Science in Christian Perspective



Perspectives on Science and Christian FaithBook 
Reviews for March 1983


THE GROUND GRAMMAR OF THEOLOGY by Thomas Forsyth Torrance, University Press of Virginia (1980). 180 pp. pp.
MYSTICISM AND THE NEW PHYSICS by Michael Talbot. (New York: Bantam Books, 1980) 184 pp + glossary and index. $3.50. ISBN 0-553-11908-7.
THE CALL TO CONVERSION by Jim Wallis. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981. xviii, 190 pp.
by Francis A. Schaeffer. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981. 157 pp.
CREATION/EVOLUTION, Issue 111, Winter 1981; P,O. Box 5, Amherst Branch, Buffalo, NY 14226; annual subscription (4 issues) $8.00.
WHO NEEDS THE FAMILY by 0. R. Johnston, Intervarsity Press (1979). $5.95, 152 pp.
by Stephen B. Clark, Servant Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1980). 753 pp. $15.95.
WOMEN AT THE CROSSROADS by Kari Torjesen Malcolm, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1982). 215 pp. Paperback. $5.95.
THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE IN ANIMALS by John Tyler Bonner. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980, $14.50, 225 pages.
GENETIC ENGINEERING by J. Kerby Anderson, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982, 132 pages, Paper Back.
BENT WORLD: A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS by Ron Elsdon, Intervar sity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., 1981. 170 pp. $4.95
THE 1980'S: COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON by Hal Lindsey, New York City: Bantam Books, 1981, 178 pp., $6.95.
by George Gallup, Jr., with David Poling, Abingdon, Nashville, Tennessee (September, 1980), $8.95.
WORLD HUNGER, TEN MYTHS by Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins. 52 pp., notes, selected sources, and Organization's publications. San Francisco: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1979. $2.25 paperback.

THE GROUND GRAMMAR OF THEOLOGY by Thomas Forsyth Torrance, University Press of Virginia (1980). 180 pp. pp.

Some books have a way of touching off an inner debate between you and the author. This recent book by the distinguished professor emeritus of the University of Edinburgh, causes such a stir within me. I would like to share that dialogue in the form of a letter.

Dear Dr. Torrance,

I know that readers of your book will appreciate both its pertinent subject matter (the development of a unitary/ realistic outlook toward the world) and the fortitude with which you press the importance of sound Christian doctrine. This book is another important contribution in this transitional period when science and theology are coming to recognize each other as partners in their common exploration of the meaning and structure of the universe.

I expect you will also find a strong consensus concerning the negative effects dualistic theories have had upon Christian theology and scientific theories. Both have suffered, as you so ably document, by being wedded to a Greek-Western culture, characterized by a dualistic philosophy and cosmology. You trace dualistic tendencies from Plato and Aristotle through Kant and Descartes; tendencies which show up again and again in the hiatus between the physical and spiritual, experience and conception, truths of reasons and truths of historv, Historie and Geschichte, being and form, man's life as part of the physical cosmos and his life as a moral person. You have many supporters when you assert right from the beginning:

It is in and through the universe of space and time that God has revealed himself to us in modes of rationality that he has conferred upon creation ... and it is in and through the same universe of space and time that theology makes its disciplined response to God's self revelation (p. 1)

Another thesis of your book is the new epistemology which is emerging within science; an epistemology which seems to be in harmony with Christian doctrine. This contemporary epistemology has four traits, according to you: (1) an ontology which unites the inner and the outer, subject and object, (2) the replacement of atornistic/ mechanical models with relational ones, (3) the acceptance of spontaneity and an ordered universe which is open, (4) a movement away from a flat understanding of nature toward one of complexity (depth) and hierarchical levels.

The conclusion you reach is this: We are making the transition from a dualistic outlook to a unitary understanding of the cosmos, and this in turn makes possible a serious inter-disciplinary inquiry by both theology and science (p. 177). 1 wonder, though, why you do not mention the important contribution of Leslie Dewart. Certainly his book, The Future of Belief (1.966), and those which followed, were a masterful critique of the Hellenization (dualism) of Western thought and the mandate to forge a new concept of truth that interlocks experience and conception.

You are to be commended for seizing the issue of contingency and incorporating it as part of the new shared epistemology. We remember, for it was not so long ago, the struggle Christian thinkers had with any concept of change, whether it was the changing heavens or the extinction/emergence of a new species. Your positive approach, however, makes me ask if you take seriously enough the consequences of a radically contingent universe, as this issue spills over into its sister issue of relativity. Everything I read leads me to believe we have a considerable way to go before science and theology have a mutual understanding of how to incorporate mutations, probabilities, indeterminacy, spontaneous creation, etc.

I found your chapter on "The Transformation of Natural Theology" most interesting. The contemporary scene reveals a deep rift between natural theology and special revelationanother consequence of our dualistic habits. The various recent attempts to construct a theological anthropology (Berger, Gilkey, Dewart, Moltmann, Lonergan, Tracy, process theologians, etc.) would be legitimate in your eyes in so far as they became "an essential sub-structure and not an independent structure cut off from the living Triune God." You offer us quite a challenge when you reject as intolerable a knowledge of God in two parts, for both theologians and scientists have had difficulty dealing with the Trinity as the ground and grammar of their understanding of the universe.

