Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 091:361 (Jan 1934)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Christianity The Paradox Of God. By Donald MacKenzie. Fleming H. Revell Company. 221 pp.

Dr. MacKenzie is Professor of Theology in Western Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the material set forth in this volume was given as the James Sprunt lectures for 1933 at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.

To one who has read this book, the publisher’s estimation of it seems true to a marked degree: “A careful and scholarly enquiry into the nature of paradox in its mental relations, and psychological aspects, leading up to reverent meditation on the great Paradox of God, manifest in the flesh, and with the greatest evangelical Paradox-Christ’s death upon the Cross for sinners by God’s appointment of love.”

More than half of this book is given over to a discussion of paradox in general and, while this is of literary value, it disappoints the one who has approached the book with a view to some spiritual profit; but this loss is abundantly compensated in the remainder of the volume. In two chapters entitled Chance and Grace, and Virtue and Grace, the author draws nearer his ultimate goal. The one chapter on The Chief Evangelical Paradox presents a burst of evangelical truth and depth of appreciation of the plan of salvation by and through Christ alone which surpasses any statement we have seen in modern literature.

Dr. MacKenzie states the higher morality of the cross by which God may be just and yet satisfy His love for sinners to the point of justifying them and in the clearest of terms he sets the evangel ringing in the heart of the one who knows experimentally the riches of divine grace. The fact of redemption and its revelation in the Scripture is the chiefest glory in heaven or on earth,

and speaking of the value of the cross to God, Dr. MacKenzie says: “Infinite holiness can here deal redemptively with sinners without abating its own purity.”

And, again, with reference to the text “your sins have separated between you and your God,” he states:

“How, then, can the chasm be bridged? Only by revelation and redemption. Christianity is the divine answer to man’s need, and as the need is paradoxical, so is the answer, and man’s grasp of it is by a paradoxical faith. Rational reflection cannot account for faith, nor can intuition, nor feeling, nor conscience, nor the study of nature or of history, not even the earnest religiosity of the soul. These precede, they do not produce faith. Faith arises from the depth in response to God’s presence. When He appears, faith is possible, and His appearing in the God-Man Christ Jesus is an offence t...

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