Books to be reviewed in this column should be sent to Mike Willis
Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians
by F. W. Grosheide
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Price $7.95.
This commentary is a part of the New International Commentary series presently being edited by F.F. Bruce. Although I have only seen one volume of this set, the set comes to me highly recommended by both liberal and conservative scholars. Grosheide's commentary on First Corinthians manifests detailed study of the original text and insight, into the- internal relationships of the book. I was particularly impressed with the treatment of 1 Cor. 8-10 by the professor of New Testament in the Free University of Amsterdam. There are some portions of the book with which I found myself in disagreement (such as his definition of tongue speaking and treatment of 1 Cor. 13). Too, he writes from a Calvinistic point of view. Nevertheless, the book brings out enough useful material on the book that it is well worth its price.
Faith, Psychology and Christian Maturity
by Millard J. Sall.
Zondervan Publishing House. Price $5.95
I recently reviewed a book entitled The Christian Counsellor's Manual by Jay E. Adams which took the position that Christianity had little use for today's psychologists and psychiatrists. This book by a practicing clinical psychologist presents an opposite point of view; Sall believes that Christianity and psychology are, complementary to each other and not antagonistic. He believes the approach which says' emotional problems are caused by sin is somewhat shallow; instead, he believes that they are caused by an abuse of one's defense mechanisms (I am not sure that these two positions are in conflict with one another). At any rate, the book will be thought provoking to you. There are some concessions to psychology in it that .I personally am unwilling to make.
Genesis: A Study Guide
by Leon J. Wood
Zondervan Publishing House. Price $1.95.
This paperback study guide to the book of Genesis provides an excellent outline of the book and a brief summary of its contents. Not intended to be an exhaustive commentary, this small book (152 pp.) is useful to help the everyday Christian grasp the first book of the Bible. Though there are traces of Calvinism in the book, the doctrines are not given so prominent an emphasis to cause me not to recommend it. This book can be a useful tool for classroom or private study.
Genesis And Early Man
by Arthur C. Custance
Zondervan Publishing House. Price $8.95.
This book is Volume II of a set entitled The Doorway Papers. This is the only volume of the planned ten volume set which I have seen but, if it is characteristic of the first and forthcoming volumes, it will constitute one of the most devastating attacks on the evolutionary hypothesis which I have seen. Custance holds a Ph.D. degree in anthropology and, thus, stands qualified to speak on the subject concerning which he is writing. In this volume, he treats the problem of fossil remains of early man as related to the record of Genesis, a look at the historical origin of primitive cultures, the IQ of early man, the supposed evolution of the human skull, and other subjects. One of Custance's comments confirmed what many of us who are unqualified as experts have charged concerning the present prejudicial acceptance of evolution; he said, "But when a theory which is tentative is presented as fact, it no longer serves to inspire questions but rather to predetermine answers. To my mind, this is the present position of evolutionary theory. It has become 'fact' and to challenge it is to run the risk of excommunication. In Medieval times, too, excommunication was one of the penalties for challenging the accepted view of :things. At that time the test of whether any new theory was true or false was, as John Randall points out, whether it fitted harmoniously into the orthodox systems of belief and not whether it could be verified by experiment. This is exactly the position today; ecclesiastical dogma has been replaced by biological dogma which, as 'dogma,' has been detrimental to the truth" (p. 75).
Although this book is detailed and not light reading, the person who wants to be qualified to speak on evolution should acquaint himself with it.
Salute To A Sufferer
by Leslie D. Weatherhead.
This small book by Weatherhead is one the best books which I have read on theodicy-God, pain and evil. The book is written for the ordinary Christian and is, therefore, useful for gifts to those who are presently suffering. Here are some of the questions answered by Weatherhead in this book:
Does God want me to be ill?
Does God allow me to suffer?
Why should suffering occur to me?
Is suffering just a bit of bad luck?
These, and other questions are seriously treated in a reverent way by Weatherhead. I would like to highly recommend this book to any person who is suffering or has suffered and has a tendency to question the goodness of God because of it. Although the book is written from a modernist point of view, it presents an explanation of God and evil in this world. Purchase several copies and give them to your friends in the hospital; the book will say more to them than a bouquet of flowers.
Truth Magazine, XX:1, p. 2