Full Text for CTM Book Reviews 20-3 (Text)

Gtnurnrbiu m4tnlngtral itnntltly Continuing LEHRE UND WEHRE MAGAZIN FUER Ev.-LuTH. HOMILETIK THEOLOGICAL QUARTERLY-THEOLOGICAL MONTHLY Vol. XX March, 1949 CONTENTS Religious Conditions in England. E. GeOl"ge Pt:aree Sermonic Study on lsaiall 26:19. Theo. Laet~ch A Series of Sel'mon Studies for the Churcb Year Miscellnnea Theological Observer _ Book Rt'vicw No.3 Pace 16t 175 181 1M 218 233 Em Predlgel' muss nlcht allein weL- den, .uso dass er die Sehafe unter- else, wic sle rechte Chrl.aicn sollen sein. ondlrn auch daneb n den Woel- fen wehri!n. dn< sl .. d ie Sch~fe nlcht ullgreifer UIl' mit falscher Lt.hre ver- lUehren I.md Irrtwn elr.1uehren. Es ist keln Ding. das die Leute mehr bel der Klrche behaelt denn die gute Predigt:. - Apologie, An. 24 Luther If the trumpet rove an un~ found, who shall rep:u-e himself to th b.:ltlle? - 1 Cor. 14:8 Published by The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod CONCORDIA PUBLISHING BOUSE, St. Louis 18, Mo. PIUlnD Dr '17. 5 ••. Book Review All books reviewed in this periodical may be procured from or through Con- cordia Publishing House, 3558 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis 18, Mo. The Lutheran Lord's Supper in the Episcopal Church from the Reformation to the Present. By William Dallmann. North- western Publishing House, Milwaukee, Wis. Brochure. 57 pages, 7¥2 X 5%. 50 cents. In this fine new brochure Dr. Dallmann proves the remarkable influence of Luther's doctrine concerning the Holy Supper on wide areas in the Anglican State Church and its affiliates. The work consists of quotations from sources which to a large extent are inaccessible to the average minister. They are grouped con- veniently under four heads: 1. Introductory; 2. Luther Invades England; 3. Luther's Direct Influence on the Lord's Supper; 4. Testimonies. The monograph shows thorough study, painstaking research, and scholarly patience in gathering the valuable ma- terial. It may therefore well serve as a source book for such as wish to write or speak on the subject. But to use the quotations properly, the student must be well acquainted with Luther's doc- trine on the Lord's Supper, since frequently the brief quotations, removed from their contexts, are obscure and misleading. On the very first page, for example, we read: "John Brentz in the 'Syn- gramma' teaches: 'The body is received only by faith. . .. What we eat goes into the belly; what we believe goes into the heart.' Luther liked it so much [that] he was minded to turn it into German. Agricola did that, and in June, 1526, Luther gave it a preface." From this quotation the uninformed reader might con- clude that Luther merely taught a spiritual eating of Christ's body, occurring by faith in Christ, while, from the beginning of his controversy with the Swiss divines to the end, he taught and defended the oral manducation. Then, too, the statement: "What we eat, goes into the belly" (while correct) must not be used to deny Luther's emphatic teaching of the sacramental union. More accurately, Lutheran theologians later said that the bread qua bread, or as mere food (so also Dr. Pieper), goes into the belly and is there digested as any other nutriment. But they never denied the doctrine that in, with, and under the bread the com- municant (also the unworthy) receives the true body of Christ. Explanations, interposed here and there, would greatly aid the reader, especially the non-Lutheran reader, in properly evaluating the quotations. Again, the citation from Catholic Hilaire Belloc, namely, that Elizabeth's great minister "Cecil and his lot would not allow England to fall into Calvinism" (p. 35), should not be used to deny the fact that England after (and even before) Bloody Mary's reign was Calvinized to a great extent. Or, it is said that Presbyterian Prof. H. T. Kerr, of Princeton Theological Seminary, in his recent work The Christian Sacraments "talks like a Lu- theran" when he speaks thus: "Christ is present in the Sacrament ... vehicles of His grace ... means of grace ... Christ is present in the Sacrament ... He Himself is the Food ... The Real Presence, how it takes place we do not know" (p. 57) . That is true; but it should be added in explanation that Dr. Kerr, despite this terminology, holds and defends the Calvinistic doctrine of the [233] 234 BOOK REVIEW Lord's Supper. While his voice is that of Luther, his teaching is that of Calvin. While therefore the reader must study the' book with care, octogenarian Dr. Dallmann's latest contribution nevertheless is one of great historical interest and practical use- fulness. JOHN THEODORE MUELLER This Is Luther. By Ewald M. Plass. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo., 1948. 