Book by Eugenia Price – Zondervan Publishing House – 505 pp.
Like other attempts to retell the story of Scripture, Beloved World is a big result of a giant venture. Here the similarity ends. Whereas the others aim at being Bible story books for children, the present book proffers itself to the whole gamut of ages, from children to ministers. Where the others hug the Scriptural facts quite closely, condensing and simplifying, Beloved World strikes out boldly from Genesis to Revelation, filling in gaps, suggesting dialogue, and interpreting freely. The theme which it traces is that of the beloved world. It is easy to see that any error in interpretation of the world beloved by God will have dire consequences for the entire book. Unfortunately, Miss Price has nourished a gross one.
A book which lays claim to being of such a nature that the reader “could find his way to the very nature of the God who inspired the original test” demands close scrutiny. Repeatedly, the God of the original text becomes unrecognizable in Beloved World. Of Cain it has this to say, “In no way did God approve of Cain, but all that Cain did could in no way change God’s love for him.” In connection with the disobedience and punishment of Lot’s wife occurs the strange sentence, “But God kept His promise. As always, He did all He could do in the face of human disobedience.” And at the occasion of the Last Supper, it is said of Judas Iscariot that “The Lord loved this disciple turned enemy.” Therefore, “Tears sprang quickly to His eyes as the sin in Judas crashed against His sinless heart!” The beloved world of author Price is every man, woman, and child that ever lived. As this theme rises, so fall the Scriptural revelation of God who is really God.
If the God-loves-everybody-but-is-powerless-to-save-them motif accounts for the former quotations, sheer modernism produces the following statement: “Moses had been prepared, providentially, for a belief in one God, since the Pharaoh ruling Egypt during his adopted life had thrown over the established worship of many gods and adopted the sole worship of the sun god.” The plain teaching of Scripture is that neither a belief in one solar god nor a belief in thousands of frog gods does anything bud lead away from the God of heaven and earth. That which the Bible does not tell, Miss Price fills in plausibly, fascinatingly, but, by the same token, unreliably. At times she strikes powerfully upon the meaning of events and persons, as in the case of the despair of Israel in Babylon, and then her artist’s pen is doubly effective. But in the main, Beloved World fails to accomplish its purpose and in its failing, hinders a proper view of the Word of God.