WHAT ABOUT TONGUE SPEAKING? by Anthony A. Hoekema. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1966; 161 pp., $3.50.
This book, by the professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Seminary, is an interesting book and an excellent treatment of the problem of glossolalia as found especially among various Pentacostal Churches. In connection with a brief treatment of the history of glossolalia, some mention is made of the neo-glossolalia movement, i.e., the spread of tongue-speaking into the established churches including the Reformed Churches.
After describing the chief characteristics of the movement, the author analyzes it on the basis of Scripture, the theological implications and its history. There is an excellent explanation of the various texts involved and convincing arguments are set forth for the cessation of this gift with the close of the apostolic era. It is the contention of the author that present day manifestations of glossolalia are not gifts of the Spirit but are phenomena psychologically induced.
The book ends with a chapter dealing with the profit to be derived from the Pentacostal movement and a plea for a more “Spirit-filled life.”
One lack in the book is its failure to warn against the dangers of the movement — dangers in doctrine and life.
Recommended to all who are interested in this subject.
Prof. H. Hank
JOHN CALVIN, A Collection of Distinguished Essays; Edited by G. E. Duffield; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1966; 228 pp., $5.95.
This book is the first volume in a series entitled: “Courtenay Studies in Reformation Theology” which, according to the introduction, is “a series of contemporary studies of the Reformers and their teaching. The approach, in this volume as in the whole series, is sympathetic, yet strictly within the accepted canons of modern historical scholarship.”
The titles of the essays are illustrative of the contents:
The Calvin Legend, by Basil Hall.
Calvin Against the Calvinists, by Basil Hall.
Calvin the Letter-Writer, by Jean-Daniel Benoit; tr. G. S. R. Cox.
The History and Development of the Institutio: How Calvin Worked, by Jean-Daniel Benoit; tr. The Editor.
Calvin and the Union of the Churches, by Jean Cadier; tr. P. Rix.
The Lord’s Supper in the Theology and Practice of Calvin, by G.S.M. Walker.
Calvin the Theologian, by J. I. Packer.
Calvin the Biblical Expositor, by T. H. L. Parker.
Calvin and Louis Bude’s Translation of the Psalms, by Rodolphe Peter; tr. The Editor.
Calvin’s View of Ecclesiastical Discipline, by R. N. Caswell.
There are (perhaps unavoidably when different authors are contributing) contradictions in the book. The most important contradiction revolves around Calvin’s theology. Basil Hall maintains that Calvin had no central doctrine, a thesis disputed by J. I. Packer — and correctly so. Basil Hall also maintains, very incorrectly, that Beza(Calvin’s successor in Geneva) badly distorted Calvin’s theology (as did much of subsequent Calvinistic thought) in teaching supralapsarianism, verbal inspiration, limited atonement, presbyterian church government, imputation of Adam’s sin to all men — points on which Hall maintains Calvin was silent. Some of these points too are contradicted in later essays.
The general weaknesses of the essays are: 1) too brief treatment of Calvin’s theology and 2) constant attempts to dull the sharper points of Calvin’s views. Nevertheless, the book is interesting, informative and a valuable addition to one’s library. In my opinion, the chapter on “Calvin the Letter-Writer” is one of the best chapters in the book.
Two remarks in conclusion: 1) Parts of the book are difficult for many since the Latin and French are not translated. Although I hasten to add that this does not detract significantly from its value for all who are interested in the work of Calvin. 2) A very beautiful book as far as format is concerned is somewhat spoiled by typographical errors.
WHY SCIENTISTS ACCEPT EVOLUTION, Robert T. Clark and James D. Bales; Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 109 pages, plus bibliography; Price, $2.50.
This is another of the many books about evolutionism which have been making their appearance lately. With the positions taken in many of these books one will find himself in disagreement; with which I cannot agree. This does not mean, of course, that books of this kind should have no place in one’s library. In fact, a good library might very well contain a good many books with which one disagrees; and it is necessary, in my opinion, especially because of all the current discussion on the subject of creation versus evolutionism that the Christian and Reformed apologete be well-posted on the subject, that he understand evolutionism and the basic theological and philosophical positions which form its foundation.
From the latter point of view, this book is of value. As the title indicates, and as the authors state from the outset, it is not the purpose of this little book to argue the issue of creation versus evolution. The book is devoted rather to proving from the writings of scientists themselves that evolutionism is not scientific, that is, that it is not the result of valid scientific investigation and conclusion, but rather a hypothesis. Evolution is a presupposition from which the unbelieving scientist starts out, not a conclusion which he reaches by way of scientific investigation. Evolution, in other words, is “a faith.”
Now the above position is no new discovery, certainly; nor do the authors present it as such. Nor do we need proof from various scientists in order to understand that the above-described position is true. Nevertheless, this little book has value: l/ Because it condemns the evolutionistic scientist out of his own mouth. 2/ Because it is always well to be reminded that evolutionism, — even when considered from a formal and secular scientific viewpoint, — is very unscientific.
In the light of the above, I can freely recommend this book as containing some valuable and instructive material.
With the conclusion, however, — if I understand it correctly, and I think I do, — I can hardly agree. The last chapter of this book contains the following paragraph:
“When, however, it becomes generally known that the eminent evolutionists of the nineteenth century accepted evolution because of their antisupernatural bias, and not because of the weight of scientific evidence, at least two conclusions will logically follow. First, that an individual is not necessarily either ignorant or dishonest because he rejects the hypothesis of evolution concerning life’s origin and manifold forms. Thus evolutionists ought to be more tolerant of those who do not accept evolution….”
I cannot agree with this doctrine of tolerance, nor with the logic of this conclusion. The valid conclusion which follows from the so-called acknowledgement of “their anti-supernatural bias” is that they should abandon their evolutionism and consider him learned and eminently honest who rejects the hypothesis of evolution. Evolutionists be more tolerant of those who do not accept evolution? Nonsense I They should be intolerant of all evolutionism; and they should be far more than “tolerant” of those who reject it and who hold to a creation-faith. But, of course, the lie will never tolerate the truth, no more than the truth can tolerate the lie.
“Second, that the question of the truth of evolution itself should be reopened . . . . It could lead more scientists to take a scientific attitude toward evolution and to accept the position that evolution is simply a work simply a work hypothesis, which thus should be treated as a working hypothesis and not a fact. Why is it that such an attitude is taken toward other matters which are no more scientifically established than is evolution, but that it is heresy to take the same attitude toward evolution? The acceptance of evolution as simply a hypothesis could lead to the preparation of textbooks wherein scientists who are creationists and scientists who are evolutionists presented both sides of the question of origins.”
Also with the above I cannot possibly agree. I do not believe that the question of the truth of evolution should be reopened. That question cannot be an open question, — not on the basis of Scripture. Nor can I accept the position that evolution is simply a working hypothesis; for the Christian, evolution is a false working hypothesis. Nor do I believe that a Christian could be satisfied with textbooks which present “both sides” of the question of origins. There are not two sides to the question in the sense that conceivably both, or either one of the two, could be true. There are two sides only in the sense of a true side (creation-faith) and a false side (evolutionism). And over against those who would suggest that the above position is very biased and unscientific, I say: “So be it. But I maintain that it is the only truly scientific position possible, because true science is always essentially knowledge of God and proceeds from the knowledge of God, the Creator-Redeemer, revealed through the Holy Scriptures.”
For those interested in this current debate, however, I recommend the book.