395 pages, 9x6. $5.00. The author states that he would like "humbly to lay the wreath of this little study on the tomb of this great man of God. The flowers in the wreath, at least the beautiful ones, grew in Luther's garden; they are quotations gathered from his own writings." Professor Plass's wreath includes in addition a detailp.d review of Luther's theology and a defense of Luther's character against the aspersions of his opponents. The picture which the book gives of Luther's theology is: Luther arrived at the realization that the Word of God was true; this realization gave him the determination to believe and teach the doctrine of justification by faith; in grati- tude for his justification the believer does good works. Professor Plass has read widely in preparing this study. His bibliography does not list studies on Luther by Scheel, Holl, or Karl Mueller. For his defense of Luther the author draws heavily on Julius Hare, Vindication of Luther. For a subsequent edition the author might wish to rephrase his expressions about Luther's opponents' demur- ring at "non-fundamentals" and about the "worth and dignity" of the individual. RICHARD R. CAEMMERER Christ As Authority. By Conrad Bergendoff. Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, Ill. 1947. 147 pages, 5x71J2. $1.50. In the first two chapters the author raises the age-old question regarding authority in religion. Luther successfully challenged the Roman principle of heteronomy, which makes the Pope (another man) the authority in religion. The Enlightenment and Modernism, by making man the measure of all spiritual things, has an entirely autonomous authority. In contrast to both, the Christian holds that authority in religion must be, from beginning to end, theono- mous. Two antitheses seem to pervade the first two chapters of this little booklet: 1) Our autonomous culture has utterly failed to satisfy man's search for authority in religion; 2) The advocates of theonomy have frequently become guilty of literalism and thereby have obscured the "living Christ." The author states that he has no interest in any theory of inspiration, for Christianity is not belief in the Bible, but faith in Christ (10). The author is right in stating that the formula "The Bible is the Word of God" is meaningless (32) if anyone makes this formula the major or the material principle of theology or employs it to defend an ex opere operata view of the Bible which ignores that the Word is the dynarnis the au. The author's main interest is to show that the Spirit and the Word are inseparable and that therefore the mystery of inspiration is inexplicable; "Scripture without Christ is like a book whose pages have fallen apart; and Christ without Scripture is a name without reality" (38); "Faith in the Bible is indis- tinguishable from faith in Him who speaks through the Word" (44). But in view of the current situation such statements seem inadequate when speaking of authority in religion. Because the Bible proves BOOK REVIEW 235 itself to be the Word of God by bringing man to Christ, therefore the Christian will also accept what the Bible says of itself, namely, that it is the inerrant Word of God. Our age needs both truths: The Scripture is the manger in which Christ lies (42), but also that other word of Luther which warns against departing one finger's breadth from the mouth of Him who said: "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him." - In chapter three Dr. Bergendoff dis- cusses the Christian and the World and in chapter four Forgiveness as a Social Force. In the two final chapters the author presents his views on the Church and on ecumenicity. "There must be some form in which Christians of varying persuasions can testify to a unity which is more fundamental than the differences which separate" (137). Dr. E. Stanley Jones proposes that the churches unite by federal union, and Dr. Truman Douglass by amalgamation; Dr. Bergendoff suggests the conciliar plan of union, in which each group shall have equal right to be heard (134). This plan is predicated on the theory that no denomination is a self-sufficient unit, but that each group is but a part of the whole and must stand in some relation to the other parts which make the whole (135). Denominations must realize that Christian faith implies an exercise of love toward the whole, without which faith itself is only partial (136). To assign the proper place to both faith and love when dealing factually with the problem of Christian fellowship is not always easy. Ein weites Herz und ein enges Gewissen! It is no doubt true that divided Christendom is an offense to the world, though not the offense. But how can there be a world-shaking demonstration of the Church's inherent. fellowship (144) on the basis of a give-and-take union of the denominations in a visible Church unless there is agreement in the Word and authority of Christ? Dr. Bergendoff, president of Augustana College, Rock Island, has long been an active participant in the ecumenical move- ment, was a delegate to the Oxford and Edinburgh Conferences in 1937, and took a leading part in the organization of the World Council of Churches. F. E. MAYER Nearing the End. Simple Studies Concerning the Second Coming of Christ, and Related Events. By William L. Pettingill, D. D. Van Kampen Press, 542 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, Ill. 93 pages, 5 X n~. $1.25. The author is one of' the staff which edited the Scofield Bible, the textbook of modern dispensationalism. In this small book some of the chief tenets of dispensationalism are discussed, e. g., the church-age is only a "parenthesis" interrupting the "age of the Law"; the Davidic covenant, 2 Sam. 7: 16, will be fulfilled literally when Christ as the King of Israel will occupy the throne of David during the millennium; the rapture of the Church will occur prior to the great tribulation. The