Throughout your book you stress as a fundamental presupposition the rationality and unity of the cosmos. It is a valid and necessary supposition. My questioning begins when you argue this intelligibility and "coherent singularity" (Jaki) to be "objectively inherent in the universe independent of our perceiving and conceiving of it" (p. 72). It may be inherent but I think you would find objections from both disciplines concerning its objectivity apart from the perceiver. I understand and share your dislike of the Kantian dualism between subject and object, experience and faith, but I also accept the view that all data are to some extent "theory-laden." Perhaps this explains why you do not include as one of your traits of the new epistemology the fundamentally different way science views the observer as a participant in what he observes. It is not only a question whether man as the perceiver can extract himself from the givenness of the world, but whether man as the supreme product of the evolution of matter is not obligated to discover meaning and purpose in the interaction of subject and object.

The issue at hand is our conception of truth, that is, how we define the relationship of subject and object. I continually wanted you to say more about the interplay between form and being. If you had elaborated on this, your reader would have a clearer picture of how we go about discerning the ground and grammar of the universe.

Finally, I would engage you in dialogue concerning your understanding of how science and theology can work together as partners. We agree there is an imperative to formulate a foundational agreement concerning the rationality and unity (purpose and structure) of the universe. The dilemma that continually confronts me is how there can be mutual cooperation when Christians believe that through special revelation the ultimate purpose of the cosmos has already been disclosed. Scientists are justified in their suspicion that theologians want to sneak in a teleological factor. Although you are careful with your language, I do detect that sense of religious superiority that I believe hurts the partnership. The function of science becomes primarily negative; e.g. peeling away pseudo concepts under which theology has so long been suffocating, or compelling theology to be true to its own foundations. The latter is an important theme of your book since you would like theology to rediscover its own foundations that were laid when the church struggled with dualistic modes of thought in her infant years. But doesn't science also have a positive role in an equal partnership? Don't both disciplines have to acknowledge that neither is queen of human knowledge any longer? I would prefer to see this transitional period as a time when both sciences test their respective truth statements for compatibility, rather than trying to construct a Weltbild or a unitary foundation. Are you-are we-willing to confess that real dialogue begins when science and religion recognize their mutual insufficiency to explain and comprehend God's revelation in space and time, because the universe is so complex, time so vast, the possibilities within nature so myriad, human progress so ambivalent, and history so subjective?

I greatly appreciated and enjoyed your book, as I know others will.

Reviewed by Richard J. Coleman, Teaching Minister, Community Church of Durham, Durham, New Hampshire 03824

MYSTICISM AND THE NEW PHYSICS by Michael Talbot. (New York: Bantam Books, 1980) 184 pp + glossary and index. $3.50. ISBN 0-553-11908-7.

Michael Talbot's Mysticism and the New Physics continues the tradition of The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu Li Masters in exploring the philosophical and religious implications of contemporary physics. Like these others Talbot emphasizes the connections with Eastern religions, but goes even farther. In the first and second parts of the book he discusses the relationship between consciousness and reality and the structure of space-time respectively. In the third and final part, Talbot draws out the similarities of this new physics with Eastern religion, going so far as to provide mantras for meditation.

Talbot states his conclusions most clearly in his closing chapter, entitled, "The New Cosmology":

1) His epistemology is an extremely subjective instrumentalism bordering on that of the existentialists. All scientific concepts and theories are heuristic devices, products of convention a la Thomas Kuhn.

2) This leads Talbot to a metaphysics of extreme idealism. He denies any reality save only consciousness and its "reality structuring" capacity to create world upon world. Consensus alone accounts for the "one reality" we call the physical world. But this is the greatest illusion (maya) and with appropriate training men can gain control of their reality structuring consciousness (p. 49) and alter the nature of 1. reality" at will. In a telling summary of his subjective idealism Talbot says:

Since the dawn of human consciousness we have taught ourselves to search for the correct cosmic egg [reaht,. construct]. The misunderstanding implicit in this search is that there is only one correct cosmic egg. In the new cosmology, we should learn to accept all cosmic eggs as correct, especially the ones we have chosen for ourselves. When cracks appear in our cosmic egg our normal reaction is to experience a sort of emotional bankruptcy. This is unnecessary. Cracks in our cosmic eggs are not an indication that they are incorrect. The purpose of the game is not to attain the correct cosmic egg but simply to be able to pass from cosmic egg to cosmic egg without experiencing emotional bankruptcy. (p. 169)

3) The ethical implications of this new cosmology, like that of the Buddhist Vajrayana vogin, is to avoid emotional bankruptcy and attain Nirvena by neither believing nor disbelieving in any set of rules; "No cosmic egg is better than any other. All values are created by the mind." (p. 169) This is sheer relativism. The justification Talbot cites for this new cosmology is, of course, the new physics.

In Part One the thrust of his argument is that physics has shown us that we cannot isolate the observer from the system and that therefore the "participator" and his consciousness actually shape/create the reality we "investigate." He cites the famous example of Schri5dinger's cat to show that contemporary Quantum Mechanics (esp. Heisenberg's Principle) has left us with an indeterministic world that allows us to choose from among the infinite possible world branches of every subatomic event. Unfortunately, (1) he goes too far in drawing metaphysical conclusions from Heisenberg's Principle by prematurely dismissing alternative interpretations (including those of Einstein and the Copenhagen school) which conclude, with more philosophical justification, at most an in-principle conceptual uncertainty and (2) he rules out the less subjective alternative solutions to Schri5dinger's paradox (Copenhagen wave-function collapse and Wigner's interaction of consciousness and reality) in favor of the Everett Wheeler theory of possible worlds clearly more amenable to the subjective idealism and Eastern thought he has already decided to defend. If Talbot were less anxious to defend this view and concerned only to show its similarity to Eastern thought, the use of the new physics would be more unprejudiced and acceptable.

