. While Hardman concedes that the Burned-Over District of Upstate New York, where Finney first rose to prominence, offered a field ripe to harvest for the revivalist's techniques, the enormous success of Finney outside of this geographical region necessitates a more comprehensive explanation. Hardman offers three. First, Finney was determined to democratize American Protestantism, and the fact that his early career paralleled Andrew Jackson's similar political attempts cannot be ignored. Secondly, Finney's optimistic approach was in harmony with the post- millennialism of the day; Fimey and American Protestantism looked forward to ushering in the golden age of the church. Finally, Fimey and his observably successful methods opened an avenue of influence upon Old School Calvinistic pastors who felt constrained by rigid double- predestination and to whom "evangelism was more important than 44 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY theological position" (p. 153). However, Hardman has ignored an important theological reason for Finney's success. Finney, with his emphasis on the law and the decision of man, appealed directly to the opinio Iegis; it is the normal course of man to try to save himself. Not surprisingly, Finney was especially deficient theologically in his proclama- tion of the vicarious satisfaction, stressing instead the moral influence theory of the work of Christ. Furthermore, Finney was entirely a- historical; he simply had no appreciation of ecclesiology and the history of the church. This book is a good recounting of Finney's life and work, particularly in its use of previously unpublished primary sources. It is well-structured and well-written, has a fine bibliography, and is interspersed with illustrations that make the figures of the text more personal. The major failing of the work is its lack of a thorough treatment of Finney's theology. Nevertheless, it offers the reader a means to come to grips with the major popularizer of the Arminianism so evident in American Christianity today. Lawrence R. Rast Nashville, Tennessee CHEATING: MAINTAINING YOUR INTEGRITY IN A DISHONEST WORLD. By Barbara Mary Johnson. Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1990. Barbara M. Johnson, who teaches journalism at California State University, has written an excellent little book on cheating. Much of the material contained in the book is based on questionnaires which Johnson circulated among a representative sample of people. Her research shows that cheating, deceit, and dishonesty are pervasive problems in our society. Indeed, the book cites a statistic which indicates that American adults tell an average of thirteen "little white lies" weekly. Johnson finds that our culture is a "cheating" culture. Her study shows cheating to be rampant in personal relationships, in schools and colleges, in government, in business, and in a host of other areas. In seven chapters Johnson probes the many aspects of dishonesty and cheating. She writes from a Christian viewpoint. While her denomina- tional affiliation is not mentioned, her understanding of the gospel, which she introduces at many points, seems to be a Lutheran understanding. The gospel of Christ is shown to be the place where one can find forgiveness and, yes, set off in quest of a more honest lifestyle. Book Reviews 45 Cheating is well-written and interesting. It should be so, since its author is a teacher of journalism. The reviewer had few major theological concerns. While at some points Johnson speaks of being guided by the Holy Spirit, she seems basically to understand that such guidance comes through the word. In chapter five the book seems to run the risk of taking the position of "situational ethics" with respect to certain ethically "grey" areas. At the same time, Johnson seems to affirm the continuing normative role of the Ten Commandments in ethical decision-making. With the above-mentioned cautions in mind, readers will find Johnson's book worthwhile. It could provide some ideas for a sermon. The discussion questions, at the end of each chapter, would make the book ideal for use in adult or high school Bible study groups. Gary C. Genzen Lorain, Ohio JOB 1-20 WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY. By David J. A. Clines. Dallas: Word Books, 1989. The reviewer is tempted to use the cliche that this commentary is both "good news" and "bad news," and he shall try to summarize and evaluate the "good news" first. Of course, final judgments will have to wait until the second volume on chapters 21-42 appears, but the general direction seems clear enough already here. In his preface Clines remarks that "more than one large-scale commentary on Job has not progressed beyond the first volume; I hope not to disappoint readers . . ." Many will share that sentiment. Clines is Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield (England). He has already published widely. The reviewer shall risk singling out The Theme of the Pentateuch as perhaps best typifying the approach employed also here on Job. Clines is a prominent representative of a laudably wholistic trend in much recent biblical exegesis that is relatively uninterested in questions of origins, sources, and development of biblical books. This reviewer fingered especially his work on the Pentateuch above, because obviously marginalization (if not denial) of the "documentary hypothesis" has repercussions all across the board in Old Testament studies. Job is not nearly so pivotal a book as the Pentateuch, but one finds a similar mentality here. Clines must spend a little time addressing issues of origin (especially pp. lvi ff.), but here we find, not only remarkably little interest in the subject, but a great reluctance to concede different 46 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY authorship to the bwk's prose (prologue and epilogue), to the speeches of Elihu (chapters 32-37), and to the poem on wisdom (chapter 28)-to mention only major examples. Lesser examples are confronted as they occur throughout commentary on the book. One typical example may be cited (on the originality of the second cycle of testing in chapter 2): ". . . the whole discussion perhaps only reflects the tendency in Old Testament scholarship to project horizontal or synchronic tensions within a narrative onto a vertical, diachronic, developmental grid (which is generally hypothetical)" (p. 41). Similarly, on text-critical issues (in which Job abounds), a few contrary possibilities are entertained, but generally there is extreme reluctance to second-guess the Masoretic Text. For the foreseeable future, Clines' commentary will probably be the standard reference work on Job in the English language (at least when the second volume appears). This probability is due partly, no doubt, to Clines' competence, but it must also be attributed to the extreme thoroughness with which he has approached his task. His introductory orientation to books about Job "treats" us to somefr~?y pages of bibliogra- phy, ranging from patristic and early Jewish works down to modem times. More specialized bibliographies introduce the commentary on every chapter or major section of the bwk. Even a quick scan will show that Clines has not simply compiled titles, but has perused and sometimes interacted with the books listed. He calculates that, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries alone, Christian books on Job appeared on an average of one every eighteen months! Furthermore, he informs us that he has regularly compared the renderings of some fifteen English versions on every line-a discipline which he declares to have been "a most constructive process for me as a Hebraist and critic, leading sometimes, admittedly, to a state of palsied indecision but more often to a sharpened perception of the text" (p. xi). (Would that we could posit even remotely that much research by most "students of ScriptureH--on whatever level, never mind confrontation with the original languages!) Now to the "bad news." The point should not be overstated, but, on the whole, the commentary is theologically rather light-weight. One could almost say, to use the