Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 098:392 (Oct 1941)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

No Salvation Without Substitution. By J. E. Conant, D.D., Th.D. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 171 pp. $1.00.

In the volume, No Salvation Without Substitution, Dr. Conant has undertaken to set forth the reasonableness of the plan of salvation through the substitutionary death of Christ. Though there is not in this book the usual appeal to the Sacred Text, it is distinctly orthodox and there is probably a polemic value in this unusual approach to so great and central a theme. Dr. Conant’s introduction is a fair and justified declaration respecting the work he has produced. He writes: “It is only to be expected that when we turn to the Bible we should hear its Author say: ‘Come, now and let us reason together,’ and that the reasoning to which He invites us should have salvation from our sins for its subject-’though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool’ (Isa 1:18). Cleansing from sin, and how God made it possible-that is the place to start. Indeed, it is the one place where reason must start, if the moral problems of life are to have any solution. For when reason comes to see how a holy God can be just and still justify the sinful, the clue to the solution of every moral problem whatsoever will be in our hands. With the purpose of making some contribution, if even a slight one, to an understanding of God’s solution of that problem, the following pages seek to show that the only method of salvation of which reason can possibly conceive, when self-evident, axiomatic truth is reckoned with, is the very plan of salvation set forth in the Bible. The thesis is that both the Word of God and reason agree in witnessing to the absolute necessity of atonement by substitution, as accomplished by Christ on the cross, as the only possible ground on which sin could be dealt with and the sinner saved from its consequences; and that the only philosophy of the cross conceivable to reason, when all the requirements of the whole moral universe are reckoned with, is also the divine philosophy found in the Word of God, and which is therefore

eternal and unshakable truth because it inheres in the very nature of things-which is the nature of God Himself. The doctrine of the atonement is and doubtless always will be of unfailing interest. Its depths are so profound that new angles of vision are now and again coming to view, and its principles so comprehensive of all those throughout the moral realm, that they seem to penetrate to the very limit of moral truth.”

The chapter headings are revealing: Chapter 1, “The Nature of God”; Chapt...

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