MICHAEL BELINA CZECHOWSKI, 1818-1876
R. L. Dabrowski, editor, Znaki Czasu Publishing House, Warsaw, Poland, 1979, 550 pages, $7.95.
In mid-1976 a group of Adventist scholars met in Warsaw, Poland, to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the death of M. B. Czechowski. Out of this symposium came a book containing virtually all the currently available information about this interesting and enigmatic Polish immigrant to America who became an early convert to Adventism. His education and boundless energies seemed to hold promise of a prominent place in the developing church; however, neither the young American church nor the European scholar really understood each other. Strained relationships resulted at times, and when Czechowski expressed a continuing desire to return to Europe and spread the Advent message in his native land, the church turned a deaf ear. The story of how he reached Europe, the pioneer work that he did there (howbeit in an unofficial, even covert, manner), and his mysterious death are all unfolded for the first time in this fascinating book.
Among those contributing to this volume are Alfred Vaucher, considered by many to be the dean of Adventist historians, and the grandson of the first baptized Seventh-day Adventist in Europe; Dr. B. B. Beach, of the Northern Europe-West Africa Division; Raymond Dabrowski, editor at the Polish Publishing House; Dr. Konrad Mueller, curator of the E. G. White Research Center in Europe; and Dr. Gottfried Oosterwal, professor at the Theological Seminary, Andrews University.
A unique contribution to Adventist Church history, this volume, printed in both Polish and English, contains original research regarding the beginnings of the work in Europe as well as forty pages of photographs and documents, many of which appear in print for the first time (including a hitherto unpublished letter from E. G. White to Brother Czechowski). Copies are available at your local Adventist Book Center.
THE OUIJA BOARD
Edmund C. Gruss, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1975, 191 pages, $1.50.
With Ouija boards now replacing Monopoly as America's favorite board game, with the rash of movies and books glorifying the occult and the supernatural, Grass's timely book can be a real help to those who are perplexed regarding this "harmless" parlor game characterized by the author as the "doorway to the occult." Mr. Gruss has done his homework, and this little volume will be an excellent resource.
In addition to dealing forthrightly with the Ouija board, the book explores the Biblical position on crucial questions surrounding the occult.
A NEW FRONTIER—EVERY BELIEVER A MINISTER
Rex D. Edwards, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1979, 126 pages, $4.50.
In the early Christian church every believer was a minister; each was to witness for Christ. Satan, trying every means to hinder the progress of the primitive church, finally found a way. He divided the church into two groups—the clergy and the laity. The clergy were paid to preach, pray, and proselytize; the members came to sit in silence. The result was "the devil's millennium"—the Dark Ages, when the light of truth was nearly obliterated.
This book calls us back to God's original plan by reminding us that "the New Testament clearly teaches that all Christians are to be ministers. Anything else clearly violates the demands of discipleship which our Lord ^presented.''
Edwards emphasizes that Jesus described the mighty work His Spirit would do for believers by saying, "You shall be witnesses to Me," not "You shall do witnessing." For every Christian, witnessing becomes a "way of life," a living part of his being and personality.
"The future will record," concludes Edwards, "whether we will be successful in recapturing and applying the doctrine [of every member being a minister]. This is not simply a desirable doctrine; this is the key by which we can accomplish our mission in the world and make the impossible possible."
Don R. Christman
THE END—UNIQUE VOICE OF ADVENTISTS ABOUT THE RETURN OF JESUS
Herbert E. Douglass, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Mountain View, California, 1979, 192 pages, cloth, $7.95; paperback, $4.50.
The End should be required reading for every Adventist, and a "must" for every minister. Since an imminent return of Jesus is the historic dynamic of Adventism, and since the coming has now been delayed for over a century, Adventists have a problem which challenges the very reason for their existence! Dr. Douglass tackles this problem and provides logical and Biblical solutions.
Recognizing a "current worldwide emphasis on the end of the world," this book is concerned with "growing dilemmas within the Christian church in general and the Seventh-day Adventist Church specifically, during (what some have called) the time of the delayed advent" (page 10). It gives special attention to "a positive picture of what Jesus did say about the kind of people who will be ready for His return, and what they will be doing to hasten that day" (page 11). According to the author, the coming of Jesus is in a holding pattern, and "the awesome truth is that only SDAs are able to tell the world why."
W. B. Quigley