Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 6, 1962
NUMBER 18, PAGE 6,14a

A Basic Religious Reference Library

Robert H. Farish

"The Final Week" — R. C. Foster

R. C. Foster in his latest book which is titled, The Final Week, says, "of all the priceless histories which the gospel writers have recorded, one-half is devoted to the final week of Jesus' ministry." As the title indicates the book is a discussion of the things which Jesus did and taught in the final week of his earthly ministry. After reading the book, this writer realized that many actions which might by a casual student be regarded as merely incidentals, were in reality charged with significance. The author of The Final Week very skillfully collects background from all the gospel writers and keeps this background before the view of the reader as the teachings and actions of Jesus are studied.

Of particular value is the author's treatment of the difficulties in chronology of events and the statements of the time which appear to conflict when attempts are made at paralleling the gospel records Some of these problems are: the time of Jesus' arrival in Bethany, the time of the anointing in Bethany, also the time of the various events of the resurrection morning. The seeming discrepancies in the statements of time by different witnesses in their account of the resurrection morning is set forth by Foster in the following clear manner. "Luke declares the journey of the women to the tomb occurred 'at early dawn'; John says, Mow on the first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, while it was yet dark, unto the tomb' (20:1); Matthew has, 'Now late (the Greek word also means 'after') on the sabbath day, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week' (28:1); but Mark declares, 'and very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen' (16:2). Now the difference between 'early dawn' and 'while it was yet dark' on the one hand and 'when the sun was risen' on the other is quite is such a surprising variation to be explained. Here is where the geography helps. Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, about a mile from Jerusalem. The journey from Bethany to the tomb would have consumed considerable time.... Matthew, Luke and John emphasize the very early hour of the departure from Bethany; Mark mentions the journey with emphasis upon the time of arrival at the tomb ('when the sun was risen').

The teaching and miracles of Jesus during the final week are given reverential treatment by the author. He clearly shows that the modernistic position, that a future life is not taught in the Old Testament, Is false. The teaching of Jesus concerning hell is discussed in connection with the teaching of some modern cults which deny the reality of hell. In this category, he lists Modernist, Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists. Passages which these sects pervert, in an attempt to sustain their doctrines, are examined and given sound exegesis by the author of The Final Week.

Was Judas present at the instituting of the Lord's supper? What is the "cup" which Christ said "is the new covenant in my blood"? What is the explanation of Luke's order of the giving of the Lord's supper in which "he tells first of taking the cup, then breaking the bread, then of taking the cup again." Was the wine used by our Lord unfermented? These and other questions which have confronted the sincere Christian are dealt with in a clear convincing way by the author.

The Final Week is the most rewarding book to come to this writer's attention lately. It is a rich source book providing information in concise form on a variety of subjects. The style is scholarly without being pretentious; dignified without cold reserve which is intolerant of any emotional expression.

Francis Bacon said, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." The Final Week (price: $4.50) deserves to be classified with the "few to be chewed and digested."

Communism — Its Faith And Fallacies — James D. Bales

This is not intended as a comprehensive critical review of brother Bales' book but is a hearty recommendation of the chapter titled, "Atheism Versus Theism." The Christian needs to be alert to any threat to righteousness and godliness. Unfortunately, too few members of the church realize that communism is more than simply a political system which claims to be interested in the welfare of the whole "peepul." As brother Bales well says, "Of course not all atheists are communists, but all indoctrinated communists are atheists, interested in the spread of atheism since only when people's hearts have been voided of faith in God is it possible to instill faith in Marxism."

Vadim V. Kopitlin, the leader of a Soviet cultural exchange group, commenting upon the Soviet's first man in space coup said that it was a victory for Communist ideology as well as Soviet science. He claimed that "Belief in God takes a man away from the actual and real world." The conclusion which he expected to be inferred from that was that the faster men got away for belief in God the more rapid would be their understanding of the actual world.

We wonder what ideology gained a victory in the supreme court's ruling on prayer to God in the public schools. If separation of church and state requires refraining from prayer to God, doesn't it also require rejecting the theories of atheism from the text books which the state selects and requires the students to study. The theory of organic evolution is atheistic doctrine and is as distasteful to the believer as is prayer to God distasteful to the unbeliever. If daily prayer to God be propaganda for God, how much more the deliberate planned teaching of the theory of evolutions is atheistic propaganda.

Christians need to inform themselves; they need to be able to recognize things for what they are and not just be satisfied to be lulled with eloquent assurances which are not established by actions. It is by their fruits that they are to be known and not by their claims. So, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit ye like men, be strong...." (1 Cor. 16:13)

This writer wishes that the author of Communism: Its Faith And Fallacies, had inserted at the beginning of his book a brief glossary of terms. "Dialectical Materialism" along with some other terms in current vogue need to be clearly defined in order that the "masses" may get the message. True, chapter four which begins on page 79 discusses and defines Dialectical and Historical Materialism, but it is feared that too few will stay with the book until page 79.

This book is worthy of careful study.

— 417 E. Groesbeck, Lufkin, Texas