A New Star -- By: C. Norman Bartlett

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 089:355 (Jul 1932)
Article: A New Star
Author: C. Norman Bartlett


A New Star

C. Norman Bartlett

A new star in the skies of Philosophical theology is an event to be hailed with acclaim on the part of Christian thinkers. Just such a phenomenon is a recent book by President Nathan R. Wood entitled “The Secret of the Universe” and published by Fleming H. Revell Co. It is a monograph that merits the highest recognition by virtue of its striking originality. Having read most of the really significant works that have been appearing of late in the allied fields of theism and cosmology, the present reviewer can honestly testify that not one of them has so powerfully gripped his mind through sheer weight of creative thought as has this book by Dr. Wood. Far from being a rehash of the views of other scholars, past and present, his treatise makes a real contribution to thought that will have to be reckoned with by theologians and philosophers, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the author’s conclusions. The thesis he seeks to establish is too daringly aggressive to be ignored. Sooner or later it is bound to precipitate red-hot discussion in theological, philosophical and scientific circles.

Instead of undertaking to give a detailed analysis of this significant treatise, our aim in this review is to present its high lights in such a way as to whet our readers’ appetites to the point where they will buy, beg or borrow the book for themselves, in order to pursue its fascinating trails of reflection to unexpected vistas of beauty and outlooks of grandeur.

The writer handles his sacred theme with utmost reverence. He employs his brilliant thinking powers to magnify rather than to belittle the eternal verities of God, and the result is a book that illuminates and glorifies one of the profoundest mysteries of our Christian faith.

Those who hold that evangelical conviction and philosophical acumen are mutually exclusive are likely to be

disillusioned upon reading this book, for Dr. Wood is at one and the same time an earnest believer in the gospel and a remarkably subtle thinker. He is thoroughly conversant with the main currents of scientific and philosophical thought of earlier days and fully abreast of contemporary discoveries and hypotheses. At the same time he is master of, not mastered by, his learning. He is not to be browbeaten by unwarranted assumptions, nor intimidated by formidable authorities who seek to overthrow Christianity with spurious scholarship. He knows the difference between bullets and blank cartridges. He thinks for himself. With the power born of genius he manipulates and refutes metaphysical conceptions that the ordinary mind is unable even to comprehend.

And now for a few wor...

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