Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews


JASA Book Reviews for March 1980
THE EARTH IS THE LORDS, Edited by Mary Evelyn Jegen and Bruno Manno, Paulist Press, New York, 1978, 216 pages, $4.95.
GOD, FREEDOM, AND EVIL by Alvin C. Plantinga, Eerdmans, 1977 (Reprinted from a 1974 Harper & Row Edition) 112 pages, $3.95.
THE MORMON PAPERS: Are the Monnon Scriptures Reliable? By Harry L. Ropp, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1977), paperback, 118 pp., $2.95
THE ART OF LISTENING WITH LOVE by Abraham Schmitt, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1977. 174 pp., $5.95 hard cover.
COMMITMENT TO CARE, by Dean Turner, Old Greenwich, Ct.: The Devin-Adair Co., 1978, 415 pp., $12.50
THE BOY CHILD IS DYING: A SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE by Judy Boppell Peace. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1978. 91 pp. $2.25.
ANTI-CHANCE: A REPLY TO MONOD'S CHANCE AND NECESSITY by E. Schoffeniels, New York: Pergamon Press, 1977, 142 pp., $7.50.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE BIOENERGETIC PROCESSES by E. Broda, New York: Pergamon Press, 1978, 232 pp., $13.00.
FOSSILS IN FOCUS by J. Kerby Anderson and Harold G. Coffin, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. 1977. 95 pp., $3.95. (two reviews)
THE HUMAN MYSTERY by John C. Eccles, Spring er International, Berlin, 1979, 270 pp., $18.70.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT: A GUIDE TO PIAGET AND KOHLBERG by Ronald Duska and Mariellen Whelan, Paulist Press, 1975. 128 pages, $4.95.
WOMEN: NEW DIMENSIONS edited by Walter Burkhardt, S. J. New York: Paulist Press, 1977. Pp. 189 + viii. $5.95.
THE PROBLEM OF WAR IN THE OLD TESTAMENT by Peter C. Craigie, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1978, 125 pp., paperback, $3.95.

MAKING MORAL DECISIONS by Edward Stevens, S.J., Paulist Press, New York, 1969. 138 pp. $2.25.
The Westminster Press, 1977, 182 pages, $5.95.
THE UNITY IN CREATION by Russell Maatman, Dordt College Press, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250, 143 pp. (paperback), $3.75.
Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1978. pp. 168. Paper $3.95.
WHAT IS THE BAHAI FAITH? by William McElwee Miller, (An Abridgement by William N. Wysham). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977. 151 pages, $3.95.
THE TASTE FOR THE OTHER: The Social and Ethical Thought of C.S. Lewis by Gilbert Meilaender. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978, x + 245 pp. $6.95 paper.
HOW TO READ SLOWLY: A Christian Guide to Reading with the Mind by James W. Sire, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. 179 pp. + Appendix, notes, and index, $3.95.

THE EARTH IS THE LORDS, Edited by Mary Evelyn Jegen and Bruno Manno, Paulist Press, New York, 1978, 216 pages, $4.95.

The essays in this volume grew out of a cooperative effort by Bread for the World and the University of Dayton. Few debate the need for education the public about issues of social justice. Even the most optimistic are gloomy about prospects for the world's poor. While efforts such as this one will feed no one they could stir the consciences of some to reflection and even action.

However, even understood as no more than a stimulant to investigation and action, the book falls short. What may have been a thought-provoking seminar does not really succeed as a book. Too many of the essays stimulate questions that could have been discussed in a seminar. No thesis can be adequately explored in eight to ten printed pages.

The authors rush about in different directions touching in quick succession the fields of economics, religion, and agriculture without ever pausing to clarify their insights. No topic is analyzed in depth; many topics are scanned quickly. The essays by Sider on the "Biblical Perspective on Stewardship" and Pignone on "Concentrated Ownership of Land" were the best of the collection. They also happen to be two of the authors who violated the editors' apparent nine to ten page limit.

One author makes a point by reversing the order of Cain's sacrifice and Abel's murder (p. 24). Another misrepresents Levirate marriage (p. 63) as well as Old Testament legislation on adultery (p. 64). All of the authors envisage gradual solutions by religious conversion, economic development, and political change. The feasibility of any semblance of national or international justice being achieved by such methods is never investigated.

Beyond question, people who "experience the world as limited, interconnected, and fragile" would accept without debate that the earth belongs to everyone (p. 127). However, most human beings experience the world only as a battle field for survival. These authors believe the world belongs to everyone to cherish and to share, not only for their own loved ones but for unknown present and future generations.

Although they worry about the future, they appear resigned to life in the present. Only strategy for gradual change is proposed. The issues examined are specialized such as "Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Christian Economics" and "World Grain Reserve" while most of the responses proposed are non-political, familial or individualistic.

In spite of its many shortcomings, this book may be valuable as a primer on social justice issues for the uninitiated. Four sets of questions and action suggestions make the book a possible text for discussion groups. Selected bibliographies also extend the book's worth as a resource to facilitate the readers' efforts to broaden their understanding of stewardship.

Because their concern is of such great and immediate urgency, the book should be read, contradicted, affirmed, extended, and improved. Many people are searching secular as well as religious scriptures for answers that will resolve our modern crises of justice. This much can be said: This book confronts readers with a major tension between capitalism and communism which concerns us all. The earth is the Lord's. No system yet conceived has successfully resolved the tension between private ownership and public good on the one hand and God's creation for the benefit of all the people on the other.

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

GOD, FREEDOM, AND EVIL by Alvin C. Plantinga, Eerdmans, 1977 (Reprinted from a 1974 Harper & Row Edition) 112 pages, $3.95.

Alvin Plantinga's works have been recognized for some time as an important contribution to philosophy. (I recently heard him lecture at Princeton University where he was introduced by a member of the philosophy faculty as the foremost person today working on the relationship between metaphysics and the philosophy of religion.) The Calvin College professor is a first-rate logician and his writing is marked by precision and technical proficiency. Unfortunately, this means that much of what he has written is inaccessible to all but philosophical specialists. The significance of God, Freedom, and Evil is that it was written for a much wider audience.

The basic thrust of this book is simply that it is rational to believe that God exists. Classic arguments for and against God's existence are dealt with. Plantinga. focuses upon two of these. In the first part of the book, his concern is to refute the atheistic argument from evil. Part two is composed mainly of an examination and restatment of the famous ontological argument by St. Anslem.  Plantinga approaches these topics armed with recent insights from the philosophy of logic, particularly those concerning the idea of possible worlds.

The argument that God's existence is incompatible with evil is answered by "the free will defense." What is crucial to the free will defender is the "possibility that it is not within God's power to create a world containing moral good without creating one containing moral evil" (p. 44). For if we are truly free, there are any number of possible worlds such that it is partly up to us whether or not God can actualize them. Plantinga goes on to argue that neither the amount nor the variety of evil in the world make it any more unlikely that God exists. He concludes that the free will defense solves the main philosophical problem of eviL Having so concluded, he analyzes and rejects the objection that God's omniscience is incompatible with human freedom. There have been other attempts to refute his free will defense but that I know of have been successful.

Professor Plantinga is also known as a specialist in the ontological argument. He does not share the opinion of many philosophers that it has been successfully refuted. His version of the argument relies on the truth of this premise: "There is a possible world in which maximal greatness is instantiated" (p. I 11). A being has maximal greatness only if it has maximal excellence, i.e. omniscience, omnipotence, and moral perfection, in every possible world. While Plantinga believes that the premise is true, and the consequent argument sound, he does not claim to have proved the existence of God. All the argument establishes is the rational acceptability of theism. "And hence it accomplishes at least one of the aims of the tradition of natural theology" (p. 112).

