THE CHURCH OF CHRIST AND PROBLEMS OF THE DAY by Karl Helm

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST AND PROBLEMS OF THE DAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I read with considerable interest these proof sheets for though I found much to criticize, I was strongly gripped and impressed by it -- it is the sort of book you should ask several of the clergy to review for you as Professor Heim is one of the great theologians of our day and should be judged accordingly. This criticism is offered with apological. It is a book of great range. The style is good and at times vivid. However, the deep weakness in dictatorship he seems strangely to underestimate. Bracketing Ghandi with secular leaders would need a more penetrating analysis of the phenomenon of Caesarism than he has attempted. There is strangely little about the Church in a book called by that name. One would feel surer about the author's real position if he dealt more directly with Hitler and the Nazi treatment of the Church. The attempt to make Luther the man of the hour is forced, and the chapter on prayer a good deal short of what most of us would want. I know nothing of the author's connection with Barthianism and the theology of Crisis, but there is in him the same exclusive emphasis on the transcendence of God, the same lack of a sound corporate note in the consideration of Christianity and the church, the same failure to conceive of conversion and the religious life as more than the snatching of the individual brands from the burning. In brief, I should say that it is a book by a man who has a strong belief in the reality of God and religion, who sees in our Lord the great Leader towering above all modern leaders and who sees in Christianity the solution of the world's problems. The weaknesses are that he puts religion in a compartment with little thought ot its organic connection with the rest of life, that he has no doctrine of general revelation which can serve as a foundation for his belief in special revelation in Christ, that he makes an unsatisfactory use of Luther as the interpreter of Christianity, and that he makes an unwise peace with the forces of the world. I think it should commend a good deal of interest.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1935
Publisher: Scribner