Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 22:1 (Mar 1979)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Pastoral Care

The Christian Couple. By Larry and Nordis Christenson. Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1977, 185 pp., $5.95.

This is an irresponsible book verging on immorality and heresy. Irresponsible? Immoral? Heresy? Hard words. Yet an examination of chap. 8 (“Contraception: Blessing or Blight?”) will prove them true. In this chapter the Christensons launch a strong and psychologically intimidating attack on what they call the “unthinking acceptance of contraceptives” (p. 74). On the basis of what they call “natural methods” that appear to be based on some form of nature mysticism, they argue for the rhythm method of birth control and give unwary readers various symptothermic signs that will enable to know when it is safe to indulge in intercourse. In doing so they totally fail to warn unsuspecting readers that as a result of following their methods they may very easily have an unwanted pregnancy. Instead they imply that other forms of contraception are signs of a degenerate and permissive lifestyle that is unworthy of Christians.

Nowhere during their emotional argument against contraception do they quote Biblical evidence or present a sound theological argument. Instead they appeal to what is “natural.” They fail to warn readers to take medical advice while at the same time creating guilt feelings about the use of any form of contraception other than the one they advocate. To create guilt in this way is surely immoral; to advocate a very uncertain form of contraception is irresponsible; and to back one’s arguments by an appeal to nature verges on heresy.

Whatever merits this book has, it is marred by this chapter. There may indeed be good arguments against most forms of contraception. It may also be true that the rhythm method of contraception is indeed the best available. But the way in which it is advocated in this book is sub-Christian and unworthy of the authors. No doubt many people will find a blessing in this book but many others will find worry, ill health and unwanted pregnancies. One would hesitate to recommend the book to a mature Christian and certainly never to someone who is young in the faith.

Irving R. Hexham
Regent College, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T lW6

The Bible Makes Sense. By Walter Brueggemann. Atlanta: John Knox, 1977, 155 pp., $3.95 paper.

The title of this book might suggest a popular introduction, but this would be misleading. It is a serious theological prolegomenon to Bible study, approaching the Scriptures as the life-giving Word of the Lord addressed to us. Brueggemann, who is professor of OT at Eden Theological Seminary, does not b...

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