Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BETS 8:1 Winter 1965) p. 35
History, Archaeology and Christian Humanism, by William F. Albright (McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1964), 342 pp., $6.95. Reviewed by John H. Stoll, Associate Professor of Bible, Calvary Bible College.
For more than forty years the name of W. F. Albright has been linked with Biblical Archaeology. This volume is the first in a series planned to cover areas of his research which have been inadequately represented in his past publications. The book is in no way a repetition of what has already appeared in previously published volumes, though it does supplement them in many respects.
In these fifteen chapters one surveys a wide range of subjects culled from Dr. Albright’s vast knowledge of many fields. He talks with familiarity on science, philosophy, religion, history, archaeology, etc., etc.
Part one consists of General Survey, and the first chapter, “Toward a Theistic Humanism” sets the keynote for the book. The author shows the inadequacy of modern atheistic humanism with its debilitating effect upon man’s religion, and also how recent theistic humanism does not come close to a Biblical view of man and God. Albright clearly sets forth the historicity and validity of the Old Testament story, and that only the truth of the Bible is the answer to man’s need. He closes the chapter by saying, “This Christian drama of salvation can never be displaced nor can it be antiquated, for it represents the ultimate reality of life, to demonstrate it should be the profoundest aim of Christian humanism” (p. 61).
Part two surveys the areas of the Near East, Islam and the religions of the ancient orient, political adjustments and authority in the Near East, and functions of organized minorities.
Part three discusses some scholarly approaches. Albright examines the humanism of James Breasted, well known archaeologist, Gerhard Kittel and the Jewish Question in antiquity, Arnold Toynbee and his interpretation of history, and Rudolf Bultmann on history and eschatology. The author incisively discusses each of these, and his growing conservatism in light of the Bible and archaeology, at times causes him to be at odds with their interpretations of history and philosophy.
For the conservative thinking Christian, part four entitled, “More Personal” will probably be the most suggestive and profitable. For a man as eminently qualified and well known as Albright to speak out as forth-rightly in behalf of the Bible as the Word of God, will fortify the evangelical scholar in his constant struggle to show the validity of the Bible story.
Albright is frank, clear, and at times impatient with liberals and neo-’ orthodox who often fail to justify their arm-chair theories in the light of ar...
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