Tensions in Contemporary Theology
Eds. Stanley N. Gundry and Alan F. Johnson with foreword by Roger Nicole, Baker Book House, paperback edition, 1983, 478 pages, $12.95. Reviewed by Gerhard F. Hasel, Dean, Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.
This volume with ten chapters on the contemporary theological scene is written by nine competent, balanced, evangelical/neoevangelical scholars. B. Ramm writes on the developments in theology from Schleiermacher to K. Barth and R. Bultmann. B. C. Grounds describes the developments leading to the radical theologians of the 1960s and 1970s. The matter of religious language is discussed by S. Obitts. The topic of the secular theology of the death-of-God theologians and such thinkers as D. Bonhoeffer, J.A.T. Robinson, and Harvey G. Cox is handled by H. B. Kuhn. The entire range of what is known as the "theology of hope" with special attention to J. Moltmann, W. Pannenberg, J. B. Metz, and R. Alvez and its philosopher Ernst Bloch is treated by S. P. Scaer. The new theological school known as "process theology," with such leading figures as A. N. Whitehead, Charles Hartshome, John B. Cobb, N. Pike, Schubert Ogden, and N. Pittenger, is presented by N. L. Geisler. David F. Wells introduces the changes and developments in recent Roman Catholic theology. An over view of Latin and black theologies of liberation is put forth by Harvie M. Conn, who addresses in a second essay the liberation theologies' emerging consensus. "The Conservative Option" is the title of the last chapter, by Harold O. J. Brown, who surveys some basic issues from an evangelical perspective.
This is a very rich volume that brings together in this revised paper back edition (initially released in 1976) a wealth of information that keeps the reader informed on all major issues in contemporary theology. Each contributor provides a critique or reaction followed by often extensive foot notes and a helpful list of selected readings. The literature cited does not usually go beyond the early 1970s, but the entire volume promises to be most fruitful reading and keeps the layperson, pastor, and seminarian abreast of contemporary issues in theology. What is unfortunately missing is an essay on the contemporary issues in evangelical theology. We would urge this to be added in a future edition and we would urge that the evangelical reactions to the nonevangelical theologies be enlarged.
Midnight and Morning. Clyde E. Hewitt, Venture Books, 1983, 326 pages, $8.95. A fascinating look at the history of the Millerite movement, especially as it relates to the emergence of the Advent Christian Church.
The Christian Confronts His Culture. Richard A. Fowler and H. Wayne House, Moody Press, 1983, 228 pages, $7.95. Seeks to guide Christians to a Biblical perspective that will help them relate effectively to abortion, feminism, and homosexuality.
Wholeness and Holiness: Readings in the Psychology/Theology of Mental Health. H. Newton Malony, editor, Baker Book House, 1983, 344 pages, $12.95. Twenty-three articles grouped under five subheadings: (1) the human predicament, (2) the experience of living, (3) the meaning of health, (4) the process of healing, (5) methods of therapy.
When a Friend Is Dying. Edward F. Dobihal, Jr., and Charles William Stewart, Abingdon, 1 984, 224 pages, $10.95. A look at the church's ministry to the dying and their families, especially as it relates to lay involvement in ministering. Includes a selected bibliography and list of film resources.
Walking Through Your Bible With H.M.S. Richards. Kenneth W. Wilson, editor, Pacific Press, 1983, 382 pages, $7.95. A combination "Bible Year" and morning devotional, the book divides the Bible into 365 consecutive reading assignments with a memory gem assigned from the day's reading and commentary selected from the sermons and writings of H.M.S. Richards. A special feature is definitions of difficult or obscure words from the day's passage.
The Youth Leader's Sourcebook. Gary Dausey, editor, Zondervan, 1983, 320 pages, $14-95. Draws on the experience and expertise of twenty-five successful youth leaders to share ideas and a lot of practical how-to information. The chapters come under subheadings "Building the Foundation for a Successful Youth Ministry," "Providing Activities With a Purpose," and "Sharpening the Tools of Youth Work." Extensive lists of resource materials are also included.