...

Philippians through the Revelation, by Kenneth S. Wuest, Published by the Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.50. 

This is the last of a three volume work on what the author calls an expanded translation of the New Testament. It is not meant to be commentary, although, naturally, it sometimes partakes of the nature of an interpretation. I will refer to one rather striking example of this. In his remarks on II Thessalonians 2:3, the author explains the Greek word apostasia which in our version is rendered by “a falling away,” as meaning “the departure.” He then explains that “the departure” is referring to the “rapture.” Accordingly, in the expanded translation the author renders vs. 3 as follows: “Do not begin to allow anyone to lead you astray in any way because that day shall not come except the afore-mentioned departure (of the church to heaven) comes first and the man of lawlessness is disclosed (in his true identity) the son of perdition.” Thus the whole doctrine of “the rapture” is introduced here on the basis of what is, to my mind, an arbitrary and also mistaken translation of the word apostasia. For this word means, indeed, a falling away, apostasy. Besides, the following context, with which the termapostasia must, no doubt, be connected, points to the same meaning: “and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” It is evident that the apostasia leads to the revelation of the man of sin. 

I do not mean to discredit the work of the author. All I wish to show is that the work is more than a mere expanded translation: it is also a commentary. Of this I could furnish many more examples than the above-mentioned. If the reader wishes to consult this expanded translation, especially if he does not know the. Greek, he better study it critically and in the light of the context of every verse. 

—H.H. 

The Praying Christ, by James G.S.S. Thomson. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.00. 

This book I may recommend heartily and without reserve to all our readers. It is quite a thorough development of the theme “The Praying Christ.” It is based from beginning to end on Scripture which, of course, is always commendable. Anyone that is willing, not only to read about, but to study this book on prayer, not only ministers and students but also the laymen, will find himself rewarded by so doing. In the first two chapters the author offers a study of the teaching and practice of prayer as our Lord taught about and practiced it. This is based on the four gospel narratives. Then follows a rather elaborate discussion of the prayer of the Lord which is recorded in Jan. 17. (By the way, I doubt whether the author’s interpretation of “I pray not for the world,” etc. is correct.) Thereupon the author gives a discussion of the Lord’s Prayer. And the whole is closed by a discussion of “The Merciful and Faithful High Priest” and of the often occurring injunction in the Old Testament: “Wait on the Lord.” This last chapter offers a very interesting study of eight different Hebrew words for “wait.” 

Heartily recommended. 

—H.H. 

Prediking en Uitverkiezing (Preaching and Election) by Prof. C. Veenhof. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. 

This book is historical. It presents the history of the controversy in the Reformed Separated churches in the Netherlands about the place of election in the preaching of the Word and that, too, in the years 1850-1870. As such it is an interesting book and also instructive and informative. The main body of the book covers only 139 pages but there are almost a hundred and fifty pages of notes which the reader should not omit for they are important and, besides, they cover much more than the period between 1850 and 1870. The author even offers a brief sketch of our controversy here in America in 1924 and again in 1953. 

Even though I do not agree with the viewpoint of Prof. Veenhof (as he certainly does not agree with the Prot. Ref. viewpoint) I recommend this book to our readers as far as they can still read Dutch. But do not fail to read it critically. The author, even though he writes history, nevertheless, writes with a tendency and that tendency is not only very extreme infralapsarian, but also condemnatory of supralapsarianism. Of this tendency I could refer to several examples, but I will only refer to one. It is found on pp. 80, 81. At the Synod of Franeker, 1863, an accusation of being un-Reformed was filed against Pieters and Kreulen who had written a book about infant baptism, and the Synod decided briefly as follows: 

1. That the brethren could not be accused of being in conflict with the Forms of the Church. 

2. That the Synod must not be understood to express hereby that the development of the doctrine of infant baptism as presented by Pieters and Kreulen is in every respect the best expression of the sentiment of the Reformed Church and is of the opinion that there is no need, at present, to declare anything more about the doctrine of the Sacraments than is already expressed in the Forms. 

Now, Prof. Veenhof explains this negative decision (the brethren could not be accused) in such a way that the Synod declared: 

1. That the sacraments seal, not anything that is present in the one that is baptized, but the promise of the covenant. 

2. That the promise of the covenant is meant equally for all that are baptized. 

3. That the promise of the covenant is conditional. 

4. That the expression “sanctified in Christ” refers to a covenant holiness and is given equally to all that are baptized. 

I am quite sure that the Synod of Franeker declared nothing of the kind. Veenhof here introduced his own interpretation of the Baptism Form into the decisions of the Synod of Franeker. And this interpretation is certainly false. Hence, I say: by all means read the book, but read it critically. 

—H.H. 

De Ouderling en de Prediking (The Elder and the Preaching) by Dr. Ph. J. Huyser. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. 

This is, to my mind, a very good book which I recommend whole heartedly to all that still are able to read the Holland language. Especially do I advise our elders to read it. It does not only discuss the theory of the subject treated, but it is also permeated with many practical observations. Thus, for instance, I would call attention to what the author has to say about the prayer before the service in the consistory and especially about the length of that prayer. Writes he on p. 172: “Indeed, many prayers before the consistory enters the church, are so broad that the minister may well ask himself sometimes: for what must I presently yet pray in the church? Everything has already had a turn. For that reason, I give all the brethren elders in consideration to think once about a prayer that, during my vacation, I heard once out of the mouth of a serving elder. It consisted of not more than eight words: ‘Lord, bless Thy servant and bless Thy Word.'” 

But read the whole book. It is very instructive and it is written in a very clear style. 

—H.H.