Full Text for CTM Book Review 15-3 (Text)

iversity athletes, after he had given away his whole inheritance (over $100,000) and dedicated himself to the sacred task of mission work, first in China and then in Africa, though the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, founded by him and his missions-loving wife, works also in South America, India, and in various ancillary activities at home. Altogether the movement now numbers 246 workers, and, like him, they depend for support on God's loving providence and therefore refuse the budgeting of their mission costs in advance. The story of Mr. Studd's remarkable labors belongs to the great modern mission romances and will kindle the flame of mission zeal in all believing Christians who read it. Sometimes it is lacking in lucidity and continuity, but that is owing to the fact that the book is built up almost entirely upon the sparse notes left by the busy missionary. At times there are statements to which we could not agree. Lastly, the book reflects the strong religious emotionalism of the group which it represents, and this may become somewhat disturbing to Lu- theran readers. But throughout the book there gleams also the flame of ardent Christian love; and the great faith of the missionary, his sincere devotion, and his long life of self-sacrifice teach lessons which are ver-J necessary today. Let pastors give &...is story to their parishioners and have them, in particular, consider the fine mansion in England which Mr. Studd left to spend many toilsome years in a miserable hovel in Africa, shown by way of contrast on the same page; and there will be, we are sure, a new appreciation of what missionary consecration really means. The book was first published in England in 1933 and in three years appeared in seven impressions. The present volume belongs 14 210 Book Review to the fifth impression made in our country, a proof certainly of the great interest Christians in England and America have taken in this unusual mission narrative. Christianity Is Christ, which now appears in the eighth impression, is an ever-timely and valuable presentation of Christian evidences by a former learned professor of the Old Testament at Wycliffe College, Toronto, and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. The author, believing that to defend Christianity means only to defend Christ, sets forth, ably and con- vincingly, our Lord's fact [His reality], character, claim, teaching, mir- acles, death, resurrection, Gospels, Church, influence, Virgin Birth, and so forth. The reviewer well knows the limitations of apologetics, but he knows also the joy and strength that come from the study of Chris- tian evidences; for despite what infidels may say, unbelief is unreason- able, while Christianity is unmistakably true. We recommend this popu- lar volume on Christian evidences specially to young people brought into contact with infidelity in colleges and universities. Occasionally the reader will meet with a statement to which he cannot subscribe, but on the whole this is a sober, trustworthy, and convincing apologetic, which is worth reading. JOHN THEODORE MUELLER Religious Progress Threurh Revivals. By Frank Grenville Beardsley. --ew York. 181 pages, 5X'1%,. The t.~esis of this volume is stated by Dr. Beardsley as follows: "Whil, ;he prb~~"":- ~H~~~e of revivals is individualistic which :e put tv.O' •• v p,,,~uade men as individuals to SUI selves to the cause and service of Jesus Christ, nevertheless by and in the large their results have been pre-eminently social. There probably has been no other influence which has had greater effect directly and indirectly upon the life and habits of the American people and indeed of the English-speaking world than these mighty spiritual upheavals" (p. 175). Since Dr. Beardsley treated the history of the American revivals rather exhaustively in a volume written almost forty years ago, he offers only a resume of this important chapter in American church history in the present volume. The author attempts to prove that not only the organization of the Bible and missionary societies in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the establishment of the Sunday school, the founding of Christian colleges, but also the temper- ance and abolitionist movements, and other moral and social refonns :are more or less directly the result of a revival. The author makes a :strong case for his thesis; nevertheless in several instances he claims too mu\.,;l.J. ~VJ. uu;:: J.t:::vJ.vcu., uC;\...QU;::'C his definition of a revival .11:) WJ..U'CJ. UJ.dU i;he one commonly accepted. Noone will deny that the great revivals :as genuine spiritual a' :.