Full Text for CTM Book Review 21-7 (Text)

I 1 r-. n . .;) v EDITED BY THE FACULTYOF CONCORDIA Sm.1:INARY ST. Mo. Address aU communications to the Editorial Comm#l~ee if, care of the 801 De Mih1 St.Louis 5, Mo. EDITOPJ.liJ. COAirvIITTEE PAUL 1\110 THE.ODORE FREDEPJCK E.~ FOR 189G-~1950, B?etsche-r 481 Stoeckhardt 483 .A SERIES OF SEP'}.,.10r-T STUDIES FOR Tf-IE C:ElURCI-l YEAR 509 BRIEF ST'lJDIES THEOLOGICAL OBSERVER BODIC P ... EVIEWS <:10 .).lG 527 554 Scroggie, W. Graham: The Psaim3, Vol. I. -flia-rtin. Luther-Bu-nd: des ~fartiil Luther :Sundes. ~ Butter/ieldJ Httbe-rt: Christianity and Historyo ~ Hirich, Elnai'tuel: Die Geschichte .let r'Yeuern Evangelischen Theologie 1m Zusarrunenhao2 mit den des -Europaeischen Denkens. -Pet'roel;';' Harold.' Of and Character of Christ's Chtuch. ~ Bit/rows, Milia,,: -Blackwood. Af~drew W .. · Pastoral I.eadership .. -Lindemann, Pait!: and t -" and Blanton'J Smile')l: ffhe ldt of Marriage and Divorce. CONCOPillIA FfHEOLOGICAL !t/iON'THLY is .'~~_"."¥.' Ave., St. Louls in advance. se-:ond~cl?.ss ill.arter, for 1103~ o".Pt.ct or Ot1:ober 3: 1917 ~ BOOK REVIEVv All books 1'eviewed in this periodical may be procured from or through Concordia Pub­lishing House, 3558 South Jefferson Avenue, St. Louis 18, Missouri. THE PSALMS, VOL. I. By W. Graham Scroggie. Pickering and Inglis Ltd., London. 1948. 288 pages. 5X8. $4.75. This is the first of three volumes on the Psalter by a British theologian. The material presented is not directed primarily to the scholar, but rather to the general reader. It does not presuppose familiarity with the original text, nor does it enter into any of the problems of historical criticism. Volume I offers an analysis of Psalms 1-50 with the purpose of giving the reader "interpretative, homiletical, and devotional help." In the introduction the lay reader is given a survey of the literary phenomenon which is called Hebrew parallelism. Eight types of parallelism are defined and illustrated: (l) synonymous; (2) antithetic; (3) syn­thetic; (4) introverted; (5) iterative; (G) responsory; (7) climacteric; (8) alternate parallelism. Attention is also given in the introduction to the various divisions in the Book of Psalms, to the matter of authorship, and to the superscriptions. The theory is upheld that many of the superscrip­tions are to be regarded, not as superscriptions to the following Psalms, but as subscriptions to the preceding Psalms. The universal appeal of the Psalms is attributed to six elements: ( 1) imagination -the use of many figures of speech; (2) history -the allusion to great events from the creation to David's time; (3) ethics and religion -the association of morality with the individual's relation to God; (4) prophecy -the announcement of the coming Messiah and His kingdom; ( 5) theology -the revelation of God's essence and at­tributes, particularly in His names; (6) prayer -the expression of senti­ments that are shared in the common experiences of mankind. A well-chosen title is placed at the beginning of each Psalm that is discussed. The text of the Authorized Version is arranged in paragraphs, thereby indicating the chief divisions of the Psalm. In. the exposition the contents of the Psalm are outlined and explained from a practical view­point and are pointed to the personal needs of the Christian reader. The brief thought that is appended to each exposition aims to give the lesson of the Psalm in a form which the reader will easily remember. An in­cident from history is also noted in which the particular Psalm played a significant role. A reading plan is proposed that calls for the reading of five Psalms a day. Supplementary readings from Scripture are suggested in some cases to throw further light on the Psalm. For the most part these Psalm studies are characterized by a conservative 554 BOOK REVIEW 555 point of view. The imprecatory Psalms are interpreted "not as expressing a spirit of personal vindictiveness, but rather as reflecting a> passion for righteousness." The claims of the Psalmists to innocence are to be con­strued not as absolute, but relative: "David declares not that he is sinless, but that he is innocent of the charges brought against him" (Psalm 7). There is an abundance of theological maxims which are often applied directly to the reader, e. g., "Prayerlessness is practical atheism. In that light are you an atheist?" It is to be regretted that the author apparently did not avail himself of any of the newer studies on the Psalter which have been made since the great contributions of Gunkel and Mohwinckel. For that reason the recent commentary by Leslie (d. review in C. T. M., May, 1950, p. 397) is accorded preference by this reviewer in spite of its liberal approach to the Psalms. A. v. R. SAUER ]AHRBUCH DES MARTIN LUTHER BUNDES 1949/50. Herausgegeben vom Martin Luther-Bund in Erlangen. 