now common phrase about ultimate ethical issues, that the book is almost studiedly "value-free." (It is not, of course, that we do not have a plethora of commentaries at the opposite end of the spectrum.) "Wisdom literature," where Clines classifies Job with most scholars, does pose unique problems if read as "Scripture," of course, not Book Reviews 47 to speak of the perennial and protean "problem of evil" (or, more specifically, the suffering of the righteous) which the book confronts. It is not that Clines hesitates to make judgments on a host of individual issues and agree or disagree with other scholars, but on the "big" issues, this reader, at least, felt short-changed. Most of us have long since been disabused of the hope that the "Word Biblical Commentary" series would exhibit the conservative, "evangelical" orientation originally promised. Many of us are also aware of the current popularity of "reader-oriented criticism," which accents in varying degrees the truisms (up to a point) that "all readers of biblical texts, as of any other texts, bring their own interests, prejudices, and presuppositions with them" and that it is neither desirable nor possible to "hide or abandon one's values without doing violence to one's own integrity" (p. xlvii). Nevertheless, it is just slightly disconcerting to meet essays on possible "feminist," "vegetarian," and "materialist" readings of the book, followed by a final option of "a Christian reading." If the object (the text and authorial intention) has not been totally eclipsed by the subject (the reader), questions of ultimate truth must be confronted in a far more searching and definitive way than we find here. (The reviewed would venture the further judgment that this weakness represents the Achilles heel of much current "literacy criticism," in contrast to classical historical- critical readings, historicistic or otherwise wrong-headed as they tended to be.) In the Book of Job, such issues and many others almost inevitably come to a head in the "celebrated and much debated (p. 457) 19:25-27 (the passage refemng to Job's go'el or "redeemerv-although Clines prefers the rendering "champion"). Granted that this is probably the only passage in the Book of Job of many people even know anything at all, that many Christians routinely treat it ahistorically as though it were uttered by St. Paul, and that even within the context of the Old Testament alone (and, even more so, of Job alone) any rendering of go'el as "redeemer" must be very carefully nuanced. Job 19 is by no means the only time in the book that such ideas appear. Although Eliphaz in 5:l peremptorily dismisses the idea that any qedoshim ("holy ones," probably "angels") in heaven would answer him, already in 9:33 Job apparently allows himself at least the fleeting wish that there were a mokiach ("umpire," etc.) to be found above. And the idea appears to grow on him as the dialogues continue. Chapter 14 clearly considers the possibility of a solution beyond the grave, and by 16:18-22 Job seems certain that he has an "witness" above, a clear precursor of 19:25-27. And Elihu in 48 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY 33:23 does at least seem to hold the possibility of Job having a melits ("mediator," etc.) in heaven who might elicit repentance. Interpretations have usually oscillated between that of Job appealing "to God against God" (implausible as Old Testament exegesis, although not without christological possibilities) and some idea of a "personal god" (known in Babylonian polytheism), "defense attorney" (as a counterpart to "the satan"), or the like. Modem defenders of something approaching the second or more traditional view are by no means lacking, not only, unsurprisingly, among "evangelicals" (e.g., Archer, Hartley, Young) but also often elsewhere (Andersen, Dahood, Habel, Janzen, Pope, Terrien). In contrast, Clines resolutely argues that Job thinks of nothing more than his own words, his protestations of innocence which shall "stand" or "live" even after he himself is dead. Job "objectifies" this "into an entity that has something of an existence of its own and now dwells in the heavenly realm where there is a better chance of encounter with God" (p. 460). One must, allegedly, carefully distinguish "between what Job knows or believes and what he desires" (p. 457 and passim). A full airing of the issue would require far more space than is available here. It is impossible to escape the suspicion that Clines' viewpoint is ultimately determined more than a little by the virtual dogma of modem academic scholarship that Israel had virtually no thoughts of life after death other than the "half-life" or virtual extinction of Sheol. Many of Job's own words can be cited to that effect (3:17-19 and all of chapter 14)-but, then again, Christians have never had any trouble speaking in the same breath about the finality and irreversibility of death and about literal life after death, depending on the context. The reviewer finds Clines' exegesis here not only unlikely from the standpoint of Hebrew word-usage (although the "words" of the goel are surely part of it), but also impossible even as "a Christian reading." And unfortunately, this parade example appears to be more typical of the commentary as a whole than any theologically-oriented exegete would desire. Horace D. Hummel St. Louis, Missouri PATTERNS IN HISTORY: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON HISTORICAL THOUGHT. By David Bebbington. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990. History repeats itself (or at least gets reprinted). A reprint, especially of a book from a previous decade, is worth noting, reviewing, and Book Reviews 49 reading. David Bebbington's respected presentation of historiography in general as well as his Christian critique of several schools of history calls for high commendations to Baker Book House. Bebbington, a British evangelical historian, describes five schools of historiography with short, critical analyses of each. Appreciably written from an admitted and unabashed Chnstian perspective, the work represents a depth of scholarly research with a clarity of critical analysis which serve as a model among Christian scholars. Especially worthwhile are his first (overview), third (Christian history), and final chapters (philosophy and meaning of history). Clearly and rather concisely, Bebbington describes the task and necessary limits of historiog- raphy (chapter 1) in a way that is readily understandable for non- specialists in history, both lay and clergy. Chapter three surveys the uniqueness of the Christian (actually, Bebbington admits it is the Judaeo- Christian) linear and teleological perspective on history, which provides a foundation for evaluating later schools. In discussing Christian millennialism, Bebbington gives a very careful critique of the most common views, and discerningly concludes (p. 65): Within Christianity itself, however, Augustine, the classical reformers and many biblical commentators have come to the opinion that there are inadequate grounds for taking the thousand years mentioned in the book of Revelation as a period of blessing before the end of time. It is a symbol, they argue with some cogency, of the history of the church. Other chapters provide contextual dialogues with the ever recumng cyclical view of history (chapter 2), the secularized optimism evident in the progressive view of the rationalism of the Enlightenment (chapter 4), the culturally relativistic view of Germanic historicism with its nationalis- tic and linguistic idealism (chapter 5), and the historical materialist perspective of the Marxist worldview (chapter 6) as aids for appreciating and evaluating historical writing. Most helpful to the theological reader are chapters seven and eight. Chapter seven deals with the philosophy of historiography (not as boring as it sounds) and concludes with the very beneficial "A Christian Philosophy of Historiography" and a discussion of the frequently neglected Lutheran historian, Johann Martin Chladenius (1710-1759). Chapter eight, "The Meaning of History," provides a definite Christian perspective