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730 BOOK REVIEWS Yet for all this McDermott does hammer one wedge in between Aristotle and Thomas. Aristotle's God, he claims, differs vastly from Thomas's God. For Aristotle, God is the exemplar and goal of all the universe but not its efficient cause. For Thomas, he is much more than this-God is creator, the source of all being. But this position, which is by no means peculiar to McDermott, seems to be contrary to what Thomas himself said on this matter. For example, in I, q.44, a.I Thomas makes explicit reference to Aristotle as one who saw that there must be an efficient cause of all existence. I was disappointed to see that this article gets short shrift in McDermott's process of con· cision. Apropos of this, McDermott's description of God as the " doing of all being" (p. xxxii), which is meant to stress God's continuous creative act, is probably not the most felicitous. It sounds odd and is difficult to understand, since doing, as opposed to making, is an action the termination of which remains within the agent. Certainly the " doings " of God, for example, to know and love, which necessarily belong to his essence, should never be confused with his " making," that is, creation, an act which he need not have performed. But the most forceful criticism should be directed at nothing less mundane than this book's price. $78.00 is very high to pay for what McDermott himself describes as " a useful translation for first reading " (p. xiv) . Since he does not intend this book to replace the Summa, but rather to introduce and entice, he is competing with the much less expensive Tour, Introduction, and, to some extent, selections such as The Pocket Aquinas. If the Concise Translation is not published in a more affordable form, I doubt it will attract the readership it greatly deserves. That will be sorry indeed, for McDermott has written the finest and most faithful tour of Thomas's Summa thus far. Pontifical John Paul ll lnstitute Washington, D.C. GREGORY FROELICH The Church's Bible: Its Contemporary Authority. By DARRELL JoDOCK. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989. Pp. xi + 173. In the Introduction to his book, Darrell Jodock suggests that its vari· ous claims and arguments be approached with an " appropriate sense of humor" (p. 4). This is a delightfully refreshing invitation to which, I suspect, one ought to do one's best to respond. But after reading this book I am firmly convinced, Darrell's self-deprecating suggestion not- BOOK REVIEWS 731 withstanding, that it ought to be taken very seriously indeed . . . seriously by anyone who cares about the Bible, for purely scholarly reasons or purely religious reasons or for any combination of reasons. It is a thoughtful and challenging book. This review represents my own modest attempt to respond to that challenge. I would recommend The Church's Bible for a number of its virtues. Given the compactness of this book, it is remarkable how much the author actually accomplishes. He surely accomplishes his explicitly stated goals: in Part I of the book describing how the authority of the Bible became problematic in modern times, while also identifying the various strategies that have been executed to rescue its authority; in Part II articulating his own theory about what it means to say that the Bible is authoritative, offering a prescription for how the Bible ought to function for the Christian community in a postmodern culture. Yet the book does more than this, remarkably enough, providing brief but insightful analyses of such fundamental theological issues as revelation , inspiration, miracles, and the concept of God. Moreover, at the end of the book, Jodock moves beyond his account of biblical authority and into the territory of biblical hermeneutics. There he links his theory of authority to its practical implications for the project of "recontextualization ," what he regards as the most fruitful way of interpreting and utilizing biblical texts. In the process of achieving these multifarious goals the book reveals something of its author's own complex identity, as Christian teacher, pastor, theologian, and intellectual historian. The first three chapters of the book represent a...


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