Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews


JASA Reviews for December 1977

Table of Contents
MEANING by Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. 246 pp. $12.50.
HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR FEELINGS by Phillip J. Swihart, Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1976. 60 pp., $1.25. (Two Reviews)
CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY: A MEANING FOR HUMAN LIFE by John F. O'Grady, Paulist Press, New York 10023. Paperback, 231 pages, (1976) $4.95
GENESIS AND EARLY MAN by Arthur Custance, Doorway Papers
PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD by Vern S. Poythress, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976
PSYCHOLOGY AND CHRISTIANITY: THE VIEW BOTH WAYS by Malcolm A. Jeeves. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter Varsity Press, pp. 177, 1976. $3.95 paper. (Two reviews)
SELF-DIRECTED BEHAVIOR by David Watson and Roland Thorp. Monterey, California: Brooks-Cole Publishing Company, 1972. 264 pages.
EVANGELICALS IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY by Carl F. H. Henry, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1976, 96 pp., $3.95
POVERTY PROFILE USA by Mariellen Procopio and Frederick J. Perella, Jr., New York: Paulist Press, 1976, 88 pp., $1.65.

THE ETHICS OF FETAL RESEARCH by Paul Ramsey, Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 1975, xxii + 104 pp. $2.95.
HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis A. Schaeffer, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, 1976, 288 pp., $12.95.    (Two Reviews)
CREATION BY NATURAL LAW: Laplace's Nebular Hypothesis in American Thought by Ronald L. Numbers, University of Washington Press, Seattle (1977). 184 pp. $15.00.
CHRISTIANS AND SOCIOLOGY by David Lyon Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois. Paperback: 93 pages, (1976), $1.95.
GOD, REVELATION AND AUTHORITY: VOL. 1, God Who Speaks and Shows by Carl F. H. Henry, Word Books; Waco, Texas, 1976, 421 pp., $12.95.
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1976. 125 pp. $5.95.

MEANING by Michael Polanyi and Harry Prosch, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. 246 pp. $12.50.

This is the last work by Polanyi to be published during his lifetime. And in many respects it is a fitting capstone to his varied career. Not only does it sum up his past contributions to epistemology and philosophy of science but it captures something of the spirit of the man as well. We see Polanyi as the social critic and defender of freedom (one of the earliest themes in his writings) and we see him exploring the implications of his thought for new areas-metaphor, art, myth and religion.

Although Meaning is co-autbored with Harry Proscb, the ideas it contains belong to Polanyi. Prosch, as he explains in the Preface, is responsible for the continuity of the book, footnotes and the adaption of Polanyi's previous work for use here. The core of the book is based upon lectures given at Oxford, The University of Chicago, and The University of Texas during 1968-71. It is in these lectures that Polanyi developed and articulated his views on how meaning is achieved by metapbor, poetry, art, myth, ritual, and religion. The book is truly Polanyi's but since it covers such a wide range of topics and nevertheless remains a single and progressive argument, Prosch merits our appreciation.

The argument of Meaning begins with an historical analysis of how the scientific world view led to antiauthoritarianism and philosophic doubt, which, in turn, led to nihilism, totalitarianism and the phenomenon of ,'moral inversion". Polanyi approvingly cites C. S. Lewis' observation that science is the greatest source of dangerous fallacies today. The mechanistic view of the universe has led to the "absurd" results that scientists deny human consciousness and social scientists have been led to ethical relativism, or to delete moral judgments altogether, in order to satisfy some ideal of scientific objectivity. The corrective for all this, Polanyi maintains, is, "A theory of knowledge which shows up the fallacy of positivistic skepticism and supports the possibility of a knowledge of entities governed by higher principles" (p. 24). Since at least 1946 Polanyi has been criticizing these false and nonsensical ideals of science and developing an alternative theory of knowledge that acknowledges the personal and essential contribution of the knower in the act of knowing. One of the valuable features of Meaning is that it contains a concise presentation of Polanyi's alternative epistemology and a short discussion of a host of problems in philosophy of science, epistemology and philosophy of mind that he believes it resolves.

This historical analysis and Polanyi's epistemology is not new but a necessary introduction to what is new the extension of his thought into the areas of aesthetics, mythology and religion. Polanyi employs his observations about tacit knowledge and tacit inference to illuminate these subjects. Polanyi continually draws comparisons and contrasts between aesthetic topics and certain aspects of science. It is this last point that will, make his account of metaphors, symbols and works of' art of interest to those who otherwise have no affection for aesthetics.

What is sure to be of interest to readers of this journal, however, is his treatment of how meaming is achieved by myth and religion. The paradigm sense of meaning, for Polanyi, is the perceptual experience of integrating disparate data into a meaningful or coherent whole. This is the sort of thing that takes place when you "look for the hidden faces" in those drawings used to amuse children. A more striking example of this phenomenon is those pictures of Jesus consisting of black and white blotches. The novelty of them is that at first they appear to be meaningless blotches and then suddenly you see it as a picture of Jesus. The meanings achieved by myth and religion are like this but with one difference. As is the case with certain works of art which employ an "artificial" framework (e.g., a play) we must accept the framework and allow it to detach us from everyday experience and carry us into its own sphere. Polanyi believes that myths can be true in the sense that "they evoke in us an experience which we hold to be genuine" (p. 146). An example of this is the experience that comes from accepting creation myths. Polanyi believes that it opens a view of the universe that allows man to feel at home in it and that they portray an image of man's destiny which,

. . . is much nearer to our own experience of greatness, to our perception of the course of history since history began, and to our experience of the shattering forces of our utopias than is the image of the barren atomic topography to which the ideal of detached observation seeks to reduce these matters (p. 147).

The most sweeping and complex integrative act of the human mind is the religious act of seeing meaning and significance in the world. What bars the acceptance of religion for many modern minds is that it lacks initial plausibility. So steeped are we in "naturalistic and scientistic commitments" it is nearly impossible to imagine a place for values and meaning. The chief stumbling block is that we are taught to believe that everything is explainable in terms of chemistry and physics, forbidding from the outset any form of teleological explanation.

Polanyi attacks this reductionistic notion directly and indirectly. First Polanyi adduces a number of problems about DNA that must be resolved before we can say that life can be completely explained in terms of it. Then he argues that one cannot, logically cannot, make the requisite explanatory reduction. The problem arises when the notion of mechanism is not taken seriously enough, for not even a simple tool such as a spoon or screwdriver can be explained solely in chemical and physical terms. One can never deduce from a mere description of its physical and chemical properties that it is a tool. Thus, even for explaining a simple mechanism two explanatory principles must be invoked-physiochemical principles and boundary type principles which inform one of what the machine is supp to accomplish.

The indirect attack on reductionism is Polanyi's attempt to argue for the plausibility of supposing that there is a "directional gradient" in evolution. That is:

Some sort of gradient of meaning is operative in evolution in addition to purely accidental mutation and plain
natural selection and this gradient somehow evokes evermore meaningful organizations (i.e., boundary conditions) of matter (p. 173).

An analogous principle, Polanyi argues, is already operative in quantum mechanics, and problem-solving. The cash value" of such a theory has a two-fold import. Scientifically, it reinforces the felt absurdity of attempting to deduce the characteristics of human sentience from chemical and physical laws. This is as silly as trying to deduce the rules of grammar from the principles governing words. The point is that there is a hierarchy of principles here. Although, for example, sentience depends upon the chemical and physical level, it is this level which is structured and operated by higher principles which are added to, and not deducible from it. The religious import is that we can see that all of mankind's cultural frameworks have been attempts to achieve every kind of meaning. Everything we know is full of meaning but it is also true that sometimes we miss or fail to grasp meanings and fall into absurdities. And Polanyi asserts:

... we can claim all this with an open and clear scientific conscience. The religious hypothesis if it does indeed hold that the world is meaningful rather than absurd, is therefore a viable hypothesis for us. There is no scientific reason why we cannot believe it (p. 179).

