Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 143:572 (Oct 1986)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

What Christians Believe about the Bible. By Donald K. McKim. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985. 192 pp. Paper, $8.95.

In his introduction McKim says, “Many theological options are available today,” and “Many different views about the Bible are present today as well” (p. 7). In this book he “tries to show the basic views of major contemporary theologies about Scripture” (p. 7) without attempting to provide “exhaustive treatments” or dealing “much with hermeneutics or the process of biblical interpretation in those theologies” (p. 8).

Part I treats the ecclesiastical traditions of Roman Catholicism and of Protestantism, tracing their historic positions on the inspiration and authority of Scripture. His conclusion that both Luther and the Reformed tradition failed to delineate a specific doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible is suspect. Part II discusses ten systems of contemporary theology, beginning with liberal theology and ending with “feminine theology.” With each he provides an identifying description of its view of Scripture. These are helpful and for the most part accurate, but they are subject to the problems inherent in all generalizations. Characterizations tend to become caricatures.

For example “fundamentalist theology” is described as viewing Scripture “as Proposition” (pp. 49, 58). This is true but it also implies things that are not true of fundamentalism’s view of the Bible. Furthermore separate treatment is given to the Old Princeton view of Scripture under the title “Scholastic Theology” and the description “Scripture as Doctrine” (pp. 60, 69) when McKim himself affirms that the Old Princeton view of Scripture is the basis of the fundamentalist view.

In his historical discussion of fundamentalism McKim indicates that the famous “five points of Fundamentalism” developed out of the meetings of the World Christian Fundamentals Association beginning in 1919

(p. 53). Actually such lists of basic Christian doctrines go back to the Niagara Bible conferences at least as early as 1897, if not before.

In spite of some of these questionable areas McKim has provided a helpful survey of contemporary views of the Bible. The thorough annotations and the index of names adds to its value as a resource tool.

J. A. Witmer

Adam and Evolution. By Michael Pitman. London: Rider & Co., 1984. 269 pp. $12.95.

This major study concerning crucial scientific problems faced by evolution is written by a biology teacher at Cambridge University England. His academic preparation for teaching s...

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