tenets of dispensationalism have been thoroughly examined by o. T. Allis in Prophecy and the Church. (Cp. our review or this book: "Dispensationalism Examined and Found Wanting," (C. T. M. XVII, 89-94.) Dr. Th. Graebner offers an excellent critique of dispensationalism in Popular Symbolics, pp. 373-375, and Dr. Engelder refutes this extreme chiliasm in "Dispensationalism Disparages the Gospel," C. T. M. VIII, 649 ff. F.E.MAYER 236 BOOK REVIEW Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Bible Dictionary. Edited by Melanchthon W. Jacobus, Elbert C. Lane, Andrew C. Zenos, and Elmer J. Cook. Fund and Wagnalls Company, New York. 1936. xxiv and 965 pages, 9% X 7%. $6.00. This is a long title. The names of the other contributors occupy two more solid pages. All told, fifty-nine scholars collaborated in publishing this dictionary of the Bible. A Standard Bible Dictionary was first published in 1909. A second edition appeared in 1925. A third revision was prepared because "in the ten years since the Second Edition was issued, there have been such widened exploration of Bible lands and such significant unearthing of Bible cities and places, together with such new study of the contents of the Bible itself, that the obligation to acquaint the Dictionary's readers with the knowledge secured from these sources has been inescapable." As we might expect of a Bible dictionary, its pages are taken up to a large part with explanatory material about the persons and places named in the Bible. The editors have also included articles on such general subjects as one would look for in an encyclopedia: History of Israel, Religion of Israel, Marriage and Divorce, etc. They have, furthermore, added articles under topics that one normally expects to find in a systematic presentation of theology: Faith, Repentance, Sin, Forgiveness, etc. It is a good book for those who agree with the theological view- point of the writers. The preface frankly states it as "committed to the accepted facts of criticism, open-minded to its unsettled prob- lems, and thoroughly loyal to the basal truths of evangelical Christianity." The reader merely has to dip into an article or two to find the higher critical views. Thus the reviewer looked up the item "Pentateuch." He found no article under this head, but the note to see "Hexateuch." Under "Hexateuch" he read this introduction to the article: "This term is preferable to the older, Pentateuch . . . since modern study has shown that Joshua is a part of the same literary production and must be included in any comprehensive study of the Pentateuch." Then follows the customary theory of the origin of the Hexateuch as developed by the Graf-Wellhausen school. This critical viewpoint crops out also in articles that do not deal with the origin and authorship of the books of the Bible. Thus under the very first item, "Aaron," we find the following: "E, with the point of view of Northern Israel . . . does not present A. as a sacrosanct priest .... The Priestly Document seeks to place A. more nearly on a parity with Moses." To this writer it appeared that the New Testament does not suffer as badly from the critical viewpoint. At least the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus is defended. The book is good, because it contains much valuable information in well-organized form. In many articles the theological bias of the contributors does not enter the subject. It is not a good book to put into the hands of Sunday school teachers and other laymen who lack the necessary discrimination and judgment in Biblical criticism, although the editors have endeavored to make it a popular book. WALTER R. ROEHRS BOOK REVIEW 237 A Handbook of Organizations. Their Relation to the Church. By Theodore Graebner. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo., 1948. 368 pages. $4.50. Many of us have been waiting for months for the appearance of this volume. That its publication was slightly delayed is due to the author's eagerness and determination to bring his findings up to date. What this involved, only he knows who had dealings with officials of organizations who sometimes do not readily supply desired information. But now the book is on the market. It meets an urgent need, as a continuous flow of letters from pastors from all parts of Synod seeking information on this or that order indicates. Weare certain that the book will satisfy the expectations of all who are not only sensitive to the lodge evil, but who are also anxious to deal with it on the basis of sound, Scriptural principles. This volume, though compiled since the Saginaw convention, is really a labor of love extending over more than thirty-five years. Its findings and decisions are based chiefly on rituals and related materials, on correspondence carried on by the author with officials of organizations, and upon information supplied by some of our pastors. Though the author discusses more than 230 organizations, the book is far more than an annotated dictionary. It contains, in addition, a reprint of the significant essay on lodges by the now sainted Rev. O. H. Engelbrecht, a former member of Synod's Bureau on Secret Orders; a historical overview of synodical policy regarding secret orders; and an outline of policies and procedures compiled by the author and followed by the other members of Synod's Bureau. The book divides into two parts. The first part is devoted to a study of the relation of the secret orders (lodges in the synodical sense) to the Church, and the second deals with other societies that make an appeal to the membership of the Church (organizations that do not strictly classify as lodges). Concordia has again done an excellent printing job in the production of this book. The table of contents and the index make it easy for the reader to find his way around. PAUL M. BRETSCHER The Airwaves Proclaim Christ. Lutheran Hour Sermons. By Wal- ter A. Maier, Ph. D., D. D., LL. D. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo. LXXII and 297 pages, 5lj4 X 7%. $3.00, net. In his foreword to this book Dr. Maier says: "The sermons are printed as they were written, not in the shortened form which the time limitations on the air imposed. The nineteen minutes allotted the speaker on each program were sometimes too short for the proper and desired emphasis on certain vital thoughts. The fol- lowing pages also contain statements of facts which radio officials felt should be omitted. It is the author's prayer that these sermons in book form may help increase the blessings with which the Holy Spirit has richly endowed the broadcast Word." We take it that our readers are by this time well acquainted with the contents and the style of Dr. Maier's radio addresses, and therefore these need no further comment. He himself gives us a summary of his preaching in his first address of the series, saying: "Every message will have a Bible text, explain a Bible truth, and 238 BOOK REVIEW bring its greatest appeal in a plea for trust in the Bible's Savior .... Every sermon will be, not a political, social, or moral discussion, but a personal invitation to men of all colors and conditions in the seventy-one countries throughout the world where Bringing Christ to the Nations is heard to turn from sin to the salvation which is in God's Son, praise His holy name!" Sixty pages are devoted to reprints of portions of letters received from listeners all over the world. These excerpts make not only interesting but faith- encouraging reading. J. H. C. FRITZ My Sermon Notes on Biblical Characters. By Rev. William P. Van Wyk. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich. 1948. 5% X 8, 153 pages. $1.75. We gladly recommend this little volume to our pastors. The sermon notes contained therein were prepared by the author during some forty years of service in the ministry. In his preface the author states that he has always tried to present messages that were drawn from, and based upon, the Word; his Sermon Notes on Biblical Characters verify this statement. Where the evan- gelical element is not sufficiently present and prominent, it may easily be added. What is more, the notes make for interesting sermonizing. Notes for three sermons have been included (pp. 45 £I., 115 £I., 149 £I.) which may very well be used in a Mother's Day sermon; happily these are all theocentric rather than matricentric in character. Page 81 £I. we find notes for a sermon on Christian education, p. 119 £I. notes for a sermon on institutional work among the unfortunates, and p. 138 £I. notes for a sermon on missions. We found but one reference (p. 15) to the sovereignty of God, though Reformed preachers, following in the footsteps of John Calvin, ordinarily make it a point to stress this attribute of God; the reference made to the irresistible grace of God on page 64 is, of course, not in keeping with the tenets of Biblical and Lutheran theology. On the whole, the book is conspicuously free from error, legalizing, and moralizing. The author's notes on Old Testament characters are, we believe, better than those on characters of the New Testament. WALTER E. BUSZIN Is Jesus God? An Answer to Infidels in the Church and Out. By Evangelist John R. Rice, D. D., Litt. D. Sword of the Lord Publishers, 214 West Wesley Street, Wheaton, Ill. 207 pages, 5% X 8. $2.00. After quoting John 3: 19-21, the author of this book says: "Here is the real explanation of all the unbelief in the world. Unbelief is grounded primarily in the will that is against God, not in the intelligence. There are no scientific or historical or philosophical facts which can make any honest inquirer turn from the Bible or from Christ. If men believe a system of thought and doctrine which denies the truth of the Bible and the deity of Christ, some wicked motive (an 'evil heart of unbelief,' as Hebrews 3: 12 says), either consciously or unconsciously, entered into the decision to doubt and made them susceptible to temptation. Hence, the way to deal with unbelief is to deal with it as sin. The problems of infidelity are problems of the heart, not primarily of the mind. And that means that the way to deal with unbelievers is to preach to them the Word of God, preach to them as Christ-rejecting sin- BOOK REVIEW 239 ners who need salvation." The headings of the chapters are: Is Jesus God? -Letter to a Modernist-The Virgin-Born Saviour - Old Testament Prophecies Miraculously Fulfilled in Christ- - The Resurrection of Jesus Christ - What is Wrong With a Modernist? Dr. Rice believes in the verbal inspiration of Scripture. He also believes and teaches the fundamental truths of Scripture: Christ's deity, His virgin