(S have been a mighty history OT the Church. Hc~,,"'~rever, the rilO elements which have con"-= tributed largely to their success are at the same time their basic weaknesses, namely, doctrinal indifference and emotionalism. reat revivals followed a period of moral decline, and the emphasis in pre a . ing was on sanctific8.tion J:"ather than justLiication, or, as John RUE puts it, calling on man oftener to work than to behold God work.....e. for them. This type of preaching leads to indifference in doctrine. In practically every great revival denominational lines were completely Book Review 211 erased. Thus the revival of Edwards and Whitefield aided in uniting the colonists not only denominationally, but also politically; the Great Awakening of 1800 resulted in an attempt to unite all denominations on a broad confessional basis; the non-sectarian laymen's noonday services of 1857 were meetings for prayer rather than for preaching. No one will deny that the great revivals have served as a unifying force in American life, but the price - indifference to doctrine - is too high. The second inherent weakness of all revivals is the one-sided emphasis of the emotional appeal. This has led to such psychological phenomena as the "holy barks," "holy jerks" of the revival of 1800, and to the shouting, the swooning, the speaking in tongues in modern Pente~ costalism. Primarily, however, the revivals have failed because an awakening which is predicated chiefly on the emotions and which dis- regards the intellect and the will, can last no longer than the emotional ecstasy. When the emotional tensions are released, nothing remains but "a burnt-over area," and it is virtually impossible to begin another "spiritual fire." - The present volume is recommended because it will aid in understanding the American scene and particularly because it will quicken the realization that Christians are the salt of the earth and that their Christian conduct will affect their community. F. E.l\L. __ i. ...... ., .. " Life. By '"'6",.:;org Stolee. A i" • .."..vu .:lased on Luther~s Life by o. Nilsell. Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, Minn. 157 pages, 8X12. Price, $1.50. The story of Luther's life is here presented to juniors in a simple, pleasing way. Many pictures, old and new, illuminate the text; among them a number of facsimiles. The front cover bears a very fine re- production of the genuine Rietschel head of the great Luther statue in Worms. At the end there is Luther's own explanation of his seal, the text of the Ninety-five Theses, the three General Creeds, and the Augs- burg Confession in the Jacobs translation. The book is a fine addition to the popular Luther literature, and it is to be hoped that it will find its way into many homes and libraries for young people. It is, however, deplorable that the revision has not eradicated a few rather gross er- rors - perhaps this can be done later? - The date of Luther's enlighten- ment is set years too early; this involves the author in inconsistencies. While in a book of this description greater leeway may be permitted in the nature of stories included, yet there are some tales that should no longer be told; e. g., that Luther learned the Hebrew language from a rabbi in Rome, or - please! -~ that Luther cared for a son of Frau Cotta when the lad attended the University of Wittenberg! Roman writers have always attached one of their nastiest suspicions of Luther to this story. As a matter of fact, this Henry Cotta was born in 1514, while Ursula Cotta died in 1511! THEa. HOYER ______ ; ExplanatL _ ___ 'I'. _Wartin LuL_~ __ ..1lall Catechisr.l. A Hand- book of Christian Doctrine. Concordia Publishing House, Saint Louis, Mo. 221 pages, 5x7ljz, Price, 50 cents. At long last we have before us the new synodical Catechism, pre- liminary work on which had begun some fifteen years ago. For -"'"lY 212 Book Review years a committee, under the chairmanship of Prof. R. Neitzel, labored at the task of simplifying and "modernizing" the "Schwan" Catechism, which had become familiar to several generations of children after the old Dietrich (or Dieterich) Catechism had been discarded. As the final Revision Committee states, in a sheet of "Acknowledgments," credit for the successful conclusion of the enterprise is due to quite a number of men. While many of the older teachers and pastors may deplore the fact that some of the "heaviness" has been taken out of the discussion of the cardinal Catechism truths presented here, the book will certainly serve for all purposes, especially in parish schools and in children's catechumen classes. It has been printed in the attractive Caledonia type and made more easily readable by type of different size and by the breaking up of the material by the device of boxing the Enchiridion text. The addition of illustrative materials in the form of small symbols and medallions lends interest to the text. May God richly bless the use of this new basic textbook for the welfare of many souls. P. E. KBETZMANN When the Spirit's Fire Swept Korea. By Jonathan Goforth, D. D. 30 pages. 25 cents. An Hour with J. Hudson Taylor. By T. W. Engstrom. 28 pages. 15 cents. An Hour with Adoniram and Ann Judson. By T. W. Engstrom. 