Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 120:479 (Jul 63) p. 259
Bruce, F. F., “When Is A Gospel Not A Gospel?” Bulletin Of The John Rylands Library, March, 1963.
This is a day of doctrinal haziness when on the pretense that indecision indicates scholarship men shy away from precise definitions of what the Word of God teaches. It is refreshing to see in this article a scholarly discussion by the Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester of what the New Testament teaches concerning the term gospel. Dr. Bruce, long one of England’s distinguished Biblical scholars, demonstrates with reference to the four Gospel accounts that they were not called gospels until the late second century. Rather they were known as the gospel “variously recorded by Matthew, Mark and the rest.” The essential element which distinguishes the noncanonical gospels from the four canonical Gospels is the latter’s supreme emphasis upon the passion of Christ.
The major portion of the article is a discussion of what Paul meant in Galatians 1:6–8 and 2 Corinthians 11:4 by his reference to a different or another gospel. His summary statement is an excellent presentation of the New Testament answers to the question “When is a Gospel not a Gospel?” or positively, what is the true gospel? “To sum up, then, we may say that, according to the general consensus of New Testament teaching, a gospel is not a gospel when—1. it is detached from the Jesus of history; 2. it gives little or no place to the passion; 3. it exalts human achievement in place of the grace of God; 4. it adds other conditions to the one which God has declared acceptable (even if those additions be good and desirable in themselves); or 5. it treats righteousness and purity which the truly spiritual man has outstripped. On the other hand, a gospel is a gospel when—1. it maintains contact with the Jesus of history, affirming that ‘this same Jesus’ who came in the flesh and died is the vindicated and exalted Lord; 2. it embraces and proclaims ‘the stumbling block of the cross’; 3. it extends the grace of God to men for their acceptance by faith; 4. it relies upon the power of the Spirit to make it effective in those who hear it; and 5. it issues in a life of righteousness and purity which is sustained and directed by the love of God.” Measured against this standard, much of critical scholarship would be found wanting, in the judgment of this reviewer.
BSac 120:479 (Jul 63) p. 260
Kulp, Laurence, “Must We Be Afraid Of Science?” Eternity, May, 1963.
Evangelical Christians will join with the distinguished professor of geochemistry at Colum...
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