GESTALTEN DER LIEFDE (Manifestations of Love), by Dr. G. Brillenburg-Wurth. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V. Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 4.95.
In this book the author discusses various aspects or manifestations of love, or, perhaps, it is better to say that he discusses love in its various aspects or manifestations. (“Gestalten” is somewhat difficult to translate into English). Thus the author discusses love as instinct, as feeling, as fellowship, as confidence, as meeting together, as conversation, as service, as sacrifice, as forbearance, as mercy, as humanitarianism, as brotherhood, as friendship, as love of one’s enemies. And he closes with two chapters on the cooling off and on the quickening of love. The author discusses all these aspects of love in the light of much that modern philosophy and psychology has written in recent times about the subject.
A very interesting book which the average intelligent reader that knows his Dutch ought to be able to enjoy. To him I heartily recommend the book.
The book is biblical and Reformed. Yet, I have read books of the same author that are more strictly biblical and reformed than this one. It seems to me that, if Dr. Brillenburg Wurth had followed a little different line, the book would have gained both in clarity and in definiteness. I would rather have proceeded at once from the biblical concept that love is a spiritual-ethical conception, the bond of perfectness, that can exist only between the ethically perfect persons; and in that light I would have viewed the different aspects of “natural love,” the distinction between the love of the brethren and of the neighbor in general, the love of one’s enemies, etc., etc.
But, as I said, the book is interesting, the style is clear, and I recommend the book to the average reader that knows his Dutch. —H.H.
TIJD EN EEUWIGHEIID (Time and Eternity), by the Rev. J.M. Spier. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands, Price f. 8:90.
The Rev. Spier has a philosophical mind and is very much interested in philosophical problems as ought to be evident to the reader from the several books by him I have reviewed in the Standard Bearer. From the start he was interested in what is called “De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee” and, therefore, I am not surprised that now a book appears on the subject “Time and Eternity.” The book reviews largely the different conceptions of time presented from the earliest times till the present by different philosophers and theologians as well as by the authors of the “wijsbegeerte der wetsidee” (the philosophy of the idea of law), discusses different questions related to the problem of time, devotes a separate chapter to the question as to time and the human heart, and closes with a chapter on the relation between eternity and time.
What struck my attention is that, it seems to me for the first time, the Rev. Spier criticizes a rather fundamental conception of Dooyeweerd’s. It is the idea that the human heart is not subject to time but is super-temporal. For the undersigned, however, this is of less importance because I do not believe that according to Scripture, the heart is the center of man’s existence from a natural viewpoint: it is a spiritual-ethical concept.
This, you understand, is not a book for the average reader, not even if he can read Dutch. But to those that are interested in philosophical problems I gladly recommend the book.
I had expected a little more on Barth’s conception of the relation between time and eternity. —H.H.
INLEIDING IN DE ZIELKUNDE (Introduction to Psychology) by Dr. A. Kuipers. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 16.50.
This book enjoys its third print, and it is fully worthy of it. It is not a book written for the general public. Yet I think that the intelligent reader that is able to read Dutch, would be interested in reading it. And I recommend it especially to all our ministers who, of course, must also be pedagogues.
As to the contents of the book, after an introduction in which the author discusses the significance of psychology, its history, division and method, it is divided into an analytic part and a synthetic part. The former treats of the various functions of the soul, sensation, perception and apperception, memory, concept, etc. In the second part, the author discusses the soul as an entity, the seat of all the different functions analized in the first part.
I consider this one of the best books I have read on the subject of psychology from the biblical viewpoint. It is very clearly written.
In the discussion of the relation between soul and body in which, by the way, I personally was always interested, the author also briefly presents the conception of the “wijsbegeerte der wetsidee” without, however, committing himself to any criticism. I would have liked to read his criticism.
Heartily recommended. —H.H.