Recommended Reading

Monthly book reviews.

Monthly book reviews by various authors.


Oscar E. Feucht, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri 63118, 1976, 158 pages, $1.25.

Here is a book that should be required reading for every concerned Christian. Everyone a Minister boldly examines new avenues of communication between clergy and laity, and the startling possibilities of a Biblically inspired priesthood of all believers. Feucht's observation is that the average church uses its laity in its educational and business structures. Only a few denominations have been successful in involving the laity in the ministry as the New Testament describes it and the early church produced it.

The author gives a thorough examination of the Biblical role of the Christian layman. He clearly shows how God wants to use every believing man, woman, and child and what churches can do to bring about this God-intended use of their people. The bibliography contains a wealth of additional related studies.

J. Lynn Martell


William J. Reynolds and Milburn Price, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 383 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10017, 1978, 368 pages, $14.95.

First published under the title A Survey of Christian Hymnody, this second edition has been enlarged with more historical material and recent trends.

The first 124 pages survey the development of hymnody, including such topics as early church song, the Lutheran chorale, hymnody of the evangelical revival, early-American singing schools, the gospel song, and twentieth-century developments.

One hundred fifty-nine hymns, complete with words and music, illustrate the various styles and types of congregational music, from Gregorian chant to contemporary hymns. An excellent bibliography gives materials for further study.

From the preface: "Ministers as well as lay workers involved in programs of teaching and training have a responsibility for selecting hymnic materials. If these leaders can be helped to understand the values of hymn singing and the need for exercising careful judgment in the choice of hymns, the intelligent appreciation of students and the spiritual growth of congregations will be increased."

Every pastor needs to be aware of the developments in the area of congregational music, and there is no better book to give him this information than this one.

Harold B. Hannum


L. Duane Thuman, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515, paperback, 144 pages, $3.50.

While this book will undoubtedly be considered one of the most significant additions to creationist literature, it deserves a broader classification under the general category of origins. The author aims to give high school and college students an approach to the origin of life that avoids dogmatism and does not attempt to prove or disprove any viewpoint. He seeks to educate rather than indoctrinate. His book succeeds in these goals so well that it deserves first priority as a supplemental reference for biology courses in public schools.

Thuman represents the Creation-evolution controversy as a controversy over interpretation, not over scientific evidence or Biblical texts—a conflict between the debatable theories of some scientists and the doubtful interpretations of some expositors.

The final chapter, "Your Approach to Controversy," offers counsel on the making of choices based on a reasoned faith. Both this and the preceding chapter contain a number of trenchant statements concerning the nature and the use of evidence related to Creation-evolution viewpoints.

R. H. Brown


edited by A. Elwood Sanner and A. F. Harper, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1978, 504 pages, $11.95.

The term Christian Education is given a more comprehensive interpretation in this book than mere formal training in a school setting. It covers the clergy as teachers, Sunday school leaders and teachers, youth workers of all kinds, and even includes leaders of senior-citizen groups. It also touches formal training in schools, but in a very secondary way. For this reason this volume is of value to any individual who labors for the Lord in the church, whether as an employed worker or as a lay member.

Sanner and Harper emphasize "education" as an integral and vital part of the church. Since "the church is only one generation away from extinction," total education of the current generation is of the greatest importance.

The first part of the book lists what the authors see as the objectives of Christian education, the major one being evangelism, or the bringing of persons into a right relationship with God. In this opening section Sanner and Harper define and describe the church as a whole, including its history and the basis for its doctrines; they outline the role of the family, the church, and the school in its broadest terms, and give insights in understanding children and youth.

The latter half of the book describes the many ways that education can help individuals to enter into a satisfactory relationship with God, focusing on Christian education in the local church. The authors suggest possible approaches, and give minute details of procedures to be followed, as well as sources for further reading.

Walton J. Brown

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Monthly book reviews by various authors.

September 1979

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