Science in Christian Perspective

BOOK REVIEWS for December 1985


INTIMATIONS OF REALITY: Critical Realism in Science and Religion by Arthur Peacocke. Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN (1984). 94 pages. Paperback, $4.95; cloth, $10.95.

THE WAY THE WORLD IS: THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE OF A SCIENTIST by John Polkinghorne. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1983). 140 pages. $4.95.

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF MAN by Gordon H. Clark. The Trinity Foundation, P.O. Box 169, Jefferson, Maryland 21755 (1984). 101 pages. Paperback $5.95.

IN THE BEGINNING by Henri Blocher, tr. David G. Preston. Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 240 pages.

THE GENE BUSINESS: WHO SHOULD CONTROL BIOTECHNOLOGY? by Edward Yoxen. Harper & Row, New York (1984). 230 pages. $15.95.

THE GRAVEDIGGER FILE by Os Guinness. InterVarsity Press (1983). 245 pages. $6.95.

MAKING CHRISTIAN SENSE by Paul L. Holmer, in the general series edited by Richard H. Bell on Spirituality and the Christian Life. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA (1984). 118 pages. Paper $7.95. ISBN 0-66424614-1


E. F. SCHUMACHER: HIS LIFE AND THOUGHT by Barbara Wood. Harper & Row. 394 pages. $19.50.

SCIENCE AND RELIGION IN THE THOUGHT OF NICHOLAS MALEBRANCHE by Michael E. Hobart. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill (1982). 195 pages with bibliography and index. $19.95.

ARCHAEOLOGY: THE RABBIS AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY by Eric M. Meyers and James F. Strange. Abingdon Press, Nashville (1981). 207 pages. Paper $7.95.

PROPHECY IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD by David E. Anne. Eerdmads (1983). 522 pages. Hard cover $29.95.

CHRISTIAN FAITH AND OTHER FAITHS by Stephen Neill. Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 304 pages. Paper $7.95.

ISLAM: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE by Michael Nazir-Ali. Westminster Press, Philadelphia (1984). 192 pages. Paper $11.95.

CHRISTIANITY AND WORLD RELIGIONS: The Challenge of Pluralism by Sir Norman Anderson. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 216 pages. Paper $6.95.

LIFE SCIENCE AND RELIGIONS by Kieran Burns. Philosophical Library, New York (1984). 222 pages. $25.00.

ABORTION AND THE CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION by Ronald Reagan. Thomas Nelson, Nashville (1984). 96 pages. $7.95.

JUSTICE FOR THE UNBORN: Why We Have "Legal" Abortion and How We Can Stop It by Randall J. Hekman. Servant Books, Ann Arbor, MI (1984). 183 pages. Paperback.

THE REDISCOVERY OF INNER EXPERIENCE by Lucy Bergman, Nelson-Hall (1982). $17.95.

WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LONELY by Charles Durham. Inter-Varsity Press, IL (1984). 186 pages. Paper $5.95.

CRISIS & CATHARSIS: The Power of the Apocalypse by Adela Yarbro Collins. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA. 179 pages. Paper $11.95. ISBN 0-66424521

WHOLENESS AND HOLINESS: Readings in the Psychology/Theology of Mental Health edited by H. Newton Malony. Baker Book House (1983). 344 pages. Paper $12.95.

THE MAJESTY OF MAN; The Dignity of Being Human by Ronald B. Allen. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon 97266 (1984). 221 pages.

SUPERIOR BEINGS: IF THEY EXIST HOW WOULD WE KNOW by Steven J. Brains. SpringerVerlag, New York (1983). 202 pages. $21.95.

THE SUPREMACY OF JESUS by Stephen Neill. IVP (1984). 174 pages. $5.95.

THE GREAT REVERSAL; Ethics and the New Testament by Allen Verhey. Eerdmans (1984). 246 pages. Paper $13.95. ISBN 0-8028-0004-1

WALKING IN WISDOM; STUDYING THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON By William E. Mouser, Jr. InterVarsity Press (1983). 169 pages. $4.95.

INTIMATIONS OF REALITY: Critical Realism in Science and Religion by Arthur Peacocke. Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN (1984). 94 pages. Paperback, $4.95; cloth, $10.95.

This little book contains the text of the 1983 Mendenhall Lectures at DePauw University, delivered by Arthur R. Peacocke, Dean of Clare College, Cambridge University, and well known biochemist and author on topics relating science and religion. As indicated by the sub-title, it develops the concept of "critical realism" as an appropriate perspective for the Christian scientist to hold in both the scientific and theological areas. There are two principal lectures: "Ways to the Real World," and "God's Action in the Real World."

Addressing himself to the fundamental question of whether science and/or religion tell us about a world that is real to us, Peacocke first surveys the various perspectives that have developed in the scientific field: naive realism, logical positivism (which the author calls the "received view" or " standard account"); a socially contextualized view of scientific theories (a paradigmatic view); and finally the sociology of scientific knowledge. Finding all of these lacking, he then introduces the concept of "critical realism" as one based on the idea "that the long term success of a scientific theory gives reason to believe that something like the entities and structure postulated in the theory actually exist." Theories and models are regarded as "candidates for reality." This leads him to a discussion of the meaning and use of models and metaphors in science; the use of complementary models reminds us that we do not have a literal description of reality.

Next Peacocke turns to the theological endeavor and shows how models and metaphors are also the form of expression in this area, indicating that a critical realism is appropriate for both areas. He concludes his first lecture by restating the observation that there is a hierarchy of order in the natural world, and that we may see "the scientific and theological enterprises as interacting and mutually illuminating approaches to reality."

In his second lecture, Peacocke explores the relevance of our scientific understanding of the world to the account we give of God's relation to the world, arguing that any theological description of God's relationship to the world cannot be given in an intellectual vacuum, but must take account of the best that we understand from scientific investigations. The most outstanding inputs to theology from science are seen to be the following: (1) many different sciences indicate that the world is in the process of evolution, "a seamless ... web which has been spun on the loom of time," which makes extremely unwise any attempt to base theology on a godof-the-gaps; (2) our awareness of our ignorance engenders in us a "sense of mystery at the quality of the known and the quantity of the unknown;" (3) our awareness of our dependence on and involvement in the whole cosmic process is heightened, "indicative of a far greater degree of man's total involvement with the universe" than ever imagined; we recognize that the cosmic order is "a necessary prerequisite of conscious personal existence."

These scientific developments have certain additional implications for theology: (1) a reinforcement of the sense of God's transcendence; (2) time itself as part of the created order, joining with matter-energy-space-time to form the character of this order; (3) the sense of God's immanence in his creative activity in the natural order, a continuing process from beginning to end, bringing forth new emergent forms of matter; (4) questioning of the concept of God as the deterministic Law-Giver determining all in advance in view of the constant appearance of change, development and emergence.

Whether the metaphor of "panentheism" proposed by Peacocke is an adequate one for the biblical revelation of God is a question to which considerable thought may well be given. Peacock argues that we could say that the world is in God, there is nothing in the world not in God. This understanding of God's relation to the world is sometimes called "panentheism," which has been defined as the belief that the Being of God includes and penetrates the whole universe, so that every part of it exists in him, but that his Being is more than, and is not exhausted by, the universe.... God creates a world that is, in principle and in origin, other than "himself" but creates it, the world, within "herself."

It is conceivable that this model might be used to describe the creative and sustaining activities of God, but it is not clear whether it is at all adequate for a description of the domain of personal interactions between God and man: sin, salvation, et cetera.

Peacocke adds additional insights from the world of biology, which he believes are significant for the development of an informed theological position: (1) the continuity of the biological processes of evolution; (2) the open-ended character of biological evolution in which chance and law combine to produce new forms of matter; (3) the recognition of the principle that new life occurs only through the death of the old, suggesting perhaps that God is involved in whatever suffering is necessary (creative suffering) for the fulfillment of his creation; (4) the interpretation of "chance" as "creative agent. "

Peacocke searches for new metaphors more adequate to describe the perspectives given to us by science that deal with the relationship between God and the world. He suggests that we might view the Creator as composer, or that we might view the relationship between God and the world as analogous to the relationship between the human mind and body. In all of these Peacocke recognizes that the transcendence of God is of a higher order than any human agency/action transcendence can convey.

In giving human beings the freedom to act independently of the intentions of their Creator, God incurs a cost to himself, the cost of love. Peacocke draws the parallel with human experience: "risking love on behalf of another who remains free always entails suffering in the human experience of love."

This little book is packed with stimulating thoughts and ideas of immense importance to those who believe that it is a worthwhile project to seek for models of God that are consistent with the totality of his revelation, in Word and Work. No models are bound to be completely adequate, else they would describe all the aspects of reality, a goal beyond achievement. Peacocke struggles with the inputs from science and seeks to understand how these inputs can be expressed in the framework of biblical theology. In his recent publications (Creation and the World of Science and this book) Peacocke has limited himself to an exploration of God as Creator; the reader cannot help but hope for a more complete exploration in which we may see God as Creator and Redeemer.

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

THE WAY THE WORLD IS: THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE OF A SCIENTIST by John Polkinghorne. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1983). 140 pages. $4.95.

I first met Polkinghorne in the pages of his The Particle Play. That book, well reviewed in the secular press, is an exposition of modern nuclear physics, I was amazed to read, in the final pages, after plowing through a discourse on quarks, color, etc., the following:

Mathematics, which essentially is the abstract free creation of the human mind, repeatedly provides the indispensable clue to the understanding of the physical world. This happening is so common a process that most of the time we take it for granted.... It seems to me a remarkable fact.... Israel developed the idea of the Word of God who was his agent in the creation of the world. The Prologue to St. John's gospel not only makes the astonishing identification of that Word with Jesus of Nazareth but also says that the Word is the true light that lightens man. The use of mathematics to comprehend the relation between the workings of our minds and the structure of the world. I believe that this is one aspect of what the writer of the Fourth Gospel is telling us. (J. C. Polkinehome. The Particle Play, Freeman, Oxford, England, 1979- pp. 125-126)

Upon reading that, I was not surprised to find that Polkinghorne was not only a trained physicist, but was studying theology. This book, although not perfect, is a worthy attempt to put the author's two backgrounds together. The book was written, says its author, not only in an attempt to explain to his physicist colleagues why he chose to leave their profession and become a minister, but why be is a Christian at all. It would make an excellent gift for bright students, a nice text for a minicourse on physics and philosophy, and belongs in every library having an interest in integrating Christian faith with learning. Polkinghorne writes well, but concisely, like a scientist, not with the redundancy that might have been found in an equally excellent book by a philosopher or a theologian. The content, in fact, is dense enough that I shall have difficulty in giving a synopsis of the book, but feel that an attempt is worth the effort.