and conclusion to the book, underscoring the confident hope Christians expect of history as well as the necessity of seeing all history through "the cross 50 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY of Christ." Bebbington's new "Afterward" stresses his concern with literary-philosophical Modernism, a sixth "school" of historiography, while affirming once again the Christian alternative to all secular approaches to the writing of history. While the organization, structure, and descriptions of the various schools are good, historians may take issue with some of his examples or find his evidence insufficient or even contradictory of some of his theses, especially in his discussions of pre-Enlightenment history. For example, in his evaluation of cyclical history, he introduces non-cyclic historians into the discussion only because they are of a similar ancient period, and he fails to include adequately the Canaanite and Babylonian cyclical perspectives. In a later chapter he encourages the writing of history from a Christian perspective, yet admits that for the past two hundred years to mention God and divine providence would result in unpublishable material. Such criticisms, however, do not detract from the solid scholarship and continuing contribution of this work to modem Christian thought and even apologetics. The format of the book is well done for a reprint. The typesetting of the book gives evidence of corrections of the edition of 1979 by Inter- Varsity Press. This evidence is not disturbing or disrupting and should be appreciated by those of us who are bothered by typographic errors in books. Unfortunately the booklist at the end of the work was not updated. This book should be read by all Christians interested in affiing the importance of history and in the writing of history with a Christian perspective. The evaluations of, historical backgrounds to, and critiques of post-Enlightenment historiography alone are well worth the price of the book. Timothy Maschke Mequon, Wisconsin ALL GOD'S CHILDREN AND BLUE SUEDE SHOES: CHRISTIANS AND POPULAR CULTURE. By Kenneth A. Myers. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1989. As the seventh volume in Crossway Books "Christian Worldview Series," All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes examines the roots, assumptions, practices, and effect of "popular culture" especially in relationship to American Evangelicalism. Myers womes that, "if the movement known as evangelicalism promotes a culture of sentiment rather than a culture of reasoned reflection, it is not surprising that popular Book Reviews 5 1 culture has been as dominant (if not quite as vulgar) within evangelical circles as in the society at large" (p. 186). The subjectivity of American evangelicalism makes this form of Christianity especially prone to the enticements of "popular culture." Myers rightly argues that this culture is subversive of orthodox Christianity. In light of the clamor for "cross-cultural ministry and missions" in our circles, Myers' book is requisite reading. Lutherans would do well to ponder Myers' analysis of "pop culture" and, in so doing, ask themselves critical questions regarding its impact on preaching, evangelism, liturgy, pasml care, catechesis, and church art. Rather than adapting the faith to the culture, culture must be crucified and raised with Christ Jesus. Only in this way can the church "baptize" the culture. In other words, for the orthodox and apostolic faith, the cultus of the Divine Service creates and shapes a culture that is in the world, but not of the world. This reviewer read AN God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes just after reading the study document of the LCMS Commission on Worship entitled "Worship Toward 2000." In the long run, Myers' book may be more helpful in understanding the cultural dynamics that influence worship than "Worship Toward 2000." John T. Pless Minneapolis, Minnesota A THEOLOGY OF A PROTESTANT CATHOLIC. By Adrian Hastings. London: SCM Press, 1990. A growing number of Lutherans, both in the ELCA and the LCMS, are identifying themselves as "evangelical catholics." Now we have a Roman Catholic theologian from South Africa, teaching at a British university, calling himself a "Protestant Catholic." The proposals set forth by Hastings are certainly "Protestant" in that they protest certain teachings of the Roman Church and, in some cases, the tenets of the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church." The Theology of a Protestant Catholic is not a treatise staking out a proposal for a new theological approach, although Hastings attempts to outline his presuppositions in chapter 1 as he addresses questions of "community, consensus, and truth" as marks of catholicity and as the framework for his protestations. Rather, The Theology of a Protestant Catholic is a collection of essays and sermons ranging from an account of religious studies at the University of Leeds to a sermon preached at the 52 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY funeral of a couple killed in a car accident. One essay argues for the ordination of women to the priesthood by dismissing apostolic directives to the contrary as "provisional." Another chapter engages liturgical adaptation in light of cultural pluralism. The theme of pluralism surfaces in a number of the essays. While Hastings attempts to avoid the extremes of John Hick, he ends up so "universalizing Christ" that the "scandal of the particularity" of the incarnation is in fact lost. The cross remains a stumbling block. John T. Pless Minneapolis, Minnesota THE CHURCH AISD HER FELLOWSHIP, MINISTRY, AND GOVER- NANCE. By Kurt E. Marquart. Volume IX in Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics. Fort Wayne, Indiana: The International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research, 1990. It is perhaps trite to say that Kurt Marquart's contribution to the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics is most timely. Yet with The Church and Her Fellowship, Ministry, and Governance, Marquart brings confessional clarity to an article of faith which continues to be muddled by the relativizing ideals of tolerance, accommodation, and success- orientation engendered by what Marquart calls our "post-Constantinian" age. Far from treating ecclesiology as a matter of mere academic interest, Marquart presents a work which can be characterized as being in statu confessionis. Here Marquart presents himself as being nothing other than the heir of a great tradition of church-men-Francis Pieper, C. F. W. Walther, the orthodox theologians of the seventeenth century, and, of course, the confessors of the Book of Concord, all of whom sought nothing other than to be faithful to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the apostolic faith. In consequence, and making no apologies for the many overt references to the above sainted theologians of the Missouri Synod, The Church and Her Fellowship, Ministry, and Governance proves to be far from being insular or isolationist. Marquart presents the ecclesiology not of the Missouri Synod, but the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. As he makes clear in the first of the three parts of this work, since there is but one Christ, there can be only one body of Christ. The criterion for the locus of this church is the faithfulness with which the one truth is confessed. Marquart thus explores the various positions concerning the visible and invisible (viz., the hidden church), locates the church by means of the notae of the purely taught gospel and the administration of the sacraments in agreement with the gospel of Christ, Book Reviews and finally outlines the biblical and confessional criteria which define the parameters of church fellowship. But while this description of the content may read as being somewhat predictable, this cannot be said of Mar- quart's presentation of the data or his careful and trenchant use of language. He is most careful in defining his terms and chooses his words circumspectly to preclude equivocation, while his literary style (which is most refreshing to find in a