Full Text for CTM Book Review 21-11 (Text)

Concou()ia Theological Monthly NOVEMBER • 1950 ARCHIVE BOOK REVIEW All books reviewed in this periodical may be procured from or throltgh Concordia Pub­lishing House, 3558 Sottth Jefferson Aventte, St. Louis IS, Missouri. ALBERT SCHWEITZER: LIFE AND MESSAGE. By Magnus C. Ratter. The Beacon Press, Boston, 1950. 214 pages, 7"\12 X 5. $2.75. On January 14, 1950, Dr. Albert Schweitzer has celebrated his 75th birthday. During July, 37 years ago, he left for Africa, where he began his difficult work as a medical missionary, which engages him still. But Lambarene meant no isolation for him. He is still famous as a leading organist and Bach student. His books on theology rank him high among liberal theologians. His example to leave European culture and civilization for Africa's desolation has aroused many others to a service of self­sacrifice. The story of Schweitzer's life and work is told in this absorbing book with great vividness and appeal. It is a simple but impressive record of a great man's great life. It is well worth careful reading. At times the author's praise of Schweitzer appears as almost fulsome, which under the circumstances can be excused. But his definition of a saint: "A saint is a man that makes goodness attractive," applied to Schweitzer, leaves out of consideration that this great man does not accept in its truth and purity the blessed Gospel of Him in whom alone there is true saintli­ness. Christian readers must not forget that Albert Schweitzer refuses to be a Christian in the Biblical sense of that term: he does not believe in Christ as his divine Savior, nor has he brought to Africa the blessed news of salvation through faith in the Redeemer's blood. That is the deep regret of every believer who reads this new biography of Schweitzer. JOHN THEODORE MUELLER CONTEMPORARY THINKING ABOUT PAUL. An Anthology Compiled by Thomas S. Kepler, Professor of New Testament at Oberlin Graduate School of Theology. Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, New York-Nash­ville. 442 pages, 6 X 9. $4.00. A rich repast is here provided for the New Testament scholar. The anthology, in its various offerings, is intended to cover all the important questions which revolve around St. Paul-those of a historical and critical nature as well as those that pertain to his theology. The five parts have these captions: 1. The religious atmosphere of Paul's world; 2. Biographical data: the man and his experience; 3. The Letters of Paul; 4. Insights into Pauline theology; 5. Modern evaluation of PauL An appendix, consisting of a bibliography, a bibliographical index of authors, and an index of tides concludes the volume. 1£ I counted correctly, fifty-six authors are repre-875 876 BOOK REVIEW sented. Some of them are dead, but the majority is living, of whom not a few are comparatively young. The countries to which they belong or belonged include besides our own, Great Britain, Germany, France, Switzer­land, Sweden, and Palestine. All shades of theological thought can here be seen; conservatives like Machen and Nygren have been drawn on, but likewise ultra-Modernists like Goguel and Wrede, and even a Jew, Joseph Klausner. We then find truth and error, Bible teaching and human specula­tions, placed alongside of each other. The value of the book lies precisely in the fact that it acquaints the reader with the various views which leading scholars, approximately during the last fifty years, have expressed on Paul's person and teaching. The method of the compiler is to select longer sections, each one treating a well-defined subject, from books or articles of the authors he presents. Thus Professor Cadbury of Harvard is in­troduced through an interesting article of his, entitled "Concurrent Phases of Paul's Religion," Karl Barth through a section from his commentary on Romans (ch. 3:21-22a), which is given the heading "Jesus." The selections are long enough to allow for a satisfactory development of a topic, and not too long for the modern student whose schedule of tasks for a day resembles a crazy quilt. W. ARNDT ScENES AND INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF THE ApOSTLE PAUL VIEWED AS ILLUSTRATING THE NATURE AND INFLUENCE OF THE CHRIS­TIAN RELIGION. By Albert Barnes. With a Memoir of the Author by Rev. Daniel March, B. D. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1950. 496 pages, 6x 8Yz. $3.50. Here again we deal with a reprint of a work that has been highly valued among Christian people. Barnes was born 1798 and died 1870. The year in which this book on Paul appeared is not divulged in the life of Barnes which is prefixed to the work, or in the publisher's blurb. For a long time he served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. What made him well known were the twenty volumes of popular com­mentaries he issued on the books of the New Testament and some of the Old. In the work on St. Paul, whose reappearance is. here announced, he manifests the same qualities as in his commentaries: striving to be loyal to the divine Word, ease of style, simplicity of language, and a practical outlook. Naturally one need not expect to find instruction on the South Galatian or the Ephesian imprisonment theories, because they arose later. Chronological details are not submitted. Throughout the attempt is made to make the facts of the sacred narrative teach valuable lessons for our own lives. W. ARNDT OUR LORD PRAYS FOR HIS OWN. THOUGHTS ON JOHN 17. By Marcus Rainsford. With a biographical introduction by S. Maxwell Coder. Moody Press, Chicago, 1950. 476 pages. $3.50. This is a truly beautiful new edition of Rev. Marcus Rainsford's (1820?