Vol. 1 - No. 3
The Book Review
by Byron Gage
HOROSCOPES AND THE CHRISTIAN, by Robert A. Morey, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1981, is a very practical book of about sixty pages dealing with the errors of Astrology. It is well written and profusely footnoted, containing valuable bibliographies for use in further research. The price is $1.95.
With the occult explosion of the 1970's, astrology is one of the most booming of the pseudo‑religious business enterprises. It is a system of “belief that the destinies of nations and individuals are determined by the relative positions of the stars.” (planets, bgg) “The astrology business grosses several hundred million dollars a year. Its future prospects are bright because the products (horoscopes( are meant to be read once and then discarded. New horoscopes must be purchased every day. This complete turnover of merchandise explains why astute financiers are attempting to cash in on the present fad.” (From the introduction.)
A casual glance by the outsider at' astrology might lead one to the conclusion that it is a harmless diversion which is fun but not to be taken seriously. Such is not the case for astrology is a serious departure from the truth and has deceived millions into thinking that the answers of life lie in the stars. This system of faith has not only taken the world by storm, but has had its inroads into the church as well. The incompatibility of astrology and the word of God is seen throughout the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, astrology being severely condemned and either directly or indirectly responsible for the downfall of the Jewish nation on several occasions. The Lord's attitude toward the nations which engaged in the occult is evident from Deuteronomy 18:9‑12 and similar passages. There is no reason for anyone to believe that His stance has changed with regard to the detestability of the practices.
Mr. Morey deals with the history of astrology, the arguments put forth by the proponents of it, science and astrology, philosophy and astrology, and “Christianity” and astrology. He states, “Astrology is merely the modern form of ancient planetary worship.” The anthropomorphisms of astrology tend to deify the planets (i.e., giving them characteristics such as good and evil, volition and spiritual influence which, in turn, influences affairs upon the earth makes them supernatural and superhuman). Mr. Morey concludes, “It has been weighed in the scales of history, science, philosophy, and Christianity and has been found lacking of any validity. Its only appeal to modern man is by way of superstition and magic. There is no place for astrology in the life of a Christian believer.”
This book is short and to the point, and, as a springboard for further study, is a valuable addition to one's library.
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCHTOWER, by Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1954, 1974, 1981, contains about 175 pages and is a good overview of the doctrines of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The book delves extensively into the lives and characters of Russell and Rutherford. However, the criteria for determining the relative qualifications to ascertain truth from the Scriptures is based upon arbitrary educational requirements, i.e., theological training in the seminary. Sufficient to the cause is an examination of the doctrines taught by the Society in light of the Word.
In sections dealing with the “kingdom” and “the new birth,” the conclusions reached by the authors are, in the view of this writer, as faulty as those of the Society. For this reason, the arguments provided to expose the falsity of the teaching of the Society lose their force. However, much good and useful information concerning the Deity of Christ, for example is available in this book. This is also true with regard to the Society's stance concerning translations, blood transfusions, etc. Overall, the $4.95 price is agreeable to me, and the book will be valued in my library.
The ecumenical and denominational context in which all “Christianity” is placed in opposition to the “Witnesses,” is disagreeable to me, for all false doctrine (even if endorsed by most modern theologians) must be refuted. Read with care.