An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus
Robert H. Stein, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1981, 180 pages, $8.95, paper. Reviewed by Sakae Kubo, president Newbold College, England.
A great deal of study has been placed on the parables of Jesus in recent years. Until 1888 when Adolf Jiilicher published his book of the parables of Jesus, the allegorical method was generally used in intepreting the parables. Jiilicher's main contribution was to show that the parable has only one main point, thus doing away with the allegorical approach to the parables. Further advances on the understanding of the parables came especially through the efforts of C. H. Dodd and Joachim Jeremias.
In this excellent work of Stein we have a simple introduction to the study of the parables. He deals first with the meaning of the word parable, along with the purpose and the setting of the parables. Then he presents a history of parable interpretation, beginning with the period of the early Church Fathers up to the present time. As a result of this study, he sets forth the basic principle of interpretation that he feels we must follow today.
The next four chapters illustrate the method that he has suggested. In these chapters he groups together parables that deal with the following themes: the kingdom of God as a present reality, the kingdom of God as demand, the God of the parables, and the final judgment. Stein is a conservative, and the value of this book is to show how a conservative can use modern approaches to the study of the parables and still be faithful to the Word of God. Every minister who preaches on the parables should be familiar with the contents of this book.
Burnout In Ministry
Brooks R. Faulkner, Broadman Press, 1981, 193 pages, $4.95, paper. Reviewed by Rudolf E. Klimes, associate director, General Conference Health and Temperance Department.
This is more than a useful guide on how to recognize and avoid burnout. Faulkner clearly faces the major issues in any professional's life—the home, physical life, guilt, anger, authority, priorities, and refueling. He is a master at highlighting problems, suggesting solutions, and illustrating them from his own and other pastoral ministries. He asks the reader to join him on his personal pilgrimage as a potential burnout. The walk through these pages with Faulkner is well worth it—for the minister who never will burn out, for the potential burnout, and for the burnout.
In his last chapter Faulkner presents excellent guidelines for refueling: assume the anxieties of ministry, learn coping strategies, develop a support network, eat right, and use an action plan.
Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages
Haddon W. Robinson, Baker, 1980, $9.95. Reviewed by Reginald N. Shires, pastor, Takoma Park, Maryland.
Robinson believes a sermon must start with a Biblical passage. Yet he does not ignore the needs of the people in the congregation; the sermon should relate to these needs. But unless the sermon relates the Scripture passage to the experience of the hearer, it is not effective. A modern preacher must be knowledgeable in three areas: the Bible and its knowledge, current thought trends, and the uniqueness of his parish and its response to the gospel.
The Electronic Giant: A Critique of the Telecommunications Revolution From a Christian Perspective
Stewart M. Hoover, Brethren Press, 166 pages, $6.95, paper. Reviewed by Victor Cooper, associate director, General Conference Department of Communication.
Hoover avoids "the extreme view points which have seduced many commentators on mass media," considering it to be neither "a picture of hopelessness" or a touchstone to fullness of delight. He describes some of the power struggles going on in our global village and attempts to dispel some frequently mouthed myths about television.
Hoover outlines the history of cable TV, which was originally in the hands of small organizations, and describes the potential danger to privacy and the home by such services as cable, home video, direct broadcast satellite, security, banking, shopping, one-way teletext, and two-way videotext.
The Daily Study Bible—Old Testament. (Genesis, vol. 1; Genesis, vol. 2; Exodus; Leviticus; Samuel; Psalms, vol. 1; and Daniel now available.) Westminster Press, 1981, 1982, $10.95/$5.95.
Luther and the Papacy, Scott H. Hendrix, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1981, 228 pages, $14.95.
Ready to Restore: The Layman's Guide to Christian Counseling, Jay E. Adams, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1981, 111 pages, $2.95.