De Levensgang van Gerben Gervaas, (The Life-Course of Gerben Gervaas) by Go Verburg. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f 5.40.
This is a story and an interesting one. What is more, it is a Christian story. I hardly know how to characterize it. It is not a romance, it is hardly a novel. It is a story of a Christian School teacher, a principal of the Christian school in Heijlingen. When he was sixty-five years old he had to retire. At that occasion all the parents of the schoolchildren and others arranged a farewell party for Mr. Gervaas, who had been and was still highly esteemed by all. At the party, it was suggested that Mr. Gervaas write a sort of biography, which it was thought would be very beneficial for both his contemporaries and his posterity, seeing that, according to the opinion of everybody he had led such an exemplary life. Mr. Gervaas considered this a good idea. He starts to write and sits lost in thought on the first page of the first chapter; finally, gives it up, and tries to write on a different period of his life; he again fails . . . .
But why should I tell you the story. Read it for yourself. It is, I think, very realistic. Most Christians can, most probably, find themselves in it.
Daily Manna a calendar for the year 1955. Edited by Rev. M. Monsma; published by the Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Price $1.85. This calendar contains three hundred and sixty-five meditations supposed to be read one for every day of the year 1955. Naturally, seeing that these meditations are to be read at the rate of one a day, and that the year has not even begun, it is impossible for me to review their contents here. They are written by different ministers. All I can say, therefore, is that this is often an edifying form of Christian literature, and that what I have read in the past of Daily Manna, also under the editorship of the Rev. Monsma, inspires me with a measure of confidence to recommend this calendar to our readers.
Het Raadsel van ons Leven (The Riddle of our Life) by Dr. J.H. Bavinck. Published by J.H. Kok, Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f 3.50.
This book, which, by the way, enjoys its third, edition and print, I did not enjoy as well as the book I reviewed of the same author on the principles of missions. In it the author is very apologetic, almost from beginning to encl. The author begins with a chapter on “Het grote ontwaken” (The great awakening) by which he means that a child, for the first time, awakens to the reality that he stands in the midst of a world of riddles. Then he faces the question what we know, which is followed by the chapter on faith by which the author does not refer to saving faith in Christ, but simply to the general subjective assurance, inborn in man without which he cannot know anything, etc. etc.
I was wondering whether, perhaps, in this book we have an illustration of what the author, in his book on missions calls “the approach.” He certainly does not address the Christian that has the faith in Christ in his heart.
This does not mean that the book, though it is philosophical and apologetic, is not worth while reading and interesting. It is written in a style with easily brings it within the reach of the general reader that still can read Dutch.