birth, His miracles, His resurrection, His atoning blood. He speaks of Christ's death as "a substitutionary, atoning death." He, however, denies that Baptism is a means of grace. When Scripture says that Christ is "the only-begotten of the Father," Dr. Rice takes this in a physical sense and not, referring as it does, to the eternal generation of the Son from the Father. Christ's virgin birth did not establish His deity, as Dr. Rice asserts, but His sinless humanity. Jesus was God from eternity, but became the God-Man (and a sinless man at that) from the time of His virgin birth. Our Savior had to be a sinless man to fulfill the Law for us and to suffer the punishment of our sins. But He had to be God at the same time in order to give to His work of redemption universal and eternal value. Dr. Rice's book otherwise gives testimony to the fundamental truths of Scripture, a testimony so much needed in our day. J. H. C. FRITZ How to Live Your Faith. By G. Ernest Thomas. Fleming H. Revell Company, New York, 1948. 189 pages, 5%x8. $2.00. This book was selected by the Pulpit Book Club as a book of the month. In simple and striking language the author of this book aims to show how faith must be translated into action. Specific methods of expressing faith are listed for such important areas as prayer, reading the Bible, overcoming bad habits, getting rid of prejudices, etc. A cursory glance at the last five pages, embodying "References and Acknowledgments," will reveal a breadth of reading on the part of Dr. Thomas, with a good eye toward finding and using illustrative material for sermons. Each message is filled with references to incidents of life and living and show a deep understanding of human nature and moral values on the part of the author. Faith in the sin-atoning Christ, however, is not found in this book. In speaking on "How to Know God" he presents Christ "as the perfect reflection of God. They [the Christians] have declared that men who want to know what God is like may safely look to Jesus. They have made Him the author and example of the kind of personal living which has the seal of God upon it." Accordingly, a clear statement on the question of what constitutes real Christian living -living in Christ - is not found in this book. Nonetheless, for preachers it has this value, that the author knows how to preach by means of well-chosen words, good expressions, and fitting illustrations. L. C. WUERFFEL The Best Road. Tract No. 159. By W. H. Eifert. - Church Eti- quette. Tract No. 163. By T. W. Teyler. - The Lord's Supper and Our Christian Life. Tract No. 164. By J. T. Mueller. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo. Each 10 cents. Here we have three very practical tracts. In the first the author sets forth, in clear, concise paragraphs, the importance of 240 BOOK REVIEW pure doctrine and Biblical practice. In the second tract, direction is given in the proprieties upon arrival at the church, during the service, and at the conclusion of the same. In the third, the pres- entation of the Scriptural doctrine of the Lord's Supper is followed by paragraphs setting forth how the Lord's Supper aids us in our Christian life and benefits the same. May these tracts find the wide distribution which they well deserve. L. J. SmcK When Thy Face I See. By Armin C. Oldsen. Ernst Kaufmann, Inc., New York. 8X5lh, 131 pages, $2.25. Pastor Oldsen developed these sermons for his congregation at Valparaiso, Ind., and dedicated them to the "members and stu- dent members" of that church. His method is to ponder aspects of the Savior's character and purpose, particularly in the Passion, by thinking of Him visually. He refers to specific works of art to make his point, but does not suspend his remarks from specific paintings. The method is freshly handled, and the doctrines of redemption and regeneration stand forth adequately. RICHARD R. CAEMMERER BOOKS RECEIVED From Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo.: Portals of Prayer. __ No. 88. Daily Devotions from January 1 to February 23, 1949. To Live Is Christ, by Stratford Eynon, and Er heisst Wunderbar, by Titus Lang. Each, 10 cents postpaid. Concordia Bible Teacher. Studies in the Psalms. Series I. Vol. X. No.2, $1.00 per annum. Concordia Bible Student. Studies in the Psalms. Series I. Vol. XXXVIII. No.2. 65 cents per annum. January-March, 1949. Edited by Rev. J. M. Weidenschilling, S. T. D., under the Aus- pices of the Board for Parish Education, The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. From Augustana Book Concern, Rock Island, nl.: The Winnowing Years. By Victor E. Beck. 62 pages, 5lhx8. $1.50. From "Sword of the Lord Publishers," Wheaton, nz.: The Sword Book of Treasures. Gems of Christian Literature by great writers living and dead, as published in The Sword of the Lord, compiled by the editor, Evangelist John R. Rice, D. D., Litt. D. A CORRECTION In my favorable review, January issue, page 76, of Pastor Burgdorf's book This Blessed Communion I said that "it was likely not intentional when the author quoted Jer. 31: 33 as referring to the Mosaic Law." The fact is that the author does not at all mention the Mosaic Law and that his reference to the Moral Law was entirely proper. I am sorry to have made the mistake and am glad herewith to make the correction. J. H. C. FRITZ