This is so because the major obstacle was the belief that science could tell us what the world is like and this only in reductionistic terms that made the world valueless, pointless, and absurd. This, Polanyi has tried to show both here and elsewhere, is a modem myth,

. . . produced by a profound misunderstanding of what science and knowledge are and what they require, a misunderstanding spawned by positivistic leftovers in our thinking and by allegiance to [a] false ideal of objectivity (p. 181).

Once this is seen we are once again in the position to experience the full range of meanings possible to man.

The final chapters are devoted to discovering what principles must structure a society if it is to be open to the achievement of all sorts of meaning. The argument is to establish a midway position between totalitarianism and the type of "open society" sketched by Karl Popper. The problem with the former is that ideology subverts the higher realities of morality and truth to serve its ends. The latter believes that every idea and position has a right to a booth in the market place in either the naive belief that truth will emerge victorious or that such freedom is a good in itself. Some_ times science is cited as the paradigm example of bow successful such a system might be. This however is a mistake. Polanyi argues that science cannot reject authority and tradition and neither can a free society. The argument is not that science is not a paradigm 4 a free association but that it is misunderstood if it is thought to exclude traditional frameworks.

Due to the breadth of this work, if nothing else, there is very likely much that could bear a closer examination by those more intimate with the fields he discusses. For example, a biologist and/or physicist would be in a better position to assess his direct and indirect arguments against reductionism. Philosophically, there is unclarity about whether levels of explanation generate or imply different ontological levels. He seems to speak as if they do but I am not convinced this is so. And be sometimes talks as if chance and boundary conditions were causal agents. These things, however, do not diminish the significance of the work. Readers of this journal will find much here that is of surprisingly kindred spirit coming from an unexpected quarter.

HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR FEELINGS by Phillip J. Swihart, Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1976. 60 pp., $1.25.

This is a practical booklet on the self-management of negative emotions and their relation to honesty and self-deception. The central advice about these negative emotions is that rather than to allow them to "roost" we should confess them instead of repressing or expressing them. Swibart shows how the Christian is at a unique advantage over a non-Christian in becoming honest about his or her feelings. This is because God enables the Christian through prayer, Scripture and fellowship to discover the truth about himself and also provides the forgiveness and acceptance needed to face these truths.

In a broad way, this is probably sound advice and certainly contains an edifying observation about a Christian's capacity for self-bonesty. But on closer inspection there are things said which are misleading and sometimes mistaken.

The very title of the book conveys an impression that there is not much to be done about emotions except learn to live with them. Swihart does not believe this but his approach to changing our emotional liabilities is mainly restricted to confession and facing up to them. He never adequately stresses the cognitive basis of our emotional reactions. Emotional reform, on Swihart's view, is almost entirely a matter of divine grace; our thought and beliefs are not given much of a role in this process.

Swihart claims that what he says can be "widely applied to all feelings" (p. 16) but this is not so. Consider love, joy, serenity, peace, wonder, awe, delight, and the various aesthetic and religious emotions. Would we not want some of these to roost? Or what is there about these emotions that needs to be confessed or faced up to? What would be wrong with expressing these feelings? The point is that Swihares view is really applicable only to the class of negative emotions such as jealousy, hate, disappointment, anger and resentment. Perhaps these emotions need to be dealt with constructively but it is wrong to think that all emotions are like this.

Guilt and sbame are among the most significant of the negative emotions. They are distinct from one another and so is their psychological resolution. [For a full differention of these two emotions see Helen Lynd, On Shame and the Search for Identity (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958) or Helen Lewis, Guilt and Shame in Neurosis (New York: International Universities Press, 1971).] One would expect a psychotherapist to know this but Swihart continually confuses them. And his confusion extends to his biblical exegesis. He ascribes guilt feelings to Adam, Eve, David and Peter, but nowhere in the Bible are guilt feelings ever mentioned.

This book is meant to be practical and perhaps these flaws do not detract from the soundness of its practical advice, but I cannot help but think it would have been even better without them.

Reviewed by Terry Pence, Department of Philosophy, Purdue University, West Latayette, Indiana 47906.

A Second Review of How To Live with Your Feelings . . .

In this booklet, How to Live with Your Feelings, Swihart discusses in six chapters such emotions as anger, jealousy and anxiety. For those who are versed in this area of psychology, Swihart offers no new insights. It 
is a rehash of more substantive writers such as Paul Tournier, Norman Wright, and Ken Olson.

Swihart stops short of suggesting ways that destructive and negative emotions can be prevented from even occurring. It is a positive step to openly own feelings as one's own. However, negative emotions can be controlled and to a degree prevented via applying the scientific laws of learning. Swihart never discusses these. For a more useful scientific analysis of emotions and their parameters, an excellent book by David Watson and Roland Thorp entitled Self-Directed Behavior is available from Brooks/Cole Publishers. It deals in a very helpful way with emotional problems and selfmodification. The procedures suggested in Self-Directed Behavior are compatible with the Bible and may be supplemented by its insights.

Reviewed by Richard Ruble, Professor at Psychology, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761.

CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY: A MEANING FOR HUMAN LIFE by John F. O'Grady, Paulist Press, New York 10023. Paperback, 231 pages, (1976) $4.95

This book promises to provide a "mutual interaction between anthropologists, psychologists, and theologians" so as to found "a truly integrated Christian anthropology." Such a book is keenly needed. Unfortunately, the fulfillment of that promise awaits a different book.

John F. O'Grady is Director of Continuing Education for Clergy in the Diocese of Albany. He paints a Catholic portrait of humanity which moves largely within the theological realm. The names that pepper the text are Aquinas, Ralmer, Brunner, Tillich, Berdyaev and Barth. The other side of the interaction-Freud, Marx, Levy-Strauss, Durkheim, Weber, etc.-are notable by their absence. What interaction occurs with the behavioral sciences takes place third hand: as they are reflected in the works of major theologians and philosophers.

The most interesting part of the book is the attempt to develop theology within an evolutionary point of view. Genesis is seen as not interested in presenting a theory opposed to, or in favor of, evolution. Scientific affirmations about the origin of the world or of the human race are matters for science and not for faith. Mankind develops through a process of becoming, which involves an extension of the being, a growth and development that significantly alters the being through the addition of that which is new. The transcending of these thresbbolds to greater levels of development are the result of qualities intrinsic to human life whose development is related to the transcendent cause of God who gives to his creation the power to become and supports it in its ever-developing journey to perfection. "God gives to his creation the power and possibility of becoming more than it is and makes this possible because he is present to this creation, not as efficient cause intervening but as transcending cause supporting, sustaining, and encouraging." (p. 102)

While rejecting elements of traditional Catholic theology such as the Thomist and Augustinian understanding of original sin and the imago dei, O'Grady nonetheless retains a basic natural theology point of view. The fall is less than complete. Evil is significantly qualified by the fact that man was created good and has a destiny which is God himself. All are predestined to share in God's glory. Every person already has a positive orientation toward God. Grace builds upon this preestablished orientation of man while at the same time taking man beyond his own possibilities toward and transcendance and perfection which he inwardly  seeks.

For those who seek a clearly written, brief presentation of a non-traditional Catholic approach to the doctrine of man, O'Grady, will serve their purposes well. Because it does not interact with the behavioral sciences on a serious level, it is not the work to be read in order to get a well balanced perspective on man from both a theological and scientific point of view.

Reviewed by David A. Fraser, Research Associate, MARC, Monrovia, CA

GENESIS AND EARLY MAN by Arthur Custance, Doorway Papers

This book is a collection of seven separate papers relating anthropology to the Bible. All of them assume and/or attempt to prove that a literal interpretation of Genesis 2-9 (including dating the Flood c. 2500-3000 B.C.) can be honestly harmonized with the scientific data of anthropology.

