Reviews Of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 27:2 (May 1965)
Article: Reviews Of Books
Author: Anonymous


Reviews Of Books

ed. F. F. Bruce: Promise and Fulfillment. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. 1963. vii, 214. 1/5/-.

Sponsored by the British Society for Old Testament Study, this Festschrift was presented to Professor S. H. Hooke, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies in the University of London, in celebration of his ninetieth birthday, January 21, 1964. Along with a dedication, opening chapter of personal appreciation of Professor Hooke, and a concluding list of his principal works, there are thirteen essays concerned largely with the Old Testament but to some extent with the New, as the title suggests.

“Old Testament Theology and Its Methods” (pp, 7–19), the opening essay by A. A. Anderson, is a pathetic study in futility. “Theology must tend to be normative,” says the author (p. 13). But he accepts the common modern fallacy that the human factor in the Bible rules out infallibility; the Bible is the record of revelation, that is, of man’s growing experience of God and progressive response to God. That he has thereby also eliminated from theology all genuine authority he tacitly admits when he qualifies the normative goal of biblical theology as “neither final nor sacrosanct” (p. 14). The criteria for discovering “norms” of this non-absolute and fallible variety in the Old Testament are: a, the New Testament revelation of Jesus Christ, which “seems to be reasonably plain” but is of course no more infallible than the Old Testament; b, ecclesiastical tradition and life; c, the continuance of an element in Old Testament Israel (which is essentially the same as b); and d, science. The “norms” thus developed, Anderson concludes, constitute “a challenge which demands our decision” (p. 19). Why that is so escapes some of us. Indeed, it would be difficult to make clearer than Anderson has managed to do that the apostles of the modern view of the Word stand before the world naked, not a thread of divine authority hiding the shame of their humanistic subjectivism.

In an examination of the psychology of inspiration (“Inspiration: Poetical and Divine”, pp, 91–105), Austin Farrer concentrates on the role

of the imagination. He finds an analogy between divine inspiration and the workings of the poetic mind, yet acknowledges that “the fundamental mystery” of the former is not thereby illuminated (p. 105). In the context of a thoroughly biblical formulation of natural revelation the suggestions Farrer offers could prove fruitful, especially for the understanding of symbolism.

The subject of Christology is treated in two essays. F. F. Bruce’s contribution, “Promise and Fulfillment in Paul’s P...

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