Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
ECUMENISM AND THE BIBLE, by David Hedegard (Evangeliipress, Orebro, Sweden, 1954, 251 pp., $2.00).
This work is one of the outstanding works on the subject of the Ecumenical Movement, its true merit being in the author’s ability to write in the language and understanding of the layman. Especially noteworthy is the brief resume of Liberalism, Modernism, and Neo-orthodoxy, and the part each played in the formation of the Ecumenical Movement. One Swedish theologian quoted in the book expresses himself, saying, “The new theology proved to be the essential pre-requisite for the forming of the movement.” Dr. Hedegard himself recognizes that it was theological modernism which led to the inception of the Ecumenical Movement, for it created a heretofore “unknown unity.” The author very aptly presents a thorough analysis of the movements and the positions of men such as: G. Bromley Oxnam, T. C. Chao, Henry P. Van Dusen, and E. Stanley Jones, who were instrumental in the formation of the World Council of Churches. This book should interest every pastor and informed layman who desires to be kept abreast of the trends in the theological world.
—Prof. Charles H. Schulze
AUTHORITY AND POWER IN THE FREE CHURCH TRADITION, by Paul M. Harrison (Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J, 1959, 248 pp., $5.00).
Sub-titled as A Social Case Study of the American Baptist Convention, and written by a member of an ABC church, this is a most significent work, with much of which we are inclined to agree. The author sees the Convention as having been conceived to serve independent local churches by enabling them to more effectively achieve goals commonly desired, but as having been possessed by power-hungry officials who developed a self-perpetuating bureaucracy. Fundamentalists and Conservatives have opposed this, first by theology, next by ecclesiology, but the author holds them to have been more interested in personal power than Baptist motives. He sees a theological solution to current problems in a re-emphasis of the Baptist distinctives. Ecclesiologically he suggests that the Convention might better rest through delegates upon the Associations than upon the local churches. Of particular interest to Conservative Baptists is the author’s criticism of the ABC for failing “to permit their own minorities to gain a voice in the Convention.” This is in sharp contrast to the current condition in the Conservative Baptist mission societies where a small minority is holding the majority from a pre-millennial confession of faith. The author and publisher are to be highly commended for presenting this study. Even the much-criticized American Convention can do nought but profit thereby.
BAPTIST CONFESSIONS OF FAITH, by William L. Lumpkin (Judson Press, Phila,...
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