In Part Two Talbot does a good job of describing the inadequacy of language to explain the mysterious nature of matter, time and space. His account of the geometrodynamical theory of space and matter (p. 76f) is good though somewhat short. Following the account of matter and gravity as singularities and curvature in space-time; Talbot goes on to describe the view held by Wheeler that all of the geometrodynamical continuum consists of interconnected wormholes, or mini "black" and "white" holes, a kind of "quantum foam" which like the holographic model of consciousness creates a "superspace" or "quantum interconnectedness" between all points in space. "Because the wormholes connect every point in space with every other point, the universe collapses into a peculiar one-dimensionality" (p. 81). From this Talbot concludes that, "In a universe whose warp and weft is the quantum foam, the fabric of physical reality becomes indistinguishable from the fabric of dream" (p. 81). The point, of course, is to show how both Quantum Mechanics (Part One) and General Relativity (Part Two) lead to the same subjective idealism of Eastern mysticism.

To his credit, Talbot does a good job of showing the similarity of certain speculative implications of certain interpretations of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity with the cosomological views of Buddhist mysticism. Because the layman must understand the physics before the similarity can be seen, Talbot might have made his accounts of the physics more thorough, like those of Zukav in The Dancing Wu Li Masters, and he might have been less hasty to draw in the Eastern similarities while explaining the physics. But, overall, he is understandable and stimulating.

My major complaint, however, is with the hastiness in drawing the connection between physics and Eastern Mysticism. In a nutshell, while Talbot is certainly a stimulating writer anxious to fire the imagination, and while he seems to have a grasp of the physics and of Buddhist thought adequate for his purposes, he is not a careful philosopher. His evidence often does not justify his conclusion. I have already remarked that he oversteps the evidence in singling out one interpretation of Heisenberg's Principle; one that misguidedly moves from epistemological uncertainty to metaphysical indeterminism. Only the poet and mystic is permitted that license. Talbot might better have followed the example of Kant who did not deny an objective noumenal reality, only our ability ever to know it. He might better have concluded only that for science certain "cosmic eggs" are wrong, but more than one may be useful. Philosophically, such a conclusion is far more acceptable than the metaphysical overstatements Talbot makes. The fact that alternative cosmologies are each useful does not entail subjective idealism as Talbot suggests. It may mean only permanent epistemological uncertainty about an Absolute Reality beyond our ability to understand, or it may even mean only a temporary uncertainty about such a Reality.

Christians can profit much from Talbot's accounts of the
new physics, but at least evangelical Christians must draw the line at the radical subjectivism and the ethical relativism.

Reviewed by V. James Mannoia, Jr., Department of Philosophy, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California 93108.

THE CALL TO CONVERSION by Jim Wallis. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981. xviii, 190 pp.
by Francis A. Schaeffer. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981. 157 pp.

Just as there is more to life than being born, there is more to the Christian life than being "born again." Ethics is doomed to remain infantile if the theological and ecclesiastical focus remains fixed on spiritual obstetrics. Two Christians who emerged as leaders (even gurus for some) in the Evangelical call to mature discipleship during the Seventies are Francis A. Schaeffer and Jim Wallis. Their most recent books (reviewed here) offer little that they have not often said or implied before. Nevertheless, these are helpful summaries of their agendas and make for especially interesting reading when compared with each other.

Francis A. Schaeffer, for the few who might not have heard, is the leader of a Christian ministry in Switzerland, called L'Abri. His best known works are The God Who Is There (1968), How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture (1976), and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (1979); the latter two were issued with companion film series. Jim Wallis, a generation younger, is best known as the leader of the Sojourners community in Washington, D.C., and editor of its magazine since its inception in 1972. He is author of one earlier book, Agenda for Biblical People (1976).

Schaeffer's Manifesto assails theologically conservative Christians for their "Platonic spirituality," an overemphasis on personal piety to the exclusion of the intellectual (and social) implications of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Thus, not only has the world in general replaced the old "Christian worldview" with a materialistic, secular humanist worldview, but Christians themselves have thought in "bits and pieces" and not cultivated awareness and appreciation of this Christian base. They are unprepared to act in the present time of great need and opportunity.

Growing directly out of this philosophical and religious shift is relativism in ethics, a loss of commitment to the sanctity of human life, arbitrary sociological law and government, and blatant discrimination against Christian values and activities. Schaeffer is particularly hard on Christian lawyers for not seeing and opposing this trend. And more than anything else, the issue of abortion (the largescale slaughter of unborn human life) crops up as Schaeffer's major concern.

Schaeffer calls for attention to the intellectual and social aspects of the faith. He gives qualified approval to the Moral Majority attempt to counter the secular humanist establishment and argues that, with the conservative political triumph in 1980, Christians may and must become active in working for a reassertion of biblical truth in law, politics, education, the media, etc. if ordinary legal and political channels fail, or are closed off in the future, he explains and attempts to justify (in advance) civil disobedience and even revolution as possible avenues for Christian protest and change.