Two of the papers, one dealing with the intelligence of paleolithic men, the other dealing with the evolution of the human skull, are enlightening even though-or maybe because-they cut against the grain of much that is commonly thought about palcolithic men. Their substance does not necessarily support the author's thesis, however, since the data presented also cohere with the Presapiens school of thought and the position that Wilbert Ruseb espoused in Rock Strata and the Bible Record.

The paper on Primitive Cultures as being possibly degenerated cultures rather than earlier ones, and the paper on the difficulty of accurately reconstructing facial characteristics from skulls were thought provoking in spite of being one-sided.

On the other band, if the thesis of the paper on the origin of language is correct, it will be very difficult logically to avoid granting the status of Homo Sapiens to the many chimpanzees currently carrying on conversations in American Sign Language.

Equally unconvincing to this reviewer is the paper reinterpreting the fossil remains of all early men as descendants of Noah. Custance admits that "it is perfectly true that the thesis we are presenting has against it in the matter of chronology the whole weight of scientific opinion 11

The final paper, attempting to throw light on the Bible through a Frazerian appeal to Primitive cultures is very weak both in its methodology and its results.

The methodology of the book is common to the "scientific creationists" in that the following assumptions are made. (1) Genesis 2-9 ought to be interpreted very literally, just as if one were reading a scientific or photographic description of history. (2) Showing anomalies or difficulties in a scientific theory allows one to disregard it. (3) If the probability of one scientific theory can be weakened, then any other theory even if much weaker in probability, even if only plausible, even if barely possible, can legitimately be substituted for the more probable theory ... and ought to be so substituted if it supports the literal interpretation of Gen. 2-9. (4) Data contrary to the supposedly more biblical theory should be ignored or discounted. (Even apart from his nearly arbitrary rejection of radioactive data, Custance ignores many instances of cultural sequences as well as the overall historical gestalt derived from them because in the long run, as science perfects its understanding of these contrary points, a literal interpretation of Gen. 2-9 "will prove to be precisely correct.") (5) Supporting arguments by appeal to authors out of context, out of date, or out of their fields of specialization, is as valid as appeal to the majority of up-to-date specialists in a particular field of knowledge.

Because theories with these assumptions can be held intact only in isolation from professional scientific discussion, they can never be acclaimed as scientific. Because they represent only a possible interpretation of the Bible, they can never be insisted upon as biblical. But for those who share the underlying presuppositions, such theories will be emotionally satisfying.

Reviewed by Paul H. Seely, President, Christian Promotions, Portland, Oregon 97214.

PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE, AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD by Vern S. Poythress, Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1976

In this highly unusual book, Dr. Poythress' first major work (though he has published many articles, including one on mathematics in Gary North's Foundations of Christian Scholarship), the author presents a synthesis of his background in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and theology. Though Poythress' intention is to lay the groundwork for an evangelical philosophy of science, the book could have been given one of any number of titles, for it seems hardly less than a brief categorization of all of reality in an imaginative way with the use of technical terms (many coined by Poythress himself) which nevertheless are not claimed to be normative. The work is a linguistic one because of the abundance of terms which Poythress employs to describe special aspects of the created world (and thereafter captitalizes them to denote his special usage); it is mathematical in that he explores the permutations of these terms in order to describe the various relationships in the universe; it is philosophical in that he is deliberately speculative about the inner workings of the universe and its relationship with the Creator; and it is theological because he attempts firmly to root his thinking in the Bible, and in fact to build upon the Bible alone as his epistemological base.

Poythress writes within the Reformed tradition of theology and the Van Tilian tradition of philosophy (he received his theological degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary and now teaches New Testament there), and thus considers it important to let his orientation be known at the outset. He states, "I simply want to be frank about my own biases", and says "my own interpretation of the Bible is . . . like that of the Westminster Confession of Faith" (p. 4).

Poythress takes a systematic approach to what he considers to be necessary elements in a very basic philosophy of science: ontology ('what is there'?), methodology ("bow does everything function?"), axiology ("why is it there?"), and epistemology ("what is knowledge?"). Then, in a chapter entitled "Study and Its Ethics" be discusses the value of study and the role of various kinds of study, e.g., science, philosophy, and theology. All of these topics are discussed in such a general manner that the book is hardly recognizable as a philosophy of science as we normally think of it. But Poythress seems to consider "science" as the systematic study of all reality and its interrelationships in the broadest possible sense (pp. 7, 136f), and seeks to explore what should be the most basic foundations for this endeavor in order to make it thoroughly Christian.

Poythress' approach to ontology involves a discussion first of the Creator, the Mediator (Christ), and the Creation. He then subdivides the Creation into Heaven, Men, and the Subhuman kingdom, the latter being further subdivided into the animal, plant, and inorganic kingdoms. He gives descriptions and charts to map the interrelations of these various subdivisions.

The chapter on methodology then singles out the physical universe (excluding heaven) to describe the functional characteristics of his ontological categories. He does this in terms of "Modes"-"A Mode is the bundle of characteristics that a Kingdom has in addition to those of lower Kingdoms. The Personal Mode, the Behavorial Mode, the Biotic Mode, and the Physical Mode are the names of Modes of the Human, Animal, Plant, and Inorganic Kingdoms respectively" (p. 29). Within these Modes are various Functions-for example, man has "ordinantial functions" arising from the biblical commands given him when he was created. These ordinantial functions include the sabbatical (man's relationship to God), the social (man's relationship to man), and the laboratorial. (his relationship to subhuman creation) (p. 33). Furthermore, man has "official functions", or those functions he performs in his three offices of prophet (emphasizing meaning, communication, wisdom, and information), priest (emphasizing communion), and king (emphasizing rule, power, and majesty) (p. 35). Lastly, Poythress likes to think of man in terms of "actional functions"-active, middle, and passive (p. 40).

This sort of categorization continues in Poythress' discussion of biblical history, the relationship of God to men, and many other topics, all of which are quite unusual and provocative. Throughout the book the author emphasizes that there are not sharp distinctions among his terms and categories, which distinguishes him from Dooyeweerd; rather, he illustrates a great deal of overlapping or "interlocking" among them. In addition, he seems constantly to be guarding himself against any reductionistic claims for his terms- be insists that his particular categories are not the only or even the best way of seeing things. Rather, "they are one way, and I think a useful way. What is 'best' depends on what one is trying to accomplish" (p. 39).

In fact, perhaps the greatest value of Poythress' book to this reviewer is that it is a tour-de-force against reductionism. As a whole, the author's treatment of the diverse interrelationships among the elements of realitv, and the different perspectives or "Views" from Aich things can be seen indirectly produces the impression that a reductionist treatment of any aspect of the created world, particularly man, is quite paltry. Even the fact that most of his distinctions are in groups of three rather than two exhibits a non-reductionistic tendency. And this grouping is intentional, for he "wanted to avoid at all costs the impression of dialecticism that is so fond of dual categories: nature~./grace, revelation/reason, matter./form. . . . Dialectic has less surface plausibility if a third element can be introduced" (pp. 103-4).

Yet even beyond this, Poythress treats reductionism directly at several points in the book, and subdivides it into three different types, which alone is subtly devastating! Of these three, only two are definitely to be avoided: "Exclusive Reductionism", which is the insistence on the exclusive correctness of one's way of seeing things (p. 49), and "Slippery Reductionism", which is "the ambiguous use of key terms in a broad sense and in a narrow sense, in order to construct a non-Christian 'ultimate explanation' of the Cosmos" (p. 50). As an example of Slippery Reductionism, Poythress cites the logical positivists' use of the word "meaningful" in its broad connotative sense while actually defining it in a very narrow sense (p. 53).

In contrast to the reductionists, Poythress presents his material in such a way that he appears to have a firm grasp on his own limitations. This is evidenced by the open way in which he proclaims his presuppositions at the outset of the work.

