SOLVING PROBLEMS IN MARRIAGE, By Robert Bower; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972; 148 pp., $2.45 (Paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
There has been an abundance of books on marriage rolling from the presses these last few years. No doubt the nature of the times is the explanation for this. Dr. Bower, professor of Practical Theology and Pastoral Counseling in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Professor of Clinical Psychology at Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology, has added another.
The book is hardly a worthwhile addition to one’s library, however. It is psychologically orientated rather than Scripturally grounded. A reading of the chapter titles already makes this clear: “The Need For Openness in Marriage,” “Learning Acceptance,” “Creating Healthy Self-Images,” “Improving Communication,” “Developing an Identity,” etc. If the psychology of the book were thoroughly Scriptural, there would be benefit to the book. But it is not. In fact, the author’s theology leaves much to be desired. For example, in a footnote on p. 51. the author writes: “The doctrine of justification includes God’sacceptance and love of his children in their present position. This is to be distinguished from the doctrine of sanctification which deals with God’s encouragement of his children to grow and to improve their Christian life.”
There is still the need of a good sound book on marriage which can be used by those who wish to build their marriage on the truths of Scripture.
NEW TESTAMENT WORD STUDIES, Vols. 1 and 2, by John Albert Bengel; Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 1905 pages, $29.95 (Reviewed by Prof. H.C. Hoeksema)
These are two worthwhile volumes in the Kregel Reprint Library. Although these volumes are a bit expensive, yet considering their size and the value of the material which they contain, the price is not exorbitant.
Who was John Albert Bengel? He was a German Lutheran theologian, of a somewhat pietist inclination, who labored during the first half of the eighteenth century, especially as professor at the cloister-school of Denkendorf, a seminary for the early training of. candidates for the ministry. He was an early scholar in the field of textual criticism of the New Testament. An illustration of the spirit of his studies is afforded by the theme chosen for his inaugural at Denkendorf, “true godliness the surest road to true science.”
New Testament Word Studies is a new title for the translation of Bengel’s chief exegetical work,Gnomon of the New Testament. This is a reprint of the English edition by Lewis and Vincent, Philadelphia, 1860-61. It should be noted that this work, as may also be deduced from its size, is much more than a word study. It is rather a brief and suggestive commentary on the entire New Testament.
With the understanding, of course, that such a recommendation does not imply one hundred percent agreement—as might not be expected in any review of a commentary—I recommend these two volumes as worthwhile additions to any minister’s library.
A BIBLICAL MANUAL ON SCIENCE AND CREATION, by Henry M. Morris; Institute for Creation Research, 1972; 80 pp, $1.50 (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. H. Hanko]
This brief book is intended to be a companion volume to the Science and Creation Series, also published by the Institute for Creation Research and reviewed earlier in these columns.
The purpose of the book is explained in the Preface:
This book has been prepared in order to meet the need for a concise treatment of the Biblical perspective on creation as confirmed by the facts of modern science. The almost universal prevalence of evolutionism in our modern culture, especially in the schools, makes it urgent that Bible-believing Christians and their churches have a clear understanding of Biblical creationism and are able to make an intelligent and effective counter-attack against this pervasive system of evolutionary humanism.
The BIBLICAL MANUAL ON SCIENCE AND CREATION covers eight of the major issues involved in the subject of origins, giving the Biblical and theological aspects of each. Although the MANUAL is designed for independent study it also parallels the eight books of the SCIENCE AND CREATION Series, which were prepared specifically for use in the public schools and which, therefore, are limited strictly to the scientific aspects of these topics. Concurrent or subsequent study of the MANUAL is thus necessary to obtain a more complete picture of creation and its true significance than can be obtained from the Series alone.
While some of the material in this book can be found in the author’s other writings, this brief manual is of considerable value. The book, along with the publishers, not only condemns all evolutionism, but also takes a strong stand against theistic evolution and progressive creation. There is insistence upon an absolute antithesis between creation and evolution. We cannot give the contents of the book in detail. A listing of the chapter headings will give some indication of its contents. “Order and Design in Nature,” “The Nature of Physical Processes,” “The Testimony of the Fossil Record,” “The Structure of Living Systems,” “Origin and Nature of Man,” “The Origin and Structure of the Universe,” “Creation, Evolution and Modern Science,” “Age and History of the Earth.” It also has two appendices on “Biblical Arguments for a Worldwide Flood,” “New Testament References to Genesis 1-11.”
The interesting part of the book is that it spends a great deal of time on important Biblical themes which relate directly to the scientific questions involved in creationism vs. evolutionism. It demonstrates vividly that the whole of the Scriptures and their authority are involved in this controversy.
Interestingly, the author writes on pp. 20, 21: “Many creationist scientists today are actively doing research on these problems and the scientific basis of so-called, “flood geology” is becoming stronger all the time.”
Many, even within the churches, have attacked the publications of this organization as being unscientific and untrustworthy. We have yet to read, however, of a single particular instance where the “science” of these men is proved to be bad. General condemnations will not work.
While we need not agree with all the conclusions of these men and all their interpretations on every point, we are grateful that there are those who give their time and abilities to explain science in the light of God’s Word and not God’s Word in the light of science.
This book is easy reading and is recommended to teachers and pastors, but also to parents and young people. Purchase it; you will not be sorry.
Editor’s Note. For those interested in obtaining their publications, the new address of this organization is: Creation-Science Research Center, Suite 117, 4250 Pacific Highway, San Diego, California 92110.
MASTERS OF DECEPTION, by F. W. Thomas; Baker Book House, 1972; 162 pp, $2.45 (paper) [reviewed by Prof H. Hanko]
This book is subtitled: “An Expose of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, with clear-cut suggestions for refuting their teachings.” It is written by a layman and is of considerable value in the understanding of the evil of Jehovah’s Witnesses and in answering them on the basis of Scripture. The author pulls no punches in describing the doctrinal departure of this sect and in condemning them for their many sins. Sometimes the interpretation of Scriptural passages is erroneous and there are places where one is reminded of the saying: “A bad argument in defense of the truth can do more damage than a good argument against it.” But on the whole we found this book interesting and helpful.
Many people have had the experience of having Jehovah’s Witnesses come to their door. This book can be valuable assistance in such circumstances. Yet we remind our readers of the words of John in II John, 10:11: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”