While Schaeffer suggests that Christians are the "people of the Idea" (my description), Jim Wallis reminds us that the early Church was known as the "people of the Way." His Call is rooted in the biblical emphasis on coversion as essentially a turning from one way of life to another in the footsteps of Jesus and in companionship with his disciples. Wallis points to a serious betrayal by those who take the name of Jesus and espouse a "high Christology" on dogmatic issues, but who ignore the way of Jesus and, in effect, have a "low Christology" when it comes to ethics.

While Wallis and Sojourners have spoken out quite clearly against abortion (Schaeffer's central political issue), the Call to Conversion focuses on the two problems of poverty and nuclear weapons. Insensitivity and inactivity with respect to these global challenges is permitted and encouraged by the weak, sub-biblical approach to conversion in the Church. Wallis's chapters on these two demons are, in my view, among the most sane, realistic, sensitive, and Christian reflections you will find anywhere.

Wallis calls for a better, more biblical understanding of conversion and discipleship. He details a vision for Christian community as the critical need in today's individualistic churches. A renewed worship (including greater appreciation of the Lord's Supper) must be the very heart and soul of the Christian koinonia, in Wallis's view. It is in this community that identity (as the people of Jesus Christ) is formed and nurtured. Here, the Spirit can provide discernment and support for corporate and individual action in the world. With Schaeffer, Wallis allows for civil disobedience; against Schaeffer, he does not believe that violence has a place in the way of our Lord.

Here we have, two contemporary witnesses for the case that contemporary Evangelicals need to grow beyond the point at which they meet Jesus and first confess him as Savior and Lord. Changes are needed in the way we think about Christianity and in the way we live. But here is where the discussion begins. Is the basic problem the loss of a "Christian base" and a Christian "worldview" or philosophy of life and final reality? Or is it the lukewarnmess and conformity of the Church to the world? Do we stand in greater need of Christian philosophers or biblical ethicists? Is the critical issue of the Eighties abortion? Or is it economic injustice and nuclear terror? Is the top priority to engage in Moral Majority-type activism, or is it to renew the Christian community with worship at its core?

These options are not necessarily antitheses, of course, and perhaps the best answer is that all of the above are crucial. I am fairly certain that both Schaeffer and Wallis would affirm all or most of the above, at least in the simple form I have listed them. Nevertheless, the question of priorities cannot so easily be evaded. While I am grateful for much of Schaeffer's work, I would have to say that I think Wallis is more on target. This is partly because of his reading of the "signs of the times," which I find more convincing than Schaeffer's. More importantly, Wallis's book rings with the clarity and power of Holy Scripture in a way that Schaeffer's does not. Schaeffer is a Christian philosopher and evangelist of a certain type; Wallis is a preacher and pastor of the Jesus type. It is hard for Schaeffer, or anyone else, to compete with the power of a simple restatement of the way of our Lord.

Reviewed by David W. Gill, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, New College Berkeley, Berkeley, California

CREATION/EVOLUTION, Issue 111, Winter 1981; P,O. Box 5, Amherst Branch, Buffalo, NY 14226; annual subscription (4 issues) $8.00.

In "the Bombardier Beetle Myth Exploded," Chris Weber shows how Duane Gish has distorted the facts about this insect in making unfounded claims in his book and debates. Weber then explains how the bombardier beetle's defense mechanism could have evolved.

Frederick Edwords delineates "Why Creationism Should Not Be Taught As Science" in "Part 2. The Educational Issues." He acknowledges the importance of religion and even its place in the public schools, but to allow religion in the form of Special Creation in the science classroom would be a category mistake.

Countering the demand for equal time on scientific grounds depends upon how one views education.

If the purpose of the public schools is to be a forum for every possible scientific and non-scientific theory, if the job of teachers is to merely expose students to the various trends in our society and various fringe theories, then creationism definitely has a place in the science curriculum.

But then, so should astrology be granted equal time with astronomy, pyramid power with modern physics, the toxemia theory and Christian Science "negative thinking" theory of disease with the germ theory, the flat earth theory with the space program, and divining rod technology should be taken seriously for the benefit of future oil geologists and hydraulic engineers.

On the other hand, if education, in large part, amounts to passing on the discovered knowledge of one generation to the next, and if there is such a thing we can label "knowledge," and if we accept there are some people who have more of this knowledge in certain areas than other people .... and if parents accept the "back to basics" model of education .... then there is no ground for. . . "equal time" for creationism in the science curriculum.

"Equal time" is American in political campaigns, but not in a learning experience in secondary and elementary schools. Edwords' style is crisp and lively, using humor and wit with impeccable logic.

Edwords lists five alternate theories of origins and their relationship to special creation and evolution, and then defines alternate views from Genesis, such as the Day-Age Theory, the Gap Theory, and Progressive Creation. He evaluates each on the basis of the scientific evidence, and defends theistic evolution from the attacks of special creationists Alternate religious views of origins which might also demand equal time in science classrooms are described, including that of Scientologists, Buddhists, Mormons, and Hare Krishnas, who support their view in much the same way as Special Creationists, using negative evidence against evolution.

Edwards then deals with creationists' demands for a two model curriculum in history, by similarly describing other alternate, but unaccepted, views of history, and other unaccepted views of other classroom subjects that would have to be considered under any "equal time" arrangement. Most creationist school materials imply that (1) scientific opinion is equally divided on creation and evolution, (2) the case is equally good for both models, (3) there are only two models possible, (4) the evidence supports creationism, and (5) evolutionists believe absurdities.