Another of the book's strengths is that it is biblically based speculative philosophy. It is perhaps close to what the rationalistic minds of the pre-empiricist 17th century could have accomplished had they committed themselves to being consistently biblical, for it is intriguingly "rationalistic" in the sense of valuing the speculative mind as a possible avenue to truth. Yet it is rooted both in the particulars of the biblical revelation and in the reality of the world around us.

The book is concluded with several appendices giving Poythress' opinion of other Reformed philosophers, especially Herman Dooyeweerd and Gordon Clark. His extensive criticisms of Dooyeweerd will be of value only to those who are quite familiar with Dooyeweerd; his views on Clark's apologetic parallel those of Cornelius Van Til, i.e., he claims that Clark's use of the law of contradiction is a presupposition which is not accounted for, and must not be made more basic than the presupposition of the existence of God himself.

One definite weakness especially to those of us unschooled in linguistics is Poythress' use of specialized terms. Though the extensive glossary helps one to understand what he means by his terms, many of them are simply unfit for use as ordinary language.

Regarding the author's aim to lay the philosophical groundwork for a thoroughly theistic approach to science, he has probably realized his own special purpose, but one might wish that that purpose had been carried further. He has done very well in taking a rather comprehensive and definitely fresh gaze at what science could be without the fetters of what it is in the 20th century, but has not filled in any details as to

how we can make it what it should be, given what it is. In that sense it is perhaps too theoretical for the program-oriented mind of today. But one gets the impression that Poythress is vitally interested in challenging us to think, leaving the details of the program up to us. If the reader can shake off the pragmatic insistence that in order to be worthwhile an idea must be concretely applicable to his life today, he will find Poytbress' work quite valuable. He does indeed lay a groundwork of sorts for science as it could be, and perhaps we can look forward to future publications to fill in some more details of his highly creative thinking.

Reviewed by Douglas C. Heimburger 11, Student, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville,Tennessee.

PSYCHOLOGY AND CHRISTIANITY: THE VIEW BOTH WAYS by Malcolm A. Jeeves. Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter Varsity Press, pp. 177, 1976. $3.95 paper.

Inter Varsity Press has done it againl A scholarly and readable little book geared directly to the college student. And at a modest price.

The purpose of the book is to examine "the relationship between what psychologists have discovered and what Christians believe." The author asserts that psybology and true religion "are completely misinterpreted when cast in the roles of enemies rather than allies." Thereby the author sets an irenic tone of reconciliation between faith and science.

First, the author takes up psychology as a modelbuilding discipline in which he presents the different functions of theory, research, modeling, and explanation in science, with a special focus on psychology as science. Next comes a brief review of psychoanalytic, information processing, ethological, and behavioral theories. A Christian view of man as a model of human existence follows. The fallacy of psychological reductionism is the main focus of rapprochement here. Then the author takes on a few caveats about extrapolation from animal studies to human behavior' the use of machine models to account for determinancy-indeterminancy, and psychophysiological explanations of spiritual experience. He touches briefly on morality and guilt and concludes with a reasoned critique of both Freud and Skinner who dismiss God as an illusion.

As can be seen, the author has covered a wide territory of very complex material, and the traditional knotty problems of the subject area. Overall I find the author to be fair, circumspect, and respectful of both his discipline of psychology and his faith as a Christian. He cites some of the major theorists in psychology as well as a pertinent index of biblical references.

My caveats are small ones, for no introductory book like this could do justice to major issues. He treats the scientific method best of all, and is weakest in areas of philosophy and human behavior. He deals with the mind-body problem as a dualist, tends to resort to epiphenomenalism in interpretating conversion, and rather misapprehends the issues in morality and guilt.

Some typical college students found the book very readable, understandable, relevant to the big questions, and in general just a very useful think-piece for beginning undergraduates. I suspect that the more advanced and sophisticated undergraduate might want a more detailed examination of issues that are not easily resolvable.

The author is Professor of Psychology at St. Andrews University in Scotland. His Brittanic empire tradition shows in his careful erudition and polished use of English. He is an experimentalist and that orientation gives the book a more scholarly thrust than similar books written from the more casual approach of many clinicians.

In sum, a really neat book that you can recommend highly to your students, as well as to your colleagues. And a kudo to IV Press.

Reviewed by E. Mansell Pattison, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine.

A Second Review of Psychology and Christianity: The View Both Ways . . . .

In writing this book, Malcolm A. Jeeves, a British experimental psychologist, has rendered a service to all psychologists who call themselves Christians and who often find themselves misunderstood by both their psychological colleagues who do not call themselves Christians and their Christian brethren who do not call themselves psychologists. Truly, a great gulf seems to be permanently fixed between these two groups, but Jeeves' aim, according to his introduction, is "to change attitudes of suspicion and, at times, of scarcely concealed hostility into ones of mutual respect." As many a beleaguered Christian psychologist will agree, if this aim could be realized on even a modest scale, the book would have more than justified itself.

In certain respects, Jeeves can hardly fail to increase understanding of and respect for psychology on the part of fair-minded Christian readers who want a closer look at what psychologists actually do. Several misconceptions of psychology and psychologists were quickly corrected by a concise statement of what goes on today in professional psychology. Jeeves succeeds very well, in my opinion, at conveying both the diversity of specialties within psychology and their common goal of isolating the causes of behavior. Such is the amazing complexity of behavior, as he suggests, that none of these specialties need be in conflict but may produce complementary accounts of the same events, ranging in focus from the biochemical to the social.

In methodology, too, there is a common denominator which Jeeves takes care to explain since it is important to the development of his argument. This is the so-called hypothetico-deductive method. Psychological inquiry as Jeeves explains it cannot proceed except on the basis of theoretical constructs or models, such as that man is like an animal or that man is like a computer, and then testing whether predictions deduced from these models are verified by empirical data. When the logic of psychological inquiry is thus laid bare, the reader can appreciate that the assumptions are perfectly justified as tools of inquiry. To the extent that they give rise to valid predictions, they are useful. Trouble arises only when psychologists make unjustified extrapolations beyond their evidence to conclusions such as that man is "nothing but" an animal or an information processor. I certainly agree with Jeeves' contention that many pseudo-conflicts can be avoided when the Christian reader recognizes that there is nothing wrong with making these working assumptions even when they would conflict with Christian premises if embraced without qualification. Certainly nothing is to be gained by denying that human behavior is similar in many respects to animal behavior. However, I also believe that psychologists are wont to make unwarranted extrapolations beyond their evidence somewhat more often than Jeeves suggests, and this should be a source of concern to Christians.

Jeeves' discussion of the logical fallacy of "nothingbuttery" and his explication of Donald McKay's position on the status of moral choices within a deterministic framework were for me the key parts of the book, and should not be skipped by the nonprofessional reader notwithstanding Jeeves' invitation to do so. The points made are not difficult, and much is at stake. "Nothingbuttery" is attacked with arguments that are not entirely new or unique to a Christian viewpoint, as Christians find allies on this issue within humanistic, phenomenological and general systems approaches. McKay's argument is critical because it attempts nothing less that a reconciliation of moral responsibility with a deterministic view of brain mechanisms and behavior. Of course, other solutions of this philosophical dilemma are possible. The point is that nothing is to be gained by a Christian's denying that much of behavior is subject to causal explanation, and here is an argument which should allow Christians to tolerate cheerfully and without fear the deterministic working assumptions of behavioral scientists.

