The Day Comes by Clifford Hill (Collins: Fount Paper Backs, £2.50)
IT IS an unfortunate psychological fact, perhaps particularly true of the British, that one of the most successful defense mechanisms against frightening and threatening realities is to pretend they do not exist.
This cowardly mentality whether manifested in cynicism, activism, pleasure-seeking distraction, indolence or selfish unconcern, is due in nearly all cases to a deeply-rooted, hidden and paralysing fear, and also to the refusal to meet the demands which would be made on nations and individuals alike, if they were soberly to admit the facts and decide on consequent right action.
However excusable and understandable this may be in those who have no faith, it should have no place in the spiritual make-up of the Christian, whose prophetic task it is to discover what God is saying to us today and to proclaim it convincingly to the world at large. Dr Hill's aim in this outstanding work of biblical and sociological theology is to help Christians to do nrecisely this.
The basis of his book is an exegetical study of chapters 2427 of the prophecy of Isaiah, read in the light of the contemporary world situation. the first four chapters are devoted to an examination of the gift of prophecy in general and that of Isaiah 24 in particular, which Dr Hill summarizes as follows: — World-wide destruction, universal suffering, caused by the pollution of the earth; overthrow of God's opponents, survival of a small remnant who will praise God as He establishes His reign of justice and peace.
In the following six chapters the charges that Isaiah brings against mankind are examined upon empirical evidence. The contemporary relevance of the message, as Dr Hill expounds it, is difficult to deny:— Pollution of the physical world, land, sea and air; of the moral world, pornography, violent crime, drugs, abortion, family breakdown; Bloodshed — wars, terrorism, the nuclear arsenal; Materialism; the opposed but equally destructive evils of communism and capitalism, third world starvation, squandering resources. The two final chapters are "God's Word to the Nations" and "God's Word to the Church".
None of this make pleaant reading, but the overa!! conclusion of this challenging work is that there is every reason for hope and trust.
Sr Miriam ODC