The first chapter, "Apologia," contains part of Polkinghorne's justification for writing. He wants to emphasize that the scientific point of view has perhaps been oversubscribed to, and is not the only valid one.

it is natural to feel at times a temptation to agnosticism, to say, "Let us hold to the certainties of scientific knowledge, and for the rest, let us recognize that it is mere opinion." . . . Yet it seems to me that to succumb to it would be gravely diminishing, for it would mean the dissolution of all that makes us truly personal.... In actual fact none of us lives his life in that way. Nevertheless I believe that in this area lies the nub of what is felt in our age to be the science-religion question. At heart it is not a logical or a philosophical problem, but a psychological one. It is not what scientists say, but the way that they say it; their bright certainties put other sorts of thought into the shade. (p. 4)

The author also states his considerable reluctance to write about theology, because of his recent beginning at study in this area.

The second chapter, "The Scientific View of the World," is
an attempt to distill what science has learned into a few aspects, these being:

1. The universe is intelligible.
2. Both chance and necessity are basic to explaining how things are.
3. Slight changes in the way things are would make life impossible.
4. The universe is vast almost beyond any hope of comprehension.
5. The world, as we know it, does not seem to need God or man.

The third chapter, "The Personal View of the World," shows clearly that Polkinghorne is aware that science isn't everything. He begins with this statement:

Beauty slips through the scientist's net. You could take a performance of Bach's Mass in B Minor and Fourier-analyze the pattern of sound ... but by those means you would never come to appreciate what it is all about. An exhaustive chemical analysis of the pigments of a Rembrandt self-portrait would miss the point of the picture ... It seems to me that the recognition and experience of beauty is as real and primary an experience as any we encounter. (p. 17)

A second phenomenon which demonstrates that science cannot tell us all that there is to know about the world is our sense of moral obligation. Without expanding this chapter into a three hundred page philosophical tome, Polkinghorne nonetheless disposes, or shows that it is possible to dispose, of some frequent arguments against this sense of moral obligation being real. He gets to the heart of the weaknesses of sociobiology, for instance, in a paragraph. Thirdly, he brings up the possibility of the subjective nature of the world as shown to us by quantum physics.

Having shown that there is serious reason to believe that the world can, yea must, be perceived by more than the tools of objective science, Polkinghorne goes on to note in chapter four, "The Religious View of the World," some of the reasons for believing that there is really a supernatural God. First, he notes that hope is apparently an innate human characteristic, even when there doesn't seem to be a reason for hope. Secondly, he notes that people really have religious experiences. Although these are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify, this does not mean that they aren't real.

At the beginning of chapter five, "The New Testament Evidence," Polkinghorne summarizes his first four chapters as follows: 

The kinds of consideration outlined in the preceding chapters would, I think, incline me to take a theistic view of the world. By themselves that is about as far as they would get me. The reason why I take my stand within the Christian community lies in certain events which took place in Palestine nearly two thousand years ago.... The experience of science should make one open to the unexpected, aware that apparently slight circumstances may be frought with large significance. The odd behaviour of a culture near an open window leads to the discovery of penicillin; a tiny separation of two spectral lines in hydrogen ... is the trigger to the unravelling of quantum electrodynamics ... The claim that in Jesus and the events associated with him, the nature of God and the destiny of man are revealed is a strange one, but it is not to be set aside without careful inquiry. (p. 33)

He then applies "careful inquiry" to the question of the divinity of Jesus in this chapter and the following ones, "Jesus," "The Death of Jesus," "The Resurrection," and "The Sequel," which is about the church. Polkinghorne appears to use the attitude of dispassionate inquiry which scientists are supposed to have and he demonstrates the sort of knowledge one would expect a graduate of a first-class seminary to have. As I do not have such knowledge, I am not the best evaluator of what Polkingborne is doing here, but it largely rings true. To summarize what is already highly condensed matter, he finds that there is strong evidence for the divinity of Jesus. His conclusions are all the More striking because the man is obviously no doctrinaire inerrantist. For example, on p. 41 he suggests that Matthew 18:15-18 is "extremely unlikely' to have been spoken by Jesus, a statement which certainly gave me pause. There is, however, solid scriptural insight here, as when Polkinghorne notes that Jesus began his sayings with " amen" forty-nine times in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (often disguised in translation as "verily" or "truly."

We are familiar with "amen" at the end of a prayer as a mark of concurrence with what has been said. This usage would also have been natural for the people of Jesus' day.... Jesus, however, employs the word completely differently, for he puts it at the beginning. This way of using amen is idiosyncratic to Jesus; no one else is ever represented as using it. Thus there can be no doubt that in it we hear his original voice. Its force is considerable, for it is an unequivocal assertion that what follows in Jesus' pronouncement is certainly the case. Here is Do rabbi engaged in the characteristic Jewish pleasure of argumentative discussion. He is the one who knows. We are not surprised that people were astonished at his teaching for he taught as one who had authority and not as the scribes. . . " (pp . 60-6 1)

There are two additional chapters, "Other Views of the World," and "The Christian View of the World," and a brief summary statement. The book is rounded off by a glossary and an adequate index. AD unusual device was the asterisk system used throughout the book to refer to the glossary. Although this system has some advantages over looking in a glossary to find even if there is an entry, and doesn't clutter up pages like footnotes, it wasn't used perfectly. Some of the glossary entries were no more enlightening than the sentences which referred to them.

Polkinghorne s writing reminds me of what the writing of C. S. Lewis might have been, had Lewis been a scientist. Lewis never wrote that "Christology has not yet found its Dirac." But, Lewis, like Polkinghorne, wrote an appealing type of apologetics, one which examined the evidence without some of the built-in prejudices found in me and many of the other readers of this journal. The effect is to impress one with the reality of the historic doctrines of the Christian faith, which Polkinghorne believes are true, not just because he has been taught that they are, but because they make sense. It is not possible for me to know whether or not Polkinghorne's writing will convince unbelievers, as Lewis's occasionally did, but it has certainly strengthened my own faith.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Central Wesleyan College, Central, SC 29630.

THE BIBLICAL DOCTRINE OF MAN by Gordon H. Clark. The Trinity Foundation, P.O. Box 169, Jefferson, Maryland 21755 (1984). 101 pages. Paperback $5.95.

The Biblical Doctrine of Man is the seventh book of a series published by Trinity Foundation, an organization established for the purpose of counteracting "the irrationalism of the age 11 and exposing "the errors of the teachers of the church." Trinity Foundation endeavors to carry out these aims by publishing books which stress "the Bible as the sole source of truth" and the "supreme importance of correct doctrine." Accordingly, this particular volume by Gordon Clark presents a doctrinal study of man. The topics dealt with in this volume are generally familiar-for example, the image of God, the soul and its origin, the fall, and maD's depravity.

Clark's interpretations of Scriptures are conservative and generally straightforward. He makes frequent comparisons with other theological traditions and, on a whole, does a competent job of exegesis. There are a few surprises, especially when discussion turns to Adam before the fall. Clark argues that Adam was "altogether righteous" and presumably had been given the Ten Commandments. In addition, although Adam may have reasoned relatively little before the fall, his logic was without fallacies. One cannot help but wonder, if these statements were correct, why did Adam fall? How could he have thought incorrectly about the temptation presented him by Eve?

Although The Biblical Doctrine of Man car) be considered reasonably successful in summarizing many Christian doctrines regarding man, it fails on three counts as a work of Christian apologetics. First, it fails to effectively counter the growing Humanist consensus with cogent argumentation. For example, Clark champions the view that man was created as a full-grown adult, Adam, but makes little attempt to show why this particular view is the correct or best understanding of man's origins. It seems inconsistent, therefore, that he should state that evolutionary scenarios suffer from an "intellectual weakness" (which be never explains) and as a result must rely upon "legal force to ban the view they dislike" (also never adequately developed). What little refutation of science the author presents simply relies upon misrepresentation and false arguments, including a rehash of the old Piltdown case.

The Biblical Doctrine's second fault rests with its failure to define and organize. For example, the chapter entitled "Apriorism" attempts to deal with the question of epistemology; after three pages of rambling and name dropping the reader still has no clear grasp of Clark's theme. Is the author arguing for how we know God exists? Or is he discoursing on the condition of the mind at birth? Or is the discussion one regarding Adam's mental state before the fall? Maybe it's all three simultaneously. For good measure, the author decides not to lead us out of confusion but to finish the chapter by introducing still another element, namely, "universal propositions. " But where do they come from? How do we know they exist? What are they? No answers here."

Weak arguments and poor organization would have been sufficient crimes; but the reader is treated to one more, The book plainly has an unattractive, preachy voice. "No reader above the third grade," "bless their little gizzards" (in reference to animals), "as any partly educated Christian realizes," and "uninstructed American pagan" are a few of the book's obvious maledictions. In the end, who is Clark's audience? He seems to offend most everyone and helps only those who don't need help.

Theology should be for everyone, the interpretations plain and capable of universal understanding. This seems to be the purpose of The Biblical Doctrine of Man. Clark and the Trinity Foundation have an admirable purpose, but one which, regretfully, they have not managed to achieve.

Reviewed by Paul E. Rothrock, Biology Department, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana 46989.

IN THE BEGINNING by Henri Blocher, tr. David G. Preston. Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 240 pages.

Henri Blocher, professor of systematic theology at the Facult6 Libre de Theologie Evangelique, Vaux-sur-Seine, France, has written a comprehensive analysis of the opening chapters of Genesis, stating the varied views held by scholars, giving two sizes of print, the smaller distinguishing more specialized material, and stating his preference for certain explanations. Detailed references are listed.

"Especially when one prepares to read Genesis, one point of philology must be underlined, the importance of figurative language, or tropes in the broad sense." "Everyone will agree that the biblical writers liked figures of speech, metaphors, symbols, transpositions more than the unpoetic West ' " He distinuishes "three principal ways of picturing the relationship of the Bible and science ... concordism, antiscientism, and fideism" and recognizes two tablets, two quite distinct groupings: 1:1-2:3(4) and 2:4-4:24 which complete each other. Any decisions "concerning the first three chapters of the Bible can be taken only in the light of the rest of God's revealed Word" which the author does with frequent references and careful analysis.

