[1961. Modern Thinkers Series by David H. Freeman, The Presbyterian Journal 28 Jun.: 19.]
MODERN THINKERS SERIES, ed. By David H. Freeman. Presbyterian and Reformed Publ. Co., Box 185, Nutley, N.J. Paper, about 50 pp.
Bart, by A.D.R. Polman, $1.50
Butlmann, by Herman Ridderbos, $1.25 Niebuhr, by G. Brillenbrug Wurth, $1.50 Sarte, by S.U. Zuidema, $1.50
Van Til, by Rousas John Rushdoony, $1.25.
These are monographs, from 41 to 68 pages, written (with the exception of the last) by Dutch scholars on world-renowned unorthodox thinkers.
Polman’s work on Barth treats of his view of Scripture, Predestination, and Creation. Very clearly written and easily understood, it gives an accurate account of Barth’s thoughts and contrasts it pointedly with the Scriptural views on these three topics.
Ridderbos on Bultmann had more difficult material to deal with, but his logical outline prevents the reader from getting lost.
Since Niebuhr is an American, perhaps this booklet will interest more than the first two. Wurth traces the development of his thoughts through liberalism and Marxism to the so-called Neo-orthodoxy, and with his denial of the Biblical concept of creation, concludes that Niebuhr is a dangerous man. This is the shortest of the monographs, and might well be supplemented with Theodore Minnema’s volume on THE SOCIAL ETHICS OF REINHOLD NIEBUHR (Eerdmans).
The most disorganized of the monographs is Zuidema’s on Sartre. Of course, Sartre himself is disorganized—with a vengeance, and any exposition of Sartre is bound to reflect his lack of logic. Zuidema does not waste much space on contrasting Sartre’s views with the Scriptural position, for Sartre’s atheism is too clear to need pointing out.
Rushdoony’s booklet on Van Til is very well-written, somewhat of a condensation of his book, BY WHAT STANDARD (the Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.). Rushdoony regards Van Til as the acme of Christian thought and the two publications can find no fault in him.
—Gordon H. Clark, Ph.D.