-1897) exposition of the Savior's sacerdotal prayer. The forty-one medita-BOOK REVIEW 877 tions reflect the author's deep devotion to the Savior, his prayerful con­templation of the Savior's words; and his ability to make his readers share with him the treasures of joy and comfort which he had discovered in John 17. Besides, the meditations are models of choice, chaste, and con-crete English diction. PAUL M. BRETSCHER HOMILETICS. By M. Reu. Translated by Albert Steinhaeuser. Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, reprinted by arrangement with the Wartburg Press, Columbus, Ohio, from the edition of 1924. 1950. 640 pages, 7 Yz X 5. $3.50. We welcome this reprint of Reu's Homiletics. True, much has been printed since 1924, and a minimum library on the art of preaching should include a recent publication like Andrew Blackwood's The Preparatiot~ of Sermons. The book is crowded with quotations from sermons, and many from the European literature will seem stylistically awkward and meager in suggestiveness. The preaching process is analyzed with a thoroughness so characteristic of Dr. Reu's scholarliness that the inspiration of preaching may sometimes seem lost under the academic detail. Nevertheless the book remains essential for every Lutheran preacher. For its central thesis is driven by the emphases which we regard as typically Lutheran: the content of the sermon the message of God's grace in Christ; the purpose of the sermon to edify the congregation, the body of Christ at that place. No other work, to our knowledge, so abundantly documents the process of preaching in and to the church, the congregation of Christians. It is this factor which makes the work so pertinent at the present moment, when the whole concept of the church is being thought through again and when pastors need especial stimulus for building the church through their ministry. "The present discussion has in view the sermon preached before a Christian congregation, not the missionary sermon nor the catechetical lecture -the congregational sermon as it takes its place in the framework of the Christian service and presupposes a Christian congregation" (p. 9) . Many preachers, however orthodox, feel themselves more at home with the instructing or the converting goals of preaching than they do with the edifying. Here is a corrective which can well come right after the Epistles of the New Testament in equipping the minister to preach to his parish. RICHARD R. CAEMMERER MINISTERIAL ETHICS AND ETIQUETTE. By Nolan B. Harmon. Abingdon­Cokesbury Press, New York. 215 pages, 8x5Y2. $2.50. The author states in the Introduction that this volume, which appeared first in 1928, has been "revised in answer to a demand that some of its statements and findings be brought up to date, that newer techniques and present-day methods of managing certain situations which were more prominent a generation ago be properly dealt with and that more detailed treatment be accorded certain situations in which a minister's professional 878 BOOK REVIEW service should be at its best." The material is presented in ten chapters: I -The Christian Ministry; II -The Minister as a Man; III -The Minister as a Citizen; IV -Relation with Brother Ministers; V -The Pastoral Ministry; VI -Ministerial Churchmanship; VII -Conducting Public Worship; VIII -Funerals; IX -Marriages; X -Ministerial Dress. The value of the book is enhanced by the Appendix, in which the five formal codes, drawn up a score of years ago by five ecclesiastical groups, are printed in fulL Frequent reference to these throughout the book adds strength to the opinions presented. The codes are those pre­pared by Congregational, Disciples, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Unitarian groups. It should also be noted that in preparing the revision, eighty-six carefully selected ministers from over the nation were given a comprehen­sive series of questions dealing with attitudes and situations which are puzzling to some clergymen. In this little volume we have an up-to-date manual on ministerial ethics and etiquette which every divinity student should study and practice and men in the ministry should occasionally read, lest they drift into habits unbecoming to them in their high calling. Etiquette is not a matter of merely knowing what is in good taste. The social graces are acquired by practice, which becomes habit. Men who are very able and persuasive preachers may be failures as pastors because of lack of proper ethics and etiquette. L. J. SIECK THE CHURCH AND THE SOCIAL ORDER. A Historical Sketch. By S. L. Greenslade. S. C. M. Press, London, 1949? 128 pages. $1.25. What has the Church done for society in the two millennia of its existence? Was it aware of social problems? If so, did it grapple with them? If so, how? Specifically, what were some of the social problems which confronted the Church in the course of history? To these and related questions the author supplies answers by examining the record. Dr. Greenslade traces the record in the Early Church, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in England. His investigation is selective. Yet within the limited compass of his book he has amassed a sheer unbelievable wealth of data. These he presents by marshaling an endless array of illustrative materials which he points up with persuasive warmth. It is an honest and fair­minded survey. In focusing attention on the bright sides of historical Christianity, the author does not dim out the shadows. Yet, when one is through reading this brilliantly written volume, he is again overcome by the transcendent light of Christianity rather than by its shadows. The book is eminently timely and merits a wide circulation. PAUL M. BRETSCHER