HET ONAANTASTBARE (The Untouchable) by the Rev. J. Overduin. Published by J.H. Kok N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 7.25.
This is, in my opinion, a beautiful book, beautifully written, on a very important and beautiful subject. The author is, undoubtedly, not unknown to some of our people here in this country for he is the same that wrote “Een Theater In Dachau.” During his horrible stay there, he no doubt experienced somewhat the realities of what he writes in his present book, although the first print of it was published before the war. By the title, the author refers to the untouchableness and imperishableness of all the treasures of the Christian hope.. All the earthly things, all the things of this world, and the fashion of this world passes away but hope and its expected and longed for treasures are sure and abide forever. About this hope and its various aspects and relationships the author writes. He writes about the relation between hope and faith and love, about its ground and sole possibility in Christ, about its significance for the present life of the Christian, about hope and sin within us and the sinful world about us, etc., etc. And he writes about it in a spiritual and practical manner.
If you can still read Dutch, buy this book and read it. You will enjoy it as I did.
HET WERK VAN CHRISTUS (The Work Of Christ), by Dr. G.C. Berkhouwer. Published by J.H. Kok N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 9.75.
Dr. Berkhouwer is no unknown author among us. His “Dogmatische Studien” are not only known in this country but they are being translated. In the present volume he treats of the work of Christ. He follows the order of the Apostolicum: “And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, he descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead, he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” In other words, the author treats of the work of Christ in his states of humiliation and exaltation.
Dr. Berkhouwer is a student. He is especially interested in the study of the development of dogmatical studies in the nineteenth century and in recent years. All through the book he offers a comparative critical study, in the light of this development, of the work of Christ. This, in my opinion, is the chief merit of the work.
I agree, of course, with the author, when he repudiates the idea that the incarnation of the Son of God would have occurred apart without the entrance of sin into the world. Christ came, indeed, for sin. However, this does not alter the fact that, according to the counsel of God, sin served the purpose to make room for the “firstborn of every creature” to come into the world.
As to the question whether, through the blood of the cross, man was reconciled to God or God was also reconciled to man, the fact remains that Scripture never speaks of the latter but only of the former. In this connection, the idea of reconciliation and that, too, in connection with the covenant idea, might have been more clearly defined.
One more remark. In a treatise on the work of Christ, one would expect proper emphasis on the truth of election. This, in my opinion, is a lack in the book.
I heartily recommend the book to all that are interested in a comparative-critical study of the work of Christ.
HET GELOOF DER VADEREN (The Faith of the Fathers), by the Rev. P. Visser. Published by J.H. Kok N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f. 4.95.
This is a nice book on our Confessions. We are always interested in any publication on our Three Forms of Unity. And this book is very worthy product in many respects. In one respect it is unique. It combines all the three parts of our confession into one and, in connection with the various doctrines briefly discussed (God, revelation, Scripture, creation, the fall, Christ, etc.), it places them side by side. The book was designed for catechetical instruction as well as for the purpose of acquainting outsiders with our confessions.
We agree with the author, of course, that faith is not a condition but a means unto salvation. We hardly agree with him on his definition of the covenant, and particularly not with his theory of the covenant of works, which is not confessional.
We heartily recommend the book.