CALVIN THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, April Calvin Theological Seminary, 3233 Burton Street S.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan, $2.00 per year

This is the first issue of the long·awaited Christian Reformed theological graduate school contribution to theological journalism. The appearance is attractive, the range of material extensive, and (wonder of wonders in this day and age!) the price is low. We are happy to congratulate the Faculty of the Seminary on this new effort, with a special word of commendation to Andrew J. Bandstra, Fred H. Klooster and Carl G. Kromminga. the committee of editors. President John H. Kromminga writes the introductory editorial, “Why We Speak.” Kromminga suggests that there is historical linkage with the now-extinct Calvin Forum, although to us it seems as if this publication is much more in the tradition of The Westminster Theological Journal (the resemblance format-wise is a virtual reproduction) in this sense that the emphasis is more specifically scientific than popular. This journal would be “a window on the complex world of theology,” offering critical analyses of things current in the field, hoping to furnish constructive contribution to present dialogue. There are two main articles, both of which were written as addresses for formal occasions. The first is by Prof. Carl C. Kromminga, “The Liturgy of Life.” Believers worship God in church in a world which has no need for God. “The movement for liturgical renewal and the call for ‘worldly holiness’ are two significant modern expressions of a concern to revitalize the church’s service in the face of the ‘adult’ world’s denial of the church’s relevance.” In both these movements, C. G. Kromminga shows, the idea of sacrifice is central, and this contribution offers much helpful material on this concept. “The Religious Problem-Complex of Prophet and Priest in Contemporary Thought” is the title of Dr. Marten H. Woudstra’s contribution. “The present writer believes that ecumenicity begins when the church begins to know what it means to be church and that it docs not begin when she belittles her own existence as church.” Both C. C. Kromminga and Woudstra offer solid material here. SCHOLIA is a heading under which writers will offer briefer contributions designed to be helpful for busy pastors as they try “to keep up with current matters.” Prof. Bandstra describes Martin Hopkins’ view of the Apocalypse. John H. Stek points to Meredith C. Kline’s articles on baptism (Westminster Theological Review) in which the double themes of covenantal grace and wrath are developed; Klooster lists recent works on the Heidelberg Catechism. Pp. 79–150 arc taken up with Book Reviews, twenty-three of them in all. This is valuable for those interested to know something of the big picture in theological publication.

Standard Bearer, March 1, 15 1326 W. Butler, S.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan, $5.00 per year

“Protestant Reformed Education, A Continuing Calling” is an editorial by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema which urges the members of his denomination to establish “their own schools,” both primary and secondary. “The high school education of our (Grand Rapids area) children is, in effect, Christian Reformed,” argues the editor. Although this might seem to be a very patent truth, is it really fair so to speak of schools which have always insisted that they were not denominational or parochial but society-owned and -controlled as being “Christian Reformed?” A second editorial concludes a treatment of the subject, “The Nature of the Atonement, Limited or General?” It opposes views of James Daane, maintaining over against him that “the nature of the atonement is actual satisfaction of divine justice with respect to sin,” and therefore limited. Rev. H. Veldman defends the view that Genesis 1 speaks of six literal days. A good summary of the arguments for this position! Rev. D. J. Engelsma contributes a fifth installment under the heading, “Barth’s Doctrine of Scripture.” This is a good article, exposing as fallacious the idea that the “Bible is genuinely human and, therefore, fallible.” The inevitability of fallibility for true humanity is a notion very popular nowadays! In the March 15 issue Prof. Hoeksema offers a sharp criticism of Billy Graham’s view of man’s depravity, in which he shows quite clearly that Graham is at variance with the Canons of Dordt. Both Hoeksema and Engelsma continue their writing on the limited atonement and “Barth’s Doctrine of Scripture.” Rev. C. Hanko is busy developing the theme, “Calvinism and Mission Preaching.”