For one to espouse a two model teaching in science, one must ignore or be unaware of the educational havoc it will cause, the social problems, the legal complications, the effect on the quality of science, the effect on religious liberty, and the effect on academic freedom.

Robert Schadewald, a free-lance science writer, takes the 1980 model creation/evolution bill to be introduced in state legislatures, "preserved most of the creationist wording, but altered the bill to require teaching of flat-earth theory whenever conventional astronomy is taught," with the argument that his bill should be introduced in every state legislature in which the creationist bill is introduced. He found numerous and precise parallels between flat-earthism and creationism. "Literal interpretation of certain parts of the Bible is a motivating factor for modern flat-earthers, and they have an elaborate system of 'scriptural science' just as do the creationists. " Both groups have used the same debate tactics.

Craig Howell reports on "How Not to Conduct a Panel on Evolution and Creation" from his negative experience at the Annual National Conference on Church and State. He thought it was a great waste that Americans United for Separation of Church and State should sponsor a panel so dominated by a position antithetical to their own, especially when the audience had come from all over the country to learn how to respond to the pro-creationist pressure on school boards and textbook writers.

This third issue of this Journal lists an update on creation bills and resolutions, based on the work of the creationist Citizens for Fairness in Education (of S.C.),

Final Postscript: The journal Creation/Evolution has been published in nine issues through summer 1982. 1 highly recommend Creation/ Evolution for all Christians interested in this issue. The articles provide insightful, documented, well-reasoned responses in answer to specific points raised by special creationists.

A review of "Old-Time Religion and the New Physics" in Issue IX by Robert M. Price, who has a Ph.D. in theological and religious studies from Drew University and teaches ethics and philosophy at Bergen Community College, is worth noting since he goes out of his way to give ASA a favorable plug.

Price starts out by stating that "current creation-evolution conflict has served as an introduction to the polemical tactics of the extreme right wing of born-again Christianity." This article focuses on "another current attempt by fundamentalists to bend scientific research to their own purposes... : creationism's twin is the endeavor to vindicate fundamentalist supernaturalism by appealing to the new physics."

Price describes three polemical tactics:

(1) Acceptance of modern physics because it appears to substantiate fundamentalist's faith. "The criterion for a given hypothesis's acceptability is not its inherent cogency but rather its positive or negative value for the evangelistic arsenal. The biblicist is already convinced of the truth of his inherited faith, so the truest scientific theory must be the one which comports best with it. And physics seems to fit, whereas evolution does not." (H. Richard Niebubr)

(2) Hermeneutical ventriloquism: "The sliding scale of inerrancy" is the seemingly inconsistent attitude of fundamentalist apologists toward science." "Biblicists have maintained the literal 'scientific' truth of biblical statements on cosmology, chronology, and so forth, until the massive preponderance of evidence (and, one suspects, public opinion) made it impossible no longer to dismiss the results of scientific research. Then, with a sudden about-face, apologists claim that the Bible has not been shown to be in error, but that science has merely corrected our exegesis of what the literal sense of the Bible was trying to tell us all along" "Apologists begin affirming that the Bible, not upstart science, tells us about the world... They finish up tacitly by admitting that science not the literal sense of the Bible tells us about the world. Exegesis must await scientific results, which it will never acknowledge."

(3) The irony of daring "to read scientific results into the text and then use this alleged 'anticipation of modern science' as a proof for the divine inspiration of the Bible!" Price describes such examples of efforts to co-opt modern science: Harry Rimmer's The Harmony of Science and Scripture, Tim LaHaye's The Act of Marriage, "prophetic predictions" of Hal Lindsey and other dispensationalist seers, von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods.

"Those fighting under the banner of 'scientific creationism' do not yet realize that the battle for the 'six days' and the fixity of species has been lost." "Those who can see which way the present battle is going have suddenly 'realized' that Genesis really meant to teach 'punctuated' or I progressive' creationism."

Then Price gives his ASA plug: (italics added) "It is important to indicate that the wild implausibilities we have considered here are not entailed by the espousal of *theistic evolution' by evangelical Christians, such as members of the American Scientific Affiliation. They believe in biblical authority in theology, but are at liberty to recognize in the biblical text the presence of various genres of ancient literature. They are not compelled by a wooden biblicisin to read Genesis I as a blow-by-blow description of the origin of the earth. So far as they are concerned, the 'how' of God's creation is a question to be settled by scientific research, not by exegesis. The evidence in favor of evolution leads them to conclude that evolution was the 'secondary cause' employed by God."

"Evolution's process of chance mutations and environmental selection is inherently nonteleological, whereas 'theistic' evolution implies just such teleology." "Evangelical evolutionists are not guilty, either of any inherent contradiction in their position or of the intellectual dishonesty of the fundamentalist 'scientific creationists."'

Contemporary subatomic physics is the latest attempt by fundamentalist apologists to co-opt modern science:

(1) identification of the strong nuclear force binding protons together in the nucleus by reference to Colossians 1:17. Price calls this the hoax that modern science is miraculously intimated in the Bible. He claims its proponents have a "woefully poor grasp of science," and "a surprisingly lame theology." Price quotes the warning against this "god-of-the-gaps" position from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "Anyone familiar with theological discussion is amazed to find such a view still alive and well in 'scientific creationist' literature."

(2) Vindication of the doctrine of the Trinity, using the analogy between God as "three persons, yet one essence" and "the three basic particles of matter: an electron, a neutron, and a proton."

