The Book Corner
Exploring the Psalms, Vol. 3, Psalms 73-106. By John Phillips. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1986. 288 pp. Cloth $14.95.
In this third volume of his series, Exploring the Psalms, the gifted Bible teacher John Phillips gives us his interpretation of Books 3 and 4 in the Psalter. The aim of the Psalms is to draw out our hearts in praise and worship of the living God, and by his use of alliterative outlines and original illustrations the author gives us a new perspective on the Psalms. Of the 33 psalms in this group, five of the human authors are known, Mr. Phillips having provided detailed comments on each one. Those psalms with no known author are called “orphan psalms.”
Mr. Phillips classifies the settings of the psalms under several headings: wisdom, coronation, messianic, songs of praise, and historical psalms which deal with the political and judicial life of Israel. Book 4 begins with Psalm 90, the oldest of the Biblical writings, having to do with the wilderness wanderings of Israel.
The book depicts the spiritual profit and pleasure the Psalms afford, and readers of all degrees of spiritual maturity will find it helpful. The attributes of God and the message of salvation in type are both expounded. Many of the psalms are direct appeals to God, while Psalm 77 and 80 deal with the problem of the psalmist’s unanswered prayers.
There are many applications of these psalms to contemporary social and political life drawn by the author from his own experience and knowledge. For the greatest benefit, the reader should have his Bible at hand for ready reference.
The Cross of Christ. By John R. W. Stott. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1986. 383 p.p. Cloth, $14.95.
In this book an outstanding contemporary Christian writer has made an exhaustive analysis of the significance of the cross of Christ to the Christian faith. The cross is the foundation and focal point of the Christian faith and Mr. Stott explains why it is the only way in which God could deal with the problem of sin in the human nature.
In the section “Why Did Christ Die?” the events surrounding the crucifixion are carefully detailed. The history of the cross as a Christian symbol is traced from the second century as the one most universally acceptable.
Several indexes make the book valuable as a reference source. The Scripture index contains over 1,300 references from the text. A bibliography of over 200 texts cited in the book is added. An author index of authorities quoted and a comprehensive subject index complete the appendix section.
Anyone teaching or studying the Word of God will find this book a faithful and complete exposition of the doctrine of salvation, as well as an articulate discussion of the Christian faith as based on the cross of Christ and its centrality in the Bible.
(The foregoing books were reviewed by Mr. Arthur F. Wilder.)