I conclude that there are any number of possible worlds in which many people read God, Freedom, and Evil. They must employ a measure of concentration to follow the author's arguments, but they are duly rewarded. They benefit from the exercise in rigorous thinking while adding understanding to their faith.

[Printing errors: p. 15 line 2, "sense of question" should be "sense in question"; p. 37, line 10, S should be 9; p. 100, line 6 from bottom, "Step (14)" should be "Step (15)"; line 5 from bottom (15) should be (14).]

Reviewed by Jerry L. Walls, Student, Princeton Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey.


THE MORMON PAPERS: Are the Monnon Scriptures Reliable? By Harry L. Ropp, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1977), paperback, 118 pp., $2.95

The credibility, reliability, and the inter-relationships of the doctrines on which The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter

Day Saints is based are the subject of this book written by the founder of a mission to the Mormons based in Utah.

Ropp begins by clearly statinting the differences between orthodox Christian doctrines on the Bible, God and Christ, and salvation and those espoused by the Mormon Church. He examines and quotes from the writings of LDS literature and Mormon leaders to show why Mormons are not Christians. The first chapter is an excellent overview of some of the major doctrines of the LDS Church. 

With that discussion as a background, Ropp, in Chapters 2-5, examines the Mormon papers which are the foundation of the LDS faith, i.e., the Book of Mormon, The Book of Commandment, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. Beginning with The Book ofMormon, he describes the official version of how Joseph Smith received and translated the Book from gold plates. A weakness in this presentation is the failure to describe the fate of the plates as described by Smith and the reason that they are no longer available for examination. Through a review of other authors who have examined the origins of the Book ofMormon, i.e., Fawn Brodie, Sandra and Jerald Tanner, George Arburghey and Hal Houghey, Ropp brings together the main problems with accepting the Mormon position on the book's authenticity.

The most important claim made for the book is that it is the Word of God and that it is correct, perfect and has no need for changing. Yet Ropp points out that hundreds of grammatical errors and spellings have- been corrected as well as additions of words which change original meanings. The Tanners cite almost 4,000 changes and corrections. Ropp gives several of these examples and then describes the dilemma for the thinking Mormon:

Either Joseph South copied mistakes that were on the plates, which are not now available for examination, or The Book of Mormon was not translated by the gift and power of God and may, therefore, contain countless errors.

Young Mormon missionaries often refer to archeology as a support for The Book of Mormon. They have been quoted as saying that even the Smithsonian Institution uses it as a guide to its research. Ropp includes documentation from the Smithsonian to dispel this assertion. The author also details contradictions between The Doctrine and Covenants and The Book of Mormon in their teachings on baptism and its relationships to the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and plural marriage.

Another Mormon scripture, believed to be divinely inspired is The Pearl of Great Price, a short work which is a compilation of "The Book of Moses," "The Book of Abraham," and "The Writings of Joseph Smith." "The Book of Abraham" is the only extrabiblical scripture of the Mormons that can be studied in the light of the original papyri from which it is purported to have been translated. In great detail, Ropp explores the authenticity of the "Book of Abraham," comparing it to the analysis of internationally accepted Egyptologists and concludes, "The Book of Abraham" is a false translation of the papyri Joseph Smith had in his possession and not the Word of God.

The final chapter, "Witnessing to Mormons," is realistic in approach. Understanding the pervasive nature of LDS doctrine and teaching, the author believes that long-term friendships with Mormons is the basis of a fruitful witness.

Many Mormons are not aware of the weak foundations for the origins of Mormon scriptures but rather believe that it is the Bible that has a questionable archeological and textual basis. Christians, Ropp advises, should be very sure of the evidence for the Bible's authenticity in translation and he suggests several good helps. He gives practical help in casting doubts on the reliability of Mormon extrabiblical papers and in helping to bring a Mormon from the place of doubt to an understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ. He concludes:

"Witnessing to Mormons is not easy. Yet because of the threat they pose to the body of Christ and because of our love for them, we must accept the responsibility of trying to help them see the truth."

This book is a good beginning for those Christians eager to accept that responsibility since The Mormon Papers is a concise easy-to-understand presentation of the basic beliefs of Mormonism and the documents upon which it stands.

Reviewed by Janet G. House, Information Specialist, Public Television KGBI_ Pocatello, Idaho 83209 and Edwin W. House, Professor of Biology, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho 83209.

THE ART OF LISTENING WITH LOVE by Abraham Schmitt, Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1977. 174 pp., $5.95 hard cover.

"My central motive for writing this book," states Abraham Schmitt, "is to define the highest form of love in a way that the average reader can practice it effectively (p.13)." To accomplish this Schmitt wrote about 12 individuals to whom he had listened with love throughout his career as a social worker. According to Schmitt, love requires attending to the uniqueness of individuals. Love requires caring. Love requires hearing "the voice of the hearing person ... in the scream of the voiceless-voice of that life experience (p. 12). " Love requires participation in the life of another. If we practice such love, love transforms the person loved and gives meaning to the life of the lover. Schmitt's approach matches his message that individuals are important. He examines a life crisis of each of the people in some detail, and he tells how those who were listened to with love responded with transformed lives.

Although I enjoyed reading The Art of Listening With Love, I do not think Schmitt effectively showed how to practice the art. He concentrated on telling the story of each individual crying out to be heard. However, he gave few examples of conversation between two communicating people, and the little conversation that he did relay had the flavor of recalled and reconstructed rather than spontaneous conversation. Schmitt did not model how a listener, within the warp and woof of life, might demonstrate that he or she is listening to and hearing a person in pain. The rewards of participatory caring and listening were stressed, but the elements of listening were touched on only slightly. Thus, as a result of reading this book, I will probably practice loving more often-something very valuable in itself-but my method of listening with love will remain untransformed.

Schmitt writes as a loving, concerned human being.

Assumptions originating from his roles as social worker and as Christian are evident throughout the book. As a social worker he emphasizes a psychodynamic model of humans, specifically drawing from Erik Erikson's developmental perspective. In fact, the vignettes follow a developmental sequente from child through older adult. This leads to a historical-developmental insight-oriented approach to human helping. Psychologists are divided in their opinions of the helpfulness of this approach. As a Christian, Schmitt emphasizes the love of one person for another as that which "will give life its ultimate meaning." He cites "love thy neighbor as thyself" as the greatest commandment. Many evangelical Christians will disagree with that emphasis, placing the relationship of a person with Jesus as the reference point of life and seeing our love for others as a reflection of God's love rather than as an end in itself. Nonetheless, Christians are commanded to love people, and to this end The Art of Listening With Love is a valuable motivational book.

Reviewed by Everett L. Worthington, Jr., Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23284

COMMITMENT TO CARE, by Dean Turner, Old Greenwich, Ct.: The Devin-Adair Co., 1978, 415 pp., $12.50

This book demonstrates clearly the futility of constructing a theology entirely on the basis of general revelation. A science of necessity and logic can lead to conclusions which openly contradict the clear teaching of Scripture and thereby reveal the latent predispositions of the architect of the system.

The overriding purpose of this book is to establish the existence and necessity of God contra the widespread view of a universe governed by chance. Chance and atheism are held to be unworkable, absurd, and suicidal. Only faith in a God of order and care is consistent with an objective perusal of the nature of the cosmos.

In this respect the book represents something of a restatement of traditional, rational apologetics for the existence of God, e.g., the argument from moral necessity and the argument from design, etc. The author is able to supplement these traditional arguments with precise and often beautiful discussions of such things as cosmic order (as in mathematics, particle physics, etc.), cellular activity, and philosophical and psychological considerations, such as the problems of evil and of human need. These rather general discussions point out the incongruency of atheism and the impossibility of a chance-governed universe. These discussions are then bolstered in Part 2 of the book by further discussions of specific philosophers of science and scientific achievements.