In deciding between the reconstruction theory (the gap between 1:1 and 1:3), the concordist interpretation (the days were ages), the literal interpretation, and the literary interpretation, he chooses the latter (Day I corresponds to Day 4, Day 2 to Day 5, Day 3 to Day 6). "The author's intention is not to supply us with a chronology of origins." "Our Lord Himself did not see the seventh day of Genesis as a literal day."

"God alone gives form and gives being, owing nothing to anything." He created living creatures according to their kind (not to be interpreted as species) and man as "the one for whom the whole world has been made," but "Mankind's being an image stresses the radical nature of his dependence." The image refers to our spirituality, or our dominion, our original righteousness or our sexuality. "The addition 'male and female he created them' should above all assure us that our sexuality is the work of God and that it is not incompatible with the privilege of the image of God." Man is the head of the woman but that involves no inferiority. This relationship is similar to 'the head of Christ is God,' and "It is in the light of this model that we can best understand the horror of adultery, the tragedy of divorce and the bitterness of polygamy, for Christ remains eternally faithful to his one Church, for which first of all he gave up everything."

The author suspends judgment after considering the suggestions on the location of Eden and the nature of the trees and goes on to study the breaking of the covenant which was "Revolt against the Lord," independence from the Sovereign Father. The temptation had no sexual connotation. The tempter is called the snake who is the devil and the account is not a myth but a historical event and "for a historical sin there is a historical redemption."

May I repeat that the author gives a wealth of material collected from many authors-I can merely hint at his broad outline. You will enjoy reading his detailed analyses.

The effect of the original sin is that "the beauty and harmony of existence is shattered, and in their place come shame, fear and pathetic excuses." But in Genesis 3 "we see the first glimmer of dawn" in that God makes garments. "God brings to fulfilment in the garments of salvation depicted in the beginning by those of Genesis the paradoxical, revelatory function of clothing. Clothed in the grace of God, the children of God are freer and more open to the eye of God and man than were Adam and Eve."

Blocher continues with the aftermath and the promise, considering the meaning of the chapters through chapter 11 - He suggests that "the flood marks the end of God's patience and that it is a cleaning operation on the world, a kind of 'de-creation."'

We science folks are particularly interested in the Appendix; scientific hypotheses and the beginning of Genesis. This rapid survey is selective. "Amongst the areas of friction we shall choose questions that relate firstly to the measurement of time, secondly to the origin of living species and finally to the origin and antiquity of mankind, that is to say mankind in the strictly biblical sense. " The author is well aware of the attitudes of the Creation Research Society and even refers to the A.S.A. book, Evolution and Christian Thought Today. After reviewing differing beliefs the author settles his approval on radioactive dating methods, and at least a moderate amount of transformation of species as indicated by the fossil record. Regarding man, although the actual amount of scientific information available here is relatively small, he sees a remarkable development in mankind about 10,000 B.C., although he allows that creatures that were physically similar and had some evidence of a religious culture go back much further. His final conclusion is "it seems best simply to say that we do not know enough to draw very significant conclusions. " He also calls for the raising of public awareness, which may be the more readily accomplished

Do get this book if you wish to be well educated in Genesis. 

Reviewed by Russell Mixter, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology,
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL.

THE GENE BUSINESS: WHO SHOULD CONTROL BIOTECHNOLOGY? by Edward Yoxen. Harper & Row, New York (1984). 230 pages. $15.95.

We are living in an age of great bioethical dilemmas. Mechanical organs have been successfully engineered. Animal organs have been transplanted into man. Frozen, drowned, dead individuals have been brought back to life. Test tube embryos and drug-induced multiple births are almost commonplace. What will we have next-synthetic mother's milk? The author says that is not too far around the corner.

Yoxen, a professor at the University of Manchester, covers the history of biochemical research in an overview fashion  from the "first bowl of yoghurt" to recombinant DNA and the ethical concerns that have been raised since the 1970's. He says that much of the competition and potential danger involved in present research has economic roots--the sudden appearance of large amounts of money has increased the temptation to grab others' ideas" (p. 53), and that for most, pecuniary motivations have overridden scholarly concerns.

The question is who decides what is proper or improper when it comes to research and development in the field of biotechnology? Was the U.S. Supreme Court justified in 1980 by deciding that patents could be obtained on microorganisms? Yoxen feels that "purely commercial research will drive out the less immediately applicable, academically more promising work and that conceptual development in biology
will slow down" (p. 78).

He examines the social and political ramifications of the various biochemical machinations stirring the medical/drug industries, agriculture, and the chemical industry. Hormone use in animals affects humans, and hormone use among humans is increasing. Artificial blood and new vaccines could have enormous impacts. Mechanically harvestable fruit and vegetable strains put farm workers out of work or keep them employed at lower wages while producing crops of inferior quality. Seed supplies, likewise, are put in a precarious position since many crops are controlled almost exclusively by large conglomerates. Many drug companies spend more time trying to sell new drugs or equipment to doctors and hospitals rather than trying to eliminate disease and prevent sickness in the first place. In the same way, chemical plants look for biotechnological avenues for marketing more chemicals.

There are many questions and many problems. Yoxen has trouble, as would anyone, in arriving at equitable answers and solutions. First, he says, we must strive for excellence and decide "who sets the standards?" But who will decide? He suggests participatory allocation of research funds and cooperation.
He clearly feels that we are living in a unique age, as evidenced by the following:

"We are living in the early phases of a major industrial transformation, a revolution perhaps. I think that our attitude to and interaction with nature are being recast, and I do think that the energy that is behind this process is awesome. The problem is that the phenomenon Under analysis is exceedingly complex. It is also emergent and fluid, its nature and direction are not yet fully manifest."

At one level I find this process of industrial restructuring arid the signs that something new is appearing endlessly fascinating. It is a regrouping of forces that doesn't happen that often. We have a rare historical opportunity to watch it all in motion, to see the technical skills of gene-splicing being used to unlock another cycle of industrial change. It is obvious that ... the technical advances are here to stay and that they will continue to alter decisively our notions of what is possible scientifically and industrially. (p. 174)

This is a discussion of profound importance. Time alone will tell what comes from the Pandora's box of biotechnology.

Reviewed by Luren E. Dickinson, Assistant Librarian, Ambassador College.

THE GRAVEDIGGER FILE by Os Guinness. InterVarsity Press (1983). 245 pages. $6.95.

A defector changes sides and brings with him the details of a plot to undermine the western church. "The deep bell of the University Church was tolling over the almost deserted square as he loomed out of the misty November night under the winter flowering cherry tree. Under his arm was a white bag with the familiar Blackwell's trademark. He thrust it into my hands and, seizing my arm, piloted me brusquely across the square and on toward Broad Street."

So begins The Gravedigger File, one of the more imaginative and intriguing books to cross my desk in many years. It is the contents of this white paper bag which the book reports, unedited; a series of memoranda on the overthrow of western Christendom.

At the heart of this plot is the strategy of secularization, the process through which, starting from the center and moving outward, successive sectors of society and culture have been freed from the influence of religious ideas and institutions, making the former less meaningful and the latter more marginal. Like a spiritual Megatrends, the memoranda detail the major thrusts of the secularist's strategy: the increase of pluralization in order to multiply faiths and ideologies to the point that no one makes any commitments at all; confusion about the true nature and aims of secularization; the multiplication of counterfeit religions; the increasing restriction of religion to the private sphere in order to make it seem less plausible (less seeming to be true) if not less credible; the damage to Christian ideas through loss of certainty and comprehensiveness; and, finally, the damage to Christian involvement through increasing polarization between liberals and conserivatives. Yet the story ends with the biter bit, as a top enem', operative is ultimately converted by a prominent Christian. disparagingly referred to by the enemy as "the old fool "

Os Guinness has produced a compelling work. Despite the fact that some sections read more like a doctoral dissertation than an inter-department memo (which is what they are alleged to be), the book is almost impossible to put down. Guinness masters both wit and clarity with stiletto-like precision, penetrating mind and heart in a single stroke.

There is a temptation to parallel the book with C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, but that is both unjust and unwise. The operatives in Gravedigger are human, not demonic. Guinness lacks some of Lewis's literary skills, but none of his intellect and insight. The Gravedigger File will sometimes shock and offend, and occasionally (deliberately, I think) overstate enemy successes, but it is not a book to be ignored. I plan to read it again ... and again.

Reviewed by Fred Van Dyke, Assistant Professor of Science, Fort Wayne Bible College, 1025 West Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46807,

MAKING CHRISTIAN SENSE by Paul L. Holmer, in the general series edited by Richard H. Bell on Spirituality and the Christian Life. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA (1984). 118 pages. Paper $7.95. ISBN 0-66424614-1

This book had a greater impact on my life and was more helpful to me personally than any book, apart from the Bible, which I have read in years. I strongly recommend it.

Paul L. Holmer is Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School. He addresses the problem of life losing its meaning. He speaks to this problem in a way that is both distinctively Christian and psychologically sound. He identifies conditions which cause many to view life as meaningless and empty. Then he describes how to make sense of life in a Christian way by fashioning distinctive Christian emotions, by developing new virtues, by finding new power and shape for the will, and by viewing the world with the new mind available to us in Jesus Christ.

The book is written with simple eloquence. It does not review the opinions of scholars nor encumber itself with references and citations. Its argument will stand upon its coherence and the reader's personal validation of its assumptions from his own experiences and observations of his fellow men.

The book is not for the faint-hearted nor for those interested in easy platitudes. Holmer manages to provide a balanced emphasis upon the responsibility and capability of the individual and his dependence upon God's grace. He does this in a way that avoids religious jargon and should be understandable by readers with little or no Christian background, but without becoming trite for the one who has been a serious Christian for a long time. His handling of despair, both as part of the problem addressed and in his suggestions for overcoming it, is superb.

Holmer's diagnosis of the problem of making sense of life is better than his approaches to solving this problem; yet the solutions that he presents are very perceptive. Application of the insights in this brief book will help one apply what Holmer calls the "grammar of life" so that life will indeed make sense. And by so doing, the Christian can progress toward the goal of freeing himself from the control of circumstances which hinder love and service for God.

Reviewed by D. K. Pace, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland.


