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October 1975 · Vol. 4 No. 4 · p. 389 

Book Review

A Theology of Failure

John Navone. New York, NY: Paulist, 1974. 129 pages.

Reviewed by Vern Ratzlaff

One of the legacies of the Renaissance has been the cult of progress—bigger is better, efficiency is better, success is better. But the biblical text suggests, Navone claims, that the major theme of life is failure. In a series of well developed glimpses at the life of Jesus, of society, of history, and of man Navone develops this concept of failure as a necessary component of understanding the biblical text.

There is no easy optimism in Navone’s treatment. In his talk of society there is a realisitic note that others (e.g., Ellul) are also enunciating and that we need to take note of now that western society appears to be collapsing.

In the light of universal failure, the only resource is to the liberating God. And it is God the deliverer that is the subject of the final chapter.

Vern Ratzlaff
Mennonite Brethren Bible College

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