(3) Vindication of supernaturalism by appealing to the indeterminacy principle of Heisenberg: "the most remarkable irony of all." No one need feel ashamed to recognize the occurrence of paranormal and extraordinary events, as if they implied some superstitious belief in magic, for now "miracles" can be rendered plausible since anything is as possible as anything else! "if one were to approach the issue of Jesus' resurrection on the grounds provided by the appeal to the new physics, one would end up arguing that it is quite probable (at least plausible) that Jesus came back to life, but that this must have been a freak accident, proving absolutely nothing about Jesus' divine mission or his relation to God. Their strategy of getting the unbeliever to accept the narrative at face value at any cost renders superfluous the whole point (God's miraculous intervention) of the gospel writers ... .. These apologists do not see that the argument from physics against casuality subverts such arguments completely." Fundamentalists universally reject the "swoon theory," yet the argument from physics against causality would logically tend to result in the same kind of reasoning.

Their real concern "is with the inerrant accuracy of the biblical text, not with the beliefs and values taught therein." "Fundamentalists say they love the truth, yet they seem to be guilt of the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty." "Francis Schaeffer means to assure his readers in advance that all the evidence will be found to agree with the evangelical biblicist view." "Either it will be denied in the name of the biblical text (c.f. the creationist attack on evolution) or it will be ventriloquistically co-opted (as in the case of the new physics)." "Such a doctrinaire stance is out of the question for scientists and alien to the sentiments of the Apostle Paul, who was humble and honest enough to admit that "now we see through a glass darkly ... now I know in part (I Cor. 13:12)

Reviewed by Jerry D. Albert, Research Biochemist, Mercy Hospital Medical Research Facility, San Diego, California 92103.

WHO NEEDS THE FAMILY by 0. R. Johnston, Intervarsity Press (1979). $5.95, 152 pp.

A strong family structure is a source of individual identity and vitality that urgently needs nurture today. Who Needs the Family by 0. R. Johnston is an excellent book for counselors, pastors, parents, and others who need to assess the trend of society with regard to the family. It is based on sound scriptural principles. It is not a how-to book; instead it builds a strong foundation for the defense of the mom-dad-children family which is under heavy attack in western society.

The book is divided into five chapters-Family, Marriage, Motherhood, Fatherhood, and Family Decay. These were given as a series of lectures in England in 1978. Each chapter begins with a general view and concludes with a biblical viewpoint.

It is interesting that every known society recognizes the family. Sociology and anthropology textbooks emphasize this fact. Johnston cites some impressive work done by researchers, for example, psychiatric thinking that investigates the patient's environment and looks at the family of the patient. The Israeli kibbutz comes under scrutiny. From the original intent of abolishing the family and living communally, the movement is now showing family characteristics more and more. From the beginning, the Bible shows an orderly pattern of family and close relationships. The first chapter closes with a challenge: evangelistic and pastoral Work should take into account families rather than "atomized individuals."

At the base of the family stands the marriage of man and woman. Marriage is more than sexual access, it involves interdependence and cooperation. Various patterns exist in different societies. One exhaustive study showed "the greatest energy has been displayed by those societies which have reduced their sexual opportunity to a minimum by the adoption of absolute monogamy." In addition, marital role definition based on the physical differences between male and female is necessary for a strong marriage. From the Bible it is clear that marriage is a "one flesh" experience. Marriage is an excellent and holy thing and should not be forbidden.

In the West economic pressures cause stress in the thinking of women who desire to be housewives and mothers, rather than potential workers. The model role of the mother is necessary for the girl. Investigations have revealed harmful effects upon the growth of the child's personality when there is a break in the continuous love relationship with the mother. Scripture takes motherhood seriously. Jesus showed concern for his mother when he entrusted Mary to the family of John in John 19:27.

The father is the mediator between family and society. Johnston writes that the model role of the father is necessary for the boy; the absentee father weakens the positive fatherhood image. Fatherhood is fundamental for the family because it is a reflection of the Divine nature.

The last chapter begins with the startling statement that
there is no evidence of instability ... in societies where marriages are arranged." The family is needed by the individual and society. Some areas of decay that are noted are: (1) wife battering, (2) child abuse, (3) divorce, (4) abortion, (5) one parent families.

The book ends with a four-fold reconstruction plan. We must (1) have a renewed grip on Scripture at every level in our churches, (2) become more sensitive to the attacks on the family, (3) be repentant and have a new openness to correction in our own families and churches, and (4) have a renewed vision of the spiritual battle that is taking place.

This book is one of the better books on the family that I have read.

Reviewed by Leo Setian, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

MAN AND WOMAN IN CHRIST by Stephen B. Clark, Servant Books, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1980). 753 pp. $15.95.

WOMEN AT THE CROSSROADS by Kari Torjesen Malcolm, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1982). 215 pp. Paperback. $5.95.

Reading these two books at the same time provides quite an experience. In his massive epic with 668 pages of text, 5 page bibliography, 66 pages of notes, and two indices, Stephen Clark, Roman Catholic charismatic and coordinator of the Word of God, an Interdenominational Christian Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, goes all out to establish the validity of a hierarchial authority structure. In her pocket-sized approach to the same set of questions, Kari Torjesen Malcolm, daughter of Christian missionaries in China and a missionary to the Philippines for fifteen years herself, provides almost diametricafly opposite answers to every major question raised. Here are two devoted Christians, each totally dedicated to the authority of the Bible, and yet with perceptions of what it all means as far apart as one is likely to find. Is it anv wonder that the issues are so difficult to resolve? Is it only coincidence that the author here who sees biblical evidence for an authoritv structure with man at the head is himself a man, and that the author who sees women called to freedom in their first love for Christ is herself a woman?

