Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 15:4 (Fall 1972)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Biblical Theology: Old Testament. I, by Chester K. Lehman. (Scottsdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1971.) 485 pages plus bibliography and indicies. Hardback $15.95. Reviewed by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Associate Professor of Old Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deeffield, Illinois.

A major evangelical work by an E.T.S. member on O.T. Biblical Theology which frankly traces its structural viewpoint to Geerhardus Vos and credits its refinements to 45 years of teaching deserves careful inspection by all students of Scripture. Especially is this true in a day when the “Biblical Theology Movement,” which prides itself on using many of the insights and methods of Biblical Theology, is being written up in various obituaries; e.g. Brevard S. Childs, Biblical Theology in Crisis, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1970, 61–87; J. Christian Beker, “Reflections on Biblical Theology,” Interpretation, XXIV (1970), 303–20; James Barr, “The O.T. and the New Crisis of Biblical Authority,” Interpretation. XXV (1971), 24–40; and George E. Ladd, “The Search for Perspective,” Interpretation, ibid., 41–62.

What then does an evangelical like Lehman have to offer against such a threatening backdrop for the whole discipline? While he emerges well from the tricky area of methodology—using a combination of Geerhardus Vos and J. H. Titcomb (Revelation in Progress from Adam to Malachi, 1871)—nevertheless he is disappointingly brief. Possibly, his interaction with the discussions on methodology such as that produced in 1970 by Robert B. Laurin (Contemporary O.T. Theologians. Valley Forge: Judson Press) would have helped current readers to see the value of his approach to Old Testament Theology as over against that of others. Lehman correctly stresses both the principle of the historic progression of revelation and the principle of the organic unity of the message. As for the unity, he finds it in the numerous covenants that appear. The progression is found in various historic periods or eras which these covenants have marked off throughout the Old Testament.

Evangelicals will be disappointed with his obviously hesitant, but clear stand which lists seven reasons for accepting a Deutero-Isaiah theory (pp. 238-39; 306). However, he seems to clearly reject the documentary theory of the Pentateuch (pp. 33-36) and he places Daniel correctly in a Babylonian setting in 600 B.C.I (pp. 353-54).

This reviewer found a strong case for an authoritative Old Testament

Theology, especially in his sections on the Fall, the Mosaic revelation and the Former Prophets. There were high points elsewhere, but the case...

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