"I certainly find the dogmas of ... the Christian religion ... completely incredible. I can't possibly and could never believe in them," said the journalist Malcolm Muggeridge on the BBC in 1964. Four years later this author wrote, "All I have cared about is the living presence of Christ." How is one to understand these apparently irreconcilable remarks of a candid journalist? Do they represent a change in attitude?

David Porter, a free-lance writer in England, sought the solution to this puzzle by having a series of conversations with Muggeridge on practical pertinent questions. This book is an attempt to re-view their informal discussions. An evangelical Christian himself, Mr. Porter sought answers to specific questions addressed to this recent Roman Catholic convert, who had been brought up in an atheistic family and bad become a nominal Anglican. Unfortunately his method of presentation lacks coherence and unity.

To be sure, anyone interested in Muggeridge as a person will find his views stimulating, particularly those summarized in the so-called "Postscript." The author is convinced that Muggeridge is a genuine Christian, but has only a minimal interest in theology per se, although he himself felt instructed in the limitations of religious language, in the meaning of holiness and of Christian mysticism. He learned that worship should belong to the very mystery of life, not associated merely with the extension of everyday life. On the other band, the fellowship of the gospel should be the fellowship of ordinary human beings.

Muggeridge believes that the incarnation-with its associated resurrection-is "the central meaning of history." We reach ultimate reality-insof ar as at all possible-through the imagination, which must be utilized in approaching the Bible (A.V. preferable). He has read the N.T. through a number of times; he is fond also of the Book of Common Prayer and Runyan's Pilgrim's Progress. One of Muggeridge's more startling comments was his conjecture that "there are probably many more Christians in the U.S.S.R. than in America now.

The author differs with Muggeridge in believing that everyone has a definite time when he is "born again;- he could not pinpoint it in the case of Muggeridge.

Reviewed by Raymond J. Seeger, Bethesda, MD.

E. F. SCHUMACHER: HIS LIFE AND THOUGHT by Barbara Wood. Harper & Row. 394 pages. $19.50.

Few books have dropped into the marketplace of ideas with the freshness and vigor of "Fritz" Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. First appearing in 1973 it has now sold over a million copies and continues to serve as a guide and resource to those disaffected with the dehumanizing tendencies of modern culture.

E. F. Schumacher: His Life and Thought is an engaging and competently written biography by his daughter. It tells us much of what we would want to know about this remarkable man.

Schumacher, the son of a German economics professor, studied as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford (which he disliked) and at Columbia University (which he enjoyed). As the tides of Naziism swept Germany, he decided to make England his home and there distinguished himself as a brilliant economist and independent thinker.

After the war he worked as economic advisor to the British Control Commission in Germany and then as advisor to the National Coal Board in England. Later he pioneered the concept of 'intermediate technology,' which sought to upgrade productivity in developing countries while safeguarding the dignity of individuals and the traditional values of a culture.

An atheist until the age of forty, Schumacher thereafter came to see spiritual reality as fundamental to human existence and sought to rethink economic and other human activity in that light. Originally influenced by Gurdjieff and Buddhism, he came in time to find his spiritual home in the Roman Catholic church. judging from his Guide for the Perplexed, a book published at the time of his death (1977), his Christian faith was of an unusually eclectic sort.

Barbara Wood is to be thanked for producing this satisfying biography. By weaving into her tale his domestic life (his first wife died of cancer) as well as his intellectual development, she has given us a human account as well as an intellectual odyssey of one of the more creative individuals of this century.

Reviewed by Martin Johnson, Asheville, NC.

SCIENCE AND RELIGION IN THE THOUGHT OF NICHOLAS MALEBRANCHE by Michael E. Hobart. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill (1982). 195 pages with bibliography and index. $19.95.

Among the early followers of Descartes, Nicolas Malebranche (1638-171~) must be judged preeminent. His written work, however, lacked the clarity and brevity of his mentor's, and very little of it has subsequently found favor with translators. Hobart's book, then, is a foray into difficult yet important regions of intellectual history, and his success is both gratifying and promising.

Malebranche "explicitly desired to consummate 'modern' Cartesian science-just as he believed Thomas Aquinas had perfected the science of Aristotle and antiquity-by integrating it thoroughly into a religious view of the world consistent with Catholicism" (p. 4). But if Malebranche's aims were clear, his results were not, and Hobart has resorted to a strategy of seeking out the "deep structures" in his discourse relying on a theory of models developed by Max Black. The resulting analysis in terms of conflicting metaphysics of I number' and 'substance' is illuminating, but takes rather long to set up.

The actual text of this book runs shy of 150 pages and can be divided fairly neatly into thirds. The first two chapters are a review of the history of the concepts of number and substance, and a discussion of their relation in the work of Descartes. The second third examines in great detail the role of 'number' as a "submerged model" in the philosophy of Malebranche. It is only in the final third, the last two and one half chapters, that the book directly bears on the theme of its title and relates all of these ideas to natural theology, occasionalism, and the role of God in Malebranche's metaphysics. Hobart's concluding insights are a worthwhile reward to the reader who has persevered this far even without an interest in the specialized early material.

The book is beautifully produced by the University of North Carolina Press and generally very well written, if occasionally uneven. Hobart's reliance on the popular writings of Lovejoy, Randall, Collingwood, and Whitehead when placing his own detailed studies of the primary sources into a broader context results in no notable errors, but seems a bit odd in view of the wealth of material published in the forty to f if ty years since these books first appeared. But all in all, this is an excellent study of an important, if often neglected episode in the attempts to synthesize the scientific concept of I number' with the theological features of 'substance' in a world view dominated by the unity of God.

Reviewed by Charles D. Kay, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, The College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.

ARCHAEOLOGY: THE RABBIS AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY by Eric M. Meyers and James F. Strange. Abingdon Press, Nashville (1981). 207 pages. Paper $7.95.

This book is an impressive historical archaeological study of rabbinic Judaism and Christian origins in Roman Palestine. The authors are both field archaeologists, one Jewish and one Christian. This is a text for the nonspecialist, yet there is plenty of depth to it. Anyone interested in the relationship of Christianity and rabbinic Judaism during the time of early Christianity will find it Of interest.

According to the authors, their purpose is not exhaustive or definitive. They "have striven to suggest the rich dialogical relation between texts and monuments that exists in GrecoRoman Palestine." They offer "an introduction to a set of themes that [they] believe are crucial for a reliable and faithful understanding of the period." As a professional archaeologist with field work in historical archaeology, I believe that they have accomplished their task. I suspect (hope) that this will only be the first of such studies using this methodology. Other regions of the world have received this treatment and I hope it becomes the norm in Biblical archaeological studies. The more eclectic and holistic we can be in methodology and sources, the less reductionistic our conclusions will be. I have long been disturbed by the narrowness of some of the studies done in Biblical Studies and the lack of cross-fertilization among disciplines.

The book begins with a useful chronology. The chapter headings are "Introduction: The Relevance of Nonliterary Sources," "The Cultural Setting of Galilee: the Case of Regionalism and Early Palestinian Judaism," "The Context of Early Christianity and Palestinian Judaism," "The Languages of Roman Palestine," "Jewish Burial Practices and Views of Afterlife, and Early Christian Evidence," "Evidences of Early Christianity: Churches in the Holy Land," "Synagogues, Art, and the World of the Sages," "Jewish and Christian Attachment to Palestine," and "Conclusions." The text also has thirteen maps and drawings that are precise and clear. The chapter headings indicate the wide range of this book. This book both pleads for and is a model of a broadening of scholarly interest rather than a retreat into an everincreasing narrowness of interest, In a way, it reminds us of the generalist. This problem of narrowness is not confined to any one discipline, but is an endemic problem in most of them as well as in our larger society.

I highly recommend this book as a book to read for personal growth or as a text (secondary) in a varietv of courses and levels.

Reviewed by Charles 0. Ellenbaurn, Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.

PROPHECY IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD by David E. Anne. Eerdmads (1983). 522 pages. Hard cover $29.95.

It is not likely that Anne's magnum opus on prophecy will top conventional lists of best sellers in today's Christian reader's market where so many publications on prophecy are piously marketable and mediocre banalities. This is most unfortunate for this effort needs to be read by every student who is serious about the sociocultural milieu in which inspiration and revelation formed the New Testament. As a matter of fact, it did not take this reviewer long to discover that here indeed is a richness of information woven with commendable articulation which provides unifying continuity in the thesis as it captures the reader's attention.

Surely the dedicated scholar who ponders this examination of prophecy will concur with 1. Howard Marshall who has written that "Professor Anne has written the most comprehensive and detailed study of early Christian prophecy yet to appear." In addition, one may accept the publisher's suggestion that this book is "comparable in scope to Johannes Lindblom's Prophecy in Ancient Israel" in that it "offers the first comprehensive treatment in English of the place of prophecy in the New Testament period."

I was especially appreciative of the wealth of sociocultural information that sets the stage, as it were, for the prophetic expressions in such cases as John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and the Apostle John's Apocalypse, to mention some included in the exhaustive compendium. This opus has enabled me to overcome a naive view which I formed when young, from provincial and parochial denominational enculturation; that is, that the inspired New Testament (and Old as well) authors somehow lived and wrote in a sociocultural vacuum. This misconception about inspiration and revelation persists repeatedly in some Christian writers who ought to know better.

As an "evangelical" anthropologist and missiologist, I believe that the book responds to the need of mature college and university youth who have questions about the fanciful mysticism of some authors in their analysis and exegesis of the Bible. While the Bible's universal truths are to be maintained, we must recognize the sociocultural setting through which the prophetic statements were made in order to appreciate the realism of their application then as in our contemporary world, especially for cross-cultural interaction as in evangelical Christian mission.

Anne's "previous surveys of early Christian prophecy" at the beginning of the book appropriately prepares the way for the reader. His critique of several authorities enabled me to recall my own dimmed information about prophecy and served to sharpen my focus as he referred to Guy's New Testament Prophecy: Its Origin and Significance (1947); the fascicle of the Theologisches Worterbuch zum Neuen Testament, in which Friedrich's discussion of New Testament prophets and prophecy became a standard treatment of the subject; Cothenet's "Prophetisme dans le Nouveau Testament;- more recently Crone's Early Christian Prophecy: A Study of Its Origin and Function (1973); and other comparable efforts by experts.

Despite the numerous scholarly contributions he surveys, Anne concludes that there remains much new ground to be plowed; his book is one wherein he proceeds to do this. As he states in his preface, "This study is written from the perspective that early Christianity must be understood within the setting of the ancient Mediterranean world, without unduly emphasizing the Israelite-Jewish heritage of early Christians nor neglecting the dominant Greco-Roman culture within which both Judaism and early Christianity grew and changed" (page xi).