doctrinal treatise) is lucid and pithy. Perhaps shorter than it might have been, in light of the not insignificant confusion concerning the nature of the public ministry in this generation of Lutheran pastors, is part two on the ministry. Yet Marquart does go some way in providing clarification of the concept of the public ministry confessed by the Lutheran church in contrast to those of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Calvinist traditions. He also seeks to clarify Luther's and Walther's ~bertragungslehre, the nature of offices which are auxiliary to the Predigtamt, and finally the question of call and ordination, including the ordination of women (the latter being a most necessary investigation in light of the recent decision by the Church of England to ordain women to the priesthood-not because the ordination of women is something new, but because it is becoming the accepted norm). The final section puts church governance into the christological framework already apparent in the Lutheran Confessions. Finally, the indexes of references to Scripture and the Book of Concord are most helpful, as is the bibliography provided. It might perhaps be worth mentioning that the already lengthy sheet of errata which accompanies the book falls short of having discovered all typographical errors. In sum, Marquart provides a most instructive book on how the church is to be confessed most faithfully in our age. As one who himself teaches the Lutheran Confessions, the reviewer can only commend this work by using the words of Francis Bacon, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." This book is indeed one of the few. Gerald S. Krispin Edmonton, Alberta JOHANNINE FAITH AND LIBERATING COMMUNITY. By David Rensberger. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1988. Rensberger offers first a succinct and useful assessment of the most 54 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY recent developments in Johannine studies. Building especially then on the works of Meeks, Richter, Martyn, Brown, and Wengst, the author looks to new avenues of the interpretation of John's Gospel stimulated by the latest efforts of scholars to delineate its social and historical settings. Of particular interest to Rensberger is the gospel's first generation of readers and the range of meanings it held for them. Behind the "spiritual," he asserts, one finds the possibility of social and even political interpreta- tions. Significant is the relation of John's Gospel to a theology of liberation and to present-day inquiries into the role of the church in the world. The determinative factor for the Johannine community was, argues Rensberger, its conflict with the synagogue. Initially, this group of Christians functioned entirely within the fold of Judaism. Their confes- sion of Jesus as the Messiah, however, brought them into increasing conflict with the Jewish authorities. And so, finally, they were expelled from the synagogue altogether. As a result the group turned inward upon itself, and a growing isolation and even alienation from outsiders came to characterize its self-understanding. The group became a sect, at least in relation to Judaism, if not also in relation to other Christians. Johamine Christianity became not merely a subculture, but a counterculture. Thus, what John's Gospel calls for is, according to Rensberger, a public transfer of allegiance, an open confession in which one takes a stand with an oppressed commhity. Such a community has no status, no power, no place in the world. One is asked, therefore, to dislocate and displace one's self socially, "to undertake an act of deliberate downward mobility" (p. 114). It is only then that "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It is only then that the possibility of the renewal of both self and society is afforded. A single transformation becomes possible which "remakes thought and action, person and society, and makes them one" @. 152). Here is the meaning, then, of being "born from above." Here, concludes Rensberger, is Johamine Christianity. The chief strength of Rensberger's argument lies in his recognition that John's Gospel does indeed call for a public transfer of allegiance in which one takes a stand with an oppressed community. And such a stand may well involve a deliberate social dislocation of one's self. Rensberger does, however, not sufficiently appreciate a point that he himself acknowledges. The Johannine community suffers persecution not because of its racial heritage, or because of some other socio-economic factor, but "precisely because of its christology" @. 121). It simply does not follow, therefore, Book Reviews 55 that membership in the Johannine community would necessarily involve the loss of status, power, or place in the world. Both servants of Christ and enemies of Christ are to be found in all elements of society at all times. A transfer of allegiance, therefore, involves not an identification with any particular element of society but with a confession. One suffers the reproach not of such an element in society, but .of every person throughout society whose enemy is the Son of God. The truth, therefore, does not, as Rensberger suggests, hold out the possibility of liberation from such persecution in this present evil age (John 19:36). To be "born from above" means, instead, that one recognizes such persecution as the requisite mark of one's participation in Christ (John 15:18-20) and the means by which one glorifies God (John 21:20). In Christ, therefore, there is in this age liberation not from the antipathy of the world, but from the weight of our sin (John 1:29). Bruce Schuchard Victor, Iowa MADE IN AMERICA: THE SHAPING OF MODERN AMERICAN EVANGELICALISM. By Michael Scott Horton. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991. This is a book that confessional Lutherans will find both engaging and discomforting. It captivates the reader in its critical appraisal of American evangelicalism, while simultaneously offering a troublesome solution. Horton strongly criticizes evangelicalism. He finds that it has departed from the Reformation-Age faith of Luther and Calvin and has developed a system that emphasizes the feelings of individuals at the expense of the objective standards of the faith. Throughout the work Horton disparages the thought of such early evangeliqls as Charles Finney, who argued: "a revival is not a miracle, or dependent on a miracle in any sense. It is a purely philosophic result of the right use of means" @. 45). Such evangelical pragmatism, according to Horton, diminishes the glory of God in the work of salvation and, though it accents the rhetoric of miracle, it actually repudiates the efficacy of the miraculous. Evangelicalism denies the objective sovereignty of God, man is its subject and center. The solution for the problems of evangelicalism is a return to "ortho- doxyn--that is, Puritan Calvinism. However, Horton's Calvinism is not high Calvinism with its emphasis on the sacraments and christology, but the Calvinism of the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Confession, the so-called "Tulip Theology." Horton seems to think that his solution, a 56 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY return to the objective means of proclaiming God's grace, namely, through the creeds and the liturgy, is a great rediscovery. In fact, Horton here betrays a lack of familiarity with other historical traditions, particularly confessional Lutheranism, which has historically stressed the need for the objective proclamation of the gospel. Horton's historical methodology is suspect. He interprets American religious history only in terms of the experience of New England; Puritanism is the norm by which all of American religion is judged. But one must ask if this is an entirely appropriate paradigm for discussing American Christianity. What of the pluralistic religious experience of the Middle Colonies and the Anglican establishment of the South? There is more to American religion than the Puritans, and even Puritan hegemony is open to debate. Hence, while Horton effectively debunks the notion that America was