Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 22:4 (Dec 1979)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Jesus: God, Ghost or Guru? By Jon A. Buell and O. Quentin Hyder. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978, 135 pp., $3.95 paper.

This book, authored by the vice president of Probe Ministries and executive editor of the Christian Free University Curriculum (Jon Buell) and a Christian psychiatrist who maintains a private practice in New York City and is medical director of the Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy Center in midtown Manhattan (O. Quentin Hyder), is another on a very timely subject: the deity of Christ. 1 am sure many more will be written in the future in this area. The book comes largely from Buell’s study on this subject occasioned by interaction with students as he lectured on college and university campuses in the United States and Canada.

The abstract of the book acknowledges the “widespread debate over the past century” on the deity of Christ. “Was the assertion of his deity superimposed upon him by others or was it his own self-representation?” This question has again been fired by The Myth of God Incarnate (ed. by J. Hick; Westminster, 1977), to which M. Green responded by editing The Truth of God Incarnate (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977). This is one of two central questions of the book. The authors answer very positively that Jesus persona!ly claimed deity and explore this contention. Based on this assertion the book then discusses the three logical options to explain the claim of Jesus: (1) He was deliberately misrepresenting his identity; (2) he was sincere but deluded; (3) he was sincere and correct. Thus the other central question is: “Was Jesus correct in making these claims of deity for himself?.” Answer: “Yes!”

At the end of the author’s text there is an excellent short (three pages) response by F. F. Bruce. In regard to Jesus’ reply to the high priest’s question (Mark 14:62) Bruce says: “His judges recognized that this was, in effect, a claim to be a peer of the Most High. They did not stay to consider whether or not it was a well-founded claim; that it could be true of any man was, in their eyes, out of the question. The validity and personal implications of his claim still challenge us to a decision.” One can also profit greatly, personally and as a resource for dissemination, from The Deity of Christ by F. F. B. and W. J. M. (St. Ann’s Churchyard, Manchester: North of England Evangelical Trust, 1964; 24 pages).

Jesus: God, Ghost or Guru? exhibits the excellence in book style, literary form, use as a tool to stimulate further reading, and documentation (143 footnotes) that this writer has come to expect from Probe Ministries, and which we should see in all Christian publications. As an introd...

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