REFORMED JOURNAL, March 231 Jefferson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan, $3.00 per year

This is the 15th anniversary issue of Reformed Journal, a 40-page issue devoted to an analysis of the past with a large look at the future. Prof. Henry Stob of Calvin Seminary offers the lead editorial, “As We See It After 15 Years.” It is interesting (and a little alarming!) to find that there are ever-so-many issues to be faced in the years ahead. H . Stob lists them ,as the matter of the nature, inspiration, and authority of Scripture, the problem of interpreting the Bible, the nature and authority of the church creeds, the doctrine of God, the doctrine of the eternal decrees, the problem of evolution, God’s love and the particularity or the atonement, right worship, the Church and social problems, ecumenicity, race, war, the state. In “Daystar for Vietnam” politically-astute Lester DeKoster offers a plausible explanation for Far East situations. Strong hints are made suggesting that red-blooded Calvinism is needed; strong arguments are developed that we can only expect the shortcomings of the past to be met by the reactions of the present. “The Paradox of the Pulpit” by George Stob contains the bold assertion that the gravest weakness of the pulpit “comes to formal expression in the thesis that the preaching of public worship is ‘the official administration of the Word of God.’” How docs this square with the statement read at Rev. Stob’s installation as a charge to his congregation: “Remember that God Himself through him speaks unto you and entreats you”? Lewis B. Smedes begins a discussion of the Church as Christ’s body and argues that since the Biblical notion of body is “the man in action,” the Church is Jesus Christ in action. James Daane offers two essays: “Christianity and History” looks at an old (especially for Daane!) problem, that of time and eternity and election; The ‘News’ of God’s Death” touches on the same area as it pleads for an appreciation of the fact that “temporality and historicity are…of the essence of Christian truth.” Couldn’t we use in this connection a basic statement on the nature of “time” and “history”? Sometimes it seems that understanding of these very profound concepts is built upon piece-meal definitions and interpretations. Daane’s second contribution is really part of a duo. Its partner is “The Death-of-God Theology” by Henry J. Stob, a very thorough setting-forth of the positions Hud possibilities involved in the disturbing “God-is-dead” movement of our day. “What they mean,” says Prof. Stob, “in the final analysis, is that the personal, living, individual, transcendent God of the biblical revelation is a fiction. He simply does not exist.” Nicholas Wolterstorff writes excellently on the “The Place of Heligion in the Public Schools” as a second part in his “Religion and the Schools” series. The problems inherent in a so-called “public” school system are well described. “Calvin and the Council of Trent” by a Calvin College history professor, Robert P. Swierenga, is self-explanatory from its title, and a promising study of a very significant church historical matter. -We congratulate the owners (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) and the writers of The Reformed Journal on their anniversary and their accomplishments!

REFORMED JOURNAL, April 231 Jefferson Avenue, S.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan, $3.00 per year

“Some Suggestions for a Theology of African Rural Development” by Harry R. Boer pleads for a Christian understanding and consecration of agriculture to God, even in Africa. Is every application of Biblical ideas to a given sphere to be christened a “Theology”? Does the need for consecration of the soil and its workers to Christ imply that “the church as institute” must assume such responsibility? Herman Nibbelink, apparently fresh from a two-year period of service in the Peace Corps, writes another article on a wellworked theme under the title “Ambassadors to the World.” Although “the common practises, and in some cases the basic principles” obvious in non-Christian schools, labor unions, political parties, government agencies “are often in conflict with what we believe and try to practise,” Nibbelink pleads for participation and penetration rather than withdrawal (as is done, he suggests, by people who believe in separate Christian schools). This article ignores the real issues, repeats the old cliches, and gets us nowhere. “The Place of the Christian School in American Society” is part III of Nicholas Wolterstorff’s series, “Religion and the Schools.” This is anothcr good contribution, demonstrable by these few lines: “Does a legal arrangement whereby a financial penalty is attached to the exercise of someone’s religion constitute an infringement on its free exercise? To me it seems obvious that the correct answer is ‘Yes’.” Robert P . Swierenga offers Part II of “Calvin and the Council of Trent: A Reappraisal.” Summary of this excellently documented piece is not possible within present dimensions. Does the article suggest that reformation is not so much a matter of theological accuracy or even orthodoxy as of obedience to Jesus Christ regardless of consequences?

