Recommended Reading

Monthly book reviews by various authors

Monthly book reviews by various authors

The Kingdoms of the Lord

David F. Payne, Eerdmans, 1981, 304 pages, $9.95, paper. Reviewed by Lawrence T. Geraty, professor of Old Testament and history of antiquity, Andrews University.

The Kingdoms of the Lord surveys Biblical history from the rise of the monarchy in the time of Samuel to its demise at the destruction of Jerusalem. Its twenty-seven chapters are divided into four main parts: Part I recounts the political history of that period; Part II takes a more detailed look at the environment in terms of Israel's enemies—both external and internal; Part III emphasizes by century the contribution of the prophets to Israel's history; and Part IV surveys Israel's faith as it developed during this important period. Because of this fourfold approach to the story of Israel, some repetition is inevitable; yet the book is a well-written, well-informed, and up-to-date survey that will be appreciated by the readers of this periodical. The history is based largely on the Biblical text, though relevant information from archeology and ancient Near Eastern documents is also often used to good advantage.

Marital Counseling: A Biblical Behavioral Cognitive Approach

H. Norman Wright, Christian Marriage Enrichment, 1913 E. 17th Street, Suite 118, Santa Ana, California 92701, 1981, 420 pages, $16.95. Reviewed by Delmer W. Holbrook, director, General Conference Home and Family Service.

Don't put this book on your library shelf! Buy it and put it on your desk. Then read it once without stopping or marking. Read it the second time in short bites—marking, analyzing, and adapting the ideas. Then read it a third time a few months later to nail down the ideas.

Norm Wright knows, understands, and is a friend of Adventists. He has met with groups of Seventh-day Adventist ministers across North America and is a popular guest at the Andrews University Family Life Workshops. There is a reason for his warm acceptance among Adventists. He is thoroughly and soundly Biblical. He rigorously avoids the mushy humanism so prevalent in family life literature and spells out his thinking in crisp, clear English.

Unlike many writers on marriage and family life themes, the author does not wander about in lengthy descriptions, but gets down to basic how-to-handle suggestions that make this volume one of the most practical books on counseling this reviewer has seen in years. Wright's discussion of tests and inventories for use by counselors is well worth the price of the book. The chapter on pitfalls in counseling is adequate, but most readers will probably wish he had been more specific with more actual cases to illustrate his points.

Probably the most attractive aspect of Norm Wright's work is the realistic approach he uses. He does not let any commitment to some school of thought in counseling get in his way and he recognizes that a short-term, structured approach to counseling is the wisest way for the busy pastor. Home and Family Service of the General Conference lauds and recommends this dependable and probably classic text for Bible-based counseling.

Archaeology, the Rabbis, and Early Christianity

Eric M. Meyers and James F. Strange, Abingdon, 1981, 208pages, $7.95, paper. Reviewed by Sakae Kubo, president, Newbold College.

The authors bring together the findings of archeology and historical literature and set forth their implications for an understanding of the development of early Christianity and Judaism in Pales tine. Their studies show that there was diversity in both of these related religions, greater contacts between them, and a similar attachment to the land of Palestine. This is done by treating a variety of topics such as geography, languages, burial practices, early Christian churches, synagogues and their art, and attachment to the land. Perhaps greater clarity, coherence, and integration would have been achieved if they had correlated their materials along the lines of their theses.

Church Advertising

Steve Dunkin, Abingdon, 1982, 126pages, $4-95, paper. Reviewed by Owen Troy, communication director, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

According to Dunkin, advertising can: (1) stimulate impulses that are either dormant or repressed; (2) rechannel, redirect, and modify existing attitudes toward a product or service; (3) persuade a person to try or sample a product or service for the first time. He agrees with Robert Schuller, who recommends that 5 percent of the church budget should be used for advertising. But he makes it clear that it takes more than just spending money to do the job. The author suggests a strategy that can be used by nearly every pastor. It is concerned mainly with the use of broad casting, newspaper ads, and direct mail, but gives additional suggestions on ways to use other media.

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Monthly book reviews by various authors

February 1983

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More Articles In This Issue

How Adventism can stop growing

Around the country stand numerous empty, abandoned old churches. But they aren't Mormon churches. They aren't Seventh-day Adventist churches. They aren't Church of Christ churches or Southern Baptist churches. In describing why certain denominations flourish while others decline, the author also gives Seventh-day Adventists a formula for how to stop growing.

Ritual and Adventist worship

Perhaps it is providential the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not have many liturgical roots. We have the opportunity to start with a clean slate and create forms of worship that are distinctively ours and that reflect our unique beliefs.

Pastor and evangelist: closing the gap

In North America evangelists and pastors have increasingly been going separate ways. Evangelism is now something the church does one or two months a year, while its major emphasis is nurture of members. Such an attitude needs to change if the church is to grow.

Peter: First-Century Revolutionary

Are we willing today to be a revolutionary as Peter was? Are we willing to give church members responsibility commensurate with their calling and enable them to become all that God plans for them to be?

Don't make your people endure Communion

The communion service doesn't have to be a marathon that exhausts not only children but adults as well Here are some suggestions for making it significant yet enjoyable.

Making youth baptisms mean something

The decision of a young per son for Christ is an important event. Let's not sandwich it between the announcements and the special music. Make it an event to be remembered all life long.

The Advent near

Our church rose in a context of expectancy regarding the coming of Christ. What began as a sprint may have taken on characteristics of a marathon, says the author. Nevertheless, the spiritual attitudes of the sprint must be ours throughout the race, no matter how long it may be. Always we must keep the coming of Christ near and let it influence every decision of our lives.

Worship leaves a warm feeling

Who would come out to prayer meeting on the coldest night of the winter and with more snow forecast? And if they did, burst water pipes ought to chill their enthusiasm! But something happened to dispel the cold.

What archeology can and cannot do

Archeology can never be a substitute for faith, nor can it "prove" the Bible to be true and trustworthy. It can, when correctly interpreted, illuminate the Scripture record and aid our understanding of it.

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