BOOKS-For Your Library
An Exposition of the Gospel of John, George Hutcheson, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1959, 439 pages, $4.95.
The author, an English Bible scholar, fitted into an interesting period of church history. Expelled from the Anglican Church for nonconformity, he pastored churches in England and Scotland. His bent for thinking for himself brought him into prominence. Despite his excommunication, Hutcheson continued to preach. Until his death he opposed the Anglican liturgy and other rituals which seemed to him contrary to true worship. He authored several expositions, all based upon his sermon notes, which became well known to students in later years. His expositions of the prophets, and of Job, and a posthumous work, Forty-five Sermons on Psalm 50 (1691), have become tributes to a good mind and a sincere and honest writing ministry. The incomparable Spurgeon summed up the value of the author's Gospel of John as "Excellent; beyond all praise. It is a full-stored treasury of sound theology, holy thought and marrowy doctrine." First published in 1657 and later in 1841, this exhaustive exposition has survived the test of time. Penned from sermon notes near the close of a fruitful ministry, this work was honored by common man and royalty alike. Hutcheson covers every possible phase of interpretation. His exposition is pertinent, sound, and vast in scope, rich in background and information, and warm in devotional emphasis and application. In this warmly devotional and scholarly volume the student will discover new wealth in old mines of truth.
Louise C. Kleuser
Persuaded to Live, Conversion Stories From the Billy Graham Crusade, Robert O. Ferm, Fleming H. Revell Co., New York, 1959, 192 pages, $2.50.
Many who have read the classic of former years— Twice-Born Men—will sense the similarity and appreciate the present-day volume Persuaded to Live. Dr. Robert O. Ferm, of Houghton College, has written this book to prove that the gospel of Christ has not lost its power to save. True conversion breaks with the old life. The past barriers seem, to melt away. The Holy Spirit convicts sinners and woos them into fellowship with the Master, resulting in victory over former environment, past philosophies, training, and heredity.
Dr. Ferm has collected and verified the conversion experiences of many people in all walks of life who professed faith in Christ during the Graham crusades. These testimonies are from England, Scotland, and the United States. Pastor and evangelist will find many fine usable illustrations from these experiences. The volume tells stories of the changed life of a reporter, a young woman alcoholic, a dope pusher and addict, a psychiatrist, theatrical stars, Wall Street financial giants, college students, office workers, housewives, teen-agers, delinquents, et cetera. Most of these people bear their own testimony of what God is doing for them now, months and years after the evangelistic meetings.
Judaism Meets Christ, Roy Kreider, Herald Press, Scottdale, Pennsylvania, 1960, 77 pages, $1.00.
In the words of Hyman Appleman, well-known Christian evangelist to the Jewish people, his own religious group, we quote: "The Christian public has long awaited this book, brilliantly written, a mine of information, sure to inspire more interest in one of the most desperately needy people of the earth, the Jews." Mr. Kreider approaches the problem of Jewish evangelism, the general approach to Jewish people with the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, from an entirely different angle. "Personally, I should recommend urgently that this book be made a must for all theological seminaries, for all Bible institutes, and for all who are even slightly interested in God's ancient people."
After reading this booklet we well agree with the recommending evangelist's appraisal. While Seventh-day Adventist workers hardly need to be convinced of the need of Jewish evangelism, we do well to study this unique and enlightening book from new angles. The author is well fitted to interpret Jewish needs and religious indifference. His illuminating methodology instills confidence in the book's becoming a must for every minister. Adventists appreciate the part Jewish converts to Christ will play in last-day evangelism. Roy Kreider of the Mennonite Board of Missions, scholar in the field of Jewish history, rabbinics, Jewish religious and philosophical thought, and the Hebrew language, richly shares his experience with us who longingly work to win many of the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" to Christ. One cannot read this book without becoming deeply burdened to receive the right preparation of heart and mind to lead Israel back to God
Louise C. Kleuser
After the Storm the Restoring Fire, J. Walter Rich, Christopher Publishing House, Boston, Massachusetts, 1960, 254 pages, $3.00.
This is a very attractive volume, the sixth from the pen of a bold thinker. It makes the matter of the Flood pertinent and interesting. In the twenty-five chapters he discusses the effects of the Flood upon the earth. Among the chapter titles are "Earth's Climatic Changes," "Why It Never Rained Before the Flood," "The Cargo of the Ark," "How the Earth Was Affected by the Flood," "The Earth Is to Be Restored."
Mr. Rich says, "All evidence brought together shows that it was a world of giants, both animal and vegetable. . . . All the great mountain ranges of the present were elevated in comparatively recent geological times." His description of the animal bonepits at LaBrea and McKittrick is intensely interesting and valuable. He says, "A great flood had brought down the drowned animals and others whose bones lined the shore of the river." He tells the story of the ten saddled and bridled horses found in Siberia. "They were all standing with bridles and saddles on, perfectly preserved with their hair in place, and with eyes open and staring. . . . Judged by the equipment of the horses, they belonged to a race of high-grade artists and artisans."
The chapters on "The Building of the Ark" and "The Cargo of the Ark" will be read with interest. The book is easy to read, and it can be used in establishing the faith of anyone who is disturbed by popular misconceptions of scientific discussion.
H. F. Brown
The Preacher's Calling to Be Servant, D. T. Niles, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1959, 143 pages, $2.50.
I have enjoyed with profit the reading of this scholarly work. It is quite different from many of the books that reach my desk. Dr. D. T. Niles is a youthful man, graduated from the United Theological College in Bangalore, India. He has recently assumed the post of executive secretary of the newly formed East Asian Christian Conference of the World Council of Churches. These Warrack Lectures were delivered in Scotland; however, they are more than lectures, they are straightforward sermons for preachers, addressed to preachers, and concern their calling to be preachers.
The preacher is not a reformer; he is a witness. And somehow a true connection must be established between him and those to whom he is witnessing. To illustrate this, Dr. Niles tells an experience of Father Damien, who ministered to the lepers of Molokai. His first few sermons to the lepers began with the words "My brethren." After he was there for a while his opening words were "We lepers." He had entered their world. He became a part of them, for a minister must become a sympathetic, understanding part of his congregation. I especially appreciated the chapters "The Servant and His Master" and "The Servant in His Master's Prayer." This is a fresh book on gospel preaching and gospel living with a missionary background.
Exploring Your Bible, John P. Oakes, Th.D., Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 155 pages, $2.95.
The author is an ordained Baptist minister and an instructor in Bible and Bible-related subjects. His easy and sincere style is an attraction that adds much to this book of study methods. The contents include: Authorship of the Bible; Growth and Development of the Bible; The Bible and Its Language; The Bible in English; Helps in Bible Study; Studying the Bible. Problems pertaining to translations and versions, the Bible's truthfulness and accuracy, chain reference helps, dictionaries, concordances, and commentaries are handled skillfully, and helpful illustrations are given with simple texts in Hebrew, Greek, and English. This is a comprehensive plan to aid in acquiring an over-all acquaintance with the Bible.
This study-help contains much simplified historical information on the various boeks of the Bible. It is hardly profound, but it is exceedingly practical for younger workers and laymen generally. Additional features are a good glossary and bibliography, and a Scripture and subject index. It could serve a need for Bible classes, training courses, and youth evangelism, where it is necessary to stimulate deeper interest in the study of the Word of God.
Louise C. Kleuser