Thus, in opposing what are commonly held views among contemporary scientists, the author makes some powerful and helpful observations. Would that he had been content with that.

A major shortcoming in the book is that the author's scientific observations lead to conclusions which are contrary to the teaching of Scripture. The most glaring of these is that there is something beyond God which gives meaning to all that is. That something the author chooses to call "love" or "care":

The ultimate reality in which the universe is grounded is the abiding love of a Supreme Being who cares for himself and all he creates (page 3).

All meaning and value in life ultimately is located in care, and can e sustained only by care (page 9).

We can afford to settle for nothing less than a philosophy of the primacy and permanency of care in the very heart of reality (page 10).

What pure care is, is not always clear. The author defines it as "the will to discover, conserve, and propagate the instrinsic values and meanings of life" (page 10), but defining precisely what those values and meanings are merely begs the original question, "What is care?"

Care, at any rate, is beyond God and appears to be a philosophical concept to which even He is subject. Care gives meaning to God as it does to all things in the universe and, therefore, must be greater than God. This, as the orthodox Christian will readily acknowledge, runs contrary to Christian faith and the teachings of the Bible.

The author also denies such doctrines of Scripture as creation ex nihilo, the centrality of redemption in the cosmic plan, the necessity of the atonement and of salvation by grace, and the independence and sovereignty of God.

There are helpful ideas in Commitment to Care, but these must be carefully and critically gleaned.

Reviewed by T. M. Moore, Minister of Education, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Chun h, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308

THE BOY CHILD IS DYING: A SOUTH AFRICAN EXPERIENCE by Judy Boppell Peace. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1978. 91 pp. $2.25.

How does a young white American homemaker face the realities of life under apartheid in South Africa? In eighteen short vignettes, Judy Boppell Peace recounts her attempts to relate to her African housekeeper as co-worker and friend, to treat African acquaintances as persons, to discover the different values and coping mechanisms in African society, and to grasp some of the indignities of life when lived under the pass laws and the ban. Without moralizing, the author reports encounters with police, hospital personnel, and restaurant workers whose concepts of the worth and place of Africans are at variance with her own beliefs.

After eight years, Mrs. Peace returns to America. What has she accomplished? The blind African woman to whom she carried food and coal has died and left her children homeless and abandoned. Her African housekeeper is now dissatisfied with her lot in life, unable to fit again into a job where she is black servant, not colleague. By refusing to accept the status quo for herself or for her African friends, has Mrs. Peace done them an injustice, increased their discontent with a situation they cannot change? Or, in touching other lives, has she opened the way for new ideas on both sides? Perhaps among her class of South African high school girls who began to feel that Africans might be "people just like me"; perhaps in the life of a young African who found that her children could relate to him "as man and a friend, not as a black boy."

Is Mrs. Peace too naive and idealistic? She does not analyse the structure of South African society or delve into the history of apartheid or examine the feasibility of economic sanctions against the government of that country. But her stories in simple, unadorned prose carry an impact. They can help us to see beyond the politicians' rhetoric and the financiers' calculations to the flesh and blood humanity of some African peoples, to their struggles and joys, to their values and lifeviews. Her stories may show us in everyday terms what it means to give a cup of water in Christ's Name and to esteem others regardless of color, nationality, or status.

Reviewed by H. Miriam Ross, Doctoral candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195

ANTI-CHANCE: A REPLY TO MONOD'S CHANCE AND NECESSITY by E. Schoffeniels, New York: Pergamon Press, 1977, 142 pp., $7.50.

The author of this book is Professor of Biochemistry, University of Liege, Belgium. This book is an answer to Monod's Chance and Necessity. The origin of life and the evolution of biological systems are explained in terms of a deterministic approach in which chance has no place. All physicochemical processes are determined, and biological systems are no exception to this general rule. The inadequacy of classical thermodynamics to explain biological systems is stressed, and information theory is used to describe these systems in a more satisfactory manner.

This book appears to be a valuable resource for clarifying the relationship between thermodynamics and biological evolution and the role of chance and determinism in evolution.

THE EVOLUTION OF THE BIOENERGETIC PROCESSES by E. Broda, New York: Pergamon Press, 1978, 232 pp., $13.00.

Available for the first time in a soft-covered student edition, this is a comparative study of the bioenergetic processes. Looking towards evolutionary trends, it reveals the inter-relationships of the diverse systems functioning in the animal, plant and protist kingdoms.

The central thesis states that the bioenergetic processes of fermentation, photosynthesis and respiration, no matter how different they might appear, have a common origin.

An appendix has been added to update the book to 1977 and the text has undergone minor improvement. Over 2000 literature references are included. The author is at the University of Vienna, Austria.

Reviewed by Jerry D. Albert, Mercy Hospital Medical Research Facility, San Diego, California.

FOSSILS IN FOCUS by J. Kerby Anderson and Harold G. Coffin, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506. 1977. 95 pp., $3.95. (two reviews)

The authors, from Probe Ministries International in Dallas, Texas, have impressive credentials, both in education and experience. The book is easy reading and not encumbered with heavy thoughts or big words. In its 95 pages it has nine chapters with topics ranging from "Questions of Origins" through ones on fossil records of invertebrates, vertebrates and plants to "Fitting the Pieces in the Paleopuzzle." It has a bibliography of nine pages and another 14 pages of no or little use (i.e., chapter abstracts) and lastly 15 illustrations, so the textual substance is packed into the remaining few pages. Consequently, the vastness of the topic and the intention of making a point means the textual material is either concentrated and/or superficial, so some of both is present. Obviously, the book is not a thorough treatise on the subject.

Four models of origin are presented with some discussion of each; Neodarwinism, Saltation, Punctuated Equilibria and Special Creation, which wins most of the arguments by default (interpretation of existing data) rather than by deliberate presentation of countering data. The weaknesses of the other models, particularly Neodarwinianism, are emphasized with quotes from scientists who have taken a critical look at the theory of evolution or recognize the paucity of data. The text touches upon some of the premises and insufficient explanations for: Pre- or Cambrian explosion; gaps in the fossil record; complexity of unicellular organisms; meaning of primitive/advanced (simplicity/complexity); lack of change in basic structure through alleged time; transitions from invertebrates to invertebrates, invertebrates to vertebrates, and vertebrates to vertebrates; fragmented or absent evidence of evolution in the plant kingdom (only 3 pages on this kingdom); and discontinuities in adaptive structures in transition from one environment to another (land to air, land to water).

Lastly, all four models are evaluated in relation to the gaps in the fossil record and the absence of transitional forms. The closing comments state that ". . broad unifying and coherent world view," substantiated by the Bible and Jesus Christ, has the most justification as an explanation of the fossil evidence. The book presents in a simple, succinct, straightforward manner the case against Neodarwinianism based on the fossil record.

In a closing chapter, Russell Mixter responds in a well stated analysis of the purpose of the book when he reconciles what we see and know about what is here with what the Bible teaches on creation. He also presents what he feels is meant by the biblical "kind" in a scientific sense.

Part of the value of the book to me is that it is a good summary of the inadequacies of Neodarwinianism; I am using it as a reference in my course, "Evolution in Perspective."

Reviewed by D. Wayne Linn, Professor of Biology, Southern Oregon State College, Ashland, Oregon 97520

Since this work is a product of Probe Ministries, whose avowed intent is to provide perspectives on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity, I expected great things of this book. My expectations were largely unfulfilled.

