Foreword by Horace R. Weaver
The Title Basic Christian Books aptly describes the character of the twelve volumes that comprise this series. They are basic; they are Christian; they are books.
The studies are basic in that they deal with the areas in which all adults should be informed in order to be thoughtful members of their religious communities. These include (1) The Faith, (2) The Church, (3) The Christian Life, and (4) The World.
Again, the studies are Christian since they are written in the light of the meaning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, with its many facets that extend into all of life. Personal religious experience, the home, other religions, church membership, missions, the Scriptures, doctrine, Christian action, the ecumenical movement, church history, Methodist heritage, evangelism, and Christian education — each of these is considered and thoughtfully interpreted from the Christian viewpoint, book by book.
The series is written for lay persons and in non-technical language, although the authorship is highly distinguished in the several fields in which the authors write. The treatment of the subjects is brief, but it is never shallow. The books, more or less, have the character of a primer that emphasizes essentials in bold outline with a minimum of detail.
The Basic Christian Books may be fitted into the program of adults in a variety of ways. Many will wish to use them as an elective course in a Sunday morning class hour or in a Sunday evening fellowship session. Leadership helps in booklet form will be available for each book, so that teaching aids and group guidance will facilitate their use.
Beliefs That Count is the seventh volume in the Basic Christian Book series. The purpose of this book is to lift up twelve basic affirmations of our Christian faith. Each affirmation is then discussed as it relates to modern man. As these beliefs are affirmed and are adopted for personal understanding and motivation, Methodists will discover that every area of their life will change. Truly these are "beliefs that count."
This book is not an apology in the sense that it presents all the various arguments for beliefs. Thus the writer does not give the traditional and classical arguments for belief in God. She assumes, as does the Old Testament, the existence of God. Starting with this assumption she then moves on to discuss the nature of God. This approach is taken in most of the twelve chapters. The author recognizes varying opinions and briefly outlines the position held by each. Then she states in greater detail those interpretations that are in the main stream of Christian conviction.
A study of Beliefs That Count will provide a fine opportunity for rethinking our basic Christian beliefs in regard to such doctrines as God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, man, the Bible, the meaning of sin and salvation, the kingdom of God, and eternal life.
The author, Georgia Harkness, has written a provocative book. She is recognized as one of the outstanding religious leaders and teachers of our day. Professor Harkness is professor of applied theology at the Pacific School of Religion. Formerly she taught at Garrett Biblical Institute and at Elmira and Mount Holyoke Colleges.
Many readers will know the author through her Prayer in the Common Life (a winner of the Abingdon Award), Understanding the Christian Faith, Christian Ethics, and many other outstanding books.
Appreciation is expressed to Miss Daisy L. Dozier and Miss Hope Rachels for their work in editing the manuscript.
Horace R. Weaver