once a Christian nation, we have to ask whether he is not substituting one myth for another. But here lies one of the real problems with this work. Claiming to be an historical investigation, it is really a sermon in disguise; it is a Jeremiad, a call for a return to Dortian Calvinism and its characteristic stress on total depravity, divine sovereign- ty, and, most importantly, a limited atonement. The book is unfortu~tely marred in a number of other ways. Typographical errors appear with unwelcome frequency, and at one point it is obvious that a large part of a paragraph has been left out. Further- more, the book does not have a bibliography. In short, this book is not a real attempt at history; it reads more like a sermon. Readers seeking a reliable critique of evangelicalism would do better to consult other works. Hence, though Horton's general critique repeats themes with which Missouri Lutherans may agree, the resolution here offered is inadequate. Lawrence R. Rast Nashville, Tennessee THE PASTOR-EVANGELIST IN THE PARISH. By Richard Stoll Armstrong. Louisville: Westminster-John Knox Press, 1990. Unlike so many books on pastoral practice, this volume is authored by one who believes that faith's existence and growth are achieved by the Holy Spirit, not through management. Richard Armstrong departs refreshingly from cmnt trends, for he constantly asserts that virtually all pastoral work is evangelism-that is, "gospel-giving." The fashionable dichotomy between "outreach" and "maintenance" is not drawn in this book. Instead, Armstrong speaks of in-parish work as nothing more or Book Reviews 57 less than evangelism directed at those whose existing faith need the same divine word as does the unbeliever's non-faith. Armstrong writes rather ponderously, and perhaps has tried too hard to demonstrate some things which the reader could deduce himself. He treats virtually every aspect of pastoral work in minute &tail. But for the parish pastor who is ready to have his every task (when done well) be an evangelistic, kingdom-expanding effort, a wealth of insights await in this book's pages. Andrew W. Dimit Duluth, Minnesota THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN: STUDIES ON THE FOURTH GOSPEL. By Raymond F. Collins. Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs, Volume 2. Louvain: Peeters Press; Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1990. "Louvain Theological and Pastoral Monographs" is a publishing venture whose purpose is to offer those engaged in pastoral ministry throughout the world studies inspired by Louvain's long and distinguished tradition of theological inquiry. The volumes appearing in this series, then, are selected as examples of today's finest reflections on contemporary theology and pastoral practice. The present volume in this series comes to us from Raymond F. Collins, professor of New Testament Studies at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) and former rector of the American College affiliated with the university. A specialist in Johannine and Pauline literature, Collins has published several significant works on the New Testament, including Introduction to the New Testament, Studies on the First Letter to the Thessalonians, and Letters That Paul Did Not Write. In this latest work Collins assembles for the first time the fruits of his reflections on the Gospel of John as these have appeared in a variety of publications over a fourteen-year span of time (1976-1989). Mimicking the evangelist's supposed affection for expressions which bear a double meaning, Collins has chosen a title for his book which carries such a burden. First, it is meant to suggest the fashion in which his own work was assembled. Secondly, it is meant to recall the way in which the gospel itself was composed and the purpose for which it was produced. Because Collins' book is an assembly of previously unrelated essays, it is loosely organized with no real unifying theme. There is much in these collected essays, however, which suggests an overall view of the theological thrust of John's Gospel. The style of the gospel with 58 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY particular emphasis upon Johannine characterization is well illustrated. And the many facets of the gospel's notion of faith, the doctrine of the incarnation, and the new commandment of love also receive ample treatment. There is little here that could be coined "new." In spite of the fact that these things were published before, however, the opportunity to view them together provides a useful look at one man's attempt over a number of years to offer yet another word on the testimony of faith penned by John and entrusted to us. Bruce Schuchard Victor, Iowa A SOUL UNDER SIEGE: SURVIVING CLERGY DEPRESSION. By C. Welton Gaddy. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster-John Knox Press, 1991. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, formerly a college professor, seminary professor, and parish pastor has written here an autobiographical account of a clinical depression which he experienced. His book makes another conmbution to the growing body of literature on "clergy-burnout". Gaddy has written a book that can be read profitably by both clergy and seminary students. Few parish pastors will fail to relate to many of the kinds of incidents which Gaddy describes. The author discusses such topics as role expectations of clergy, repressed anger, and the gened stresses of the pastorate which helped to precipitate a biochemically based "clinical depression" in his life. Most interesting are Gaddy's reports of the kind and accepting attitudes displayed by staff and fellow patients during his hospital in-patient stay. He wonders why he did not experience the same sort of accepting attitudes in the church? Although Gaddy might well take exception, he needs to remember that the church functions in the world, and not in the protective environment of a hospital mental health unit. Nevertheless, the book does give one pause to ponder the lovelessness which is sometimes demonstrated in the local church. The book continues with some words to congregations concerning the expectations which they have of their pastors and how those expectations can lead to clergy depression and burnout. The volume concludes with some "Memos to Ministers" concerning a number of steps which pastors can take to prevent depression. The reviewer was somewhat surprised to learn that Dr. Gaddy, after describing significant depression, indicates that he received only seven days of in-patient therapy. Nevertheless, this book Book Reviews 59 can be read with profit by clergy, church officers, and anyone interested in the growing problems of clergy depression. Gary C. Genzen Lorain, Ohio A THEOLOGY OF THE CROSS: THE DEATH OF JESUS IN THE PAULINE LETTERS. By Charles B. Cousar. Overtures to Biblical Theology, 24. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Press, 1990. Most Lutherans are very sensitive to discussion of the theology of the cross, but usually they have Martin Luther's treatment of the subject in mind. This volume builds on the important German debate of the sixties and seventies regarding Paul's theology of the cross and brings these discussions to the North America of the nineties, where it continues to have immense relevance in the face of ecclesiastical triumphalism. Cousar, who is the Samuel A. Cartledge Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, summarizes the positions of this German-dominated debate in his introduction before he commences his own treatment of the subject, which is largely an exegetical analysis of major texts of Pauline theology. Cousar groups his expositions thematically so that each chapter focuses on pericopes which address some facet of Jesus' death as it relates to the following: God (chapter 1); human sinfulness (chapter 2); resurrection (chapter 3); the people of God (chapter 4); and the christian life (chapter 5). While it is at times confusing to be jumping between epistles as the exegesis progresses, Cousar is substantive in his method and engages relevant secondary literature primarily in the notes. Furthermore, it