The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 6 of 167
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Reviews of "The Apostle of the Reconciliation".
p. 95
"The Christian" (27th March, 1924).
"This work is one which places the ministry of St. Paul in a somewhat unaccustomed
light. While, in general, the Apostle of the Gentiles is looked upon as an ambassador for
Christ, sent forth under the dispensation of the Spirit poured out at Pentecost, there has
arisen in recent years, among some teachers, a tendency to regard the Apostle as having
been called to labour for God in another relation. According to this point of view, a new
dispensation was begun at the time indicated at the conclusion of the Acts, when the Jews
rejected the Gospel, and the Apostle turned to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28). The position is
variously expressed, and it is generally held to show that the climax of divine revelation
must be found in the Prison Epistles of St. Paul.
The author of the work before us might not be disposed to follow in detail the
description just given; but as a teacher he must be assigned a place in the class to which
we refer. `To make known the ministry of the Apostle to the Gentiles, to point out its
grace and its glory, to combat the antagonism of those who raise the misleading cry,
`Back to Pentecost', to lead on to the heights and depths of the Epistles of the Mystery'--
is a summary statement of the goal, the raison d'etre of Mr. Welch's volume.
The `Dispensation of the Mystery' is found in the Epistles to the Ephesians,
Philippians, Colossians, and II Timothy. Those who have explained this clause in the
light of Eph. 3 cannot but regard as precarious much of the instruction given in the
volume, which tends to antiquate the ministry of inspired revelation in so far as it
preceded the Prison Epistles.
The volume before us hardly takes us to the heart of the subject; rather it lays the
foundation of another work, which is promised in the Preface. With great diligence,
however, we are taken through the Acts and the Romans, and shown that Reconciliation
dominates those writings. The analytical tables, `structures', and other forms of treating
the text, are profoundly impressive; even where the student has to withhold assent to the
suggested conclusions, he is compelled to admire the laborious research undertaken by
one who throughout lays stress on the inspiration and integrity of Holy Scripture. Even
those who may find ground for criticism will also gladly recognize the keenness with
which Mr. Welch indicates facts and features which are easily overlooked in larger
works of exposition."