Science in Christian Perspective
Book Review For
Christian Union of Professsional Men of Greece, TOWARDS A CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION (The
"Damascus" Publications, Athens, 1950)
This is a very interesting and helpful book. I cannot find much in it with which to quarrel. It shows that the writers have broken with the ritualism of the Orthodox Church and have sought to apply the Gospel to their thinking on modern problems. They assert very definitely (pp. 73-82) that it is necessary to restore a spiritual Christianity as opposed to a ritualistic Christianity in the treatment of the problems of society today.
Experimental science for these writers has very definite limitations. There must be a "guiding Christianity" in looking at life's issues. This effort at a type of "synchronism" is described as "the dealing with the problems of today, their understanding, and solution, through the eternal power of the Gospel." Scientific thought, anthropology, history, economics, sociology, technology, and political science are all evaluated from this perspective.
Perhaps this can be best illustrated in the treatment of law. Here the authors declare, "Christianity does not found the Law only; it establishes the critique of the positive law (pp. 201); . . . it gives the tone, the spirit and not the concrete contents." (pp. 205) In speaking of the political issues of our time, the authors declare, "The Christian theory . . . accepts the necessity of the State, and builds on Right above law. The Christian theory concerning the State, through the eternal command, which is above State, and which is brought to men by Christian Revelation, becomes the justification of the existence of the State." (p. 206)
Problems of family life, sex education, and education come in for considerable discussion. Scientific theory, especially the idea of progress, is thoroughly reviewed. The entire volume is very stimulating to the thought of one who is interested in the problem of scientific and Christian thought as applied to modern problems.