As might be deduced from its sheer size, the book by Clark is a careful and detailed analysis of the roles of men and women as perceived in the Bible and in Christian tradition. The style has a dissertation- like quality to it and is not easy reading, replete with enumerated theses, summaries of arguments, repeated arguments and frequent bottom-of -the-page footnotes in spite of the 66 pages of notes at the end. In spite of this, the careful structuring of the book enables its central message to be easily discerned. Clark finds the key texts to be I Corinthians 11:2-16, 1 Corinthians 14:33-38, 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18,19, and I Peter 3:1-7. To these he adds two minor texts: I Timothy 5:1,2, and Titus 2:1-6. In the course of the book as a whole, however, he also involves about 400 biblical passages. Starting with Genesis 1-3, he develops his central theme: there is a created order in which woman is complementary to but subordinate to man, in the family and in the Christian community. This created order is expressed through specific social roles for men and women. Approximately one-third of the book is devoted to setting forth scriptural teaching, one-third to discussion of this teaching against the background of historical scholarship and tradition, and a final one-third to the application of these principles today in view of modern technological practice and scientific understanding. Although the author's principal concern is with the life of the Christian community, there are, to the best of my knowledge, no references to the Holy Spirit in the book.

There is, to be sure, much in this book worthy of study that will be provocative for anyone attempting to describe a Christian lifestyle in community and in the world. Its very completeness makes it a valuable addition to any library concerned with men's and women's roles, since, at the very least, it presents a detailed and caref ul exposition of one perspective with arguments against many competing perspectives. There is a thorough evaluation of biblical authority, and a discussion of standard ways used to "bypass" authentic biblical teaching by "Christian Liberationist Exegesis." Any Christian dealing with these issues will not wish to treat these serious issues without as much input as possible.

Presumably no one would object when Clark indicates that "brother-sister love is the basis for all social roles and social relationships among the Christian people," that "the home should be a center of care and service," or that "the Christian community should provide a supportive environment for family life," but when he goes on further, some deep waters are entered into that do not seem to follow necessarily from his previous evidence. For example, "there should be a system for raising people in the Lord with men having primary responsibility for men and women for women, 11 or "there should be different areas of responsibility for men and for women," or "there should be cultural expressions of role differences for men and women." The essence of his position is summed up in the following guideline:

There should be a system of personal subordination among the Christian people with the elders (beads) of the community chosen from among the men and the husband serving as the head of the family, with women in complementary positions of leadership and subordinate government. (p. 605)

The principal alternate Christian model for marriage that Clark opposes is "the companionship model" in which husbands and wives share without subordination of one to the other (but with joint submission), in which due notice is not taken of the role differences between male and female ordained in creation and ordered in the New Testament. Even further raised eyebrows are occasioned by Clark's preoccupation with preserving manliness and womanliness, to the extent of advocating less time together for married couples lest the man become "feminized." "A feminized male is one who has learned to behavior or react in ways that are more appropriate to women ... He will be much more gentle and handle situations in a 'soft' way." Is it perhaps significant that the Beatitudes are not among the 400 passages considered by Clark? I have been increasingly impressed how very much the qualities that Jesus endorses here are characteristic of "feminine" qualities in our society rather than .. masculine" qualities. I do not believe that I misread Clark on this point, for he goes on to say,

... A feminized man may have a character in which the traits of gentleness and quietness are stronger than the traits of aggressiveness and courage ... in the scriptures, quietness and gentleness are particularly emphasized in forming women, and aggressiveness and courage are especially underlined for men. Men are ... in general, more aggressive than gentle. (p. 638)

Quite a different reading of the Scriptures and of history is given to us by Kari Malcolm. Within marriage she embraces the companionship model, seeing the advantage of having 11 two lines to God" rather than just one for the guidance of the family. But her principal concern is to point out a middle path between feminism on the one hand, and traditionalism on the other, a path in which a woman recognizes that her first love in life is for Jesus Christ and that she shares fully in all of the New Testament injunctions to witness and to share according to the gifts that God has given her. Three years in concentration camp in China, followed by fifteen yearg as a missionary with her husband in the Philippines, left her with culture shock when she returned to the States and found women caught on the dilemma between seeking marriage and a home as the only thinkable career, or seeking employment based on the pay scale regardless of the spiritual content of the work. She sees following wherever the first love for Christ leads as the way that God provides for better mothers, better wives, and better workers, rather than seeking these as ends in themselves.

