Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 131:524 (Oct 1974)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Sharpening the Focus of the Church. By Gene A. Getz. Chicago: Moody Press, 1974. 320 pp. $5.95.

In his latest book, the Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Dallas Seminary attempts to help us see more clearly the functions and form of the local church. In Part One (14 chapters), he directs us to look through the “lens of Scripture,” in Part Two (2 chapters) the “lens of history,” and in Part Three (12 chapters) the “lens of culture.” Part Four (2 chapters) contains practical suggestions on how to change a local church from what it is to what it should be as conceived by the author.

The contributions of this book are, first, that Dr. Getz has sought to base his study solidly on Scripture. Second, he has voiced a much needed emphasis on the biblical qualifications for church leaders. Third, he makes a helpful distinction between the qualifications of leaders in the local church and spiritual gifts. Fourth, the book is written so that it could be used as a study guide to help effect change in churches. Dr. Getz has demonstrated in his own personal ministry that the principles in which he believes appeal to Christians; the church which he is currently serving in Richardson, Texas has grown from a small nucleus to several hundred people in just a few months.

It is clear from this book that Dr. Getz believes specific statements of Scripture should be interpreted in the light of basic principles which underlie, and sometimes even appear to contradict, direct statements and commands. For example, the qualifications for widows being put on the church roles in 1 Timothy 5 should not be pressed too literally. The underlying principle is that the church should provide adequately for its older widows. This approach seems to vitiate the plain statements of Scripture and is based on a hermeneutical presupposition. A section on hermeneutics would have been a helpful addition to this book, and in the reviewer’s opinion, it is much needed.

One of the greatest contributions of this book is its emphasis on the need for a biblical foundation for local church organization and operation. Because this study is rooted in the Scriptures, there is much of profit to be found here.

T. L. Constable

Scripture, Tradition, and Infallibility. By Dewey M. Beegle. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Co., 1973. 332 pp. Paper, $4.95.

This is an enlargement and revision of the book, The Inspiration of Scripture, published in 1963. The original thesis is substantially the same; namely, that although the Bible errs in a number of places, we may still have c...

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