It soon becomes obvious that Anderson and Coffin intend to convey a single main thesis: there are unbridged gaps in the fossil record separating all major systematic groups. This phenomenon, they maintain, contradicts the neo-Darwinian model and is most closely fit by the creation model. Their study of the problem includes examination of the invertebrate and vertebrate fossil records, as well as a very brief survey of the history of plants.

The strong points of this work include:

(1) The authors of this work have been trained in the fields of biology, evolution, and paleontology, unlike all too many authors of works of this genre. (2) Consequently, they incorporate works which are largely representative of the available literature on these subjects, and they generally do not misrepresent these authors. (3) As Fossils in Focus attempts to document, there are more gaps of a serious nature in the fossil record than are commonly indicated in standard texts.

But the shortcomings are many. One of the most basic flaws is that there is absolutely no indication of which creation model Anderson and Coffin believe to be substantiated by their study. (As several authors have recently demonstrated, there is a multitude of possible creationist positions.) The only explanation they give for how the amassed evidence support S -the creation model" is that there are gaps separating generally homogeneous groups.

A second major flaw is that, rather than attempting to give the reader an objective knowledge of the nature of the fossil record, Anderson and Coffin concentrate on the gaps in the record. In the section on the vertebrate f ossil record, proposed transitional forms between major groups are critiqued as belonging either to the ancestor's group or to the descendant's group. Hennigian (cladistic) systematic thought does not recognize paraphyletic groups as natural entities. Thus, the fact that Ichthyostega shares derived features with other tetrapods does not negate the idea that it is a crossopterygian, since all tetrapods are a type of crossopterygian.

Although Anderson and Coffin reject the interrelationships of higher taxonomic groups, they offer no suggestions as to how creationists of their breed might do systematics. Since Haeckel, the underpinnings of the entire systematic enterprise are implicitly phylogenetic. Do these authors propose to return to some typological concept? Furthermore, they never address the problems of  why hypothetically descendant groups almost invariaW possess the derived characters of their proposed ancestors. Neither do they attempt to explain the temporal or geographic distribution of organisms. It would appear that the only predictive value in their system is that gaps will persist in the fossil record. But they artificially enhance these gaps by defining truly transitional forms out of existence.

The work contains a number of false or misleading statements. For example, it is not true, as stated, that most modern reptiles lack teeth. Another example is that a study of the embryology of the hoatzin is misconstrued to indicate that this bird has claws on four digits of the manus. The author cited was not even certain that the fourth digit was present, much less a claw. Misusing this work to demonstrate that the hoatzin is more primitive than Archaeopteryx, Anderson and Coffin never inform the reader that it is the boatzin's embryonic condition that is being compared to the adult Archaeopteryx.

If this book was intended to provide some perspective on the integration of this academic discipline and historic Christianity, it certainly says very little about Christianity or the integration. Absolutely no coverage is given to any, prior attempts at integration, or to exegetical evidence for the authors' reading of the early chapters of Genesis. In summary, this work is quite unbalanced and is not a particularly helpful classroom supplement.

Reviewed by J. D. Stewart, Graduate Student, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Kansas, Kansas.

THE HUMAN MYSTERY by John C. Eccles, Spring er International, Berlin, 1979, 270 pp., $18.70.

Sir John Eccles, besides his fame as a neuropbysiologist, has long been a proponent of Cartesian dualism. What is more, his advocacy of this cause has become increasingly firm and vigorous over the years, coming to full flowering only in the 1970s. In this, he leans heavily on the writings of Sir Karl Popper, particularly on ideas expressed in his three-world philosophy. The interaction between Popper, the philosopher, and Eccles, the neurobiologist, resulted in 1977 in a joint magnum opus, The Self and its Brain, lauding dualism and interactionism. The Human Mystery expresses Eccles' position in rather briefer compass, being the published version of his 1977-1978 Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh.

Like all the writings of Eccles in this realm, the bulk of the book consists of detailed scientific exposition. Inevitably, therefore, it is difficult going for anyone not acquainted with the fields, and one wonders whether all this detail is really necessary for the philosophicaltheological position espoused by Eccles. In The Human Mystery Eccles finds it necessary to stray beyond the neurobiological terrain into such topics as the origin and evolution of the universe, the origin of life and biological evolution, and human and cultural evolution. Havirig arrived at man, he is in a position to devote his attention to the human brain, and this leads on to such issues as the creation of a self, conscious perception (the neocortex), learning and memory, and the mind-brain problem.

There can be little doubt that, for the neuroscientist, Eccles makes informative, lively reading. His data are up-to-date, beautifully comprehensive and always stimulating. Of course, the problem remains-does this wealth of data support the dualism and interactionism he is marketing? Whatever our answer to this question, Eccles cannot be accused of hiding his presuppositions. One of the great values of The Human Mystery is the clarity and openness with which Eccles uncovers the assumptions underlying his philosophical stance.

The origin of Eccles' enthusiasm for dualism goes back to another great neurophysiolo gist, Sir Charles Sherrington, whose own Gifford Lectures were published in 1940 on the theme, Man on His Nature. Sherrington, too, was a dualist, feeling the pangs of disconnectedness between brain and mind, but finding no answer to the dilemma of how the two cohere. For Eccles, Sherrington and others with dualist aspirations, what is essential is the primacy of our conscious experiences, which constitutes for us the primary or first-order reality. This starting-point need not lead to the strident dualism proclaimed by Eccles, and yet for him it leads to a dualism which he contends is diametrically opposed to monist-materialism. The latter he sees as ushering in a world of chance and circumstance, with no meaning for life, no values, no freedom and no responsibility. Against this, he wishes to put forward a worldview incorporating the mystery of our existence, its supernatural meaning, and the fact that we are part of some great design.

The motives of Eccles are, from a Christian perspective, exemplary. He is intent upon viewing human beings as ends in themselves, with meaning, values, purpose and responsibility. In starting from the self-consciousness of individuals, he ensures that individuals will not be reduced to partial materialistic components and thereby lose their identity. For such strong premises we are to be grateful. It is when Eccles proceeds beyond basic principles that concern creeps in. His defence of human dignity and meaning rests on an explicit dualism between the self and the brain, such that the self-conscious mind is described as acting on the neural centres of the brain, thereby modifying the dynamic spatio-temporal patterns of the neural events. This is interactionism par excellence, and if it should fail as an explanatory principle, human dignity and meaning are placed in serious jeopardy. The issue is not simply, therefore, whether dualism and interactionism can be justified, but whether this is the most appropriate way of defending human significance.

The fundamental postulate for Eccles is the three-world view developed by Popper in the early 1970s. Eccles argues that the brain in World 1 and the world of culture in World 3 are necessary for the development of the conscious self in World 2. The uniqueness of the personal self is, according to Eccles, a phenomenon not amenable to scientific explanation; rather, the cominging-to-existence of each unique self is the result of a supernatural creation of the soul. In adopting this position, Eccles has already committed himself to a strong dualist position on the brain-mind problem, the brain being a World I entity and the mind a World 2 entity. These, Eccles contends, interact across the World I-World 2 interface.

The implication of this interaction is that the mind can influence the brain, and this Eccles argues occurs in special areas of the neocortex termed "the liaison brain." He attempts to support this view using neurophysiological data, although it must be admitted that ingenious as his arguments are-they are open to alternative interpretations.

The Human Mystery provides a fascinating insight into an attempt to reinterpret Cartesian dualism in contemporary neuroscientific terms. Some Christians will undoubtedly feel great sympathy for the attempt, and yet this should not blind us to the difficulties inherent in dualism of this nature. Massive as is the evidence accumulated by Eccles to support his position, he has failed to overcome the objections that have been meted out for very many years against dualist interactionism. This book should be read, however, because it shows in contemporary guise both the attractions and failings of dualism. You will also learn a great deal about the brain and you will be introduced to the thinking of a man intent on upholding human dignity. One may not agree with his ultimate position, but one must appreciate what he has attempted to do.

