1. De Verkiezing Gods (God's Election). 2. The Seven Deadly Sins.

De Verkiezing Gods (God's Election), by G.C. Berkhouwer. Published by J.H. Kok, N.V., Kampen, the Netherlands. Price f 11.75. 

This book belongs to the series "Dogmatical Studies." In it Dr. Berkhouwer discusses the doctrine of election from various viewpoints. After an introductory chapter on the limit of reflection, the author discusses his subject from a dogma-historical viewpoint, then discusses: election and arbitrariness, election and mystery, election in Christ, election and reprobation, election and preaching, supra- and infralapsarianism, election and assurance of salvation, and then has a final chapter on what the author calls the great misunderstanding. 

I intend to discuss this book at some length in The Standard Bearer; not exactly because Berkhouwer discusses my view at great length and presents a caricature of it, but because of the importance of the subject and also because, to a large extend, I do not agree with the author's presentation of the material. Although there is much that is commendable in the book, and I certainly recommend it to our ministers and students, I do not like the approach and the general tendency of the book. Hence, I consider it worthy of a more elaborate discussion than can be accomplished in a mere book report. 

I just wish to make a remark or two now. 

On p. 159, the author refers to Calvin when he writes that "God reconciles himself because He loved us." And the same is repeated on p. 160: "God is reconciled in Christ." I checked this reference in Calvin's Institutes, and he does, indeed, write this: donec reconciliatus est in Christo. But this is a serious error, nevertheless, and Berkhouwer should have called attention to it. God is not reconciled to us, but we are reconciled to God.

On p. 252, Berkhouwer makes the error, and that, too, three times, of finding the statement about Pharaoh's hardening his heart in Genesis instead of in Exodus.

For the rest, see future Standard Bearers


The Seven Deadly Sins, by Billy Graham. Published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Price $2.00. The term "seven deadly sins" originates, as you may read in an introduction to this book by the well-known Billy Graham, from pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century. These are the sins of pride, anger, envy, impurity, gluttony, avarice, and slothfulness. Why these sins are more deadly than others is difficult to see. I think that I could possibly add seven others to them. 

This book contains seven messages of Billy Graham delivered in different places. They are not profound expositions, but popular sermons, as we might expect from him. They present interesting reading material of a light nature. 

Besides, as we may also expect from Billy Graham, he does not preach the truth of sovereign grace, but is thoroughly Arminian: "open your heart to the regenerating grace of Christ . . . ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart . . . you can have complete and unqualified victory by surrendering, completely to Christ . . . if you will bring your life to Jesus Christ, God will forgive every sin you have ever committed . . . eternal life is within the reach of every one of you . . the Savior is as near as your yielded will, or He is as far away as you want Him to be," etc. etc. 

No wonder mere men like to hear Billy Graham. But this is not the truth.