We become more and more indebted to the Zondervan Publishing House for publishing worthwhile Christian literature, and especially for reprinting some works of Reformed authors of the not too distant past.
Whyte’s Bible Characters is one of these works. In it Dr. Whyte discusses many characters mentioned in Holy Writ in a very interesting and often original manner. The style is clear and the work is easily accessible to the understanding of the general reader. I would recommend it also for study to our societies which often make the characters of the Bible a special subject of their discussion.
Two remarks. 1. Dr. Whyte treats the persons mentioned in the Bible as separate characters rather than as organs and instruments of revelation. This should be borne in mind, especially when the work is used as an aid for Bible study in our societies. 2. I always have a great sympathy for Jonah, and is, perhaps, that reason why I’ do not like Whyte’s description of him and his comparison of him to the elder son in the parable.
This is another worthwhile reprint. And although I do not agree with all of the contents of this work of Dogmatics, I nevertheless recommend it to the serious and critical study of our ministers and students. In fact, Dr. Shedd writes such a lucid and pleasant style, that I could recommend the work to a wider circle of readers than that of theologians.
As to the contents, the following: Dr. Shedd begins with an introduction, in which he treats the prolegomena: method, division, definition, and treatise on revelation and the Holy Scriptures. Then follow the different loci of dogmatics, five instead of six, the doctrine of the Church not being given a separate place, and “means of grace” being treated under Sot- teriology. The third volume is a supplement, in which Dr. Shedd discusses different elements or phases of the various loci previously discussed together with several quotations from theologians of the past.
It is, of course, impossible, in a brief review such as this, to evaluate properly a dogmatic work of this scope. In general, I may say that Dr. Shedd is a Calvinistic theologian of the strong infra type. As such he reveals himself throughout the work. When I say that the work must be studied critically, I have reference, especially, to the rather strong emphasis the author lays on “common grace.” In fact, we find here, principally, the errors of the “Three Points.” It is, to my mind, also a weakness of the work that it gives no separate place to the doctrine of the church, and treats the means of grace under Soteriology.
Hence, I say: heartily recommended for critical study.