is refreshing to read an exegetical treatment that is so sensitive to allowing the rich language and metaphors of the particular text speak: "setting relationships right, reconciling alienated people, not keeping a record of trespasses of the guilty, expiating for sins, paying debts, triumphing over enemies, liberating the enslaved, etc." (p. 85). Cousar is not afraid to talk about the "cosmic" power of sin and the "apocalytic" nature of the Christ event. Too often a favorite model for understanding the death of Jesus (i.e., Anselmic or Christus Victor) is selected by expositors and its language is read into every text. Many Lutheran readers are sure to be troubled with Cousar's adoption of the subjective genitive rendering of pistis Christou ("faith of Christ" in place of the objective genitive "faith in Christ") and his understanding of baptism in Romans 6 as symbolic. Cousar makes two important contributions to the current discussions of 60 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Paul's theology of the cross. First, his treatment is more synchronic than some of his German counterparts, since he departs from the redaction- criticism of Kiisemann, who distinguished between pre-Pauline traditions and Paul's personal views about the death of Jesus. Cousar correctly notes that the adaptation of a tradition by an author does not make it less a part of his theological thought or convictions. For example, Paul's use of an early hymn in Philippians 2 does not make the theology presented there less characteristically Pauline. Cousar's second contribution is that he highlights the truth that Paul's theology of the cross not only is used negatively to correct dangerous teachings, but is also used positively to nurture and edify the congregations that he is addressing. Cousar's scholarly and cogent style at times fails to capture the pastoral passion of Paul regarding the cross, yet he concludes this volume with a valiant plea for the church to return to the message of the cross in her current search for identity in North America. Charles A. Gieschen Traverse City, Michigan THE SPIRIT IN JOHN. By John Wijngaards. Zacchaeus Studies: New Testament. Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1988. This attempt at a scholarly, yet non-technical, study of the Spirit in John comes to us from a Mill Hill missionary whose published works include The Gospel of John and His Letters and Scripture Comes Alive. John's Gospel, argues Wijngaards, represents an essentially faithful though daring transformation of the message of Jesus into the language of Hellenism. Refemng to Raymond Brown's exposition of this transforma- tion as the most convincing to date, Wijngaards presupposes that the gospel was written in stages and that the contributions of three separate authors can be distinguished. At the center of the gospel's portrait of the Spirit, Wijngaards suggests, is the expectation that every Christian will have a "profound experience" of the breath of God. "By it, and not by a baptismal certificate, we know that we are Christian. For God is Spirit" @. 11). Wijngaards divides his study into three sections. Section one groups the texts which speak of the pneuma into four thematic clusters, examines the use of this term against its rabbinic, Hellenic, and Christian back- ground, and then explores the gospel's understanding of the "Spirit event" as the essential experience of an internal transformation for the Christian. Section two focuses on a fifth thematic cluster-the texts which speak of Book Reviews 6 1 the Paraclete. The varied aspects of the Paraclete's role as comforter, counsel for the defense, successor to Jesus, teacher, and interpreter are examined. Section three attempts to relate the gospel's portrait of the Spirit to the efforts of the early church to define the doctrine of the Trinity. According to Wijngaards, John's Gospel is addressed to a community seeking access to God, an immediate experience of the divine. It directs those who aspire to be liberated from a world of matter and darkness to the experience of the Spirit. Like the wind, which cannot be seen but is known by its effects, the Spirit makes its presence known. Wherever there is the Spirit, people are "seized by God, are being overwhelmed" (p. 28). As with Philo's Moses, the core of the Spirit event is this experi- ence. He who is open to God will receive God's overwhelming gift (p. 44). He will "see" the Spirit and "know" Him because the Spirit ever "makes his presence felt in us" (p. 87). The strength of Wijngaards' study is to be found in his discussion of the various thematic clusters present in John's Gospel. That the gospel encourages its readers to seek an "experience" of the Spirit, however, is without textual foundation. It may well be that John addresses an audience which hungers after an experience of the divine. His answer to them, however, is this: "The pneuma blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8). John, therefore, declares not that the birth of the Spirit is the perceptible experience of an internal transformation, but that it is wholly impercepti- ble. The Spirit "speaks," but His activity cannot be traced. In what sense does the Spirit "speak? The Spirit speaks the word of God (John 14:26; 1526; 16: 13-15). The giving of the Spirit and the spealung of God's word are understood not as two separate acts but as a solitary event. The Spirit's presence, however, remains imperceptible. To be born of the Spirit, then, is not a matter of experience. That which is a matter of experience ceases to be a matter of faith. John writes not to direct his addressees to an experience of the divine, but to the testimony of Jesus that, by the power of the imperceptible Spirit, they might hear and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing they might have life in His name (John 20:31). Bruce Schuchard Victor, Iowa 62 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY THE VOICE OF MY BELOVED: THE SONG OF SONGS IN WESTERN MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY. By E. AM Matter. Philadel- phia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990. Two things that make a pastor uncomfortable are a discussion of the Middle Ages and having to make specific comments about the Song of Songs. After all, how can one be at ease discussing a thousand-year period of history after one class at the seminary? In addition, the Song of Songs tends to make us uncomfortable with its use of sexual imagery. E. Ann Matter opens the door to a look at arguably the most influential biblical book of the medieval period. Why was this book so important to medieval piety? Matter makes the case that the passionate language complemented the "christocentric spirituality of the medieval church" (p. 137). Indeed, in an illustration from Bernard (a favorite of Luther) she shows that the exegesis was aimed at providing a place of refuge for souls in the wounds of Christ (p. 138). This book also takes up the complicated discussion of the multiple senses of Scripture in the medieval period. She concludes that the Bible was the map of divine reality hidden under shadows and figures. The way in which medieval scholars brought together many learned opinions in a "seamless exposition" required considerable skill. Exegesis of this period was not just speculative; it was seriously concerned with the care of souls. Exegesis moved from a collective view to an emphasis on a description of the individual spiritual life. The traditional understanding of the love of Christ for His bride, the church, was reinterpreted at various times in the catechesis of the church. The early church and the medieval church grasped the importance of the Song because of the words of Christ and Paul's repetition of the theme. The reviewer came away from Matter's book seriously questioning "rationalistic" interpretations and valuing an interpretation rooted in the language of faith. Matter alludes to the use of the Song of Songs in Lutheran piety with a reference to Philipp Nicolai's Wachet Auf. Karl F. Fabrizius Greenfield, Wisconsin TRANSFORMED JUDGMENT: TOWARD A TRINITARIAN AC- COUNT OF THE MORAL LIFE. By L. Gregory Jones. