God and Caesar: Selected Essays from the 1993 Evangelical Theological Society's Convention at Washington, D.C.
By Michael Bauman and David Halls, eds.
Camp Hill, PA
: Christian Publications
Reviewed by Dr. Dennis Swanson
7.1 (Spring 1996) : 113-114
The annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in recent years have grown in significance. A problem with the meetings has been a failure to provide wide circulation of the scholarly contributions, making it difficult to access them after the meetings.
In addressing that problem, the editors of this volume have assembled selected papers from the 1993 annual meeting whose theme was "God and Caesar." In selecting papers for inclusion, the editors state, "Some of the scholars who contribute to this volume are well-known and need no introduction. Others are fresh voices, eager to be heard and worthy to be heard" (5).
The papers, presented as individual chapters within the book, deal with a Christian view of government. Sixteen chapters, divided into "historical" and "practical" sections, deal with various stimulating topics, ranging from individuals as ancient as Ireneaus (27-40) and as contemporary as Rush Limbaugh (241-60). Though all the chapters are samples of excellent scholarship, a few deserve special notice. Ronald Glass' study of the Reformed struggle with latitudinarianism and establishmentarianism (79-114) is outstanding. Another important chapter is Francis J. Beckwith's study of the New Age movement and public education (285-318). As is common with scholarly papers, the chapter titles are occasionally long and cumbersome, causing some readers not to examine further the excellent material found in the essay itself. Perhaps future installments of this series would do well to use more accessible titles. Also, the book would be more useful with some indexing.
As the editors state, the work in this volume represents "some of the best political and economic thinking of one of America's premier evangelical professional organizations, The Evangelical Theological Society" (5). The editors deserve commendation for their work in giving these papers the wide hearing they deserve. The same editors have completed a similar work for the 1994 meeting which dealt with the subject of hermeneutics. Hopefully, this collection of the 1993 papers will be the beginning of a long and well-received series.