God Cares, Volume 1: The Message of Daniel for You and Your Family.
C. Mervyn Maxwell, Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, 318 pages, $8.95. Reviewed by Nikolaus Satelmajer, Ministerial secretary, New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
For years the book of Daniel has not received the attention it deserves. On the one hand have been those who claim it was written in the first or second century B.C. and not during the Babylonian captivity. This group has not accepted either Daniel's history or prophecy seriously. On the other hand are those who accept the early author ship of Daniel, but who have often gone to extremes in interpreting its prophecies. Unfortunately, neither group has given us much help in understanding Daniel.
Dr. Mervyn Maxwell has capably dealt with many of the questions that are raised about the book and has provided an invaluable aid to those who wish to study seriously the book of Daniel. Here is a volume that will help you to understand the setting of Daniel's time and the prophecies of the book. It will richly reward the reader.
The style of God Cares is rather unusual. Most readers will find it appealing, although at times they may wonder whether they are reading a story or a serious book on Daniel. The fact of the matter is that Maxwell is a storyteller who is providing a serious work on Daniel in the format of a story. The style makes the book interesting reading. The scholarship makes it a useful tool.
The organization of the book is a helpful feature. Most chapters have an introduction, followed by an explanation of the messages of that particular chapter of Daniel and a section titled "Your Questions Answered." Maps, charts, bibliographies, and indexes are helpful aids throughout the book, also.
This outstanding study of Daniel would be most useful for study groups. The printing of the Biblical text for each chapter is a real benefit for such use. The price is not prohibitive, and members of study groups will no doubt be willing to purchase it.
The author is already working on a companion volume, The Message of Revelation for You and Your Family.
There's a Lot More to Health Than Not Being Sick
Bruce Larson, Word Books, 1981, 144 pages, $6.95. Reviewed by Albert S. Whiting, M.D., associate director of the General Conference Health and Temperance Department.
Anyone familiar with the relationship of mind (and behavior) and body will recognize the insights that Bruce Larson presents in this readable volume. Those not as familiar with these relationships should make this book a priority item on their reading list. It is not a medical or psychological treatise but a series of illustrated questions that the reader will be compelled to apply to his or her ministry.
The author, an experienced pastor and counselor, emphasizes the holistic aspects of health in a Christian context. His basic ideas are in harmony with current medical knowledge. The book deals with attitudes and behavior choices that have negative or positive effects on physical health and our sense of well-being. The principles outlined are not gimmicks but Christian principles that if practiced will be good health insurance.
Ministry in America
David S. Schuler, Merton P. Strommen, and Milo L. Brekke, editors, Harper & Row, 1980, 640 pages, $31.95. Reviewed by Raoul Dederen, professor, Andrews University Theological Seminary.
Ministry in America is subtitled A Report and Analysis, Based on an In-Depth Survey of 47 Denominations in the United States and Canada with Interpretation by 18 Experts. It represents the most exhaustive study of ministry in North America ever undertaken. Founded by the Lilly Endowment and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and assisted by the Search Institute of Minneapolis, it surveyed thousands of lay persons, parish clergy, church leaders, theological professors, and seminarians in forty-seven denominations to uncover what it is that the churches expect of a beginning minister. The results are presented through 225 figures and tables.
The forty-seven denominations in this study were grouped by the editors in thirteen denominational "families" on the basis of historical similarities and patterns of responses to the long and fine-tuned questionnaries sent out.
Ministry in America delves into numerous critical issues that apply to ministers of all Christian denominations. It provides information about ministry that is unparalleled in quality and scope. Seminaries, church officials, and local congregations can profit highly from a study that will undoubtedly become a standard source for assessing contemporary attitudes toward ministry. Better, it will further understanding and cooperation between clergy and laity in many Christian churches.