The author emphasizes that like any first-rate scholar his work is not complete in an absolute sense. He joins all of us in our finite attempts to discover and describe approximations of ultimate reality. Thus one may find himself a bit uneasy when Aune uses "science" in a manner in which it seems that 1. scholarly" is more appropriate. For example we read, "Surprisingly, the theory of the creative role of Christian prophets in the composition and reformulation of the sayings of Jesus has been widely assumed as a self-evident truth rather than scientifically demonstrated" (page 237, emphasis added). While many of us in the so-called "social sciences" may tolerate and even indulge in such usage, our ASA colleagues in the natural sciences may raise eyebrows at such points.

He further uses the term "science" for conclusions that indirectly challenge the biblical statement that "by faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command I so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible," and "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Heb. 11 ' :3,6 NIV). At what point, we must ask, do we Christian scholars cross the fine line in our efforts from research findings to an intrusion into the infinite realm of reality, both present and in the future? Are there models now in use which will allow a sharpening of that fine line of division?

Thus when I read the following statement under the caption "The Non-Pauline Origin of the Oracle": "If we assume the oracular nature of I Thessalonians 4:16-17a, is there any further evidence to suggest that the oracle originated with the prophet other than Paul?" (page 256), 1 note that Aune employs what is common to many scholars-the use of inferential idioms of science. The formula is well known, by assuming this as part of our theory in our research we may infer or conclude the answer in testing the data. Of course this is quite legitimate and reasonable, but the unsuspecting reader may fail to see that such findings deal with the probable, not with the absolute as may eventuate for some of the uninitiated. Hence, such methods may-not must-tend to challenge biblical authenticity for the reader and defeat or at least frustrate the reader in appreciating the very thing desired by the author; in this case, Aune's luminous treatment of prophecy. I do not have a comprehensive answer for this 1. weakness," but my caution is that we may find ourselves bordering on slippery ground.  

Having voiced my uneasiness in what are obviously insignificant matters to genuine evangelical Christian scholars, I congratulate Professor Aune for an outstanding product. As to the book's print, format, and other mechanical aspects of publishing, we have a book that warrants a permanent slot in our professional libraries. We will find it to be a standard reference on prophecy in early Christianity; its 346 pages of textual analysis, its 98 pages of informative notes, and its bibliography and index will find us turning to it again and again. I commend it for the reading to ASA members and others interested without hesitation.

Reviewed by George J. Jennings, LeMars, Iowa 51031

CHRISTIAN FAITH AND OTHER FAITHS by Stephen Neill. Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 304 pages. Paper $7.95.

I have yet to read anything from Stephen Neill that wasn't well done. His death is a great loss. In one sense, this book reflects his work in India, his earlier book of the same title, and his work in England since he left India. This is an extensive revision. I had his earlier book and this one is significantly different.

This book should help support mission endeavor both within and without the United States. In country after country, we see Christians being attacked (e.g., Israel, Moslem countries, Communist countries) and mission action being slowed for a variety of reasons. One possible reason might be an inability to articulate our faith and practices in the face of other sincere believers of other religions. We live in a culture that worries more about a person's sincerity than the truthfulness of their position. This book will help you understand your faith and the faiths of others.

The organization of the material is traditional: The Problem Set, The King of the Jews, Islam in Crisis, Renascent Hinduism, The Doctrine of the Lotus, The Primal World, No Faith and Faith Implicit, A Search for Light, and Christendom. Though this keeps the reader from being shown broad themes such as we find in other books (e.g., Christianity and World Religions), it is less confusing to the beginning student of Christianity and other faiths. This book will give you much basic information but also much of the debate concerning our response to other faiths. This is not an introductory book to other religions but an introductory book about Christianity and other religions.

I recommend this book highly.

Reviewed by Charles 0. Ellenbaum, Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137.

ISLAM: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE by Michael Nazir-Ali. Westminster Press, Philadelphia (1984). 192 pages. Paper $11.95.

This is not a hatchet job on Islam nor is it an introduction to Islam. The author and I both agree that Dr. Rahman's Islam is a masterful introduction. What is it then? "In this work, I have tried to present an appreciation (using the word in the sense of a critical appraisal) of facets of Islam from the standpoint of one who is a Christian with a Muslim background living in a Muslim context" (p. 7). He has done this well. Traditionally the two poles of Christian thought on non-Christian religions have been either a non-critical semisyncretic acceptance of the religion as having equal validity with Christianity or a non-critical rejection of it as demonic. If we accept that all truth comes from God, how do we handle what seems to be Christian truth in a non-Christian religion? In this book, we do not find an all-embracing answer to the question of "How must a Christian react to Islam." Instead we find one Christian brother's answer to his question of "How do I react to Islam." He says that part of Islamic culture is God-given and good. Other parts come under the judgment of the Gospel and are to be rejected. Some is authentically a genuine consciousness of God while some is a contradiction of that quest for answers. I am living and teaching in the midst of a strong Islamic community that is active in seeking converts in the Chicago area. How I act and respond to their challenge is not an idle question but one I face on an almost daily basis.

The book gives some valuable background on the beginnings of Islam and its development in the chapters entitled "Genesis, Development, and The Growth of a Muslim Culture. " The chapters "Modern Revival" and "The Reconstruction of Muslim Thought" give us some much needed background for what is going on today in Islamic cultures. The remaining chapters, "The Return to Fundamentalism", "Gazing into Jamshid's Cup," and "The Christian Presence," are very thought-provoking. To his concluding prayer, following, I can only say, amen.

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who didst put thy Spirit upon our Lord Jesus Christ, that He might bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, and by a voice from heaven didst declare Him to be thy beloved Son: we beseech thee to bring all Muslim peoples into the fellowship of thy Church, that they may worship thee in spirit and truth; through the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."

Reviewed by Charles 0. Ellenbaum, Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

CHRISTIANITY AND WORLD RELIGIONS: The Challenge of Pluralism by Sir Norman Anderson. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 216 pages. Paper $6.95.

This book by Anderson is a substantially revised and expanded edition of his Christianity and Comparative Religion which is now out of print. It is significantly dif f erent and better. If you have his earlier work, don't put off getting this book. He points out that there have been a large number of excellent publications recently dealing with the on-going debate about the world's great religions and their relation to the Christian and to Christianity. We are not discussing a philosophical position but a foundation for or against evangelism. We are dealing not only with people's minds and hearts but also with their souls and eternal destiny. If I believe that all religions are basically valid even though Christianity has 11 an edge," what will be my response to mission? Mission is both over there (wherever that is) and over here. My mission field is comprised of those I live with and come into contact with-my co-workers, neighbors, and students. These include Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and many others. In my county there is an Islamic Center, a Buddhist Temple, a Hindu Temple, a Zororastrian Temple, and lots of "gurus" of various types. I'm not even talking about the various Christian heresies such as Mormons, Christian Scientists, Jehovah's Witnesses and others. If I believe that those religions may contain some God-given truth but also much that stands condemned by the Gospel, I must be a missionary.

Of course, why should I be different from others who turn down a mission? Should I risk my neck and reputation, in order to witness? Yes. This book will help you be a credible witness in that you will now have greater knowledge about the other religions. Unlike other books of this type, Anderson does not deal with particular religions in his chapters but instead deals with themes. I think that this is a wise choice. The chapters are "Introduction," "A Unique Proclamation," "A Unique Salvation?", "A Unique Disclosure?", "No Other Name?" and "Proclamation, Dialogue, or Both?"

This book is well worth the time and effort it takes to read

Revietoed by Charles 0. Ellenbaum, Professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

LIFE SCIENCE AND RELIGIONS by Kieran Burns. Philosophical Library, New York (1984). 222 pages. $25.00.

The back cover of Life Science and Religions assured me that the publisher had published books by, among others, Einstein, Sartre, Schweitzer and John Dewey. In my opinion, this volume does not belong with such company.

Burns, who has done research on stress, in particular stress associated with birth, has taken the examination of the treatment of birth stress by various religions as his theme.

Among the negative criticisms I must make are the following: 1) the taking of its own subject matter too seriously, 2) an uncritical acceptance of various traditions and/or religious sources, apparently on an equal basis, yet, paradoxically, not accepting scripture when it seems to conflict with his own beliefs, 3) making sweeping, general and undocumented statements, 4) being about too many topics, connected only loosely, and 5) taking certain catholic beliefs (especially concerning the divinity of Mary) as if they were the only Christian ones.

In support of some of these criticisms, I offer the following two quotes:

Life science is an ideal parameter for a central role in evaluation of scripture and for attainment of understanding of cultures, traditions and religions. (p. 2)

In some scriptures it is clearly stated that God could create a man in a moment of time. There is a clear incompatibility between these scriptures and life science.... Scripture is understood in human terms, and written in man's language, which is inadequate in relating to God. The influence of man on the content of scripture is evident from the scientific content. Where there is something incompatible with scientific truth this is of human origin. (pp. 8-9)

Besides being disturbed by the methodology of Burns, I have some other problems. There are several charts interspersed in the chapters examining the major religions. For example, one of these (p. 167) gives a scatter diagram of the amount of ACTH in plasma versus the hours of duration of the first stage of human labor. Apparently Burns did the work himself. There is no documentation, or any indication of methodology, and, most important, so what? So stress, presumably related to the amount of ACTH, increases as the length of labor increases? That's news?

The last chapter is entitled "Life Science and Apparitions." It is not well connected to the rest of the book, and the purport of it is that apparitions (mainly of Mary, Christ's mother) are scientifically supportable. The contents of this chapter are largely quotations from reports of such apparitions. Exactly what the implications of the appearances of Mary have to do with Life Science are not addressed, and the book closes with a three-sentence paragraph about the appearance of Mary at Fatima, rather than any attempt at a summary chapter, paragraph, or even sentence.

I am afraid that I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Central Wesleyan College, Central, SC 29630

ABORTION AND THE CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION by Ronald Reagan. Thomas Nelson, Nashville (1984). 96 pages. $7.95.

The above citation is based on that given in the usual location by the Library of Congress. However, it is apparent that the book is a compilation of three essays published in The Human Life Review, of which only the one at the beginning of the book is by Reagan. The others are by C. Everett Koop, presently serving as Surgeon General of the United States, and by Malcolm Muggeridge, British editor, lecturer, critic and broadcaster. All three essays speak out strongly against abortion used as a form of birth control. A central theme, in Reagan's words, is "As a nation, we must choose between the sanctity-of-life ethic and the quality-of-life ethic" (p. 25).

