Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 135:537 (Jan 1978)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Heaven for Those Who Cant Believe. By Robert P. Lightner. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1977. 64 pp. Paper, $1.95.

This is the eleventh book written by the author, associate professor of systematic theology at Dallas Seminary. It is a thorough and analytical study of the teaching of the Word of God concerning the death of infants, the eternal condition of those who cannot believe for varied reasons (such as the mentally retarded), and related questions of a vital nature. The author’s primary concern is a pastoral one, and he writes as a parent and teacher to offer solid comfort and hope for bereaved parents. The entire approach followed by the author makes it an appropriate document to give to bereaved parents, and for teachers, Christian workers, and pastors to read as background for their counseling in this very difficult area.

Lightner rejects solutions to the question of the salvation of infants which tone down the doctrine of total depravity. He applies a balanced methodology of theological thinking and a thorough searching of the Scriptures in reaching his conclusion that all those who cannot believe are saved by the grace of God. The action is based on God’s universal provision in Christ’s death, and is consistent with the attributes of God and the totality of biblical evidence. Related questions about those who can believe but have never heard the gospel, guardian angels, the status of infants in heaven, and the age of accountability are carefully and biblically answered. Selections of poetry included in the book tastefully support the comfort of God given from Scripture.

F. R. Howe

An Introduction to the Reformed Tradition: A Way of Being the Christian Community. By John H. Leith. Atlanta: John Knox Press. 1977. 253 pp. $10.00.

What is the Reformed tradition? John Leith, professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, seeks to answer this question. He admits that the Reformed tradition cannot be precisely defined

but broadly understands it as “that pattern of Protestant Christianity which has its roots in the sixteenth-century Reformation in Switzerland and Strasbourg” (p. 8). In six chapters, he discusses the tradition by examining and surveying the Reformed churches, the ethos of the Reformed tradition, theology, polity, liturgy, and culture. In the crucial chapter on theology, he sets the following as representative theologians of the tradition: John Calvin, William Ames, Francis Turretin, Charles Hodge, William Adams Brown, Karl Barth, Reinhold Niebuhr, and H. Richard Niebuhr. The broadness of his category of representative theologians almost dissipa...

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