Reviewed by D. Gareth Jones, Department of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia.

MORAL DEVELOPMENT: A GUIDE TO PIAGET AND KOHLBERG by Ronald Duska and Mariellen Whelan, Paulist Press, 1975. 128 pages, $4.95.

Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg have conducted extensive investigations of the process of moral maturation in children. Because the results of these investigations have important implications for parents and teachers Duska and Whelan have written for the general public an exposition of the Piaget and Kohlberg studies. The discussion of specific studies and research techniques is kept to a minimum allowing the lay reader to better grasp the general concepts under discussion.

The first two chapters of the book present a readable summary of the studies and theories of Piaget and Kohlberg. Moral maturity is defined as more than knowing and doing what is right. Knowing and doing the right thing must proceed from mature reasoning. In the development of moral maturity Piaget has postulated two broad stages. Children at the stage of heteronomy see rules as "external laws which are sacred because they have been laid down by adults" (p. 8). For autonomous children rules are the outcome of free personal choice and are necessary for the maintenance of group relationships. The development of moral autonomy is closely linked to the development of higher cognitive levels.

Since in the first two chapters Duska and Whelan present the work of Piaget and Kohlberg without commentary, some Christians may be put off by the obvious secular worldview of these two researchers. However in the third chapter the authors discuss the relationship between moral development theory and Christian morality. The thrust of their argument is that Piaget and Kohlberg have provided a formal structure for describing moral development, This structure however is without content. The content and reasons for the content are provided by Christianity.

The fourth chapter presents practical applications of moral development theory for parents and teachers. There are some good suggestions well worth trying, but only after the first three chapters have been read carefully. The suggestions make sense and can be used wisely only in light of the developmental theory presented.

There are weaknesses in the book, one of which is common to almost all non-technical interpretations of research. This book takes a non-critical approach to Piaget and Kohlberg's work. For instance the book implies that no research has contradicted Piaget's stages. This is not true. Piaget has his share of qualified critics.

On the whole the book is thought provoking. Since the actions of children are easier to understand when moral maturity is seen as the result of a developmental process, this book should be helpful for teachers. The teacher who is aware of developmental processes should be able to work more expertly with children.

Reviewed by William W. Cobern, Department of Education, University of Sokoto, Sokoto, Nigeria.

WOMEN: NEW DIMENSIONS edited by Walter Burkhardt, S. J. New York: Paulist Press, 1977. Pp. 189 + viii. $5.95.

Readers are perhaps surprised to find a book on this topic under review in the Journal ASA. This volume, however, qualifies on at least two counts: It raises in a sociological context the central hermeneutical question of the science-religion conflict, namely, to what degree is Scripture conditioned by its socio-historical matrix? Further, the wholistic aim of both science and religion precludes their overlooking any social movement with potential impact upon crucial theoretical concerns.

The nine articles in this collection divide roughly along sociological and theological lines. On the sociological side, Constantina Safilios-Rothschild first surveys the global status of women and concludes from impressive data that discrimination, far from being eliminated, has merely shifted toward more subtle, sophisticated forms. Rosemary Radford Reuther locates the problem within the domestic structure itself. Home and work will therefore have to be correlated in a "more integral relationship" for the demeaning of femininity to cease. The final two essays by Mary Aquin O'Neill and Anne Patrick, orient the reader to the burgeoning literature of the feminist movement, and would be better placed at the beginning of the collection.

The theological essays represent a response to the sociological. Essentially, these authors view sexual equality historically along lines of an age of purity (New Testament), a period of decline in later Christian tradition, and a new anticipated order which hearkens back to and enriches the abortive vision of the New Testament.

In spite of some residual ambivalence, Elizabeth Carroll, Raymond Brown, and Elisabeth Fiorenza are unanimous in evaluating the New Testament evidence as basically favorable to women's rights.

George Tavard, in perhaps the most significant essay of the collection, debunks the common misunderstanding that surface structure of gender-specific language necessarily reflects sexism. Feminism, hence, should not content itself with superficial adjustments of language, but should aim for depth reform in social, political, and theological symbolism.

This symposium raises several urgent challenges for theology. Primary, of course, is the relationship of biblical authority to cultural mores embedded in Scripture. What is the degree of cultural accommodation of the biblical revelation and what criterion must therefore be employed to distinguish eternal principles from their relative Sitz? The manner in which evangelicals tackle this issue with regard to the women's moveD mt might conceivably guide them hermeneutically in appropriating the scientific statements in Scripture. The problem of sexual discrimination, at the same time, must find resolution against the constant danger of making the scriptural text conform to contemporary social (and scientific) models in the name of legitimate exegesis. In other words, to paraphrase Tillich, we must not allow the "question" to so determine the "answer" that the latter is blunted in force.

Nonetheless, the issue of sexual bias is real in both church and society. Churches will eventually have to respond, and in so doing, will have to work out an adequate hermeneutic capable of dealing justly with both text and social problem. Hopefully this response will affirm full feminine equality.

This book provides an excellent introduction to the socio-theological quandary raised by feminism and serves to pose the right questions. It is recommended reading for those troubled about discrimination, regardless of the form it takes.

Reviewed by Jerry A. Gladson, Associate Professor of Religion, Southern Missionary College, Collegedale, Tennessee.

THE PROBLEM OF WAR IN THE OLD TESTAMENT by Peter C. Craigie, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1978, 125 pp., paperback, $3.95.

Peter Craigie began his adult life serving in the Royal Air Force and later turned to the study of theology. As a seminary student he felt a theological anxiety about the identification of God with war in the Old Testament. But his studies dealt only with a mass of linguistic, historical, and cultural data. It seemed that nothing was developed from these data and that any conclusions were left to the individual's initiative. Craigie has taken the initiative in this book. He sees the problem of war in the Old Testament as lying in three areas: the representation of God as a warrior, God's self-revelation in war, and the ethics of war, especially in light of New Testament teachings.

Craigie deals in depth with each of these areas. His extensive notes and references show the great amount of time he has spent in his subject. In a small book the coverage cannot be exhaustive, but what is discussed is very interesting and the author's approach is often out of the ordinary. This prepares the reader for the surprise conclusion when, having dismissed the pacifist and just war positions, Craigie declares the problem unsolvable. The problem of war is a paradox he says, on the order of the Trinity and other Christian paradoxes. He agrees that his position may seem "woolly," being neither one thing nor the other, but he believes that we are called upon to live this paradox.

Craigie's conclusion will be unsatisfactory to some, but it may be the logical result of one of his key assumptions. The author assumes that the fundamental principle of the state is violence and that the police and armed forces are instruments of violence. But what would be the logical conclusion if one assumes that the fundamental principle of the state is justice and that the police and armed forces are instruments of justice? Craigie briefly addresses this concept, but develops it in the context of the meaning of defeat in war. In addition, the key area of the difference between power (violence) and authority is not addressed at all. The lack of examination of key assumptions detracts from this otherwise interesting and  intellectually stimulating book. 

Reviewed by E. T. McMullen, Major, USAF, Aeronautical Systems Diui- book has frozen it in 1969.
sion (AELE) Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433.

MAKING MORAL DECISIONS by Edward Stevens, S.J., Paulist Press, New York, 1969. 138 pp. $2.25.