24 pages. 15 cents. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. These three little booklets have been prepared for use by mission study classes and are well suited for that purpose. They are particularly timely because the mission fields covered by them are those now overrun by war - Korea, China, Burma. W. G. POLACK The God of the Bible and Other Gods. By P. E. Kretzmann, Ph. D., D. D., Ed. D. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo. 195 pages. Price, $1.50. In seven chapters Dr. Kretzmann, professor of theology at Concordia Seminary, discusses the history and character of the most representative religions found among the races of man from the dawn of history to the present day. The author devotes 32 pages to the religion of the ancient people of Bible times, including the Egyptians, Philistines, Canaanites, Syrians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans; 29 pages are de- voted to the religion of India, 24 to Buddhism, 29 to the religion of China, 26 to the religion of Japan, 25 to Mohammedanism, 14 to Judaism, and 12 to the God of the Bible. The author traces the historical development of each religion and points out its chief characteristics and peculiarities. The book is informative and well written. The careful reader will be led to several interesting conclusions: 1. His heart will be filled with sincere gratitude that he was led to a knowledge of the true God as revealed in Christ Jesus. 2. He will discover for himself that man in all ages has been definitely and incurably religious. 3. That the evidence of primitive monotheism is found not only in every area of primitive culture, but also 1."l the early forms of the great ethnic religions. Book Review 213 4. That the tritheistic idea, apparently a faint echo of the Trinity of revealed religion, is found in several of the pagan religions. 5. That the writings of many of the ancient ph ilosophers prove con- clusively that human reason cannot be satisHed with the average pagan religion and that a searching after God must result. "So that they are without excuse." Rom. 1: 20. 6. That a few men who have followed their natural knowledge of God and have observed the works of His creation with an open mind have arrived at a most remarkable concept of God, as is shown by such men as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the writer of the Orphic Hymn quoted on page 27. 7. The Christian religion is not merely a higher form among many religions, but the Christian religion is in a distinct class by itself. A study of the various religions discussed in this book reveals a pathetic groping on the part of man in search of truth and of a true knowledge of God. But instead of finding truth, natural man falls ever deeper into darkness, superstition, and stupid absurdities, "because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thank- ful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was d arkened. P rofessing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to cor ruptible man, and to birds, and four- footed beasts, and creeping 1J.Jngs. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their OWll bodies between t.~em­ selves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." Rom. 1: 21-25. For a handy, brief reference work on the subject of comparative religion this book can be heartily recommended to pastors, teacher s, students of history and anthropology, and in particular to missionaries and to students preparing for foreign mission service. A. M . REHWINKEL The Church and Psychotherapy. By Dr. Karl Ruf Stolz. Published by the Abingdon- Cokesbury Press, Nashville. 312 pages, 9X6. Price, $2.50. The author, Dr. Karl Ruf Stolz, who died in March, 1943, was at the time of his death dean of the Hartford School of Religious Education and had dedicated this book to the class in Pastoral Psychology of 1941. The perusal of some former books issuing from the pen of Dr. Stolz con- vinced us that the author was quite liberal in his theology. His post- humous work, sad to say, only strengthens that conviction. We read in the first chapter, on Fellowship and Freedom in the Church, "In the finality of the case, God is the overlord of the Church. 