A Review of a Review
James D. Bales
It is better to have one's book severely criticized in a book review than to have it ignored. Therefore, I appreciate the critical review by Fred W. Smith, Sr. in The Restoration Herald, February, 1971. His commendation of our writings in the past is appreciated, and it is our hope, the Lord willing, to do a book in the future on The Biblical Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
Brother Smith did not like the title, Pat Boone and the Gift of Tongues. My reason for selecting this title was that I knew Pat's book would circulate widely, and it was my conviction that people needed to know that there was a book available which dealt specifically with Pat's advocacy of this position concerning the Spirit and tongues. Not only is Pat's book circulating, but he is making personal appearances and conducting home studies in an effort to convert people to his views. The day that this is being written, February 23, Pat is scheduled to leave on an Assemblies of God preaching tour to Brazil. Voice, March, 1971 arrived today. It is a publication of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. It announces a booklet on "The Acts of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Christ Today." (p. 38) Smith agrees with me that Pat's position on the baptism of the Spirit and tongues is unscriptural. He also says: "We know that his influence in this regard will be considerable." Paul mentioned false teachers by name when it was necessary. (I Tim. 1: 20) It is my conviction that in view of Pats influence it was necessary to mention his name. Although I knew I would be criticized for so doing, I am even more convinced today that it was important that his name be used.
Pat was told on the night of our first conversation that I was doing a book on the subject, and that if he did not convert me our discussion would enable me to better understand him and others and be better able to help others on this subject. In our correspondence, I would send him chapters which analyzed his positions. The reason the book is not like a Campbell-Rice debate is because Pat did not want his side printed. If he is willing, we can conduct a written debate for publication.
It was important for me to set forth his arguments, and I never considered arguments confidential, so that people might see how confused and contradictory his positions were; and that they might know how he defended his position. His book does not reveal the uncertainties and contradictions, but leaves the impression that he is very certain. It is important for people to know that although Pat often speaks with certainty, when the author penned him down Pat would not affirm that anything which he had written or said was either revealed through the gifts or confirmed by the gifts. To bring these things out, it was essential to refer to Pat's own statements. Things like this will help some people to realize that Pat does not have what he thinks he has.
Smith thought that the price, $6.95, was exorbitant. First, he said nothing about Pat's book being $4.95 even though it is but half as long as mine. Second, there are books of around 100 pages for $3.95, and I have seen several books which were shorter than mine which were $6.95 or above. Third, so far I have never made enough money on my books to pay for the secretarial help involved in their production. If I make any money on the current book, which money can help me to produce other books, I shall not be unhappy nor shall I consider that I have wronged anyone. Fourth, since writing the book involved time off from some of my other work, it cost $6,000 to produce the manuscript. This was separate from the printing, binding, etc., costs. Fifth, quite a few books were sold at $4 in the pre-publication offer. Sixth, through a special arrangement some books are being distributed at cost.
I have never been among those who scorned Pat. My love for him has grown throughout the years, but love for him, for Christ, and for truth demanded that his false doctrine be exposed. Smith said: "With the undiscriminating fury of an avalanche, he lands on Pat and his wife." I had not thought of the book in this light. However, it was my determination, with the help of the Lord, to do my best to not just saw off the trunk of his tree of false doctrine, but to eliminate it from the roots upward to the top of the branches.
Again, let me express my appreciation for being reviewed in The Restoration Herald.
(Editorial Note: Article sent by Brother Bales for publication in Truth Magazine.)
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 27, pp. 11-12