The President wrote the essay from which the book takes its title apparently without its being solicited, on the 10th anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decisions which legalized abortion under most circumstances. Reagan compares the status of slaves before and after the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision of 1857, which denied blacks citizenship rights, with that of the unborn today. He urges that the citizenry act to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, namely by peaceful political means. He does not expect this struggle to be easy, and notes that Wilberforce exhorted his followers to pray for the overthrow of slavery in Britain for decades before that result was achieved.

Koop's essay "The Slide to Auschwitz," is what one would expect from the title. He reiterates the findings of L. Alexander (New England Journal of Medicine, 241:39-47) who claimed that Auschwitz would not have been possible without the citizenry first being propagandized towards acceptance of euthanasia, and without the silence of physicians in the face of this propaganda, and its result. Both of these actions were based partly on Hegel's philosophy of rational utility. (Alexander's historical analysis is apparently correct, based on the lead book review in the Jan. 31, 1985 Nature.) Koop's article was first given as an address to pediatricians, and he was asking them to stop what be sees as a similar slide toward mass extermination of infants, and others, unwanted for whatever reason. Koop spent many years as a practicing pediatrician, and he says that "no family has ever come to me and said, 'Why did you work so hard to save the life of my child?' And no grown child has ever come back to ask me why, either" (pp. 43-44). Koop argues strongly that rearing "defective" children is a blessing.

Muggeridge's essay is entitled "The Humane Holocaust." He' like Koop, mentions the holocaust in Nazi Germany, citing the Alexander article and a book, A Sign for Cain, by Wertham as evidence that the roots of the holocaust predated Hitler's rise to power, and that, initially, the holocaust was aimed against handicapped Aryan Germans. Then Muggeridge points out that, ironically, in the very countries that defeated Germany in World War II, a holocaust is taking place, with unborn babies as its victims.

Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation makes for interesting reading. The essays are intense and gripping. While not particularly scholarly, nor making any pretence to dispassioned examination of the issues, the stature of its authors means that this small book has value in the continuing debate over abortion.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Central Wesleyan College, Central, SC 29630.

JUSTICE FOR THE UNBORN: Why We Have "Legal" Abortion and How We Can Stop It by Randall J. Hekman. Servant Books, Ann Arbor, MI (1984). 183 pages. Paperback.

According to the book, Randall Hekman is the father of eight children, and has been a Probate judge in Kent County, Michigan, in which Grand Rapids is located, since 1974. In 1983, he achieved some notoriety when the case of a pregnant 13-year-old in foster care, whose biological mother would not grant permission for an abortion, came before him. (Michigan law requires biological parental consent for a foster minor child to have her ears pierced.) He ruled, on the overwhelming weight of the evidence that an abortion would not be in the best interest of the girl, that she could not have one. Some time later, when her foster parents explained the facts of fetal anatomy and behavior, the girl wrote the judge thanking him for his action. The child died as a neonate.

Apparently, the above-cited experience led to the book. The first four chapters tell the story, aided by three documents added as appendices. The first one is Hekman's legal ruling, the second is a newspaper editorial strongly critical of that ruling, and the third is Hekman's reply to the editorial. There are also nine pages of notes at the end of the book, but there is no index. The remaining twelve chapters are arguments against abortion, and the judicial and governmental philosophy that has led to it, and some suggested means of setting things to rights, or at least rights according to Hekman's view. (I am in general sympathy with that view, but the book is not an unbiased treatment of the issues, and there are honest Christians who do not agree with Hekman on all points.)

Having given the essence of the story behind the book in the first paragraph above, I move to Hekman's view of the way things are, and how to change them.

The author seems to have some real insight into the Bible. He uses James 1:27 and Proverbs 31:8-9 as evidence that God is against abortion, for example. Also, says Hekman, God's most powerful statement that unborn children are really people is found in the incarnation itself. If God himself can take on the form of a tiny unborn child, that little being must be greater and more important than we can even begin to fathom. (pp. 44-45)

Although I make no claim to be a legal scholar, and hence cannot judge Hekman as one, he certainly exhibits some of the trappings that would be expected of such a scholar. He gives an outline history of how the Supreme Court came to be given power to interpret the constitutionality of federal laws, and how it left "strict constructionism" at about the beginning of this century to, in effect, make law, rather than interpret it; for example by pulling a legal "right to privacy" out of a non-existent legal hat in Griswold. The Roe and Doe abortion cases of 1973 are the strongest examples of such judicial law-making, but they are not by any means the only ones. The Miranda case, and associated cases having to do with police behaviors, are also examples where the Court did far more than interpret the law, and actually made rules, according to Hekman. I was a bit surprised that there weren't more references to strictly legal journals in Hekman's documentation of his assertion that the 1973 rulings were not good constitutional interpretation, or law, based, as they were, on a perverse reading of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. I was even more surprised by the statement that "If you have absorbed even some of this chapter, you know more about the proper method of judicial review than most graduates of law schools" (p. 76).

Hekman seems quite familiar with the arguments for abortion, which he counters in chapter seven, which is mistitled "The Arguments for Abortion." The book simply puts them up, then shoots them down, without trying to support them. This chapter, in addressing the question of aborting defective newborns, states that "As Christians, we know that there are no mistakes with God" (p. 54). True, but that doesn't necessarily mean that God is responsible for everything that happens in this fallen world, does it?

The author has an intriguing solution for what he sees as a symptom of an unchecked judiciary. After considering constitutional amendments, the attrition of the present Supreme Court, and the like, Hekman asks that about 2,000,000 of us go to Washington to exercise a constitutional right, namely to 11 petition the Government for a redress of grievances" (First Amendment). He wants, in conjunction with that, a debate between some legal scholar and justice Blackmun (who wrote the majority opinion in Roe) or justice Powell. The latter wrote the majority opinion in Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, which specifically reaffirms Roe without establishing the constitutional basis for it, but simply by invoking it as a precedent, writes Hekman; and which opinion states that "a State may not adopt one theory of when life begins to justify its regulation of abortions" (quoted on p. 106 of Hekman). I was a bit confused in trying to reconcile this bold plan with a later statement (p. 144) that the author isn't sure of the best strategy for combatting abortion.

Chapter 14 is used in examining the strategy of Samuel Rutherford, in his Lex Rex (1643). Rutherford, apparently, had a theory of government which Hekman finds himself comfortable with. That theory is that the governors derive their powers from God, and are answerable to Him, and to the people. I quote the penultimate paragraph of the chapter, which summarizes Hekman's philosophy of government:

When a leader oversteps the bounds of his delegated authority, when he injures innocent people, when he rewards those who do wrong, he must be restrained and rebuked by the ultimate authorities-the people. A leader has God's blessing only to the extent that he remains a servant of God and His word. As a leader departs from this standard, he ... may be intimidating. But he is not powerful unless the people swallow the lie.

The book specifically states that our primary vocation is not to fight abortion, but to follow Jesus (p. 140) and closes on a note of optimism. Hekman feels that the days of essentially unlimited abortion are numbered.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Central Wesleyan College, Central, SC 29630.

THE REDISCOVERY OF INNER EXPERIENCE by Lucy Bergman, Nelson-Hall (1982). $17.95.

In the past decade, a new fascination has begun in the West with inner experience phenomena, which is rapidly evolving into a serious courtship. Mystical experience, borrowed or adapted from the East, has been at the core of this rediscovered phenomenon. in her book entitled The Rediscovery of Inner Experience, Lucy Bergman attempts to address the distinctives of inner experience and its rediscovery by contemporary psychology. Bergman introduces the reader to psychological literature on six inner experiences: dreams, daydreams, mystical states, madness, orgasm and dying. The rationale behind the above set of experiences is stated by Bergman as "the capacity of each of these experiences to reveal the authentic nature of persons and ultimate reality."

Next, the author examines the beliefs and assumptions behind contemporary, popular literature and attempts to demonstrate how the inner experience literature fits comfortably within the framework of contemporary social conditions. Finally, the author introduces the concept of psychological religiousness as it emerges from the writings of inner experience advocates. Bergman then examines the continuity of psychological religiousness with traditional forms of Western religions, and its radical departure from these traditional forms.

Author Bergman describes psychological religiousness as a modern form of faith, serving as an alternative to traditional concepts of faith and existing within the context of the consumer orientation and the private sphere." Her attention to psychological religiousness is not one of unqualified endorsement, but, rather, includes a serious critique of the beliefs, values and assumptions of inner-experience advocates. For example, unlike the assertion of psychological advocates of inner experience that the rediscovery of inner experiences points to the failure of Western religions to speak to people today, the author believes that inner experience religiousness represents the failure of psychology as a science to answer religious questions.

Throughout the book, the author emphasizes the religious and moral dimensions of inner-experience claims rather than the 'scientific' value of current perspectives. The key to the meaning of experience is taken from William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience), who contrasts what is socially given and what is authentically the individual's own immediate reality. In defining religion itself, the author recognizes the difficulty in expressing it in traditional terms and therefore chooses Geertz's view of religion (The Interpretation of Cultures) as a 'system of symbols' and Luckmann's approach (The Invisible Religion) as a 'world view' in order to explain how psychological religion functions. The main thesis of the book is presented in the last chapter, where the author attempts to set the principle theological themes of psychological religiousness and provides a brief critique of its adequacy (or inadequacy) as an alternative to traditional religions for those persons seeking a more 'relevant' religion for modern times.

Although Bergman's conclusion is that psychological religiousness falls short of providing a "fully adequate alternative to traditional religion," her arguments to support her contentions are not as thorough as one would have hoped. In her analysis, Bergman first identifies the salient features of psychological religiousness of inner experience as

(1) its impersonal nature as force, energy or power, (2) its vagueness, (3) its anonymity, (4) its ability to circumvent evil, and (5) its ineffable nature.

Bergman then correctly points to some of the inadequacies of these characteristics. These include

(1) the well-attested capacity of self-deception inherent in inner experience claims;  (2) the real possibility of extreme selfishness; and (3) the inability of psychological religiousness to express adequately the great paradoxes of life such as bondagefreedom, defeat-victory, etc.

In her critique, however, Bergman stops short of demonstrating forcefully the crucial weakness of inner experience advocates: the inability of the individual to distinguish between right and wrong, and good and evil, without recourse to objective criteria which would provide grounds for such discernment.

