Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 13:4 (Fall 1970)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

How Modern Should Theology Be. By Helmut Thielicke. Philadelphia. Fortress Press, 1969. 90 pp. $2.50. Reviewed by Clark H. Pinnock, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois.

This book consists of four sermons preached in Hamburg on a Saturday afternoon to congregations including large numbers of young people. The messages cover four themes central to the modern discussion of religion, and yet are biblical sermons designed for worship services. It is Thielicke’s conviction that preaching has primacy over theology and that issues of wide public discussion ought to be handled by the preacher of the gospel. The book’s title is also the title of the first sermon. Theology should be modern in the sense that it has to be explained afresh to new generations of hearers with their own unique questions and concerns. It should, however, consist of the biblical message of pardon and redemption. In another sermon, Thielicke asks ‘How reliable are the biblical accounts of Jesus?’ He concludes that the normal standards of objectivity simply do not apply, because the writers are involved in and deeply concerned about the events they describe. In typical neo-orthodox manner, Thielicke repeats the speculative criticism of the gospels in virtual isolation from objective evidence of any kind. He likes to see the Gospel writers writing of the Christ of faith without great concern for the actual facts. Even Luke cannot convince Thielicke that faith and fact can be friends! The miracle stories, the subject of sermon three, are ‘permeated with theological reflection.’ They report the incident out of ‘the store of experience which is now at their disposal’. Thielicke is neo-orthodox in a Barthian way. He seeks to rescue faith by placing it beyond the reach of secular criticism. He only succeeds in creating the question whether faith is illusion. Without doubt Thielicke has a deep faith in biblical religion himself. But the apologetic procedure he adopts is doomed to failure. The book is not impressive.

Exposition of Isaiah, Vol. I. By Herbert Carl Leupold. Grand Rapids. Baker Book House, 1968. 598 pp. $7.95. Reviewed by Allan A. MacRae, Faith Theological Seminary, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.

Professor Leupold’s various commentaries on Old Testament books have been well received by members of the Evangelical Theological Society. This commentary on Isaiah 1–39 follows the same pattern as his previous pubications. It gives evidence of wide reading on the part of the author, deals fairly and objectively with critical theories, and usually

reaches a conservative conclusion regarding questions of criticism....

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