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame, 1990. The bad news is that we are witnessing a spiritual disintegration begun Book Reviews by the rationalism of the Enlightenment, (which collapsed into relativism, now nihilism), which C. S. Lewis judged would be the "abolition of man." The good news is that the bad news has moved good writers, unbashful about their Christian confession, to propose effectively to our morally bankrupt age the Christian version of virtue, ethics, and the moral life. While folks like Hauwerwas, Neuhaus, MacIntyre, and Meilaender are not quite household names, neither are they unknown where matters of morality and ethics are debated. In the opinion of this writer, L. Gregory Jones' Transformed Judgment has made a modest but important contribu- tion to this Christian proposal to the world. To suggest that Jones' contribution is modest should in no way be construed as a criticism of his book. His unpretentious objective, as stated in the subtitle, is to move the discussion of the Christian version of the moral life forward by framing it in the confession of God as triune. While the book contains serious flaws, as judged from the confessional Lutheran position, we do well to ponder what kind of moral community the church is in reference to the community of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jones effectively argues that moral discourse must necessarily be informed by and connected with theological beliefs, especially the belief in the trinity. This idea is no surprise to LCMS pastors as we have assumed this connection between morality and theology in the daily exercise of the care of souls. But, on the outside, those who philosophize about morality have been none too keen about letting theological beliefs have any impact on the conversation. The "weak version" of this bias is to allow that theological beliefs might serve to motivate but they do not significantly alter the substance of morality. The "strong version" of the bias is to assert that beliefs either have "no role or a deleterious role in moral judgment." While pastors of the LCMS would continue centering moral judgments in theological beliefs without this book, Professor Jones has, in effect, written us a "ratio" to keep doing what we have been doing. For Jones, the life lived in the community of the Trinity is the life for which all creation longs and where we become fully human. We take no issue with this notion as we who are baptized into Christ participate in the life which He now lives. The rub comes with Jones' inordinate stress upon understanding this life as "£tiendship" with God, rather than by the more rigid notions of verdict or sonship. While speaking of our relationship with God as friendship is not unknown in the Scriptures, neither is it central. The notion of friendship is not solid enough to 64 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY sustain, on its own, the importance of absolute grace as the way we gain entrance and participate daily in this trinitarian life. Jones writes, "The goal of the Christian moral life is to make one's way back to God . . ." While the paradigm of friendship may well allow for describing the Christian life as making one's way back to God, forensic justification grants no such linguistic latitude. Perhaps it is this inordinate stress on friendship which also leads Jones to place primary emphasis on the dynamics of "becoming" and "learning," rather than on the stubborn and rigid ontological status of justification in describing participation in the life of the Trinity. Finally, a tedious element in the book was the unfortunate choice to employ, without explanation, the third person singular feminine for the generic pronoun. Several times the reviewer found himself deliberating the motive behind this choice: Was the author trying to be politically correct? Did he have a radical feminist editor? Was he writing of the church as Christ's bride? Whatever else this nonconventional use of the pronoun was expected to accomplish, it succeeded in distracting this reader from an argument which, on the whole, is worthy of further consideration and study. David Weber Bozeman, Montana PASTORAL LIFE AND PRACTICE IN THE EARLY CHURCH. By Carl A. Volz. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1990. Carl Volz, Professor of Early Church History at Luther-Northwestem Seminary in St. Paul (Minnesota), has made a habit of writing books about the early church aimed not at the scholarly community but at the student and the interested layperson. I have always appreciated this aspect of Professor Volz's work, for all too often the patristic period is terra incognita to the average reader. In his Faith and Practice in the Early Church (1983) Volz demonstrated his desire to summarize, clarify, and explain the early centuries of the church's history to the lay reader and student. This book is crafted according to the same model and with the same readership in mind. That this time Volz chose the vocation of pastor to study indicates Volz's own pastoral interests, his recognition of the importance of pastoral issues in our own time, and his enduring interest in the ongoing daily life of the early church and not only in its theology. We can only applaud him for his selection of theme. Again, Volz shows a keen ability to compile and arrange early church materials Book Reviews 65 which illuminate and illustrate the themes of his book, and certainly a strength of this book is the apt selection of patristic quotations which abound in the text. In thematic selectivity of material and quotation Volz reveals a broad knowledge of his period and its sources. His easy, conversational writing style is suited to his target "audience" and makes the material accessible and interesting. This book is worthy of college and seminary use and is really an enjoyable requisite for all clergymen. Pastoral Life and Practice in the Early Church summarizes the development and growth of the "pastoral office" as an institution as well as the virtues and activities (life and practice) that were held by the early church to adhere to and inhere in the office. The book is divided into five chapters, each of which discusses one major area of early church pastoral life and practice. Chapter one, "Pastoral Office," describes the develop- ment of the pastoral office from the New Testament to the more formalized and even legislated office of the imperial period. Chapter two, "Pastor and People," discusses the nature of the early church congrega- tions (economic, social) and environments of discontent and turmoil (heresy, schism, persecution) that provided the matrix in which pastoral practice had to operate. This chapter also describes the pastoral person as one "called to be holy" and his activities of charity, hospitality, and adjudication. Chapter three, "Pastor and Proclamation," discusses both the catechetical and homiletical activities of the pastoral office in the early church, giving special treatment to two of the greatest patristic preachers, Augustine and Chrysostom. Chapter four, "The Care of Souls," describes the work of the pastor in the areas of counseling, guiding, and sustaining. Here pastoral care of the sorrowing, the impenitent, the fearful, and the indifferent is discussed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of perhaps the greatest of the pastoral care "manuals" produced by the early church, the Pastoral Rule of Gregory the Great (here Volz admittedly draws on Thomas Oden's great study). The fifth and final chapter summarizes the "pastoral" roles of women in the early church, discussing the widow, the deaconess, and female ascetic leadership (virgins, Paula, Melania the Elder, Melania the Younger, Macrina, etc.). The book is generally well done and accurate. Very few spelling errors mar the text, and equally few factual errors mar the narrative (contrary to page 56, Perpetua was martyred in 202, not in 180). Endnotes usually contain only the primary source references, but sometimes include also reference to secondary discussions. This last is important, for Volz offers no