'The head of Christ is God.' Paul states that in the consummation of Christ's work, Christ 'shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, . .. that God may be all in all.' Paul nowhere equates Christ with God. Christ is the Son of God, the agent of redemption, the directive head of the Church. Christ prayed to God, did the will of God as it was disclosed in experience, and loved the Church into existence. Christ is the unique 214 Book Review element in the message of the Church to a world of undeserving and willful men. Christianity apart from Christ as authority is not Chris- tianity; the Chu. LU apa.l L U'om the lordship of Christ is not the Church. The fundamental contention and principle of the Church is that God has invaded the world through Christ with redemptive power and sig- nificance. The priceless possession of the Church is, as we have often been told, the person of Christ." (Pp. 21, 22.) On the healing ministry of Jesus the author writes, "The study of the works of healing which Jesus wrought will be confined to the cases recorded in the Gospel according to Mark. The restriction is determined by the finding of New Testament scholars that Mark is both the oldest of the Four Gospels and the most reliable." (P.28.) "Not all the dis- eases cured by Jesus were understood by his interpreters and reporters. In fact, we cannot be certain that the majority of cases were accurately diagnosed. Deafness, dumbness, and blindness are seemingly in all in- stances organic disabilities, but under certain conditions they are purely functional disorders. That such impairments are in many instances rooted in psychological conditions and social situations cannot be suc- cessfully disputed in the light of modern science." (P.29.) "In approach- ing the reports of the mighty healing deeds of Jesus one is confronted with a tangled mass of difficulties and misconceptions. He came to his veople in the role o£ th.e herald of tI,e KirI:4oJom oI C!od. ~(2 WIlE a:30 a physician of body and IT • ld. I'L is a fallacy to ".1ppose that a religious leader in Jesus' day and nd was expected by the people to heal the sick. . . . The ministry of Jesus to the sick cannot therefore be accounted for by a general expectation or demand of the populace. It was his compassion and the consciousness of his therapeutic powers that moti- vated Jesus to heal the sick. He carne close to us by placing the healing resources of his personality at the disposal of those who were distressed in body and in mind and sought his aid." (P.30.) The author closes his account of the cure of Peter's mother-in-law with the statement, "Assuredly it is superfluous to postulate a miracle defined as an effect contrary to the established constitution of the cosmos. Jesus, it is safe to assume, worked with and not against nature; hence" nature responded to him and those he cured." (P.31.) On the restoration of the withered hand, Mark 3: 1-6, he says, "There is no indication of the source of the disability nor of the length of time it had affiicted the victim. Whether the impairment was organic or the result of neurotic hysteria, we are not told. Probably the hand was not completely atrophied. Jesus accepted the implicit challenge of his opponents and bade the man to come forward. He 01" ~d J ms ... The act of courage and confidence was rewarded with the restoration of the hand's normal use." (Pp. 33, 34.) On the deaf-mute, Mal"k 7:31-37, Dr. Stolz says, "To be sure, the use of spittle and the touch of the hand were often invested with a magical power which was foreign to the mind of Christ. The probability is that Jesus employed these means either to increase the faith of the patient or to express his belief in their efficacy when united with pray~. to God for a cure." (P.35.) Referring to the restoring of the blind Dian's sight~ lViark 8: 22-26~ Book Review 215 Dean Stolz suggests, "Did the spittle of Jesus remove foreign or un- sanitary matter which blinded the man?" (P. 36.) And so on page 40, referring to the epileptic, Mark 9:14-29, "Was the cure wrought by the direct influence of both Jesus and the father upon the boy?" And on the healing of the woman, Mark 5: 25-34, "The furtive tug at the cloak of Jesus released fresh springs of vitality within her, and the flow was checked. When other measures fail to cure a disease, strong expectation and unshakable confidence may be effective. Dr. E. Worcester writes that without taxing his memory he can recall four instances of this kind. The episode of the healing of the woman brings to light the unconscious influence of Jesus, for the whole force of his personality was placed at her service before he knew she existed." (Pp. 38, 29.) On the ques- tion of demon possession he writes, "The question, Did Jesus share the belief in demon possession held by the people as a whole? should in the opinion of this writer be answered in the affirmative. Nowhere dOeS Jesus hint that he believed that the evil spirits were personifications of the vaporings of a sick mind and a disordered imagination. . . . The issue is purely academic and speculative and has no direct bearing on the validity and practicability of Christian experience. A man may be a genuine follower of Christ whether or not he accepts as true the Gospel accounts of exorcism by Jesus. After all, belief that Jesus and his disciples cast out demons is marginal and optional, not central and mandatory." (P.42.) In answer to the question, To whom should men pray? we are given the following information, "Multitudes of Protestants appeal directly to Jesus Christ. Jesus himself prayed to God the Father. Prayer to Jesus can be psychologically justified on the