Book Reviews

Spiritual Depressions: Its Causes and Cure, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 300 Pages, $3.95; Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is noted as a gifted preacher who ministers at Westminster Chapel in London, England. 

The book deals with spiritual depressions. When I first saw the title, I thought the book was a book on Psychology and that it treated mental diseases. However, it discusses spiritual depressions, and calls attention to the fact that a child of God should be a living witness of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This gospel is a tremendous gospel, is designed and adapted to cover all our needs, is a power that is able to transform all of man.

I enjoy its emphasis upon the gospel of divine grace. I enjoyed reading, e.g., the following on page 59: “I think we should abolish this word decision. I do not like it. . . . . .Let me sum up this point by putting it like this. There are the people who decide to take up Christianity instead of being taken up by Christianity.” And, in the last chapter (incidentally, in these several chapters the author treats various Scriptural texts; they are sermons he preached on consecutive Sunday mornings), he emphasizes that a child of God can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth him. On the one hand, he refutes the error which would emphasize the “I” only. And, on the other hand, he refutes the error which would obliterate the “I”, making the child of God a stock and block. And all emphasis is upon the grace of God in Christ. I certainly may recommend this book to our readers. 

—H. Veldman 

Man in the Occurring of God’s Revelation, by Ds. M.P. Van Dyk, 247 pages, f 12.75; Published by J.H. Kok N.V. 

This book, too, is written in the Holland language. The Holland title reads: “De Mens in het gebeuren van de Godsopenbaring.” Also of this book it is true that it is not for laymen. The writer places himself before the question: What is man’s place in the revelation of God? Can a certain independence be ascribed to him, or must all independence be denied him? And the author studies this question particularly in connection with the theology of Barth, of whom Rev. Engelsma is writing in our Standard Bearer. Is it true that, according to Barth, man is more or less relegated to the background? 

As we stated, this book is written in the Holland language; it is not for laymen. I would assume that a proper evaluation of this book would depend upon a thorough study of the theology of Karl Barth. The undersigned confesses that he is hardly qualified to do this. However, one must not underestimate the position and influence of Barth. And we certainly believe that this book can be helpful as one examines the writings and teachings of this well-known theologian. Unto that end, we do not hesitate to recommend it. 

—H. Veldman 

The Ten Commandments, by Ronald D. Wallace, 181 pages, $3.95; Published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 

Dr. Wallace, educated at the University of Edinburgh and New College, Edinburgh, having held charges in England, is presently serving as Professor of Theology at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. 

The author had intended originally to write a book containing no more than ten sermons, one on each commandment. But it seemed to him that a more useful contribution could be made to the subject by writing a book of this nature. The purpose of this book is to discuss and treat the ten commandments in the light of Jesus Christ, and to interpret the Law of God by the Gospel, seeing each commandment in the light of the whole Biblical message, as centering in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This book of 181 pages treats each of the ten commandments in as many chapters. 

We may recommend this book to our readers. It is easily read and digested. This does not mean that we agree with all its contents. Our people will undoubtedly conclude that the author’s treatment of the ten commandments is different in many instances from the way we treat them. This, however, does not necessarily mean that we would discourage the purchasing of this book for this reason. But, we do not agree with all its contents. Discussing the sixth commandment, for example, the author appears to condemn capital punishment. One also wonders whether he assumes the position that the Christian must judge whether a war is justifiable or not, and that he must determine whether he should obey in all instances the call to serve one’s country in war. We, of course, believe in capital punishment and also maintain that the call to arms may never be refused by the individual, unless it would involve the Christian in a direct attack upon the Church and Cause of the Son of God. However, with discretion the book can certainly be read. 

—H. Veldman