Christian Perspectives, by Dr. Van Riessen, Prof. Farris, and Dr. Runner. Published by Pella Publishing Inc., Pella, Iowa.
This book contains a series of lectures delivered before a Study Conference at Unionville, Ontario. The first group of lectures deals with the relation of the Bible to science; the second with the relation of the Bible to history; the third with the relation of the Bible to learning.
It is somewhat difficult for me to review this book properly. The reasons are: 1. That it is written by three different authors, and although one may discern a certain line running through the lectures that are published here, yet I would have to criticize (in the good sense of the word) every part of the book separately. And although the contents of the book are worthy of such more elaborate discussion, yet this is not possible in a brief review. 2. A second reason is that I cannot recommend the book to the general public for, both as to contents and form, it is beyond many of them. The lectures on “The Relation of the Bible to History” may be considered an exception.
Very obvious it is that Dr. Runner is a faithful student and follower of Dooyeweerd and Vollenhoven.
The Witness of the Spirit, by Bernard Ramm. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.00.
This is a very good book on an important and, at the same time, very difficult subject. The book treats of the Testimony of the Holy Spirit. It treats this subject in five chapters: Historical Roots, Fundamental Considerations, The Testimonium and the Testimony of Scripture, The Theological Implications, the Testimonium, and the Testimonium and Theologies. It emphasizes that there is no testimony of the Spirit apart from Scripture. In this respect he agrees with Calvin to whom he refers rather frequently, and he condemns Roman Catholicism. Writes he: “Yet, when we turn to what Catholicism terms the holy, inspired Scripture we are told that the self-witness of the Bible to its own inspiration is so weak and imperfect, so capable of equivocation, that we cannot be certain of its inspiration until we are so informed by the Roman Catholic Church . . . . The Scriptures are, ‘dead documents,’ ‘dead records of primitive documents,’ ‘Life grown stiff and numb’ . . . . the Bible is, a ‘dumb and difficult book.’ . . . . This attitude towards the Bible is so much a part of the Catholic apologetics that it could be documented endlessly.” This view of Scripture the author radically condemns.
I could quote more from Ramm’s book, but the reader better read the book itself. I am not sure whether I can agree with the authors presentation of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity on p. 31. And I do not agree with the author’s implied interpretation of the term “world” in John 3:16 and in I John 2:2, p. 81.
God Hath Spoken, by T. Roland Philips. Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.00.
This book furnishes easy reading. It contains a series of sermons preached by the author in The Arlington Presbyterian Church. The messages are very brief and easily readable. Sometimes, it seems to me, the author is guilty of spiritualization as, for instance, in the case of the leprosy of Naaman the Syrian.
I do not like what the author writes on p. 64: “Now God loves all men. ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ There is no man anywhere, at any time, whom God does not love, and for whom he has not made a wonderful provision.”
This is neither Scriptural nor Presbyterian.
I recommend this book to the discerning and critical reader.