This book grew out of discussions in an upper-division college course in ethics. Because the author is a philosopher, the issues are dealt with solely from the point of view of human reason. Issues debated include war, revolution, medical-moral questions about life and health, marriage and sexuality, race relations, and poverty.
Making Moral Decisions first appeared in 1969, priced at $1.95. Its 1979 price of $2.25 represents an increment of 15%. However, inflation is not the only nor even the most significant change in the American scene in the past ten years. Though this book may stimulate debate and discussion today, its footnotes are dated, science, the people, and the courts have changed some of the givens, and new issues have appeared. 

For example, abortion has become the major American contraceptive. Many understand permanent marital commitment to be only one step in a continuum which also includes the option of pre-, post-, and in some cases, extra-marital partners. Amniocentesis now makes it possible for parents to be sure of the condition of their child well before birth.

Some lacunae are obvious. Vasectomy is not mentioned as a means of birth control. Nor is there discussion of the quasi-inevitability of violence in the escalation of  non-violent protest. The issue is both real and frightening
because current anti-nuclear protests recall the early  anti-Vietnam war demonstrations.

 Opinions become facts. For example, infants start  to act human as they approach their first birthday . . ."
  One may as easily assert that infants act human when  they are born, when they tumble about the womb as
 foetuses, or even at their third birthday. The author believes, "Discrimination which recognizes realistically
their differences and inequalities is just and moral." Movements against racism and sexism have created honest
doubts about "realistic" inequalities and differences.

As a model of a method of discussion, this book re mains valuable. However, its substance is in important
ways outmoded. Its exclusion of religious principles from the discussion, while theoretically sound, is artificial.
Philosophers, who also happen to be men and women of faith, bring not only reason but also religious belief to bear upon the problems of the age. Stevens consciously  excluded religion from the discussion but admitted his  bias would be evident. It was.

  Moral decisions are based on the best insights of every age. As technology changes and knowledge grows, the
basis for moral judgements changes. That is only to say that the debate about moral decisions is on-going. This, book has frozen it in 1969.

Reviewed by William J. Sullivan, S.T.D., Department of Religious Studies, St. John Fisher College, Rochester, N.Y. 14615.

The Westminster Press, 1977, 182 pages, $5.95.

The author introduces his subject by stating that the term "great debate" has come into wide use in recent
years in connection with discussions of a wide variety of economic and political issues. In the midst of worldwide
reflect at least two positions on each issue. He admits depression in the 1930s when the central issue focused
his own bias is evident but that is not the major nor even around the unemployment of human and material re
the most serious weakness in this text. sources, Western man found himself in the ambiguous context of actual want in the presence of potential plenty.  The solution adopted, in slightly differing but essentially  similar form, in virtually all the nonsocialist western  nations was basically Keynesian. This school of thought,  essentially a compromise between the extremes of Marxist  socialism and laissez-faire capitalism, became a kind of conventional wisdom which in the subsequent decades  has been assumed to possess the needed magic for creating satisfactory media of exchange in a world cut loose from all "orthodox" economic rubrics such as the gold

Suddenly however, in the 1970s, the assumptions of the past forty years have begun to appear naive in the
face of such new economic realities as the energy crisis, the new phenomenon known as stagflation, and the
equally new demands and rising expectations of the world's poor.

Wogaman sees the potentially strategic role of the world minority known as Christians in terms of their potential for active and involved participation in these economic issues as they seek in unique and challenging ways to f ocus society's attention on questions of human value and personal worth.

The book is unique, not so much in its subject matter as in its application of value-related ethical principles to economic and ideological issues. On the basis of these principles it discusses and evaluates five contrasting economic systems: (1) the Marxist reinterpretation of Hegelian idealism into dialectical materialism, (2) the Protestant ethic and classical laissez-faire capitalism, (3) the mixed economy or "social market" currently found in the Scandinavian countries, (4) the ideologically defined but largely untried schemata contemplated in the preachments of Michael Harrington's Accidental Century, of the British Fabians and George Bernard Shaw, of Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, and of the briefly tried "Prague Spring" of Alexander Dubcek and (5) the 11 steady-state" economy of limited growth envisioned for the future by the Club of Rome and by such economists as Herman E. Daly.

The case for each ideology is presented, its contributions are cited, its weaknesses are noted, and its relationships to the Christian value-system that was presented at the book's beginning are rather definitively enunciated.  

If there is a single keynote which emerges from the reading of this volume it is the importance of non-economic factors in the making of economic decisions and in the shaping of economic policy. The writer has found no other volume which shows in such detail as does this book the relevance of Christian values in the deciding of issues within the area of economic ideology. Wogaman's work will serve as a starting point for many who have hitherto become reluctantly reconciled to those simplistic answers which have seemed to be their only alternative to involvement in the "mine field" which has characterized for them the complexities of the "dismal science."

Reviewed by Loren W. Dow, Professor of Sociology. Emory and Henry College, Emory, Virginia 24327.

THE UNITY IN CREATION by Russell Maatman, Dordt College Press, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250, 143 pp. (paperback), $3.75.

True to its title, this book argues for the unity of the universe as the creation of God, and pursues the implications of that unity for our understanding of the scientific enterprise and for the presentation of science in Christian education. "The history of physical science shows that physical scientists understand more clearly, as time passes, that there is but a single cause of all physical scientific observations" is Maatman's statement of the central principle of physical science.

Maatman begins with an attempt to show that the type of thought which goes into the development of scientific explanation is not something completely different from the thought of the non-scientist. Two fictitious nonscientists, Mr. Black and Miss White, are imagined investigating simple problems in mechanics by means of observations and logical analysis. This leads to the understanding that a number of observations can be explained in terms of a smaller number of physical laws. The laws which are most general are called "fundamental ideas," though it is pointed out that there is no sharp separation between laws and fundamental ideas. This general structure, observations -laws- fundamental ideas, from the specific to the general, is presented as a triangle representing our understanding of reality, the many observations being the base and the few fundamental ideas being the apex. This triangular structure is then illustrated with a sketch of the development of physics and chemistry.

In these first chapters of the book, there is a tendency to make physical science perhaps a bit too close to common sense. It is certainly desirable that non-scientists be aware of the continuity of their thought with that of scientists, but the distance of modern physics from the world of common sense should not be minimized. Maatman has deliberately avoided the use of virtually all mathematics, as is perhaps appropriate in a book of this scope, but the essential role of mathematics in the sciences requires more attention than it is given here.

The Christian does not believe that the physical universe is self-contained, and the symbolic triangle thus cannot give a complete representation of his understanding: the universe is created and sustained by God, and the fundamental ideas are "empowered" by Him. The author says that "Our knowledge, also a mental construct, of what God does precedes our fundamental ideas." Maatman then deals with some objections to his development, one of which is the natural one that there are many scientists who do not recognize God as Creator, and who do not admit a Christian basis for the fundamental ideas of science. While a satisfactory answer is given to this, one is tempted to ask a more uncomfortable question: Why have so many of the fundamental developments in twentieth-century physics been made by non-Christians?

Maatman makes some valuable suggestions about scientific education in a Christian context, two of which may be mentioned. First, there is an inadequate Christian contribution to the teaching of science if the teacher simply adds to a secular science course the statement that God created the world. Second, it is suggested that perhaps scientific education should reverse the traditional order of topics, proceeding from physics to chemistry to biology. There is a good deal of sense in this proposal, but one must confront the fact that a certain amount of mathematical maturity is required for physics and chemistry. In fact, the lack of a treatment of mathematical education is one of the defects of this chapter.

Biological evolution is mentioned rather briefly, and it is simply stated that evolutionary theories are wrong, with only a brief reference to gaps in the fossil record given as evidence. There is nothing here to change the mind of one who believes that evolution is itself an important example of the unity of the created universe.

The Unity in Creation is too brief to be able to provide a detailed analysis of the interaction of theology and science. For those who are comfortable with a conservative theology, it does provide useful ideas for the consideration of science in Christian perspective.