176 pages, 6x9. DM 2.50. The Martin Luther-Bund is an association of Lutheran pastors who are interested in various phases of Lutheran scholarship, in the distribution of Bibles, and more recently also in Diaspora Mission. Associated with it are approximately twenty local groups in various parts of Germany. Super­intendent Martin of the Independent Free Church in Baden, Hessen, and Niedersachsen is president of one such group, and Superintendent G. Heinzelmann of the Breslau Synod is chairman of the group in Prussia. Affiliated with the Martin Luther-Bund are also groups in Brazil, Nether­lands, and South Africa. The society for a number of years has published a yearbook containing scholarly articles of a dogmatic, exegetical, and historic nature. During the Nazi regime the publication was forbidden, but since the end of the war three yearbooks have appeared. Dr. J. T. Mueller has quoted extensively from two of the articles which appeared in the book under review (see C. T. M., pp.308 and 310). Among the seventeen articles we were impressed particularly by George Merz's Der geschichtliche Ort der Kirche, in which he points out that through the contacts with the Missouri Synod the sovereignty and significance of the local congregation has taken on new meaning. We quote: "Die Kirche als Werk des heiligen Geistes entsteht als Gemeinde. Die 'congregatio' wird nicht dadurch eine geschichtliche Groesse, dass einzelne sancti zur grex, ZUt 'Hetde' zusammentreten, sondern die Stimme des Hirten erklingt. Indem sie gehoert wird und ihr Folge geleistet wird, entsteht Kitche, und diese Kirche ist 'ganz' an jedem Ort. Sehr einfach und sehr kuehn gesprochen: Der heilige Geist waltet ganz und gar in Thessalonich und wieder ganz und gar in Korinth. Es ist nicht so, dass der Zusammentritt der Gemeinden erst die Kirche 'kompletiere:" (P.30.) This new approach to the doctrine of the Church among German theologians is due in no small measure to the "Begegnungen" at Bad Boll. F. E. MAYER 556 BOOK REVIEW CHRISTIANITY AND HISTORY. By Hubert Butterfield. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 1950. 146 pages, 5112 x8Y2. $2.75. Hubert Butterfield, professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge and editor of the Cambridge Historical Journal, writes as a historian and a professed Christian. He attempts to show why he thinks that the general course of history is so shaped that a Christian is in the right relation with it. In speaking of religion, he says he has had in mind nothing that is at all novel, but a Christianity that is ancient -a religion of the spirit, otherworldly, preaching charity and humility, trusting Providence and submitting to it, and setting its heart and its treasure in heaven. He believes that Christian ecclesiasticism has not always been on the right side in such matters as toleration, political liberty, the democratic form of government, and the establishment of social justice; but he is utterly convinced and impressed by the teaching of Christianity -that in Christ a man is free, actually may feel himself exultantly free, and can be conscious of reaching the profoundest depths in life, even though he were a slave, He concludes with the principle: "Hold to Christ, and for the rest be totally uncommitted." Professor Butterfield is a historian, not an exegete or dogmatician. Th1s is evident in his Interpretation of the rneaning of history. i\"11 5l:atcs­men and diplomats should read this book and then read it again. L. W. SPITZ DIE GESCHICHTE DER NEUERN EVANGELISCHEN THEOLOGIE 1M ZU­SAMMENHANG MIT DEN ALLGEMEINEN BEWEGUNGEN DES EURO­PAEISCHEN DENKENS. C. Bertelsmann Verlag, Guetersloh. By Prof. Emanuel Hirsch. 1. und 2. Lieferung, pp. 1-160, @ DM. 3.50. The publisher announces that Prof. Emanuel Hirsch has completed the entire manuscript of the work, of which the first two Lieferungen have been published. According to present plans, there will be thirty such Lieferungen of 80 pages each. The entire work will comprise five or six volumes, and it will require about four years to publish the entire manu­script. The venerable author is now totally blind, but with the assistance of his daughter was able to make the final corrections. It is impossible to offer our readers an adequate review of this work on the basis of the two Lieferungen. According to the Table of Contents, Professor Hirsch traces the history of doctrine from 1648 to approximately 1870. As the title indicates, he will show the impact of the main streams of philosophical thinking (Geistesgeschichte) on theology. \Ve list a few of the chapter headings: The Change in the View of the State under the Influence of Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke; The Effect of the Copernican Revolution on Theology Proper and Cosmology; The Impact of Deism on Religion and Ethics; Pietism; Mediating Theology, Confessionalism; The Crisis-Theology of Kierkegaard in Its Respective Reactions to Ger-BOOK REVIEW 557 man Neology in the Period of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Idealism. The author is very favorably known for his studies in Luther and Kierke­gaard, and in the early decades of this century he was considered one of the most successful disciples of Karl Holl. He prepared an excellent study entitled Die Theologie des Andreas Osiander (2 volumes, 1919). In 1922 he published Luthers Werke in Auswahl (see 1. Fuerbringer's re­view in C. T. M., VoLIII, p. 957). However, in his studies of the history of Christian doctrine he leans toward philosophical idealism, cpo his Die idealistische Phi~osophie und das Christentum (1926). O. W. Heick (History of Christian Thought, II, 189) and Walter Horton (Con­temporary European Theology, 121) list Hirsch among the German Chris­tians who were determined to eradicate all "Jewish" concepts from the "Christian" proclamation in support of their Nazi philosophy, which deified the German race and soil. However, we are inclined to agree with Otto Dilschneider (Gegenwart Christi, I, 193. 236), who holds that Hirsch is the last exponent of the A. Harnack liberal tradition, which claimed to find an irreconcilable conflict between the concept of God in the Old and the New Testament, as is evident particularly in Harnack's The Gospel of lvfarcion. It seems that Hirsch's attacks on the Old Testament stem from his higher critical views and not from any political persuasion, though it is a fact that the German Christians claimed him as their champion. Be that as it may, Hirsch's monumental work promises to prove helpful in evaluating the tremendous reciprocal action of philosophy and theology in Europe. F. E. MAYER OF ANOTHER WORLD. The Origin and Character of Christ's Church. By Harold Pettoelje. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. 1949. 172 pages, 5;4 X 7 Y2. $2.50. The author is the pastor of the First Christian Reformed Church at Waupun, Wis. His book reflects his pastoral concern for the eternal happiness of his flock. Reminding the reader that though the Church is in the world, it is not of the world, he warns against the secularization of the Church's program and shows what happens whenever the Church occupies herself too much with time and not enough with eternity. He views the Church as it appears in the world, including hypocrites, whom, however, he does not regard as members of the body of Christ (p. 37). Pastor Petroelje is a graduate of Calvin Seminary. His Reformed the­ology, however, appears rather in what he omits than in what he says. A Lutheran reader looks in vain for a treatment of Baptism in the sec­tion headed "God Uses Means in Generating Faith" or of Holy Com­munion in the chapter headed "Help from Heaven." The pastor insists, however, that the Church's task is to proclaim, not a new gospel, but the old Gospel, which comes from above, and the Bible is to him God's authoritative Word. 1. W. SPITZ 558 BOOK REVIEW PALESTINE Is OUR BUSINESS. By Millar Burrows, Winkley professor of Biblical theology, Yale University Divinity SchooL The Westminster Press, Philadelphia. 155 pages, 5 X 8. $2.50. The Palestinian question is still an exciting topic of debate, and authori­tative information is looked for on all sides. In the book before us we are given a sane and thorough examination of all the factors that constitute the vexing Palestinian problem. The author correctly says that a number of books have been written stating in a somewhat one-sided way the Israeli point of view; his aim is to give the other side, that of the Arabs, a hearing. But he avoids the temptation of becoming a mere advocate of Arab claims and duly weighs the arguments of the Jewish faction, too. He pleads, but without fanaticism or narrowness. The positions taken by statesmen like Sumner Welles are analyzed and impartially evaluated. Dr. Burrows is eminently qualified to present reliable information on the Jewish-Arab controversy. In 1930-1931 he served a year as visiting professor at the American University in Beirut, and in 1931-1932 and again in 1947-1948 he filled, each time for a year, the position of direc­tor of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. One is deeply touched reading the account of people who, fearing violence, fled