Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 119:474 (Apr 62) p. 175
Focus On Infinity. By Raymond W. Albright. The Macmillan Company, New York, 1961. 464 pp. $4.95.
Bishop Phillips Brooks had a phenomenal ministry both within Anglicanism in this country and beyond the borders of that denomination. A giant of a man as far as natural gifts and oratorical appeal were concerned, he is a captivating subject of a biography. Professor Albright of the Episcopal Seminary in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has provided us an incisive analysis of this man’s capacities and ministry. There were many American pulpiteers of the nineteenth century who had one rare quality, namely, that of unmatched appeal to all shades of religious opinion. Brooks’s personality was of such fascinating proportion that it completely overshadowed matters of doctrine, theology, and traditional viewpoints. His pulpiteering was of the pungent type according to the standards of the Anglican Church. His pulpit ministry at Trinity Church on Copley Square in Boston was the mountain peak in the long history of that church.
When dealing with a man of such gigantic influence, one hardly knows how much of the superlative to exercise in description and how careful one should be to point out theological and Biblical inconsistencies, deficiencies, and nonconformity which are inevitably there. Some will feel that this book has an overdose of hero worship and filial piety. It does present the great bishop in the finest light without a serious attempt to analyze very carefully what the bishop himself believed and what the people who followed him believed. Christians who read biographies carefully will think of such men as F. W. Robertson, Charles G. Finney, and H. W. Beecher when they read this one on Phillips Brooks—extremely able students of humanity and platform performers, but all of them noticeably weak in that one area where ministers should be the strongest, namely, the gift of rightly dividing the Word of truth. The worshippers of Phillips Brooks knew a great deal about human nature and the wisdom of men, but one could honestly ask how much they knew of the Word of God through this man. One of the intrinsic values of this biography will be that it will dispel
BSac 119:474 (Apr 62) p. 176
many of the proverbial viewpoints connected with the life of Phillips Brooks, especially by orthodox people who have considered Brooks to be the epitome of Biblical soundness.
G. W. Dollar
The Twentieth Century In Europe. By Kenneth Scott Latourette. Harper and Brothers, Publishers, New York, 1961. 568 pp. $8.50.
Eminently qualified as a student and a writer, Professor Latourette has added another tome to the very imposing volumes he has already produced. In car...
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