Reviewed by George L. Murphy, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa 52101.

Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1978. pp. 168. Paper $3.95.

Professor Kitchen, best-known as an Egyptologist, has written a useful little book. It not only surveys a vast can
vas succinctly, but also provides copious pointers for further study in its endnotes. The book will well serve the
educated layman who desires a clear introduction to some of the historical and archaeological issues about the Bible (mainly Old Testament) in its ancient Near-Eastern surroundings.

The first chapter instructively outlines the scope, methods, and limitations of archaeology. For instance, the
modern excavation of ancient Ashdod of Philistia has left over 98% of the site still covered. This is not at all un
typical of our limited ability to unearth and assimilate the material remains of the past. The chapter concludes with
a brief look at the fascinating topic of inscriptions and ancient writing.

Next, Kitchen provides an overview of the 8,000 years which precede the appearance of the biblical Patriarchs
sometime after 2000 B. C. Abraham was a late-comer to a world which had been literate for over a thousand years before. Genesis 1-11 is discussed in connection with the mainly Mesopotamian documents which provide parallels to it.

Chapter 3 contains one of the earliest English summaries of the archaeological finds at "Ebla-Queen of Ancient Syria." In 1975 scholars were electrified by the discovery of some 15,000 clay tablets inscribed in cumeform. Some scholars have hailed some of these tablets as "Early-Canaanite" and thus linguistic (and cultural ?) ancestors of Biblical Hebrew. Unfortunately, all judgements-including Kitchen's- concerning the language and content of these tantalizing tablets must be held in abeyance, since none of them have been properly copied, published and analysed by the scholarly community. The earlier example (1929/30) of the erroneous identification of 0. T. names at Ugarit (Ras Shamra) should warn us to caution. (Note already the retraction of the "discovery" of the five cities of the plain (Gen. 14:2) in the Ebla tablets: Biblical Archaeologist 41 [1978] p. 143).

The remainder of the book surveys the history of Israel and its literature in its ancient oriental context. Special attention is devoted to problems such as the historicity of the Patriarchal narratives ("the quest for the historical Abraham"). Kitchen's position on all these questions is consistently conservative, if not fundamentalist, and his rhetorical over-kill from time to time belies his stated ideal of objectivity: "Speculations by T.L. Thompson ... simply beggar belief as a species of cabbalistic gematria" (p. 59). The book is, in fact, a polemic against any historical criticism which might detract from the Bible as a reliable account of history, history taken in a somewhat positivistic, nineteenth century sense which demands an exact, one-to-one correspondence between "actual" event and all bistory-like narrative. This tendency on Kitchen's part raises a host of exegetical and hermeneutical issues which cannot be treated here. The interested reader may refer, for example, to Hans W. Frei's masterly Eclipse of Biblical Narrative (Yale, 1974) and to John Vander Stelt's recent Philosophy and Scripture: A Study in Old Princeton and Westminster Theology (Marlton, N.J.: Mack Publishing Company, 1978). The Westminster tradition came to influence the young British scholars associated with the evangelical Tyndale House through the offices of both E.J. Young and 0. T. Allis after the Second World War (Cf. D.J. Wiseman's Forward to the 0. T. Allis Festschrift: The Law and the Prophets [J. H. Skilton, ed.; Nutley, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974]). Among these young scholars was K. A. Kitchen.

Kitchen's little book focuses on historical problems in a polemical way to validate scripture-though he himself would probably not wish to put it this way. Ironically, with such an exclusive interest in the Bible as history, readers may overlook the Bible as God's living Word to His Church.

Reviewed by Raymond C. Van l,eeuwen, York University, Ontario, Canada.


WHAT IS THE BAHAI FAITH? by William McElwee Miller, (An Abridgement by William N. Wysham). Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1977. 151 pages, $3.95.

One of the challenging modern "isms" that the college based counselor of today's young people often encounters is Bahaiism whose adherents claim for it the right to be regarded as "the world religion for the next thousand years." The sect's members, as the writer can testify from several first hand encounters, take issue alike with those describe Bahaiism as an offshoot of Islam and with those who see it as a syncretistic amalgam of diverse world faiths. The answers appropriate to both these disclaimers on the part of the sect's supporters is to be found in a consideration of the historical facts of the faith's origin and in a delineation of its present teachings. Miller's book represents an attempt to document within a specific historical framework the thesis that Bahaiism arose when a descendant of Islam's founder, or Sayyid Ali Mohammed, proclaimed in 1844 that the time was ripe for the revelation of a hidden Imam or revelator of the will of Allah and that he himself was the Mahdi or messianic figure whose role was to act as "Bab" or "gate" for the new revelation.

The setting for the revelation was Shiraz in southern Iran where the majority of the population is of the Shiite or legitimist persuasion. Miller's volume makes it clear that the Bab at first conceived his own role as the last in a series of relevators within the accepted Shiite context. When, however, be claimed for his writings the authority accorded to scripture, and sought their acceptance as superseding the Koran and as demanding sweeping reforms both religious and social, he was executed -as being not only a heretic but also a disturber of the peace.

Among the Bab's followers was a young man who took the name Baha Ullah, "Glory of God," who assumed a position of leadership with the sect and, in seeking to implement some of the master's reforms, laid himself open to the accusation that be had been involved in an attempt to assassinate the Shah. For this he was exiled to Baghdad where he became the acknowledged leader of a Babi group. As time passed and the loyalties of some of some members of the group began to wane he sought to intensify their commitment by proclaiming himself to be the expected one whose advent had been predicted by the Bab himself. The historic result was the formation of a hierarchical structure within which occurred a series of power struggles. A line of succession was established resulting in 1921 in the accession to headship in the sect of one Sbogi Effendi who was interviewed at his headquarters (by now removed to Haifa, Palestine) by William M. Miller, author of the present volume.

With the death of Shogi Effendi in 1957 the founder's lineal descendants became extinct, and the headship passed to one Mason Remey who remained the "Guardian" until his death in 1974 at which time a nine-member "Universal House of Justice" assumed direction of the sect's affairs.

The gist of the leader's claim for his faith as set forth in the Haifa interview and elsewhere is as follows. The leader himself does not maintain that be is an incarnation of God. He claims only to be a divine "manifestation" in whom can be found and known all of God's attributes. The religion's principles, according to Shogi Effendi are different from those of Christianity only in their outward forms and in their claim to greater contemporaneity. The sect's major tenets, briefly summarized, consist simply of the following: international peace, conformity of religion to science and reason, the banishing of prejudice, equality of the sexes, love and harmony among social classes, universal education, a universal language, and the establishment of a parliament of man as a court of last resort in international questions. It is difficult for the non-Bahai either to find anything to quarrel with in these stated beliefs or to perceive in them aught that is either especially distinctive or uniquely religious.

Miller points up the strengths and weaknesses of the posture taken by the Bahai International Community on the contemporary scene. Some of the positions which it publicly espouses appear at first glance to represent nothing more than proposals for implementation of those basic principles of brotherhood which the sect enunciates. However, on further examination it becomes apparent that their implications for social action are hardly as innocuous as they may at first appear, The proposal for a World Parliament and for an International Executive with unchallengable authority reveal an excessive gullibility concerning the moral nature of man. The proposal for a world superstate to which all nations would cede the right to make war is equally naive. These notions are directly related to the Bahai optimism concerning "progressive revelation." Since, to Bahais, revealed truth already given is, by definition, inferior to the greater revelations that are to come, even the Bahai scriptures are rendered less than ultimately authoritative, as is, by the same definition, the Bible. Thus, the Bahai view of man's condition is superficially optimistic, failing to take account of the Christian concept of fallen man's inability to act according to the demands of true justice. The view of sin as estrangement and alienation from God is foreign to Babai thinking. Miller's question as to what the Bahai would say to the addict, alcoholic, denizen of skid row, or inmate of a death cell reaches theheart of the difference between this religion and that of Christians. This being true, the Bahai's hope for the future, too, fades into sentimental phrases concerning a vague and not-reassuring concept of immortality from which is lacking both the personal dimension and the qualitative differentiation of eternal life. The writer heartily commends Dr. Miller, a former missionary, for his insights into the discussions between Christianity and this demonstrably syncretistic faith which so signally falls short of meeting the needs of the human condition.

