THE CHILD’S STORY BIBLE, by Catherine Vos, revised by Marianne Catherine Vos Radius; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983; 382 pp., $14.95 (cloth) (Reviewed by Gertrude Hoeksema)

This is the fifth edition of The Child’s Story Bible and also the Golden Anniversary Edition. Through the years, the author’s daughter, Marianne Vos Radius, has revised and rewritten portions of her mother’s book, while being careful to retain her mother’s style and gift of story-telling. 

This Golden Anniversary Edition is attractively bound in a leather-like binding and uses the traditional style of illustrations that appeared in the original edition. The format and art work is an improvement over the most recent paper back edition. 

Also included at the end of this edition is a useful explanation of some of the Biblical terms used in the stories. 

Apart from some of the interpretive statements in the stories and some of the artist’s interpretations of Jesus (e.g. the one of Christ on the cross) I recommend it for the covenant home.

THE SOJOURNER’S FILE, by Joan Harris; New Century Foundation, 1983; Available from National Christian Action Coalition, P.O. Box 1745, Washington, D.C.; 170 pp., $5.95 [paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko).

Sojourners is a Christian magazine, which according to the blurb sent along with the book, has an “awesome” impact on Christianity in this country. It is, however, a “‘left-wing” publication which consistently parrots the communist line in all international and national issues. According to the book, the magazine is a part of the Institute for Policy Studies, which is leftist and could conceivably be a Communist front organization. Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon is claimed to be closely connected with the magazine, and the book is intended to blunt his campaign for re-election. 

The book was written to expose the communistic leanings of the magazine, the IPS and Senator Hatfield. It treats 53 different subjects, in each case gives quotes from Sojourners which show the position of the magazine on this subject, offers comment and references, to prove both the communist line ofSojourners and the bias of the magazine in consistently altering, ignoring or denying the facts in a given situation. 

The book is not always as careful as it ought to be in documenting its position and the book is spoiled by many typographical errors.

CHRISTIAN ENGLAND, Its Story to the Reformation; David L. Edwards, Eerdmans, 1983; 351 pp., $8.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko).

The history of the English Nation and the history of the Church in England are some of the most interesting in the whole field of .historical studies. This is probably why so many books have been written in this field. I would guess that it would take a rather large library just to hold these books. This addition to this vast library is intended to give readers who are Christians a greater appreciation for the English element in their heritage. The blurb sent along with the book says that Edwards has “paid more attention to people, to literature, architecture, art and prayer, and to the Church’s setting in the social and political life of the age than to ecclesiastical administration or theological controversy.” This characterization of the book is correct and is both the strength and the weakness of the book. 

It is the book’s strength because it gives a great deal of information not readily available in other books. There is a mass of detail, both interesting and instructive. But it is the weakness of the book because the book gives these data without much analysis and evaluation, the book almost requires a knowledge of English secular history to be understandable, and it does not give a proper place to the importance of the church. For example, the book considers Chaucer to be more important in the history of the church than John Wycliffe. 

It is recommended especially to those who are students of or are interested in the history of the English nation or the development of the church there. It is the first in a series.

GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, by Ronald E. Baxter; Kregel Publications, 1983; 266 pp., $8.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko).

Although the number of books on Neo-Pentecostalism continues to grow, this addition to the literature is a worthwhile one, which anyone interested in the movement ought to have. The author was born in Northern Ireland, educated in various schools in Canada and this country, and is now serving a Baptist Church in Ontario. 

While the purpose of this book is in part to expose the error of “gift theology” as it is maintained by Pentecostalism, the chief aim of the book is to develop a positive concept of the Scriptural teachings concerning gifts of the church. Hence the book is both negative and positive—and this is partially its value. 

The author proceeds from the basic premise that Pentecostalism is subjective in its theology and thus divorces the Christian’s life from Scripture. It is from this perspective that he attacks the doctrine of gifts maintained in Pentecostal circles. Both his discussions of the gifts of miracles and tongue-speaking are excellent and one can find in these discussions material which is rarely considered. The strength of the discussion is, however, its analysis of Scripture and the pertinent Scriptural passages. 

Perhaps the author is not quite as strong in the positive part of the book where he discusses what Scripture actually does teach about various gifts in the church. A Reformed man would have some trouble with some of his ideas. Nevertheless, this positive approach is important and needed. It is not sufficient to show where Pentecostalism has gone astray; it is equally important to make clear all that Scripture has to say about gifts in the church as they are worked by the Spirit. The book attempts to do this, and can well serve as a starting point for further discussion and instruction on this matter. 

We recommend this book to our readers.