by JAMES BEST A Guide to the Prophets by Stephen Winward (Hodder and Stoughton 30s.) IT is some time since I read
Stephen Winward, when, a year or so ago, I came across Teach Yourself to Pray; but on reading A Guide to the Prophets I was struck once more by the quality of his writing and his careful and lucid presentation of a difficult subject — abilities which are, one feels, the produce of many years' devoted application and deep thought. This book is a study of all the material, from Isaiah to Malachi, to be found in our English Bibles, with the exceptions of Lamentations and Daniel. The author's approach is masterly.
After a general introduction to the bible which is itself an excellent synthesis of the problems facing both the scholar and the ordinary reader, he goes on to study the prophets themselves, giving a short but illuminating biographical sketch and placing each one's message squarely against the historical situation in which it was delivered. The prophets come vividly to life.
Reading this book, I could not help being struck by the terrible accuracy of the prophets' words not only for the contemporary society but for our own twentieth-century civilisation ("For they know not the Lord"); and not only present-day society but for me personally. It is a disturbing book.