“A Relevant Salvation,” by Reginald E.O. White, 132 pp., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. Price: $2.25
This is a book of brief sermons, written by an English preacher and teacher. In eighteen chapters, divided into two main sections under the general headings, “The Modern Malaise” and “A Relevant Salvation,” the author is supposed to set forth “Christianity as the only cure for modern man’s malaise,” according to the claim on the dust jacket.
That the author is a master of the English language and that he knows the art of turning a nice phrase is undeniable. Perhaps this is the only value the book has.
There is a good deal of this kind of religious literature on the market today. It is supposed to represent the kind of preaching that is “relevant to the mood and temper of today’s world.”
In the opinion of this reviewer, the salvation proclaimed in these pages is neither salvation nor relevant, however. It is not the latter because it is not the former. The gospel truths of sin and grace actually find no place in the book, although every sermon has its text and although the terminology is frequently that of Scripture and of orthodox theology.
The fundamental fault of the book, from the point of view of method, is that this type of preaching is topical rather than expository. And from the point of view of the contents, I fear that the author’s attempt to make his message acceptable to modern man resulted in his complete failure to set forth the gospel of sin and grace according to the Scriptures.
Preachers should remember that the gospel of salvation has for six thousand years been relevant; any artificial attempts to make it relevant will necessarily result in a totally irrelevant preaching.