from their homes or were expelled. The book is replete with interesting facts and figures, and there is hardly a phase of the complex problem that is not touched in one way or the other. These are the chapter headings which will better than anything else indicate the scope of the work: "The State of Israeli," "The Wrong Done to the Arabs in Palestine," "Who Is to Blame," "The Case for Zionism," "Christian Interests in Palestine," "American Interests," "Jewish Interests," "Agenda." The articles written by Dr. Edwin Moll, representing the Lutheran interests in Palestine, altogether confirm the findings of Dr. Burrows and likewise depict the deplorable lot of the homeless Arabs. The last chapter of the book, as the title indicates, submits the author's suggestions as to the course to be pursued, among which one important point is the view that Israel's ter­ritory must be limited to the area allotted it in the partition plan of 1947. In the chapter on Zionism a helpful survey of Jewish claims based on the Old Testament Scriptures is given. The author's income from the sale of this book is intended to aid Arab refugees. One can only hope from every point of view that the work will have a wide sale. Dr. Burrows, it should be added, has had a prominent part in acquainting us with the famous Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947. W. ARNDT PASTORAL LEADERSHIP. By Andrew W. Blackwood. Abingdon-Cokes­bury Press, New York and Nashville. 272 pages, 6x9. $3.00. As one reviewer puts it, we have here "a practical, concrete guide in local church administration and organization, covering problems that ministers encounter in everyday work. Comprehensively and in detail Dr. Blackwood discusses work with board members and young people, BOOK REVIEW 559 training ushers, selecting music, keeping accurate records, and other sub jects of vital concern to every minister. . . . Here, fOf teacher, smdent, and active minister, are practical suggestions, down-to-earth advice that leads to more efficient church organization and more satisfying relations with parishioners." To all lhi~ we agree after perusing this helpful volume. We feel con­strained, however, to add that Dr. Blackwood is not writing for specifi­cally Lutheran, but merely Protestant, conditions. Accordingly, much of what he writes is not directly applicable to conditions in our churches, yet may readily be adapted to our needs and uses. Nor do we subscribe to every statement that he makes, as, for instance, that "a minister should never hesitate to preach about money as a means of grace." But we be­lieve that the pastor who absorbs what Dr. Blackwood has here recorded from his own experience as well as that of other Protestant church leaders will be richly rewarded with deeper insights and a more practical know­how of solving congregational problems efficiently and smoothly. OTTO E. Som>') My GOD AND L By Paul Lindemann. Concordia Publishing House, St.Louis, Mo. ()9 p?cges, 5~0X7. 40 cents. This manual is a revised edition of the pamphlet Christian Stewardship and Its Modern implications. It investigates this aspect of the Christian life from every conceivable angle and offers much fine material for use in sermons and Bible classes or for the preparation of the visitation com­mittees in the annual every-member canvass. Let it be noted, however, that the stewardship of treasure covers only fifteen pages, the aim of the booklet being to present the total stewardship of the Christian man or woman. Our Literature Board has done well to re-issue this manual, especially in such a new and attractive form. O. E. SOHN THE ART OF REAL HAPPINESS. By Norman Vincent Peale, D. D., and Smiley Blanton, M. D. Prentice-Hall, Inc., New York. 247 pages, 51;4x8. $2.75. This little volume from the combined pens of a prominent minister and a leading psychiatrist who operate a religiopsychiatric clinic in New York City offers a practical outline of how to join the age-old truths of the Bible with the scientific discoveries of n10dern psychiatry and psychology for the attainment of rea:l personal happiness. We do not feel competent to pass on the correctness of all these claims of science. They do offer many helpful suggestions, but we feel rather dubious about the manner in which Holy Scripture is applied in the problem cases that are so copiously cited. The atonement by Jesus Christ is left entirely out of the picture, and the patients are constantly urged to trust in a Higher Power, in God, in Divine Providence. If we could assume that rhese mental sufferers were people who knew and believed in divine pardon and favor through the merits of Jesus Christ, we could perhaps feel satisfied. How-