Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 139:556 (Oct 1982)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Reconciliation: A Study of Pauls Theology. By Ralph P. Martin. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981. 262 pp. Paper, $11.95.

The author, professor of New Testament and director of the Graduate Studies Program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, has provided his readers with a thought-provoking treatment of Pauline theology. The work will be of primary interest to specialists in the field of biblical theology. This fact is particularly evident by noting the author’s long and detailed presentations and evaluations of contemporary interpretations of Pauline themes. For example, Martin presents K. Stendahl’s treatment which essentially denied the element of forgiveness of sins in Paul’s teaching. Then he cogently responds to this from the biblical data. In later chapters of the book, Martin lays to final rest the erroneous view that sees the origin of Paul’s theology in Greek speculative thought and makes Paul out to be an innovator and fashioner of a religion which was essentially foreign to the teaching of Jesus (a view popularized by Hugh Schonfield in The Passover Plot).

Martin contends ably that the major theme of reconciliation represents the core or central idea of all Pauline thought. While many profound insights are offered to develop this concept, the present reviewer feels that this is less than satisfactory as a total framework for “packaging” the entire Pauline wealth of truth. Also somewhat less than satisfactory is the detailed analysis of segments of Pauline writing on the basis of attempting to discern what is “Pauline” and “pre-Pauline” in the data. Romans 3:24–26 receives this kind of dubious speculative analysis (pp. 81-89). His treatment of Romans 11 and the stretching of the phrase “And so all Israel will be saved” to mean “an omnibus expression covering all types of believers” is inadequate in the face of the entire context of Romans 9–11. These criticisms do not negate the fact that there is

much of value within these pages for the serious student of biblical theology.

F. R. Howe

The Bible and the Future. By Anthony A. Hoekema. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979. 343 pp. $12.95.

Written by a professor of systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary, this volume may be properly considered one of the best conservative, amillennial interpretations of prophecy. The author is a careful scholar, states opposing views in a fair and irenic manner, and does not seek to gain advantage over his opponen...

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