The Book Corner
God’s Gift of Tongues. By George W. Zeller. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeau Brothers, Inc., 1978. 126 pp. Paper, $2.50.
One’s first reaction when seeing or given a book with this title these days is to think or say, “Not another book on tongues!” However, after reading this book it becomes clear that it contains a fresh approach to the “tongues” question.
The book is broken up into three major sections: (1) The Gift of Tongues Predicted in the Great Commission of the Church. (2) The Gift of Tongues Fulfilled in the Early Church. (3) The Gift of Tongues Abused in the Corinthian Church. It emphasizes that the purpose of tongues in the early Church was similar to the miracles. Just as miracles (which were seen) were proof that a promise of forgiveness (which was unseen) was valid, so too, the gift of tongues served to confirm that the words of the apostles were also valid.
The author also deals at length with the question, “When will tongues cease?” He assumes that it is understood that the gift will stop and seeks to prove that tongues ceased when they no longer served the purpose for which they were given, calling this the Purposive Approach. The author gives some very interesting thoughts along this line.
When treating the subject of tongues as presented in Acts 19, he follows the traditional view relative to the disciples of John. However, some assumptions are made which weaken his argument, at least in the thinking of this reviewer.
At least forty percent of the book is devoted to 1 Corinthians 12-14 and covers such subjects as the problems, duration, value, purpose and regulations of tongues in the Corinthian assembly.
Special attention should be given to the Appendix in which two important areas relating to tongues are covered. I especially appreciated the portion on the temporary nature of the spiritual gifts of 1 Corinthians 13:8. The other item covered is the author’s listing of twelve reasons why Biblical tongues were real languages.
The book is written in a simple manner, easily understood and easy to follow. It moves from one thought to another with an orderly flow. Even though you may have a number of books on the subject of tongues, this one would be a good addition to your collection. If you do not have any books at all on the subject, this would most certainly be a good one to acquire for a starter.
—Joseph M. Cumming
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God’s Strategy in Human History. By Roger T. Forester and V. Paul Marston. Tyndale House Publishers: Wheaton, Ill., 1973. 296 pp. Paper, $3.95.
F. F. Bruce writes a foreword for this interesting book. He states: “It is a sign of grace on the part of the authors that they should invite an impenitent Augustinian and Calvinist to write a foreword for it. There are several reasons for my ready acceptance of their invitation, but there is one which outweighs all others and that is the thoroughly exegetical character of what they have written” (p. vii).
He goes on to write: “A study of the following pages will impress on the reader that the initiative in saving grace rests with God, that the election of believers is ‘in Christ’; and that election implies not that some are elected so that others may be consigned to perdition, but that some are elected so that others through them may receive the divine blessing” (p. viii).
The book has three main parts. The first deals with the general nature of the spiritual conflict in the universe. Part 2 studies the outworking of this struggle in history. It is seen as a struggle between God and His rebellious creatures; man can resist God. Part 3 contains six studies on basic vital concepts. A useful appendix follows.
The book is thorough in its exegetical approach and is a welcome addition to the studies on the sovereignty of God and the free-will of man. Wherever one may find himself in the theological spectrum, this book will challenge and stimulate him to a more Biblical balance. If your only reading has been in Calvinistic theologies, this book is a must.
—Donald L. Norbie