CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES ON SEX AND MARRIAGE, by William Fitch; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971; $2.95 (paper). (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko) There is a flood of books about sex and marriage pouring from the religious press these days. This is not in itself bad. There is a need for sound Biblical literature in this field because the devil and the world are working overtime to corrupt the institution of marriage and the most sacred of life’s relationships. But to find good books is not so easy.
This one too falls rather far short of the mark. The main difficulty with most books in this field, and with this one as well, is that they do not spend sufficient time on the principles of Scripture in these areas. For example, there is almost nothing in this book concerning the institution of marriage, the meaning of marriage, the purpose of marriage, etc. When these principles of Scripture are not dealt with, one gets a book which is a kind of moral homily which in the long run is not of much use to anyone.
The book is written in question and answer form. It is, however, too explicit at certain points to be recommended to young people. The author tends to forget that Paul speaks of the fact that “it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of (the wicked) in secret.” Eph. 5:12. There is altogether too much emphasis placed upon the sexual aspect of marriage—as if this is really the only important part of married life. We are still waiting for a book which can safely and heartily be recommended to parents and young people as a Scriptural guide in this area of life.
EARTH’S MOST CHALLENGING MYSTERIES, by Reginald Daly; Baker Book House, 1972; 403 pp., $3.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
There are more and more books appearing on the market which are efforts to explain various scientific phenomena in the light of six-day creation and a universal flood. This book is one such effort. These efforts are to be applauded, for there is indeed a great deal of work which can and ought to be done in this field.
The author, who has taught in a number of colleges and universities, discusses various problems in especially the fields of geology and paleontology. His purpose is to show the foolishness of the explanations which are offered by geologists who are committed to evolution. The book is very interesting and profitable in this respect. It demonstrates rather vividly that evolutionism is often contradictory; that evolutionists disagree, sometimes violently, among themselves in their efforts to explain various phenomena; that mostly their explanations are very poor and inadequate interpretations of scientific data in these fields.
The author discusses such problems as the origin of life, the existence of large fossil beds, the formation of coal, the problem of ocean canyons, deltas and other under-ocean phenomena.
While the author uses the works of Rehwinkel, Morris and Whitcomb rather extensively, he has a great deal of original material in his book as well. To his credit, he explains evolutionism in terms of unbelief and discusses the fact that evolution is a religion and poses a problem for those who maintain that no religion may be taught in the public school system of this country.
There are some weaknesses in the book. He seems to reject the Carbon-14 method of dating at some points, but to accept it at other points where it serves his purpose. He is too definite and dogmatic about antediluvian conditions and events and stretches one’s credibility a bit in his interpretation of how the flood explains various geological phenomena. He gives too much value to pagan myths of the flood even to the point of using them to help explain the miracle of the flood. (Cf. pp. 337, 338.)
We believe that all scientific data can be explained in terms of the flood and the work of creation in six days. But it is not always easy to describe precisely how God performed all these works in their details. Some is admittedly speculation. For example, the author accepts as true the so-called “canopy theory” as an interpretation of sudden climatic changes.
If the book is read carefully, it can be of profit to those who are interested in this whole question. And we wish to encourage those who engage in this work so that the study of God’s creation can be advanced and knowledge increased in true science.
THE BIBLE: GOD’S WORD, by Tenis Van Kooten; Baker Book House, 1972; 231 pp., $2.95 (paper) [reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
The purpose of this fine book is presented in the Preface: “This little book is presented as a guide in the study of the inspiration and authority of the Bible, and to assist in the evaluation of the ‘new interpretation’ of the Bible and its results. The self-testimony of the Bible is the point of reference in determining what the Bible is. The new interpretation (the new hermeneutic) and its results will be viewed in the light of the nature of God’s self-revelation as given in the Bible. The approach throughout is evangelical: the Bible is received as the Word of God.”
This purpose is admirably fulfilled. The author treats of such subjects as “What is the Bible?”, “The Inspiration of the Bible”, The Authority of the Bible”, “The Bible is Infallible”, “The Canon of the Bible”, “Archeology and the Bible”, “The Bible and Miracles”, etc. The book is a vigorous defense of the verbal inspiration of Scripture, of the complete infallibility of God’s Word, and of its absolute authority. Especially delightful is the author’s constant and repeated emphasis on Scripture itself as the sole determinative rule for our doctrine of Scripture.
What is of special value is the author’s treatment of these topics in the light of many modern errors which have risen both in the field of unbelieving higher criticism and within the Reformed Churches. He explains and exposes the errors of such men asBultmann, Robinson, Kuitert and others. And he does this in such a way that those who are not trained in textual criticism can easily understand what he writes. It is a book which can be read with profit by anyone including our young people. Another advantage of the book is the author’s extensive use of quotations from those who have, in the past, and who today defend the infallible inspiration of God’s Word.
The book is written partly with a view to its use in study groups, discussion groups and societies. It has a number of interesting and worthwhile questions appended to each chapter for study and discussion. We heartily recommend the book to all our readers.