MAKER AND CRAFTSMAN, THE STORY OF DOROTHY L. SAYERS, by Alzina Stone Dale; Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978; 158 pp., $8.95. (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
Although this biography of Dorothy Sayers is fairly comprehensive, it was somewhat disappointing. The disappointment arose, I think, from the fact that the author was fairly content to deal with mere factual data concerning Dorothy Sayers’ life, and made no effort to evaluate her life, her Christianity, or her place in the literary world. Nevertheless, for fans of Dorothy Sayers’ books, essays and other writings, this will be informative. If one is acquainted with Dorothy Sayers only through her writings, this book will hold some surprises.
Dorothy Sayers is known for her writing of detective stories, her excellent translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, her plays on the life of Christ, and her essays on religious subjects. She was a member of a circle of literati in England which included C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, T. R. R. Tolkein, and others.
CONCERNING SCANDALS, by John Calvin, Translated by John W. Fraser; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1978; 119 pp., $6.95. (Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko.)
This is a new translation of a little known work of the great Genevan Reformer which was first published in 1550. It is not readily available elsewhere and is a welcome addition to anyone’s library.
In the book Calvin treats of the many obstacles which prevent people from receiving the preaching of the gospel and which move them to speak evil of the gospel and the cause of the Church of Christ. There are, according to Calvin, offenses in the gospel itself. Among these are such things as apparent inaccuracies in Scripture, doctrines of original sin, predestination, etc. To all these Calvin gives answer. There are other offenses which arise when the gospel is publicly preached. These include the wicked lives which people live and the faults of members of the Church which are obstacles to the faith of some. The third class deals with the evil slanders of enemies of the gospel. Calvin answers all these and urges God’s people to overcome all obstacles while remaining faithful to the truth of Scripture.
The writing is pertinent for our day and will benefit all those who read it—as the writings of Calvin always do. The book is an eloquent, polemical defense of the Reformation. By all means get it and read it.
THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, VOL. III, Edited by G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren, Translated by John T. Willis, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, David E. Green; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.; 463 pages, $18.50 (cloth). (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
This is the third of a projected twelve volumes in this series. It covers the Hebrew words from gillulim toharas. This is, of course, not a work for the general public, nor a book which one simply sits down and reads and studies from cover to cover. It is a source book and a tool for the Old Testament student.
Works of this kind, highly technical and detailed, will, I think, hardly serve to kindle the interest of students in Old Testament studies. If, however, such an interest is already present—and there is all too little of such interest—a work of this kind will indeed serve to feedthat interest.
However, I must issue a word of caution: this work is loaded with higher criticism, and it must be used with great discretion.
If you can afford the price of a volume like this, you will do well to purchase it. The purchase of these volumes one by one as they appear will be less painful than paying the price for the entire set when it is complete. This is not intended as criticism of the price of this book: it is obviously expensive to publish highly technical books of this kind for a rather limited market.