The First Epistle of John, by Robert S. Candlish. Published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $5.95.
This book is a commentary on the First Epistle of John, yet it is much more than a commentary. Being divided into four parts, it offers several lectures on John’s first epistle. In a biographical sketch of Dr. Candlish, by Wilbur Smith of Pasadena, Calif., the latter writes that he is “grateful to the Zondervan Publishing House for making available again this epochal work, as near to an inspired volume as anything can be outside of the Holy Scriptures. I have not seen a copy advertised now for thirty years, nor have I known of anyone who has bought a copy in that time. I have loaned mine so frequently that it had to be rebound, and more than one person has said to me, ‘I have read much of this on my knees,’ which is not said concerning many books that fall into our hands these days. I commend this volume to all who love the Lord Jesus, who have longed for a deeper experience through the Holy Spirit of God, and to all seeking a richer understanding of the fathomless words of the beloved apostle.”
Although this praise is, perhaps, somewhat excessive, yet, in general, I can agree with it. This is, indeed, a beautiful work. It faithfully attempts, not only to explain the sacred text, but enters into its spiritual meaning, not in the morbid, but in the sound sense of the word.
This does not mean that we always agree with the author. Instead of finding the main thought of the epistle in the triad “light, love, righteousness”, I rather find it in the terms “light, love, life.” In the exposition ofI certainly would have expected Dr. Candlish as a Calvinist to have explained the “first love” of God from His eternal counsel of election.
But apart from these and other points of criticism, I certainly recommend this book wholeheartedly to our readers.
HET EVANGELIE NAAR MATTHEUS by Dr. D. Jacobs. Published by J.H. Kok, Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f.3.50.
This volume occurs in the series “DE BIJBEL, toegelicht voor het Nederlandsche volk.” It can hardly be called a commentary. It consists of brief notes of the text itself. This perhaps has the advantage for one that has not much time to study and yet wants to prepare himself in a measure for Bible discussion on the text, sometimes hardly more than a paraphrase in a society, that he may quickly look up an explanation of a certain passage. The book could also be used for collateral reading of the Bible in family worship.
Nevertheless, the brevity of the book also has the serious disadvantage that it does not always explain the text adequately. For an illustration of this weakness of the book I refer to the notes on ch. 23:37, where the chief problem is left entirely unanswered.
But to those that wish to use the book for the purposes above indicated and that can read the Holland language, I recommend this work.
KENTERING IN DE VRIJZINNIGHEID, by Dr G. Brillenburg Wurth, published by J.H. Kok, Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f.2.95.
In this book the author discusses and criticizes certain apparent changes in attitudes and tendencies of the modernistic and liberal theologians of the Netherlands. In eight chapters and an introduction he discusses the course of development, of modernism in the Netherlands, its altered mentality, liberal dogmatics, the question whether, after all, the moderns are still modernistic, our attitude over against them, the question whether liberalism has really changed, the typically modern principle of autonomy, and our attitude over against liberalism. The general conclusion of the book is that, although modernism has assumed a different attitude over against many phenomena in the modern world, principally it has not changed.
Anyone that desires to become a little more intimately acquainted with the development and recent changes of modernism in the Netherlands will do well to read this clearly written little book.