grounds that he has for many the value of God and can be imaginatively reconstructed as a living personality .... Many perceive no inconsistency or impropriety in praying to Jesus. Theologically one may frown upon the practice and its under- lying assumptions; psychologically one can defend the procedure for its vividness, concreteness, intimacy, appeal, and definiteness. The miscon- ception that God is too aloof, too exalted and holy, too self-contained to come to our aid unless he has been persuaded by Christ to condescend to our weakness and infirmity is in direct conflict with the tenor and intent of the plain teachings of Jesus." (P. 131.) And in the chapter on higher ecumenicity and personality he states, "Within this framework the Church can be the organ of the redemptive will of God. The basic element common to all Catholic and Protestant divisions of the Church is the redemption of the entire man through a progressive experience of fellowship and freedom." (P. 282 f.) A Church forgetting that its chief duty and only reason for existence in the world is to preach Christ and Him crucified as the Son of God and Savior of the world by His vicarious atonement; a Church regarding the practice of psychotherapy as its most important function, and fol- lowing this course along the lines indicated by the author, is no longer the Church of Christ, the Son of the Living God, cannot free man from sin and reconcile him to God, and if it succeeds in curing or alleviating the physical and mental ills and ailments consequent upon sin, does so at the cost of the spiritual health and salvation of its constituents, 216 Book Review because, after all, the words of John will remain true that God will give to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5: 11, 12. THEO. LAETSCH The Shepherdess. By Arthur Wentworth Hewitt. Willett, Clark & Co., Chicago and New York. XIII and 200 pages, 5lhx8. Price, $1.75. This book, which was placed on the market only a short time ago, has created quite a stir. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, as the author states in his Preface, he is blazing a trail with the publication of this book, since the life and labors of the lady of the manse have not been treated in this fashion in the English language heretofore. In the German language biographies of Pfarrfrauen have appeared which also set forth in some detail the duties of the helpmate of the faithful preacher and pastor. But in the English la.'1guage there was an almost complete dearth of such material. Hence the timeliness of this book. - However, the appeal of the book does not lie merely in its subject matter. The author's choice of topics is very appealing, for he speaks of the pastor's wife as a helpmeet, as a good shepherdess, as a practical economist, as a presiding officer and executive, as a hostess, as a teacher, as a public speaker, and in various other capacities. Naturally the emphasis is not always that of Lutheran conservatism, for the author seems to write from the standpoint of a Methodist background. The style a'ld language of the book are gripping. The presentation is frequently so striking as to verge either on the sensational or on the flippant; yet it is always stimulating, even when the reader finds him- self under the necessity of making corrections. The Lutheran pastor's wife will hardly encourage her people to give her a position of such prominence as to make her practically the assistant pastor. She is, and should be, in the be~t sense of the word, the assistant to the pastor, in keeping with the general rule referred to by the Apostle Paul in 1 Tim. 2: 11-15 and 1 Cor. 14: 34 f., also by Peter in 1 Pet. 3: 1-4. See also Titus 2: 3-5. Every pastor's wife, and every pastor, who reads this book with discrimination, will be well repaid for the money and the effort expended. P . E. KRETZMANN To Our Subscribers It has been our custom to retain the names of our subscribers on our lists for two numbers after the subscription has expired, 50 that the subscriptions could be continued without interruption in case a renewal came In late. We were very happy to follow this plan at extra expense, but we are now unable to con- tinue this policy because of present conditions. Our Government has insisted that we reduce consumption of paper and eliminate all possible waste. Because of the restriction in the use of paper it will become nece!lsary to discontinue subscriptions to all of our periodicals with the last number paid for under the subscription agreement. We shall, however, continue our policy of reminding our subscribers of the expiration of the sub. scription by inserting the usual number of notices in the second last and the last numbers of the periodicals they receive. It Ie our sincere hope that our subscribers will co-operate with us and the Government by renewing their sub- scriptions promptly upon receipt of the first notice. J une, 1943 CONCORDIA PUBLISHING HOUSE