Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 98:389 (Jan 41) p. 121
Modern Man and the Cross. By John C. Schroeder, D.D., LL.D. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. 168 pp. $1.50.
As a starting point for this review, the announcement by the publisher will serve well: “Around the enduring symbol of the Christian religion-the Cross-a mass of legend, superstition, and sentimentality has gathered through the years, until its original significance has been almost totally obscured. Wondering, as have many before him, why Christianity’s standard is so bitter and cruel a symbol, Dr. Schroeder here seeks to find in the Cross its real meaning. In pages at once alive with pertinent and entertaining incidents and illumined with a deep underlying sincerity, he recreates the original significance of the Cross and reveals its vital importance to our own time. The Cross is as important to men in our modern world as it was to the early Christians in the catacombs, the author declares, and he shows how its unconditional realism is the bulwark of a sound faith. Man’s goodness, his wisdom, his personality, his salvation, the very church in which he worships-all stand or fall as man accepts the Cross. And the Cross means that man must understand and face reality, that to possess the greatest treasures he must pay their price-as Jesus did. ‘The Cross alone,’ says the author, ‘reveals man’s nature to himself and at the same time proclaims a faith that will save him from himself.’ In revivifying the living significance of the Cross, Dr. Schroeder has written a work of first importance, notable for its vigor, clarity and profound understanding of human nature.”
Dr. Schroeder is Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School. This small volume reflects the mind of one who enters deeply into human life and experience. From that standpoint the book will be classed at once as of unusual value. For those who desire the stimulus of a striking analysis of human traits and faultless diction, this book is not to be passed by.
As a penetration into the doctrinal aspects of the death of Christ-that is, of the Bible with its prophecy, types, history, and dogmatic doctrines, the book rises no higher than that which St. Paul classified when he said of the cross that it
BSac 98:389 (Jan 41) p. 122
is “to the Greek, foolishness.” It is not that St. Paul would imply that the Greek is making light of the cross. It is rather that had the Son of God no greater mission to this world than that assigned to him by the Greek, it would be a foolish mission no matter how sincere the Sufferer. Dr. Schroeder has labored to set forth the inadequate scheme of interpretation which makes the cross a high ideal of good men, as well as a condemnation of bad men because they fa...
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