The intended effect of much of the author's line of argument is to allow Christians to stay unintimidated by psychological inquiry. The "something more" of Christianity cannot be threatened provided psychologists stay within the legitimate bounds of the discipline. Personally, I do not believe psychologists can avoid embracing philosophical assumptions which inform their thought even if they do not intrude explicitly into their scientific writings. These assumptions usually include a bias toward philosophical materialism which is the historical legacy of modern psychology. I do not believe, therefore, that Jeeves' main arguments will arouse much attention or respect of non-Christian psychologists toward Christian views. In fairness to Jeeves, I do not know whether it is possible to accomplish this goal to any great extent. Nevertheless it seems to me that there is good precedent in Christian thought for attempts to' show the reasonableness of Christian views in the best intellectual currency of the times including its scientific conclusions. While avoiding easy "integrations" based on an inadequate understanding of psychology and a distorted view of Christian beliefs, surely we can attempt to show in substantive ways the compatibility of psychological and Biblical perspectives. None of this is meant to take anything away from what Jeeves has accomplished in his fine book. But to accomplish more than half of his goal of fostering "mutual respect" between Christians and psychologists, I believe a less conciliatory posture toward the latter is required.

Reviewed by Dennis R. Ridley, State University at New York at Geneseo

SELF-DIRECTED BEHAVIOR by David Watson and Roland Thorp. Monterey, California: Brooks-Cole Publishing Company, 1972. 264 pages.

This book tells you how to change yourself. It's about self-modification for personal adjustment. In some colleges it is used as a text in the psychology of adjustment course. It is an excellent source to show students how learning principles can be used for self improvement.

This is a useful book. It is simply and logically written and moves through the principles of behavior in small increments with lucid illustrations. Courses in adjustment, personality, mental hygiene or learning could use it as a text. It is fun and profitable reading for the sophisticate as well as the neophyte. One college instructor has his students identify a personal trait or habit which is annoying and then seek to modify it following the procedures suggested in this book.

There might be some Christians who would criticize this book for putting all the emphasis upon human maneuvers apart from divine aid. However, the authors are merely seeking to identify the principles of behavior which God has ordered and enlisting them as tools of betterment. They do not rule out religious contingencies of reinforcement. That decision is left up to the individual.

The authors recognize the limits of self modification and recommend seeking professional help under certain circumstances. However, the beauty of this book is that it's a "how-to" book based on empirical principles of behavior. The techniques of behavior modification are systematically analyzed and applied to human problems for the purpose of changing behavior.

Shelves are filled with books about how to have a better life. This book fills a unique niche in applying the science of psychology to problems people face. It make psychology relevant to individual needs. Essential reading for those who have always wondered how classical and operant conditioning relate to anything besides salivating dogs and pecking pigeons.

Reviewed by Richard Ruble, Professor of Psychology, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761.

EVANGELICALS IN SEARCH OF IDENTITY by Carl F. H. Henry, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1976, 96 pp., $3.95

In Evangelicals at the Brink of Crisis (1967) Dr. Henry predicted that the next decade would see critical directions taken by evangelicalism, particularly in the face of the ecumenical movement. At the end of this decade Dr. Henry now assesses these directions in Evangelicals in Search of Identity, and concludes that evangelicals must transcend divisions that have arisen among them and renew a spirit of unity and cooperation, or else forfeit their witness to a troubled and confused society.

Twenty-five years ago evangelicalism in America experienced a renaissance. Fundamentalists labeled the movement as non-fundamentalist and neo-evangelical, while liberals put it down as a post-war phenomenon or a Billy Graham personality cult. Hence, evangelicals looked beyond the contemporary scene into the past to find roots. Departing from fundamentalism's anti-intellectualism and social withdrawal, evangelicals took their intellectual and social responsibilities more seriously. Differing streams of thought flowed into evangelicalism, and the term became less well defined. These differences within the ranks of evangelicalism were to later harden into sharp conflict.

The decade of the late sixties and early seventies saw notable gains for evangelicalism. But many evangelicals voiced their disbelief in biblical inerrancy and condemned the evangelical establishment's lack of socio-political involvement. Rather than giving definitive direction to realign evangelicals into a more comprehensive organization, the leadership lashed back with reactionary criticism. Disunity now centers around these issues of scriptural inerrancy and social action.

Conservative Christianity in America has been characterized by the viewpoint that the Scriptures are literally inspired and are to be read literally. Since the 1966 Wenham (Gordon) Conference on Scripture it has become apparent that an ever growing number of conservative scholars no longer hold this view. Many evangelical leaders believe that to surrender this doctrine is to undermine the foundations of Christianitv and propose making "inerrancy" the evangelical pas~- word.

There is a renewed awareness of the social responsibility of Christianity on all sides, but the division arises over the priority between evangelism and social action, and what program to take. Many young evangelicals, after the turmoil of the sixties, deplore the evangelical establishment's cultural conformity to capitalism, and join with many Third-World spokesmen in calling for immediate social justice, and indictment of oppressive politico-economic forces.

Nineteenth century evangelicals reacted to ecumenism and "social gospel-ism" by withdrawing into their isolated sect. Had they followed more biblical principles of Christian unity and social concern, churches in the twentieth century might have pursued a sounder course. Dr. Henry warns evangelicals not to repeat the mistakes of history. Evangelicals do not need a new organization but a renewed sense of the evangelical family; they need serious apologetics to combat the anti-intellectualism of modern theology; and they need to exploit the mass media to present Christ's gospel more effectively. Dr. Henry sounds the clarion call for unity among evangelicals of diverse opinions in an irrational and confused age when the primary enemy of revelational theism is internal conflict.

A noted authority like Dr. Henry deserves serious consideration by all factions. Besides promoting his main thesis, the book is valuable as a brief history of the last twenty years of evangelicalism. It should be pointed out, though, that the value judgment made by Dr. Henry is not shared by all evangelical scholars, viz., that a broader Christian witness to secular society is worth sacrificing the integrity of evangelicalism's historical position on inerrancy.

Reviewed by Bruce Hedman, Assistant Instructor, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.

POVERTY PROFILE USA by Mariellen Procopio and Frederick J. Perella, Jr., New York: Paulist Press, 1976, 88 pp., $1.65.

This book succeeds in showing the affluent something of what poverty in the United States is. The task is not simple. Census Bureau Statistics for 1974 name only 24.3 million Americans poor, down from 39 million in 1959. However, in 1959 the poverty index ($2,943) for an urban family of four represented 54% of the median family income ($5,417). In 1974, the poverty index ($5,038) represented only 40% of the median family income ($12,480). Maintaining the larger percentage would have made 46 million Americans poor; using another standard ($9,198), suggested by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, would have raised the number to 65.5 million. Clearly Lazarus is sitting outside quite a few American homes.

No matter how numerous the poor may be, one generic definition identifies them all as "unproductive elements in our society". Some of them cannot work because of full-time responsibilities for children or retired persons. Some who do work full time at the minimum wage still do not earn enough to escape poverty. Between 16% and 23% of the nation's elderly are considered poor. At least one-third of the nation's poor population is under eighteen. The statistics are chilling. Knowing them convinces one of the futility of categorizing the poor.

No ethnic group escapes poverty. 56% of all poor are White; 30% are Black. 90% of all reservation-dwelling American Indians are poor by government statistics and almost 50% of all American Indians live on reservations.

The reader may be tempted to say, "There but for the grace of God go L" But clearly, the grace of God is no explanation for the misery and oppression shrouded by these statistics.

If poverty is not laid at God's door, the blame for it must be placed somewhere. Unfortunately the authors revert to the minimal poverty population (24 million) when they too briefly discuss i the causes of poverty. A problem that concerns one-fifth of the population does not have the numerical urgency of one that concerns one-third of us. They do point out that 5% of the nation's populace controls 50% of its wealth.

Because the distribution is so lopsided, the solutions will not be simple. This book, prepared for the U.S. Catholic Conference Campaign for Human Development, was intended only to introduce the facts, not to solve the problem.

But in one sense the facts are the problem. Even on conservative governmental statistics, 24.3 million Americans have less than $1.15 a day for food. Matthew never bothered to tell how many Israelites were poor, naked, sick, and imprisoned in the time of Jesus. He did tell us that to care for them was to care for Jesus.

