Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 132:526 (Apr 1975)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

A Theology of the Old Testament. By John L. McKenzie. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1974. 336 pp. $7.95.

To say that a given biblical theology of the Old Testament is a personal expression is somewhat tautological, in view of the history of the discipline since Gabler’s initiating monograph in 1787. Nevertheless a reading of McKenzie reinforces this observation: here is a very personal approach to Old Testament theology. An acknowledged Roman Catholic biblical scholar, John L. McKenzie has produced a volume which contrasts strongly from those of fellow Roman Catholic writers Paul van Imschoot and Paul Heinish.

The central message of the Old Testament is stated to be not a rational system, but a basic personal reality: Yahweh. The study of the reality of Yahweh is the substance of a biblical theology of the Old Testament. The categories used to develop the writer’s structure of analysis include cult, revelation, history, nature, wisdom, political and social institutions, and the future of Israel. This is doubtless an important contribution to the continuing debate on the nature of Old Testament theology.

The glaring deficiency of the work is the writer’s stern determination to read the Old Testament on its own grounds as if the New Testament did not exist. This means that for McKenzie the theme of Jesus as Messiah is a “theological blind alley.” He insists that there is no room in Old Testament theology for prediction, foreshadowing, allegory, or typology. He depicts Heilsseschichte as a contrived and strained principle. He writes, “I present it with the full expectation that reviewers will be displeased because I wrote it as if the New Testament does not exist.” With this prophecy the present reviewer concurs.

R. B. Allen

Judge for Yourself. By Gordon R. Lewis. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1974. t27 pp. Paper, $2.25.

In this work (a sequel to his earlier doctrinal work, Decide for Yourself) the professor of systematic theology and Christian philosophy at Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary, Denver, offers studies in selected problems in Christian apologetics. The workbook format is structured to lead the reader through an in-depth research procedure on seven major problems facing biblical Christianity in the contemporary world. The subject matter includes such basic issues as the uniqueness of Christ, the problem of those who have never heard of Christ, the problem of evil, miracles, hypocrites in the church, the application of Christianity to personal problems in today’s world, and the application of Christianity to social problems in contemporary livin...

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