In general, Bergman fails to articulate, or recognize, the uniqueness of the Judeo-Christian tradition which (1) successfully balances the privacy of inner experience with the universality of the objective world 'out there,' (2) tempers inward-directed personal ecstasy with outward-directed sacrificial service, (3) complements 'head' knowledge with 'heart' experience and, finally,(4) provides an absolute, objective basis for distinguishing good from evil.

Only once (Ch. 9, p. 160) does Bergman come close to recognizing the uniqueness of the Holy Spirit both as a person (traditional Western concept of God) and as a power or force (Eastern or mystical emphasis), thus acknowledging the intrinsic ability of the Judeo-Christian tradition to harmonize the traditional, ritualistic approach (credo) with the innerexperience claims of the ineffable and the nondiscursive (OM).

Overall, however, all those who view the renaissance of the inner experience I movement seriously will find Bergman's book to be of special value, because of its scholarly treatment and its original insights into the diverse manifestations of the inner experience phenomena.

Reviewed by K. J. Touryan, Vice President of R & D, Mt. Moriah Trust, Englewood, Colorado.

WHEN YOU'RE FEELING LONELY by Charles Durham. Inter-Varsity Press, IL (1984). 186 pages. Paper $5.95.

This is a very timely book because it addresses a very prevalent problem: loneliness. There are 59 million unmarried adults in the United States, a condition which has great potential for loneliness. Twenty-five percent of those Americans polled say they have been lonely recently. Women admit to more loneliness than men and among those who have lost a mate in death it is reported to be the most serious of all problems.

Durham defines loneliness as pain caused by some sort of isolation from a person or persons. This isolation can be physical, ideological or emotional. Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone and it is possible to be lonely with other people around. Thus loneliness is possible in a crowd, a family and a marriage.

Can Christians be lonely? Yes, says the author. Loneliness is not sin, nor a condition to be sought. In the words of John Milton, "Loneliness is the first thing which God's eye named not good." Humans need particular kinds of human relationships such as the family, a mate, a few close friends, and a social network. One kind of relationship cannot be substituted for another. God does not intend to take the place of human friends, and close family ties do not fill the need for a social network.

The author has some helpful things to say to those who are lonely because unmarried, and to those who are lonely because married. He speaks knowingly, honestly, candidly and empathetically. To the lonely unmarried, he advises them to realize that value and identity are not the same and that they are valuable in God's sight no matter what their marital state. To the lonely married, he stresses that being responsible is more important than being fulfilled and encourages them to cultivate behaviors which foster marital intimacy rather than calling the marriage off.

Other topics discussed by Durham include community, solitude and reaching out to the lonely. Community, people who live in the same location and have a mutual interest in each other, is a strong hedge in personal growth. When people reach out to others who are lonely they take a big step toward ending their own loneliness. "Though locked in the arctic cold of a winter of loneliness, the chilled heart can know the spring of warm love again ... the heart of the matter will always remain, 'Find someone to love."

The author of this volume, Charles Durham, is pastor of the Prairie View Church of the Brethren located in Friend, Kansas. He delivers easy reading, illuminative stories, penetrating insight, and good advice. This book should be helpful to anyone facing loneliness, and that includes everyone sooner or later. Since young people are often puzzled by intimacy, marriage, friendship and solitude, this book will be especially helpful to them in relating these topics to the problem of loneliness. I enjoyed reading this book, benefited from it and am happy to recommend it.

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

CRISIS & CATHARSIS: The Power of the Apocalypse by Adela Yarbro Collins. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA. 179 pages. Paper $11.95. ISBN 0-66424521

Professor of New Testament at McCormick Theological Seminary, Adela Yarbro Collins discusses the authorship, date, situation, social themes, and psychological meanings behind the apocalyptic language of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. He shows familiarity with the findings and issues of contemporary scholarship, but his perspective is primarily that of current liberalism. He uses the historicalcritical method to assess biblical texts in "terms of their congruence with critically reconstructed history" instead of the traditional approach that addresses passages of Scripture in accordance with the "rule of faith" (p. 166).

He describes evangelical and fundamentalist approaches to the Book of Revelation as ones which take the text of this portion of Scripture at face value and then dismisses them as " precritical" and "naive." He does not seriously confront or refute such views; he merely dismisses them.

Collins seeks to develop a "critical" reading of the text of Revelation that gets "behind" the text, with the help of history, sociology, anthropology, and especially psychology" (p. 22). The result of this process is seen in the following summary.

The movement from a precritical to a critical reading of the Apocalypse involves the experience of its vision as a broken myth. The critical reader can no longer simply live and move and have one's being within the "world" of the text. A critical reading also leads to an awareness of how the text is flawed by the darker side of the author's human nature, which we, like all the readers, share. In spite of, and perhaps because of, these insights, we carl move to a personal reinvolvement with the text on a new level. A posteritical reading is one in which a partial, imperfect vision can still speak to our broken human condition, (p. 172)

Collins' book contains a number of interesting historical items and some insightful psychological suggestions, but this reviewer feels that it provides little help for the person seeking to know God better through a study of the Book of Revelation. Collins has essentially removed the divine factor from the Apocalypse.

Reviewed by D. K. Pace, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD.

WHOLENESS AND HOLINESS: Readings in the Psychology/Theology of Mental Health edited by H. Newton Malony. Baker Book House (1983). 344 pages. Paper $12.95.

This stimulating and balanced anthology contains many of the seminal writings on religious values and counseiing published during the past several decades. The perspectives presented range from the emphatic biblicism of Jay Adams to the more philosophical orientation of Paul Tillich. Twentythree articles are grouped under five headings: 1) the human predicament, 2) the experience of living, 3) the meaning of health, 4) the process of healing, and 5) methods of therapy. Contributors include Seward Hiltner, S. Bruce Narramore, William Rogers, and Samuel Southard.

The primary value of this book is its convenience in providing this collection of articles together. The dates of original publication of these articles span almost three decades, from the early 1950's to 1980. Only those with access to a very good library could easily locate all of them apart from this book.

Malony is director of programs in the integration of psychology and theology and professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. It is clear that he edited this book to provide students, both undergraduate and graduate, with a tool for comparison of the several major points of view on the interrelationship between Christian faith and western psychology. Malony has also provided a useful index of authors, subjects, and scripture references in the book.

Reviewed by D. K. Pace, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Psysics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland.

THE MAJESTY OF MAN; The Dignity of Being Human by Ronald B. Allen. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon 97266 (1984). 221 pages.

In this book, the author, Professor of Old Testament Language and Exegesis at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon, uses the content especially of Psalm 8 to develop the theme of Christian humanism or theistic humanism-"humanism in praise of God." The response to secular humanism is not, he argues, to reject humanism, but to recognize the foundational biblical support for humanism within the context of historical, biblical, Christian faith.

The book is divided into three main sections: "The Mystery of Man," "The Majesty of Man," and "A Mandate for Man." In the first section he touches on some of the characteristics of increasing secularization and warns against improper Christian reactions to these real dangers. Rejecting the premise of secular humanism that man is the measure of all things, Allen upholds the affirmation of biblical humanism "that man has great dignity and supreme importance because of the reality of who God is as Creator, Savior, and judge, and what he does for his people based on these realities."

In the second section, Allen begins his exposition of Psalm 8 with its assessment of the value of the human being. "Man is the crown of the cosmos, the measure of creation. Man as male and female is God's finest work." He then investigates the revelation of Genesis 1 with its teaching that "Man is God's great wonder-work!" This teaching is certainly not to be limited to the male, but is true also of the female as the male's equal. The Fall does not remove this image of God, which mankind retains even in its fallen state, and it is this retained image of God that demands the treatment of human beings with dignity. It is the incarnation of Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, in human form that gives the final argument for Christian humanism.

In the final section, Allen considers four main issue-related areas: 1) a balanced perspective of male and female, 2) the significance of wisdom with a brief exposition of Proverbs, 3) living humanly with regard to self, the creation, things, and others and 4) an evaluation of the weaknesses of secular humanism.

The book concludes with an appendix that discusses the meaning of the Hebrew bara, in which Allen argues that bara in and of itself does not speak of creatio ex nihilo, but means "to fashion anew-a divine activity;" a bibliographic guide to further reading; and Scripture and subject indices.

A stylistic weakness of the presentation is the breaking up of the material into very short sections-so short that it is virtually impossible to present a sustained argument. On page 121, for example, there are parts of four separate sections on a single page. Many sections are scarcely a dozen lines long. Occasionally the author adopts a somewhat patronizing attitude, as when he apologizes twice on two consecutive pages for mention of the German word Heilsgeschichte.

Perhaps the major reaction to the book however can be cautiously summarized by saying that one receives the impression of an author deeply enveloped in traditional, conservative orthodoxy, reaching out to break free of some of the limitations of that sometimes largely cultural position, but still so enmeshed in such a perspective that even the most modest departures seem like radical and revolutionary pronouncements. Although he speaks out strongly in defense of Christian involvement in the sciences, in another place he implies that perfect health brought about by genetic manipulation would be an evil. Although he argues that the phrase "Scientific creationism" is an oxymoron, he speaks as though he regarded the perspective of "progressive creationism" as a major modern breakthrough. Although he argues strongly for equality between male and female, he argues equally strongly for the leadership of man over woman resulting from his priority in creation and his role in naming the woman. His major departures from a "tight six-day chronology" interpretation of Genesis 1 occur in footnotes in which he indicates that the naming of the animals "may well have stretched over a longer period of time" than the evening of the sixth day, and in which he even mentions the position of R. K. Harrison that Genesis 2:23 might be properly classed as "religious drama." Although he argues that there is still room for 11 mystery" in theology, he decries "fuzzy thoughts about the inner-workings of the Trinity." Under his exegesis, Genesis 3:16 is transformed from "Your desire will be to your husband, and he will rule over you," to "You will tend to desire to usurp the role I have given to him as the compassionate leader in your home, rejecting his role and belittling his manhood." While arguing that Christians must be involved in care for the environment and ecology, be interjects, "When a group of Christian men go into a primitive wilderness area for a week to hunt with bow and arrow, they are going on a pilgrimage."

There is much that is good and valuable in this book, many emphases that uphold the biblical view of human beings as creatures made in the image of God, with an inherent identity and dignity based on that fact. Often, however, the reader must rescue these precious insights from the anachronistic framework in which the author, in spite of all his radicalness, still places them.