CHRISTIAN VANGUARD, March 11914 5oth Street Edmonton, Alberta, Canada $2.00 per year

“Ottawa Hits the Headlines” is an editorial by Peter Nicolai commenting on the recent charges of scandalous conduct by Canadian officials. “The present crisis is simply a result, an outcome of the course our leaders have taken…Our leaders and their parties do not recognize God’s Word as the norm for their political activity…men must see that God’s Word tells us what government is and how it must operate.” “C.A.F. Requests Government Aid for Private Schools” is a report by John A. Olthuis, a young Edmonton lawyer. He describes the action taken by the publishers of Vanquard (Christian Action Foundation) to get the matter of provincial support of private schools before the Legislative Assembly. This action has been suecessful! “Why Christian Schools?” (unsigned), “The University and its Abolitions” (Michael De Vries), and “God Does Matter” (S. Woudstra) make up the rest of this good, little magazine.

IN HOLY ARRAY, March Box 774 Hamilton, Ontario, Canada $3.00 per year

This is a monthly publication of the League of Canadian Reformed Young People’s Societies. C. Van Spronsen describes the land of Israel (“Israel, the Past and the Present”) as a most suitable place for the birth of the Scriptures because of its being “a land of extremes.” “What other place would have been more suitable than the country of Israel, where the writers experienced and were acquainted with such a variety of climate and surface features?” C. Van Oooren writes a very profitable article under the title, “…And that our Neighbours Also may Be Won for Christ.” He looks at the pattern of young people’s societies in terms of such a purpose, arguing that a good society will have a saving effect upon all the members. A. B. Boukema continues a series, “The Covenant of Grace; A Privilege and a Calling.” This is part 3, “The Covenant in Old and New Testament.” Two very good points are made; (1) Early Christianity found the use of the word covenant difficult because for Israel it meant the Mosaic Law and for the Romans a secret society; (2) the “Sinai-Covenant of the Old Testament and the New Testament Covenant in Christ’s blood are one; each created a people of God out of those who were no people, and demanded the complete self-surrender to God as a joyful response to the love of God which preceded.”

PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL, March 23, 1966 Weaverville, N.C., $3.00 per year

“Overtures to the Assembly” is the principal article in this issue. Some of these are; (1) Church Union Eight overtures will be considered asking for union with the United (UPUSA) Presbyterian Church. This affects the current negotiations of the Southern church with the Reformed Church of America, of course. In fact, one overture requests that such negotiations be suspended until the UPUSA Church is brought into the discussions. (2) The National Council of Churches – At least eleven overtures will be presented dealing with the NCC. Three ask the Southern Church to withdraw, others present’ complaints. “In the debate, arguments against the NCC will stress its political and radical social preoccupations, and its general liberal orientation. 1t also will be pointed out that the NCC is not the only ecumenical Church organization with which this denomination can work cooperatively. Supporters of the NCC will suggest that the value of cooperation outweighs the harm that comes from too close association with an organization with which this denomination disagrees in many vital areas of interest.” (3) New Confession of Faith – One presbytery asks for a new confession of faith to replace the Westminster Confession, arguing that “modern Biblical research and theological discussion have called in question the literalistic, highly scholastic and legalistic form in which certain concepts arc stated.”

(4) Piece-meal Unions – Three presbyteries are asking for changes in the constitution of the Church that will allow “piece-meal” unions between UPUSA and US churches, presbyteries and synods, no matter what the denomination does.

BANNER OF TRUTH, March 3229 Four Mile Rd., N.W. Grand Rapids, Michigan, $3.00 per year

“Jesus or Barabbas” is a passion meditation borrowed from F. W. Krummacher’s The Suffering Saviour. It looks at this portion of Scripture from the vantage point of “historical light” (illustrating Christ’s full participation in the disgrace and humiliation of sin’s judgment) and of “a superior light” (by God’s decree Christ look the place of Barabbas, and of all elect sinners). A series of biographical articles dealing with Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) begins in this issue. “Present Day Evangelism” is by the well-known A. A. Pink, another part of which is published here. It contains some striking statements: “Once a man makes the conversion of sinners his prime design and all-consuming end, he is exceedingly apt to adopt a wrong course. Instead of striving to preach the Truth in all its purity, he will tone it down so as to make it more palatable to the unregenerate. .. He will be sorely tempted to modify the truth of God’s sovereign election, of Christ’s particular redemption, of the imperative necessity for the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit.” Christian Reformed missionaries ought to comment on this observation. Can a good, effective missionary openly, uncompromisingly witness to and stand for the full-orbed “system of truth” which is the Reformed Faith?