WISDOM THE PRINCIPAL THING, by Kenneth L. Jensen; Pacific Meridian Publishing Company, 1972; 167 pp., $2.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
The subtitle of this book is “Studies in the Book of Proverbs.” It includes some helpful material on the structure of Proverbs and on the form of the proverbs which are contained in it. It attempts to treat the book under several general headings and enters into a detailed explanation of various key passages. While there is a great deal of help to be found in the book in an understanding of this difficult part of the Old Testament Scriptures, its main weakness is probably that it fails to see Proverbs as part of the revelation of God in Christ; the result is that oftentimes the book is reduced to a series of moral homilies which lead to the good life, along with large sprinklings of psychology. We recommend the book if read with a great deal of discretion and if the reader will apply himself to the study of Proverbs itself from the viewpoint that Christ is the Wisdom of God.
NEW TESTAMENT ESSAYS, by Vincent Taylor; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972; 146 pp., $2.95 (paper), [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
The author of this book (1887-1968) was a Methodist minister who spent his life in New Testament studies. In this book are several essays which deal with subjects which were his specialty. While Taylor was not as radical as some of his contemporaries, he accepted form criticism as a legitimate tool in New Testament studies. The result of this was that he opposed the doctrine of inspiration as verbal and infallible, rejected various elements in the gospel narratives as being unhistorical, spoke of proto-gospels as sources for the gospel writers, and admitted a certain validity toGemeindetheologie. The book contains a brief review of his life and a discussion of his major works, especially those on the atonement. It is of some value to those who are interested in the views of a more conservative form critic; but it is an interesting insight into the vagaries and speculative thinking of those who reject Scripture’s inspiration.
A COMMENTARY ON THE REVELATION OF JOHN, by George Eldon Ladd, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1972; 308 pp., $6.95 [reviewed by Prof H. Hanko]
This volume can be a welcome addition to any library. It is a sober and thoughtful explanation of the book of Revelation which blends the preterist and futurist viewpoint. The book rejects the fanciful and arbitrary interpretations of Revelation as well as the pre-millennialist interpretation. It is, on the whole, a trustworthy exposition. We do not agree with all the interpretation. E.g., the author claims that the six seals lead up to the end; then, with the seventh seal, the scroll itself is opened and the events of the end are described in the remainder of the book. He also speaks of a national restoration of Israel as one of the events of the end, appealing in support of this view to Rom. 11:26. Nor is the book a detailed commentary. While its brevity has many advantages in giving to one a concise explanation of Revelation, it has the disadvantage of leaving some key passages inadequately explained. This is very strikingly evident, e.g., in the author’s treatment of the wound of the beast mentioned in Rev. 13. If used in connection with other writings on Revelation and if carefully weighed, we recommend this book as a valuable help in the study of the last book of the Bible.
THE LORD’S DAY, A Theological Guide to the Christian Day of Worship, by Paul K. Jewett; William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972; 174 pp., $2.95 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
Although we cannot agree with all the conclusions and with some of the exegesis in this book, it is an extremely worthwhile contribution to the study of the Christian Sabbath. It treats a number of important and worthwhile subjects: The Jewish Sabbath; the transition from the Seventh to the First Day; the development of the idea of the Christian Sabbath in the early Church; the theological arguments involved in the whole question along with some thorough and helpful exegesis of the key points in Jesus’ teachings concerning the Sabbath; the observance of the Sabbath from a historical viewpoint and from a theological perspective. We heartily recommend this book to all our readers and assure those who study it that it will give them valuable and helpful information on this question. Since especially among some branches of Presbyterianism the Sabbath question is once again a live issue, we recommend this book as helpful in these controversies.