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

SUPERIOR BEINGS: IF THEY EXIST HOW WOULD WE KNOW by Steven J. Brains. SpringerVerlag, New York (1983). 202 pages. $21.95.

In the introduction to Superior Beings Brains states that his book is "first and foremost a philosophical investigation of characteristics of superior beings and their possible impact on games played with human beings. " Indeed, this is an accurate assessment. Brains uses game theory, a system of describing and quantifying interactions between two or more beings, to probe the meaning of superiority and the effects of different superior attributes on the outcome of games. A game is the interactions of the two or more beings according to a defined set of rules. Brains confines most of his analysis to simple two dimensional games between a person (P) and a superior being (SB). In a previous book (Biblical Games: A Strategic Analysis of Stories in the Old Testament, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1980) he examined the interactions of the "God of the Hebrew Bible" with various players. Superior Beings also draws most of its examples from the Bible.

This book presents a novel approach to some very old theological questions. Another reviewer wrote, "I am surprised that nothing of this kind seems to have been attempted before" (H.N.V. Temperley, Nature 308:87, 1984). In addition to its novelty the text is well written. An erudite introduction to game theory is presented that does not require great mathematical prowess. An excellent glossary is also included. This is quite useful for those unfamiliar with game theory.

The main themes are developed in a logical sequence. Later chapters depend on arguments presented in previous ones. References to figures from the earlier chapters are made frequently. This is bothersome as the reader must flip back and forth between the figures and the text, but it is understandable considering publication costs. Another minor problem is the switching of the position of P and SB (on the ordinate and abscissa) of the outcome matrices. These inconsistencies can be confusing unless one pays careful attention to each figure (e.g., Figure 66, p. 147).

Despite its many positive attributes there are two major problems I believe readers will find with this book. The first is that the outcome of most games is based on a priori assumptions and operational definitions. Brains is well aware of this and even invites readers to propose their own definitions and derive their own conclusions within the context of game theory. However, conclusions are so closely linked to the presumed objectives of each being and to the ranking of outcomes that unique solutions are unlikely.

One assumption of game theory is that the players act rationally. A rational act is defined by Brains as one that leads to the best possible outcome for a player. Was Jesus's death on the cross a rational act? It would hardly fit Brains's definition. Yet, the entire New Testament could be viewed as the interaction of Jesus (presumably a rational being) with other players in a two-dimensional sense.

With regard to the 'Revelation Game' Brains states (p. 18) that "God has an overriding reason for not revealing Himself directly: it would undermine any true test of a person's faith, which I assume to be belief in God not necessarily corroborated by direct evidence." Again, this assumption of divine objectives conflicts with the Scriptures (e.g., Romans 1:21, Hebrews 1:1). A different interpretation of the revelation game is possible when the outcome matrix is reordered. Such is the case with the search-decision game (p. 34) and indeed for all other games based on scriptural examples.

The second major problem is more fundamental and is not explicitly addressed by Brams. Can the interaction of a superior being and a person, such as that of the infinite biblical God and a finite human being, be accurately characterized by game theory? This problem is in part related to the subjectivity of operational definitions and a priori assumptions, but it goes beyond this. Modelling the behavior of an infinite being is impossible except where we have knowledge of such a being's character. As long as that knowledge is incomplete any behavioral model must be speculative at best.

This is evident in Brains's attempt to explain the problem of evil by showing bow arbitrary behavior (which appears evil to P) allows SB to achieve his best outcome.

This may result in wrongful punishment of the righteous and undeserved rewards to the wicked, making SB appear unethical if not despicable. I conclude that though this behavior may be inconsistent with the supposed benevolence and rectitude of God, it is not necessarily irrational or misguided for certain goals one might attribute to a superior being.

Such an argument assumes that the behavior of SB is 1) arbitrary and 2) designed to maximize SB's own benefits. Moreover, if one assumes a sovereign God who acts according to his own will (as do the Scriptures) then the behavior of such a thing is beyond the modelling capabilities of game theory,

De which requires knowledge of the objectives of each player. Brains's thesis is well-written and logically presented; nevertheless, the applicability of his methods to the problems addressed is questionable.

Reviewed by Bradley Bennett, Department of Biology, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

THE SUPREMACY OF JESUS by Stephen Neill. IVP (1984). 174 pages. $5.95.

This book is the third in the "Jesus Library" edited by Michael Green. The author is the late Assistant Bishop in Oxford. He brings a broad scholarship and wide experience (life in India and Kenya, Germany and the U.S.) to the problem of the uniqueness of Jesus among the world's religious leaders; e.g., Gautama, Moses, Muhammad, and Zarathustra. He compares Christ's ethical teachings with those of Aristotle, Confucius, and Plato. In general, he approaches each question historically with candor, grace, and often fresh insight. The author concludes that Jesus is not only unique, but actually supreme!

The Introduction poses "The Central Point of History," viz., "What is your beloved more than another beloved?" (S. of S. 5:9). Nine chapters are devoted to various aspects of this question, each beginning with a definitive concern and ending with a concluding quotation. These are (1) "Human Nature: Reality and Caricature," (2) "Moses and Law: Jesus and Liberation," (3) "Teachers East and West-Guatama, Socrates, Jesus," (4) "A True Prophet: or More Than a Prophet?", (5) "Jesus or Barabbas-Which Is the True Messiah?", (6) "The One Son through Whom All Can Become Sons," (7) "The Friend through Whom Bad Friends Can Become Good Friends," (8) "One for Many-Does It Make Sense?" and (9) "Savior from What? Savior for What?"

Highly recommended!

Reviewed by Raymond J. Seeger, Bethesda, MD

THE GREAT REVERSAL; Ethics and the New Testament by Allen Verhey. Eerdmans (1984). 246 pages. Paper $13.95. ISBN 0-8028-0004-1

I was very disappointed in The Great Reversal.

It is an erudite review of contemporary ideas about the nature of the New Testament, its literary forms, and the processes by which ethics develop. Verhey, Associate Professor of Religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, is intimately familiar with the literature on this subject and has written a conveniently organized and well indexed book. He argues that "the ethics of the New Testament is diverse and pluralistic" (p. 73) and then describes a variety of concrete situations addressed in various portions of the New Testament. After this, he addresses the methodological considerations in developing ethics.

So, why the disappointment? What's wrong with The Great Reversal?

First, I found only husks, no grain. Verhey's "modest proposal" provided "no recipe for making decisions on the basis of Scripture" (p. 196). His ambition was merely to "bridge the gulfs" among some Christian academic disciplines and others in the Church. After 200 pages I was no more equipped to address ethical issues than when I started.

Second, while examining some issues with excruciating philosophical rigor, Verhey cavalierly ignores equally momentous presuppositions in his position. For example, he accepts the contemporary idea that the New Testament is not simply what it claims to be as evidenced in the following:

The Sermon [on the Mount] is Matthew's construction rather than a verbatim record of a lecture by Jesus. (p. 85)
The Pastoral Epistles were probably not written by Paul. (p. 126)The Bible stakes its case on history, but it is quite unconcerned about minute circumstantial accuracy. (p. 175)

Verhey does not directly address the issue of how documents of such character can be a reliable guide for ethics (or theology).

Finally, a nit pick. Verhey chose to lump Christian thinkers into only three general categories: liberal, neo-orthodox, and fundamentalist. The latter category, containing both evangelicals and fundamentalists, is treated quite superficially and dismissed without the depth of treatment given the other two. I had expected a more balanced treatment. Two writers, Carl Henry and Harold Lindsell, predominantly are used to represent the "fundamentalists" in contrast to dozens cited from the other two groups.

Verhey's intended audience eludes me. The book is far too technical for the lay person or for beginning students of theology and religion. Advanced students should not need the tutorial provided by Verhey's extensive review of the literature. Perhaps he is aiming at the academics on the shores of the gulfs which he hopes to bridge, with a primary intent to establish his credentials as one who knows the field.

Reviewed by D. K. Pace, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland.

WALKING IN WISDOM; STUDYING THE PROVERBS OF SOLOMON By William E. Mouser, Jr. InterVarsity Press (1983). 169 pages. $4.95.

From childhood I was taught to love the proverbs both for their content and for their form. I wish my father and I had had this book then, and I am thankful it will be available as I try to engender enthusiasm for wisdom in my own children. The author claims that his book "will aid [the reader] in beginning an enjoyable and profitable lifetime study of Proverbs." I agree.

The book comprises thirteen chapters and two appendices. Chapter 1 defines a proverb as a brief, concrete, general truth with diverse applications; it is neither a law nor a promise. Thus, proverbs require study or meditation before they can be understood. Chapter 2 explains the purpose of Solomon's collection, as given in its introductory verses, as moral development (acquiring living skills and moral discipline) and mental development (distinguishing between things, especially right and wrong).

Chapters 3 through 10 deal with various technical devices used in the proverbs, giving a framework for recognizing and understanding them, together with numerous examples. The chapter titles are clever and illuminating. The aspects covered are synonymous and antithetical parallelism ("But & Both, Either & Or"), asymmetrical antithetical parallelism ("Filling in the Blank"), emblematic parallelism ("Cerebral Cartooning"), synthetic parallelism ("Conundrums and Other Mind Benders"), recognizing figures of speech ("As Plain as the Nose on Your Face"), similes and metaphors ("Your Hair is Like a Flock of Goats"), synecdoches ("All About Parts and Wholes"), and metonymies ("Houses That Talk").

Chapter eleven deals with the practical nature of the proverbs-they must be applied to daily living. Chapter twelve again stresses the theme of meditation, gathering together a set of specific recommendations for studying and applying the proverbs. Finally, chapter thirteen points to other books useful in studying Solomon's sayings.

Most chapters conclude with study questions; answers are provided in an appendix. A second appendix, a delightful thing to find in the last few pages of the book, gives two sample "meditations" in detail.

This book is not a commentary. Mouser recommends Derek Kidner's The Proverbs in the Tyndale Old Testament series, and I heartily agree. Mouser does not deal with every verse, while Kidner does, albeit briefly. But Mouser gives a valuable framework that goes beyond what Kidner's necessarily limited introductory material can do. The two taken together make an excellent pair of tools for dealing with the Book of Proverbs.

In short, this book is a treasure. I was delighted to see it and have been recommending it highly since I read it.

Reviewed by David T. Barnard, Director of Computing Services and Associate Professor of Computing and Information Science, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.