bibliography for further reading and study. This lack is lamentable, for a select bibliography would have been useful for the lay reader who is the 66 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY target of this book. Volz's discussion and interpretations are universally fair and evenhand- ed, and his vivacious narrative style keeps the reader's interest. Some sections were especially interesting. I would mention the discussion of the catechetical activity of the early church, but it occupies a paltry five pages and, in my opinion, is worthy of more. The section on preaching too was well done. Volz recognizes that early church preaching was more public and dialogical than is most preaching today: "We cannot experience the living word as it was preached. We can only imagine the situation of the hearers, the physical surroundings, the time of day, the dynamics of delivery, or the reception of the message by the hearers" (p. 110). Yet that we can more than "imagine" the preaching situation is indicated by Volz himself when he, writing of Augustine, notes that the pastor spoke extemporaneously and that preacher and congregation "were seemingly in constant dialogue"; there was frequent applause; the preacher sat, the congregation stood; the people moved about often conversing among themselves (p.135). We know, too, quite a lot about the physical surroundings and the times of day. Indeed, in some sermons of Augustine (such as those on John) there are elaborations which seem to have been occasioned by audience interruption rather than by the requirements of the text. One can quibble with Volz on certain interpretations and perspectives. I personally feel it too schematic to adopt von Campenhausen's view (of an early triad of apostle, teacher, and prophet) and think of the "loose" Pauline churches as typical of primitive Christian structure. This "loose" structure is then immediately regarded as prior or first and, it would appear, most authentic. A false juxtaposition between spirit and office is therefore immediately introduced. We may note Volz's conclusion to his discussion of the New Testament: "a gradual development from an earlier period of multiplicity of varied ministries, validated by the Spirit and centered on functions, to that of the Pastorals where we find the existence of fixed offices" (p. 18). This Spirit-office dichotomy recurs especially in discussion of the first three centuries, and implicitly raises the question, never addressed by Volz, of why the early church moved toward an office at all? To say, then, that at the beginning of the third century the "authority" of the pastor did not derive from "office or the rite of ordination" but was associated with "interior qualities of aptitude, moral example, and the natural endowments" (p.26) not only is most certainly descriptively inexact, but makes one wonder why the wly church at the beginning of the third century bothered with office and ordination at all. Book Reviews 67 Indeed, much of the first chapter, probably overly much, is taken up with a discussion of the development and practice of ordination. One finds, however, not a word about why ordination was important to the way the early church thought and believed. A pervasive conceptual weakness of the book is the excessively broad definition given to the phrase "pastoral office." For Volz's discussion, it means "a position of leadership recognized as such within the Christian community, with a degree of permanence and status" (p. 13). The imprecision of this definition does not matter much in most of the book which has its focus "primarily upon the office of parish pastor" (p.9). Yet such a definition does not allow Volz to teach us what the early church thought about the specific nature of the pastoral office, that which sets it apart from the people. In short, what were the theological contours of the "pastoral office" in the early church's vision? His broad definition of "pastoral office" allows Volz to include the senice of women under this umbrella. That Volz discusses the services of women in the early church (and they were considerable) under the rubric of "pastoral office" while acknowledging that women were never ordained bishop or priest in the early church, is another way in which the conceptual inexactitude manifests itself. Nonetheless, the discussion of the widows and of the deaconesses is generally acceptable. Given modem usage, however, the assertion that widows were considered "clergy" is problematic even if technically correct (in the sense of "ecclesiastical ordo"). At times Volz seems to imply that widows were ordained (pp. 180, 201), which is not true. The view that the Pastorals reflect an ovemding desire by the early church to be respected socially and that therefore the roles of women were restrictive at the end of the first century in comparison to more primitive Christianity is also a dubious, if popular, theory (According to Volz, "in this regard the church was more influenced by Roman conservatism than by the Gospel," p. 185). It is by no means certain that the sociology of the church changed so drastically from circa 50 to circa 90 A.D. that one would have to wait until the end of the first century to feel the need for social respectability. Finally, Volz would have benefited from the magisterial treatment of deaconesses by Aime Martimort, which certainly should have been cited along with the book by Roger Gryson. As Martimort shows, Gallic councils in the fifth and sixth centuries do not imply the existence of deaconesses in the West parallel to the East, but merely that certain aristocratic widows wished to enter the ascetic life. 68 CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Volz's book is a summary of pastoral life and practice in the early church. As such, it draws upon a broad range of source materials to illustrate and illuminate. In this enterprise, Volz has succeeded admirably; and despite places where other things could have or ought have been said, the reviewer profited by reading this book and recommends it highly. William C. Weinrich NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY: EXPOSITION OF THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. By Simon J. Kistemaker. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1990. Simon J. Kistemaker writes from a conservative, Calvinistic perspective. His conservative point of view is attested by his liberal citations of such past worthies as Alford, Bengel, Lenski, and Zahn; his Calvinistic orientation is confirmed by his many references to the commentaries of Calvin himself. Once the reader knows these things, he will also know pretty much what to expect from any part of the volume. Although the reader is spared having to wade through (the often fruitless) discussions of the latest in bizarre interpretations or avant-garde approaches, neither is he offered much beyond a review of isagogical issues (on these the author does a commendable job) or what might have been covered in a good Bible survey course. Scattered here and there @p. 49, 52,65,256, 335,415, 548, 639) are a few insightful observations, and some helpful background information is given @p. 468,491,768,774,941,946ff.), but for the most part the commentary offers little more than what any pastor or theological student who has even attempted the task of exegesis will have already uncovered for himself. Much of the volume, therefore, is rather banal, occasionally (pp. 197, 344, 354,442) even frivolous. Each portion of the commentary includes a section devoted to "Greek words, phrases, and constructions." While helpful for a reader just learning or trying to revive his Greek, seldom do the notes given here provide any indication of the significance of the Greek word or construc- tion for the theological meaning of the passage. (Although translation is the first step in exegesis, how often does a commentary need to point out the presence of a genitive absolute construction?) One need not approach the use of this volume with any great fear and trepidation. Neither, however, should one approach it with any great expectation. Paul E. Deterding Satellite Beach, Florida