No matter how well we count nor explain the numbers of poor people, statistics do not tell the whole story. Only the poor understand what it means to need desperately what others possess indifferently and in abundance. To understand poverty, one must investigate wealth. The terms are correlative. Hence this reviewer hopes The authors will soon attempt a sequel: Wealth Profile USA.

Reviewed by William 1. Sullivan, S.T.D., Associate Professor, Religious Studies, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York.

THE ETHICS OF FETAL RESEARCH by Paul Ramsey, Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 1975, xxii + 104 pp. $2.95.

Paul Ramsey has written a somewhat confusing book. His prose is sometimes tortured, his topic is sometimes too confined to the period of writing, and his conclusions are not spelled out clearly. Nonetheless, his stature as a medical ethicist who things that "the moral history of mankind is more important than its medical history" (p. xv), who is "an ethicist of principles (not of consequences only)" (p. 13), and who remarks that "God so loved the world that he did not send a committee" (p. 1) deserves a reading. The subject, too, beset by controversy and lack of definitions, is also an important one. All of us were fetuses once.

Ramsey spends most of the book wrestling not with fetal research, but with the reason fetal research has become an important subject: abortion for non-medical reasons. Yet he correctly points out that the two subjects are not necessarily the same.

Society, says Ramsey, bears a load of guilt over the massive numbers of those aborted for non-medical reasons. Shouldn't some good be obtained from their termination? Many also feel that since these fetuses are not going to live anyway, why not perform research on them? Ramsey points out that two wrongs do not make a right, that guilt is a poor motivation for anything, and that the latter question "justified" the "research" undertaken by the Nazis.

Ramsey also states that a woman (or parents) who has consigned her unborn offspring to termination is not a rational person from whom informed consent regarding the disposal of that offspring can be obtained.

Ramsey deals with the tendency of physicians and researchers to set medical policy in private, while many of them deplore the establishment of milita policy without public debate. He mentions several classes of fetal research, and divides the issues based on se era criteria, such as whether the research is designed to benefit the fetus itself. Types of fetal research that might prove beneficial to many fetuses, and that probably cannot well be undertaken on any other type of material, are mentioned. The crucial issue of whether unborn fetuses are analagous to tissue, to animals, to babies, to unconscious, dying or condemned persons is considered in detail.

All in all, an important book, on the cutting edge of ethical practice.

Reviewed by Martin LeBar, Central Wesleyan College, Central, South Carolina 29630.

HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis A. Schaeffer, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, 1976, 288 pp., $12.95.    (Two Reviews)

In this book, Schaeffer has attempted to identify those ideas, events, and people in history, who have shaped our present culture. His basic position is that the philosophical presuppositions and world view of a society determines the direction that it takes. History and culture are rooted in the thoughts of men. He begins with an analysis of Roman civilization, and proceeds through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Scientific Age, and concludes with an analysis of modem Western society. At each step in the flow of Western civilization, he points out the philosophical basis for that civilization, and shows how the thinking of men gave rise to the cultural and political characteristics of the time.

Schaeffer's main thrust, however, is not historical analysis, but to show that the weaknesses of our own culture are a result of the loss of the biblical Christian world view. During the Reformation in Northern Europe, there was an attempt made to bring all aspects of life under the authority of God and the Scriptures. This was not always successful, as in the defence of racism and slavery, or the non-compassionate use of wealth. But, on the whole, the outcome of the Reformation was personal and political freedom, and economic stability. The idea that the Law is King, and the development of various checks and balances in government, nourished the growth of Western democracies. There was, also, a blossoming in art, music, and culture. Since modern men have given up the biblical Christian base, they are now also losing the spin-offs of that base in the areas of politics and general culture. Hence, with no adequate base, Western civilization is, like Roman civilization, decaying from within

Having analysed the situation, Schaeffer suggests that if we wish to avoid the continued breakdown of our own society, there are only two alternatives: i) arbitrary authority imposed by a totalitarian government, or ii) a reaffirmation by our society of the biblical Christian base for our culture. Schaeffer's purpose in writing the book was to encourage the adoption of the second alternative, that "this generation may turn from that greatest of wickedness, the placing of any created thing in the place of the Creator, and that this generation may get its feet out of the paths of death and may live".

This is a very valuable book, in that it exposes the reasons for the breakdown of Western society. However, it appears to me to have two weaknesses. The first, is the over-simplification of complex issues. This is particularly noticeable in the first half of the book, where Schaeffer deals with history. He frequently makes summary statements about historical periods, without providing adequate evidence for them. For example, Schaeffer concludes that the reason that Rome fell was that it lacked an adequate philosophical base. Evidence to support that conclusion is not presented.

The second weakness derives from the fact that the same basic text has been used for this book and also as a script for a film series (10-30 minute films which cover the same material as the book). Hence, the film series presents many visual illustrations of points made in the text which the book, despite numerous photographs, is unable to do. Many points in the book are difficult to follow, if one is not already familiar with many details of art, architecture, music, cultural history, etc. Generally, the film series makes a better presentation of Schaeffer's arguments than the book.

Overall, however, "How Should We Then Live?" is well worth reading, since it gives a broad picture of the trends in Western civilization, which have led up to our present situation. Schaeffer has carefully laid out the reasons for the present direction of contemporary society and is like the watchman of Ezekiel 33, shouting a warning to the people, that we should turn from our wickedness and live.

Reviewed by Steve Scadding, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

A Second Review of How Should We Then Live?...

Francis Schaeffer and his writings have become an evangelical phenomenon, Since Escape from Reason and The God Who Is There appeared in print in 1968, no single philosophically and theologically oriented Christian author has had as much impact and as much exposure to the Christian community. He has summed up the apparent content of history, culture and art in bold strokes that in most part ring so true to the Christian reader that he is captured by the vision that Schaeffer provides. He has been the springboard for discussions among Christians and considerations of

Unfortunately it is not possible to describe the great flow of historical thinking from the days of ancient Rome to the present-the task undertaken in How Should We Then Live?, a kind of compendium of all of Schaeffer's writings-without leaving oneself open to the charge of superficiality and inaccuracy in any one of a dozen or more specific disciplines. Each specialist feels that Schaeffer has been overly simplistic in dealing with his area of speciality, whether that area be philosophy, history, theology, art or science. This is no less true in the area of science, the area of specific concern to readers of this Journal. A reviewer might just note the inevitability of these shortcomings and pass on to the truly positive and monumental contributions of Schaeffer's writings to Christian understanding and integration, or he might stop and point out where Schaeffer has drawn the proper conclusions from the wrong data. In the former case, the reviewer might be charged irresponsible; in the latter case, picayune.

The difficulty is that the overly-simplistic particulars cited tend to detract from the validity of Schaeffer's general conclusions. In the area of science, as probably also in the others, Schaeffer would benefit from intimate interaction with scientists, i.e., with people who are actually doing science, not just philosophers, theologians or educators who talk about science.

To illustrate such scientific problems in How Should We Then Live? I cite simply two instances from Chapter 7, "The Rise of Modem Science." The quotation taken from Einstein, "I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos," has nothing to do with the theory of relativity as indicated by Schaeffer. It is Einstein's reason for rejecting the quantum mechanical view with its explicit assumption of a chance basis for physical phenomena. Although he provided the experimental basis for much of the quantum theory in his work on the photoelectric effect, Einstein refused for philosophical reasons to embrace its chance-emphasizing conclusions, and so cut himself off for the rest of , his life from the major developments in modern science outside his own relativity work.

Schaeffer's description of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle on p. 140 has a number of problems. First of all, there is no need for two atomic particles to be involved; the Principle says that we cannot measure exactly simultaneously both the position and velocity of a particle. Although the emphasis here may appear to be on "measure," still the theoretical structure of the quantum theory leads to the same conclusions without reference to experimental limitations.

