NO IDLE TALE by John Frederick Jansen

NO IDLE TALE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Protestant Church must Come to terms with the Resurrection of Christ, or be prepared to forsake the Christian faith. This is the thesis which Professor Jansen, of Austin Presbyterian Seminary, undertakes to substantiate. The Resurrection gave birth to the Church, wrote the New Testament, and sent the Church out on mission. Yet for modern secular thought, the author admits, the Resurrection is a ""stone of stumbling."" Two unsatisfactory approaches to the problem of the Resurrection are identified: the attempt to establish its actuality by means of historical, objective methods; and the attest to disregard historical inquiry and rely upon subjective experience. The author's method is to disregard historical inquiry and rely upon subjective experience. The author's method is to make a detailed study of the Resurrection story as given in the two Lukan documents--his Gospel, and the opening of Acts. These, he maintains, must be read as ""faith documents""--not entirely devoid of historical substance, yet not dependent upon historians' validation. The argument shows more clearly how the author differs with such theologians as Bultmann, Hamilton, or Robinson than it shows just what he himself proposes. Much of the development, indeed, takes on a sermonic tone, with rhetorical flourish substituting for clear support of the thesis: ""The stone that was too much for Sisyphus was not too much for God."" While reassuring to those already firmly settled in their faith in the Resurrection and in their understanding of just what it means, the book may leave the modern secular outsider feeling that he has come out the same door he went in.

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 1967
Publisher: John Knox Press