Reviewed by Loren W. Dow, Professor of Sociology, Emory and Henry College, Emory, Virginia 24327.

THE TASTE FOR THE OTHER: The Social and Ethical Thought of C.S. Lewis by Gilbert Meilaender. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978, x + 245 pp. $6.95 paper.

The years since his death have seen C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) transformed into a virtual industry, scholarly and otherwise. J. R. R. Tolkien is said to have remarked, not a little ironically, that Lewis was his only friend to publish more books after his death than before.1 A 1973 bibliography by J. R. Christopher and Joan K. Ostling of works relating to Lewis runs to 389 pages.2 Wheaton College now has an exhaustive collection of C. S. Lewis books, manuscripts, and memorabilia, including Lewis' desk and family wardrobe. Narnia has invaded prime time television, while Bill), Zeoli's sometimes egregious Gospel Films has unleashed (what else?) a seminar-film series on Lewis' life. All of this, no doubt, would have horrified the gregarious but essentially private Lewis. And yet, despite the questionable taste or value of much of the Lewis wave, it is hard to regret it. One is tempted to feel that if anyone is brought into serious actual contact with Lewis' work and ideas, the how is of little moment.

It is a pleasure to report that this new study of Lewis by Gilbert Meilaender in no way falls into the category of questionable Lewisiana. It is a first-rate book by a serious and sympathetic scholar, a book that truly does "justice to the coherence of Lewis' vision, a coherence which pervades his very diverse writings." (p. 3).

Meilaender describes and analyses Lewis' ethical and social thought under five general themes: (1) The Sweet Poison of the False Infinite; (2) The Revelry of Insatiable Love; (3) The Divine Surgeon; (4) The Tether and Pang of the Particular; and (5) The Primeval Moral Platitudes. Each theme is nicely introduced with an illustrative passage from the Narnian Chronicles and then developed at length through wide-ranging references in the appropriate sectors of the Lewis corpus. Each section concludes with an analysis of ambiguities or difficulties in Lewis's thought.

The first theme, which Meilaender feels is Lewis'central concern (p. 39), deals with the dialectic of joy and desire, of pleasures and denial. Lewis' varied works are seen as presenting a pilgrim view of life where enjoyment and renunciation are both appropriate. For Lewis, this is 11 the blessedly two-edged character" of the Christian life-coupling acceptance of the given with an attitude toward created things that might require their renunciation-and a major portion of his work is aimed at helping cope with the resultant problems. In the end, this dialectical process is crucial to the ultimate purpose of human beings, fellowship with God.

This leads to Lewis' images of community with God, the second theme. A primary image is that of the dance of life, a dynamic and festive image that no sympathetic reader of Lewis can fail to delight in. A less popular image in Lewis'work is the community of hierarchy. Meilaender's treatment of this image is excellent. These images (and others) are, in Lewis' thought, grounded and guided by love, the love of God. Lewis' point about community with God is made strikingly clear by a contrast with the opposite community, that of bell. In Hell, community is dead, "the taste for the other, that is, the very capacity for enjoying good, is quenched . . ."3  Meilaender goes on to expand on several other Lewis' themes in this connection, including pride, the "Inner Ring," and the conflict between good (Logres) and evil (Britain).

The third theme deals with the drastic measures necessary to make a person fit for community with God. Lewis' view of this painful process is carefully outlined, including a full discussion of the continuation of that process after death, i.e. "purgatory." Meilaender devotes a good deal of attention in this section to the difficulties involved in the idea of God as dentist.

Fourthly, there is man's relationship to the particular time, place, other people. While community with God is based on agape-love, our earthly (or natural) loves are part of the creation as well and must not be rejected (though they must be limited). The problem, as Lewis sees it, is to reconcile the two, another dialectical process. This process gets a full treatment from Meilaender.

Finally, there is the theme of the "Tao," the law of nature that is so fundamental to Lewis' apologetic. The existence of these "primeval moral platitudes" was for Lewis a given, though not undefendable. The relationship of this idea to Lewis' views of ethics, morality, and education is the focus of the final chapter.

Meilaender's conclusion is a good summary: "His (Lewis') essential concern is to perceive the whole of human life in relation to God, the Creator and Redeemer .... 11 (p. 235) "All are created to ... share in the divine fellowship. But the journey to that destination is a long one and requires self-renunciation. No one finds his life unless he loses it." (p. 236) Meanwhile, "Lewis never loses sight of what it means to be human." (p. 237)

And Meilaender never loses sight of Lewis' vision. He is fair, but does not avoid identification and discussion of hazy or mistaken areas in Lewis' thought (various readers will disagree, of course, on some of these). His work is a study and critique in the best senses and avoids rather well the twin pitfalls of such a book: either wasting the reader's time with ill-digested summaries of Lewis' works or assuming extensive previous knowledge. It is a genuine analysis, not a concealed anthology, and will be useful and instructive to any reader interested in the kinds of concerns to which C. S. Lewis devoted his theological efforts.

1W. H. Hooper's preface to C. S. Lewis, Fern-seed and Elephants (London: Collins, 1975), p. 7.

2J. R. Christopher and Joan K. Ostling, C. S. Lewis: An Annotated Checklist of Writings about him and his Works (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1973).

3C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, quoted by Meilaender, p. 89.

Reviewed by Paul E. Michelson, Department of History, Huntington College, Huntington, Indiana 46750.

HOW TO READ SLOWLY: A Christian Guide to Reading with the Mind by James W. Sire, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515. 179 pp. + Appendix, notes, and index, $3.95.

Everyone today is aware of the importance of reading rapidly. How to Read Slowly is clearly a new approach. The author recognizes that too much reading clamors for our attention, consequently some readers attempt to cope by learning to read at phenomenal rates, gorging themselves by swallowing every word that crosses their path. Many others, however, have just given up in the face of this information explosion. This book was written to urge upon readers, especially Christian readers, a balanced approach, one which will end neither in indigestion nor in despair. What the author proposes is selective, critical reading. Reading, he believes, should be enjoyable, educational, and, above all, an integral part of the life of every Christian.
The book is addressed primarily to Christians:

"... most of this book should be useful to anyone who wants to learn to read better. Still, I am most interested in encouraging Christians to think and read well."

The plan of the book is simple. Each chapter is independent of the others so that the reader can select those most appropriate to his needs and interests. The introduction is followed by "how-to" discussions on reading nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. These are followed by a chapter on the value of knowing biographical details about the author and historical, literary, and intellectual details about the context of the work. The text concludes with a challenge to take time for reading and suggested answers to the question, "What shall I read?" In the appendix the author provides a reading list-a complete course which will equip the serious student to "read virtually any work and find its place in the scheme of intellectual history and contemporary world views."

The author, editor of InterVarsity Press, is clearly a teacher at heart. Throughout, he writes clearly and elucidates his points with frequent, well-explained examples and with a touch of humor. It is obvious that he enjoys reading and writes from the viewpoint of an informed practitioner.

Reviewed by Elizabeth M. Hairfield, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia 24401.