Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 113:450 (Apr 56) p. 174
Man’s Knowledge Of God. By William J. Wolf. Doubleday And Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1955. 189 pp. $2.95.
This volume, which is a part of the “Christian Faith Series,” is written by the professor of theology and philosophy of religion at Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Mass. For the most part, it deals with familiar subjects within the sphere of neoorthodoxy, beginning with the search for God today and tracing the path through the Old Testament into the New Testament with Jesus Christ as the supreme revelation of God. In his doctrine of revelation, he presents the familiar definition found in both neo-orthodoxy and crisis theology. Revelation is primarily communication of God to man and is valid only as it is experienced by man. Unlike some adherents of neo-orthodoxy, however, the author places more emphasis upon historic revelation. He states: “It is to the events of the life, death, resurrection, exaltation, and return of Christ that the Christian looks for the knowledge of God. Here it is believed that a history of revelation is transformed into history as revelation” (p. 54).
In his presentation of the theological significance of Jesus Christ he is somewhat to the right of the usual neo-orthodox position. In response to the question concerning the place of Jesus in relation to revelation, he states: “The answer to this question must be without hesitation or apology. Jesus Christ is the final revelation” (p. 104). He openly opposes those who regard Jesus simply as the “world’s greatest religious teacher” (p. 92). He states further: “Only if Jesus is not merely like the God whom He describes, but is essentially that God, can faith grasp the full depth of the teaching” (p. 92). He points out that “Jesus has a disturbing habit of placing Himself where His contemporaries had been taught to place God. The cry of blasphemy raised against Him was justified if this Nazarene carpenter had no further credentials” (p. 93).
In contrast to the conservative tendency in his doctrine of the person of Christ, he argues against the idea that heathen religions do not contain some revelation of God. He attempts a middle course between those who claim the absolute supremacy of Christianity and those who would equate Christianity as merely another religion.
As the author himself claims, the main contribution of the book is in the realm of the doctrine of revelation and for all practical purses is a well-written exposition of the neo-orthodox point of view.
J. F. Walvoord
BSac 113:450 (Apr 56) p. 175
Toward A Theology Of Evangelism. By Julian N. Hartt. Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1955. 123 pp. $...
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