CHRISTUS IN ZIIJN LIJDEN (Christ In His Suffering), Dr. K. Sehilder. Published by J.H. Kok, Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f. 13.75.
This work is already so well known among us, both in its original language and its translation into English, that it hardly needs to be reviewed. I am sure that several of our readers already have it in their possession and read it. To those that do not have it and are not acquainted with it, I gladly recommend it. The present volume, which bears the subtitle “Christus bij den uitgaang van Zijn lijden” (Christ at the exit of His suffering), is the third and last part of the work. It is a work, I would say, that is, under the influence of holy writ, struck from the poetic soul of the now deceased author, full of lively and spiritual imagination, but not always strong in exegesis, so that sometimes we put a question mark behind some of his interpretations.
I deplore the fact that Dr. Schilder could not himself revise this third volume, because he departed from the earthly house of this tabernacle into the house of God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. But could not some friend of his, that lived close to him and his way of thinking and of expressing himself, have revised the work for him? I feel confident that he himself would have wished this. As it stands now, there is, in some respects, a conflict between the first two volumes and the last one. I have reference to the fact that in this last volume as it is now published Dr. Schilder still speaks, very freely and with hearty agreement, of “common grace.” Similar passages in the first two volumes he changed or deleted. And I feel sure that he would have the same with the last volume, had not the Lord taken him away.
I gladly recommend this work with the above mentioned reservations.
OVER DE LAATSTE DINGEN. HET EINDE DER EEUWEN (The Last Things. The End of the Ages), Dr. K. Dijk. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V. Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f. 6.90.
This is the second volume of a trilogy. In this book Dr. Dijk treats the following subjects: The last hour, Millennialism, The Millennium, The future of Israel, The signs of the times, The great apostasy, The antichrist, The church in the wilderness.
The author writes a very clear style, so that the book is easy to read for anyone that is able to read the Holland language. The subject is always important, and of course, especially in the days in which we live. And Dr. Dijk is master of his subject, and, besides, is well known among us as a Reformed writer. He must have nothing of chiliastic excesses and vagaries.
The chapter on “The future of Israel” is important. On the whole I agree with it, especially with the exegesis of Rom. 11. Repeatedly I exegeted and preached on this chapter, and my final conclusion is virtually the same as that of Dr. Dijk. See my “God’s Eternal Good Pleasure.”
I would have liked a little more about American Millennialism and Dispensationalism.
GEREFORMEERDE, WAT NU? (Reformed People, What Now?) Rev. G. Toornvliet and Dr. H.J. Westerink. Published by J.H. Kok, Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f. 5.90.
This book is a continuation of a discussion in the Netherlands about the conditions in the Reformed churches there. The discussion was started by the book of Booy and Bouwman, “Gereformeerden, waarheen?” (Reformed people, whither?), it was continued by the book written by Dr. Zuidema and others “Gereformeerden, waarom?” (Reformed people, why?) which was a sharp and condemning criticism of the book by Booy and Bouwman. And now we have the third book of the series which contains a criticism of both the former books, and offers, at the same time, some positive suggestions.
This is not a book of any value for the American reader, unless he is very much interested in the peculiar problems and conditions in the Reformed churches in the Netherlands. One thing I will say: I did not like the book of Booy and Bouwman, and the criticism of their book in the present volume is too favorable and sympathetic.
DE WEDE RGEBOORTE (Regeneration), Dr. J.D. De Groot, Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f. 9.75.
This I consider a very worthwhile book, not because new thoughts are developed in it about regeneration but because it is thoroughly solid, Scriptural and Reformed.
In it the author develops the truth of regeneration, first as having its eternal ground in the counsel of God, and the historical ground in the redemptive work of the Son of God, in order then to turn to the Holy Spirit as the author of regeneration. He further emphasizes that regeneration is a real and principal change of the heart, and describes the different stages of regeneration.
Interesting is what the author writes about Kohlbrugge’s conception of the incarnation, his conception of the image of God, and of regeneration. I say this is interesting, because in our country we occasionally meet with certain Neo-Kohlbruggians that rather strongly emphasize the same ideas. Also the author’s evaluation of the connection between Kohlbrugge and Barth is interesting and, in my estimation, correct.
I agree with what the author writes about so-called “sluimerende wedergeboorte” (slumbering regeneration).
The style is clear. Anyone that can read Dutch should be able to read this book.
HET EIGENDOM DES HEEREN (The Lord’s Property), by the Rev. J.G. Feenstra. Publisher J.H. Kok, N.V. Kampen, The Netherlands. Price f. 5.95.
This is the second print of an exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism. The title of the book is, evidently, derived from the answer to the first question: “That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”
The exposition is very clear and simple. It is also very brief and positive. It does not enter deeply into all kinds of controversial questions. If anyone is interested in a brief, and at the same time, good explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism, he will do well to purchase this book, provided, of course, he can read the Holland language.
PRINCIPLES OF PERSONALITY BUILDING FOR CHRISTIAN PARENTS, by C.B. Eavy. Published by the Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $3.75.
In a preface to his book, the author warns: “Personality, being most complex, may be viewed from many angles. As the reader follows through these pages, he will find the word used with various shades of meaning, as is always the case in a treatise that makes frequent use of a term referring to something as complex as human personality.” This is, no doubt, true.
When the author, however, refers to personality, he would define it as “nothing more or less than a person in action, living as an individual, richly, fully, and completely or miserably and wretchedly, functioning as a member of society, well or poorly, being a blessing or a curse to his fellows, and bringing glory or dishonor to the name of his Creator.” We would say: “living from the principle of sin or of regeneration, in disharmony or in harmony with the word of God.”
The book is written from a Christian viewpoint, and is, first of all, designed for Christian parents, although it may very well serve many other purposes. Even the editor of “In His Fear” in our Standard Bearer, may well benefit from it.
I have the impression that the author made a rather thorough study of his subject, and although I would not subscribe to every statement, I recommend it to the reader’s study. When I say that I cannot subscribe to every statement, I refer to such as the following: “Acceptance of Him as Savior by faith results in a new birth from incorruptible seed.”