The quantum theory according to the prevailing Bohr interpretation does lead to the concept of chance as the basic phenomenon in a scientific description. The description of single photons and single atomic particles is a chance one. A single photon approaching a sheet with two slits in it will go through one or the other on purely chance basis. A radioactive atom will decay at a particular time on a purely chance basis. The apparent lack of chance in the macroscopic world, to which Schaeffer appeals, is the consequence of the fact that a deterministic description can be given of a group of particles, each individually described by a chance description, if the number of particles is large enough. For example, although the radioactive decay of a particular atom is un-caused, i.e., it is wholly a chance phenomenon according to present-day quantum theory, the average lifetime of a large number of such atoms can be predicted very accurately.

All scientific descriptions must be either deterministic or chance in character, Neither of these kinds of description is better suited than the other to correlate with Christianity. If a thoroughly deterministic description were adequate, then where would be the place for Providence, will, and responsible choice? If a thoroughly chance description were adequate, then where would be the place for Election, order, and again responsible choice? Since neither type of description is more appropriate than the other for Christian thought, it also follows that neither type of description is more inimical to Christian thought than the other. A process described scientifically as "chance" is as suitable a vehicle for God's creative activity as a process described scientifically as "deterministic."

If the reader has not encountered Francis Schaeffer before, How Should We Then Live? may well be too concentrated a dosage to be fully effective. On the other hand, if one doesn't have the time or inclination to read the other 20 books by Schaeffer or such related books as Rookmaaker's Modem Art and the Death of a Culture, this book will serve as a good overview of Schaeffer's positive contributions as well as of his inevitable shortcomings.

CREATION BY NATURAL LAW: Laplace's Nebular Hypothesis in American Thought by Ronald L. Numbers, University of Washington Press, Seattle (1977). 184 pp. $15.00.

This is the PhD dissertation of the author, who is Associate Professor of History of Medicine and the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin. Although the controversy over the theory of evolution is well aired because of that theory's apparent description of "creation by natural law," not so well known is the antecedent debate over another apparent description of "creation by natural law": the nebular hypothesis for the origin of the solar system advanced by Laplace in 1796, over 60 years before Darwin's Origin of Species. Numbers traces the rise and fall of this hypothesis as an aspect of cosmogony from its inception in 1796 to its demise in about 1900, and relates its effect on human thought about the possibility of scientific descriptions of the origin of the solar system. The parallel that Numbers draws between the nebular hypothesis and the theory of evolution is a fascinating one. He points out that even after the nebular bypothesis was no longer scientifically acceptable, its influence in turning human thought toward "natural law in the heavens" persisted. Unlike the theory of evolution, the nebular hypothesis generated no conflict between science and theology in the United States, yet its influence played a large role in preparing the way for evolutionary thinking.

Unlike many PhD dissertations, this one is fairly easy reading. Like other dissertations, the text which ends on p. 118 is followed by two appendices, 37 pages of Notes, a 7 page Bibliography, and a 5 page Index. Recommended reading in the effort to understand present day controversies in historical perspective, an effort that often demonstrates that history does repeat itself.

Reviewed by Richard H. Bube, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.

CHRISTIANS AND SOCIOLOGY by David Lyon Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois. Paperback: 93 pages, (1976), $1.95.

This disappointingly brief book, written by a British sociologist at Bingley College of Education, emphasizes the tragic lack of works dealing with the relationship between sociology and Christian faith. Lyon's thesis is that there can and must be a distinctively Christian approach to sociology. This is due to the presuppositional variance that exists between sociology and a Christian view of society. That variance is rooted in the origins of sociology in 19th century humanism and skepticism. Its categories are "inherently and inescapably 'value-loaded' (p. 28)." It tends to act as a false form of consciousness, an encompassing ideology that excludes Christian faith and is characterized by scientism, empiricism, positivism, determinism, and relativism. As such it exerts a "subtle and persistent tendency . . . to erode faith and raise doubts (p. 7)."

This tendency is portrayed in three areas of sociological analysis. The sociology of knowledge traces all world-views and belief systems to the social context and status location of the people who originated that knowledge. It asserts an approach that potentially explains away Christian revelation and conversion.

Sociological views of the nature of humans also run counter to basic Christian affirmations. Those views (behaviorism, functionalism, voluntarism) which see people as malleable, the deterministic product of socialization within a given social system, lead to a denial of individual responsibility. If society creates human nature and is responsibile for everything, it is responsible for the socially unacceptable as well as the desirable. Those views which stress people as mastering their lives and transcending the social world, as active, self -determining, value-realizing creatures, tend to make humans autonomous arbiters of right and wrong. In either case people are not seen as intrinsically religious, to be viewed and defined primarily in terms of relationship to God.

The sociology of religion creates problems even at the point of definition. "No sociological definition of religion . . . can fail to contain implications as to the truth of religion (p. 73)." The study of religious behavior and its class determinants, religious belief systems and their functions for life-crises, and religion as a reification of security needs o compensation for alienating circumstances, gives valuable insight. But such analysis often threatens faith by assuming that it can completely explain the presence and function of religion.

In response the Christian sociologist affirms recent trends in the field which reject the notion that sociological information is neutral and argue for "a self-consciously moral sociology which aims to change society in accordance with its explicit value-system (p. 84)." Christian sociology uses non-Christian sociology but criticizes and modifies it by its own distinctive Christian presuppositions. Sociology is read with a mind that is open to the Word of God.

Several weaknesses mar Lyon's attempt to c steady Christian students for a first encounter with so iology. The book is too negative and defensive to do justice to the relationship. One feels more warned about sociology than invited to bring it into captivity to the mind of Christ.

Lyon does little to explain what a Christian sociology might mean. He does not spell out a Christian view of society nor indicate what presuppositions are necessary to criticize and correct non-Christian sociology. Part of the problem appears to be the elementary level at which theological resources are utilized as compared with the broad knowledge of the sociological material. If an integration is to take place, it cannot be done with doctoral level sociology and freshman level theology.

Where Lyon suggests elements in an integration, he leaves large questions unanswered. For example, he does not discuss whether the focus (or scopus) of Scripture is such that it can provide statements that fall within the domain of interest of the sociologist (p. 45). We may agree that "there is knowledge which is undetermined by any social context." This certainly refers to knowledge about God and His salvation for sinful humans. But it certainly is more debatable when it comes to sociological knowledge. When Scripture touches on matters of social structure (e.g. monarchy, patriarchal family hierarchy, etc.), is it merely regulating a preexisting social custom among the people to whom God is revealing Himself or is it indicating that God intends this economic order or social system to be normative for His people?

He also leaves unresolved the matter of the culturally relative form in which revelation itself is given and thus does not clarify the method necessary to induce Christian sociological presuppositions. Surely it is too sweeping to say of the Old Testament laws: "the commands given were not socially determined: but rather spoken into the situation by an absolutely free God ... (p. 46-47)." God is indeed free but He chose to work through and in terms of the culture of the Hebrew people. How else are we to understand laws about slavery or the ordeal prescribed for a wife suspected of adultery by her husband, etc?

One glaring omission is the failure to mention any Christian sociologists who have attempted to relate sociology and Christian faith. The great French sociologist and theologian, Jacques Ellul, comes to mind as the outstanding contemporary example. At least 17 of his books are now in English and present the largest and finest Christian sociological understanding of contemporary technological society. Some of the very elements Lyon sees as incompatible with a Christian view of society (e.g. determinism), Ellul makes central to his sociological and theological understanding. His latest work, The Ethics of Freedom, presents a powerful case for the deterministic conclusions of sociology and psychology as the context for a Christian view of sin's alienating power and Christian understanding of the meaning of redemption and freedom. What Lyon argues is a possibility, Ellul gives us as a full developed reality.

Reviewed by David A. Fraser, Research Associate, MARC, Monrovia, California.

GOD, REVELATION AND AUTHORITY: VOL. 1, God Who Speaks and Shows by Carl F. H. Henry, Word Books; Waco, Texas, 1976, 421 pp., $12.95.

Dr. Carl F. H. Henry has spent most of his life lecturing, debating, and writing in defense of historic Christianity. He has written about most of the scientific, social, philosophical and theological issues that have faced the church during his lifetime. His breadth of interest and scholarship is almost unheard of in this age of specialization.

This book is the first volume of a projected four volume series in which Dr. Henry puts together the results of "twenty-five years of teaching, researching and lecturing". (p. 11) It is concerned with an introduction to the topic of theology. Volumes II and III deal with the doctrine of revelation and Volume IV will deal with the doctrine of God. (Volumes I and II are now available, Volume III will be available by the end of 1978, and Volume IV by the end of 1980.)

Dr. Henry believes that the timeless message of Christianity must be presented to the world in a meaningful manner. The message must not be changed to make it relevant, (as liberalism so often does) nor should the message be spoken in a language no longer used (as fundamentalism often does). For this reason., the introductory volume deals with an up-to-date discussion of the problem of knowledge.

The reader is taken on a detailed tour of various theories of epistemology. The writing is clear, but the subject matter is not easy. It is a very good introduction to the historical and philosophical aspects of the problem of knowledge. Throughout the entire survey, a basis is being laid for his later conclusion that revelation from God is essential for the construction of a proper philosophy and theology.

The core of Henry's thought is summed up in the following quotation:

Divine revelation is the source of all truth, the truth of Christianity included; reason is the instrument for recognizing it; Scripture is its verifying principle; logical consistency is a negative test for truth and coherence a subordinate test. The task of Christian theology is to exhibit the content of biblical revelation as an orderly whole. (p. 215)

The next thirty pages are spent explaining this summation.

It is clear from the above quotation and Henry's explanation of it that he sides with the "presuppositionists" rather than the "evidentialists" in the field of Christian apologetics. His starting point, or axiom, is the word of God, not an historical event such as the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is argued, we would not know of the resurrection of Christ without the Holy Scriptures. Yet, he is no fideist like Barth, or for that matter Barth's conservative counterpart, Van Til. He says that it is "suicide" to renounce the importance of the laws of noncontradiction and logical consistency as Barth (p. 233) and Van Til (p. 236) do. Val Til's rejoinder to Carnell (a student of C. H. Clark with similar views as Henry) that "rational tests" imply that man is autonomous, itself implies either that the "unbeliever thinks with another system of logic or it confuses formal logic with a determinate sphere of thought" (p. 236). Dr. Henry is seen to follow his former mentor, Dr. G. H. Clark in this respect. (cf. p. 10).

Consistent with these views are Henry's views on natural theology". He rejects Anselms' attempts to have all of theology based in nature. Yet, he also strenuously opposes Barth's denial of any point of contact between God and fallen man. He is careful to state that any "direct knowledge of God not inferred from experience . . . finds its explanation in and through the scripturally attested imago Dei alone." (p. 394) This conclusion comes after about one hundred pages of very good discussion on the various a priori schools of philosophical thought.

Dr. Henry states that the Christian religion "is a rational faith that rests on revelational fact and truth, a faith grounded in the self-disclosure of God in Christ as the ultimate reality and the ultimate reason. It calls, therefore, for reasonable reflection, reasonable decision, and reasonable service" (p. 272). That Dr. Henry has lived up to these high standards is evident from his life and from his writings.

At a time when much of Protestant Christianity is entrenched in neo-orthodox or conservative fideism, it is refreshing that a volume such as this be published. May it be used to bring about a return to a rational defense of our most reasonable faith.

Reviewed by David E. Laughlin, Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

LIFE AFTER LIFE by Raymond A. Moody, Jr., Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1976. 125 pp. $5.95.

Is Life After Life a real breakthrough for the Christian, giving as it does numerous accounts of near-deatb experiences? I think not.

Dr. Moody holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Virginia. His interest in the subject of Life After Life came about accidentally after he became a medical student intending to specialize in the philosophy of medicine. Dr. Moody's religious background includes early family connections with the Presbyterian Church, although his parents never tried to impose their religious beliefs upon their children. He grew up "having a 'religion' not as a set of fixed doctrines, but rather as a concern with spiritual and religious doctrines, teachings, and questions . . . all the great religions of man have many truths . . . In organizational terms, I am a member of the Methodist Church."

In this book be poses the time-honored question: what is it like to die? His approach is to relate

(1) The experiences of persons who were resuscitated after having been thought, adjudged, or pronounced clinically dead by their doctors.
(2) The experiences of persons who, in the course of accidents or severe injury or illness, came very close to physical death. 
(3) The experiences of persons who, as they died, told them to people who were present. Later, these other people reported the content of the death experience to me.

Some fifteen separate elements recur again and again in the experiences researched, although not all elements are present in any one case. Dr. Moody specifies these: ineffability, hearing the news, feelings of peace and quiet, the noise, the dark tunnel, out of the body, meeting others, the being of light, the review, the border or limit, coming back, telling others, effects on lives, new views of death, and corroboration.

Dr. Moody very carefully insists throughout the book that he is not trying to prove that there is life after death. Rather he hopes his volume may encourage others who have had similar experiences to speak a little more freely, "so that a most intriguing facet of the human soul may be more clearly elucidated." He parallels quotations and summations on the subject from the Bible, Plato, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and Emanuel Swedenborg, and then ends his book with questions, explanations and impressions.

Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, in her Foreword to this volume, indicates that this account of Dr. Moody's findings is true . . . also corroborated by her own research and by those of others "who have had the courage to investigate in this new field of research in the hope of helping those who need to know, rather than to believe." (italics mine)

Dr. Moody concludes his chapter on Questions with a fair-minded statement,

Let us at least leave open the possibility that near-death experiences represent a novel phenomenon for which we may have to devise new modes of explanation and interpretation.

Speaking as a Christian, however, I must confess to a certain uneasiness with respect to the so-called glimpse into the process of "dying" as recorded in these cases. Rather than substantiating what the Bible clearly teaches concerning Jesus Christ as Savior and judge, those who survived this "death" experience indicated no problem concerning sin.

When he (the light) came across times when I had been selfish, his attitude was only that I had been learning from them, too.

And it was not anything bad at all; I went through it with no regrets, no derogatory feelings about myself at all.

The Christian may well experience this blessed relief from the guilt of sin, based only upon Christ's substitutionary work for him-but this experience apparently was not reserved only for those who were committed to Christ.

. . it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. (11 Corinthians 5:10)

Although Dr. Moody tries to refrain from drawing conclusions, he does make this statement on pages 107 and 108,

It seems to me that the best way of distinguishing between God-directed and Satan-directed experiences would be to see what the person involved does and says after his experience. God, I suppose, would try to get those to whom be appears to be loving and forgiving. Satan would presumably tell his servants to follow a course of hate and destruction.

This, indeed, sounds most reasonable. However, since one of Satan's most powerful weapons is deception (see 11 Corinthians 11:14, "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light"), he would be most happy to deceive people into thinking that God's Word concerning judgment is simply a lie. Genesis 3:1 . . "Did God say ... ?" Genesis 3:4 . . "You will not die." The fact that many people who returned from the "dead" are motivated to better and more loving patterns of living, while rejecting or neglecting God's means of acquiring a right relationship with Him through Christ, does not substantiate the assumption that God has somehow come through with a new revelation.

If one reads the book as an interesting account of experiences a number of people have shared in their close brush with death, without consciously or unconsciously feeling that the Bible somehow falls short or may even be in error concerning what follows death, then by all means read and enjoy it. Since not one Of these people has really died and returned, the curtain between life and death remains closed to us. I much prefer to place my confidence in the One "Who died and rose again" . . . even Jesus Christ.

Reviewed by Betty 1. M. Bube, Stanford, CA 94305.