Malcolm does discuss the same biblical passages as Clark does, but only after she has spent considerable time examining the events described in the historical portions of Scripture related to the activities of women and to the lives and contributions of Christian women and martyrs in history. These two books illustrate a major facet of biblical interpretation on controversial subjects (as applicable to the inerrancy debate as it is to the role of men and women). One approach takes the specific didache (teaching) of the Scriptures as normative and attempts to fit in the phenomena (the events described or present in Scripture) to conform to the teaching. The second takes the phenomena as evidences of actual practice and conceptual input and interprets the meaning of the teaching to be consistent with the phenomena. In the present situation, Clark follows the first approach, and Malcolm the second. It is not uncommon in such cases to end up in quite different places. Clark says that it is clear that I Corinthians 14:33-40 teaches that women should be forbidden at least a certain kind of speech (that speech inappropriate to their position as women or wives) because the passage says that they should be subordinate. Malcolm, on the other hand, says,

Did women proclaim the good news? Or were they silent? ... Why does Paul give instructions on the proper dress for women who pray and prophesy in public and then turn around and tell them to be silent? Was the great apostle inconsistent? (p. 70,71)

Clark responds that it is not all speaking that is forbidden, but only that kind of speaking inconsistent with the subordinate position of women. When she faces the other passages in the Pauline letters, Malcolm offers reasonable interpretations of why they might not mean what they have traditionally to be taken to mean (i.e., what they clearly mean according to Clark), in some cases relying upon modern or speculative exegesis to reorient the meaning of a passage. There is no question but that Clark would identify this as "Christian Liberationist Exegesis" and consign it to the "bypassing Scripture" category. But this is because Malcolm is trying to understand the teaching so that it conforms with the phenomena, while Clark is trying to fit the phenomena into his interpretation of the teaching.

Malcolm has a somewhat peculiar attachment to the ascetic life of contemplation and prayer that led people out of the world into monastic and convent communities. She defends this by pointing out that "Life for these women in the convents meant being liberated (from early marriage and heavy family responsibilities) for service to the kingdom." To these women Malcolm attributes the order "that kept Christianity alive through the Middle Ages." She finds the shortcoming of the Reformation in that it drove these women out of their cloisters into the world, where they were once more swallowed up in the cycle of husband, home and children. The Reformers get short shrift as being men who "as a whole held that women existed for the comfort and well-being of men." It is not clear that during this period women had any greater opportunities for witness and Christian service in the convent than they would have had in the world, as long as one includes raising children and maintaining a Christian household as viable choices for a Christian woman seeking to express her first love for Christ in this medium. Malcolm sees the proper place restored to women by the Wesleyan revivals in England and the Great Awakening in America. Later these nineteenth century gains for women were jeopardized by .. the change from charismatic leadership to professionalized leadership and organized church institutions." Today Malcolm sees great opportunities for Christian witness and service for women, whether single or married. She finds a marriage blessed and rooted in having Christ as the bead of the home, and extols the merits of volunteer work for Christ as a worthy goal for the Christian woman.

Are women ordained by a creation order to specific social roles that, no matter how broad or encompassing, are ultimately constrained by a position of subordination to a man in the family and to men in the Christian community? Or are women like men full bearers of the image of God and called like men to exercise in every way and every place the gifts of the Spirit that they have received? These two books may help you arrive at your own answers to these questions, although I suspect that most people who have answers to them have arrived at them without the intellectual soul searching that these books call for.

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

THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE IN ANIMALS by John Tyler Bonner. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980, $14.50, 225 pages.

Bonner's book, being written by a microbiologist about animal and human behavior, is about the evolution of behavior. Probably no one needs to read it, especially those who have read Sociobiology by E.O. Wilson or The Selfish Gene by Dawkins. Nonetheless, it is well written, well-documented, and does cover behavior pretty well, if from a somewhat eccentric point of view. The thesis is given fairly by the title. Chapters include: Cultural and Genetic Evolution; The Early Origins of Cultural Behavior (bacteria, no less!); The Evolution of Animal Societies; The Evolution of Learning and Teaching; The Evolution of Culture.

Unless one were to take the position that the various breeds of dogs were separately created, anyone very familiar with them must suppose that they have engaged in microevolution/secular change over the past, and that this evolution includes their behavior. Thus, the idea that behavior evolves is not revolutionary. Bonner by no means claims that all behavior is hereditary, or that natural selection for human anatomy and human behavior occur by the same mechanism.

No doubt there are specific items in the book that some might quarrel with, but, except for the overall naturalistic world-view, there is little here for the average Christian scientist to be concerned about. As I read it, nothing in this book seriously challenges the Bible's teachings.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Visiting Professor of Science, Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee 37321

GENETIC ENGINEERING by J. Kerby Anderson, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982, 132 pages, Paper Back.

Both the benefits and possible dangers of affecting reproduction and heredity are treated in this volume by J. Kerby Anderson who is Director of Research at Probe Ministries. Trained in zoology and ecology and with special studies in government, he has done research in genetic engineering and speaks at major universities on this topic. The book is written so one not familiar with the techniques of genetics can readily understand them. Effective diagrams explain basic procedures.

Genetic research can cure genetic diseases and promote agriculture but also redesign existing organisms including man. All must be examined "with a recognition by us as Christians that human life is sacred because we are created in the image of God". Anderson weighs each of his topics and relates them to this fundamental Christian position.

Artificial insemination by husband and by donor are evaluated from scientific, legal, ethical and theological considerations in a balanced and fair manner, as the author does with the other topics: artificial sex selection, in vitro fertilization, genetic manipulation, which includes recombinant DNA research and human cloning. He concludes with a discussion of Christian responsibility.

Artificial insemination by husband is sanctioned, but the same by donor only as a last resort, accompanied by counseling on the marriage relationship, and not allowed for extramarital pregnancies.

"Although artificial sex selection may be beneficial in limiting populations in underdeveloped countries, there seems to be little warrant for its use."

In vitro fertilization, producing a "test tube baby," has many problems. The author discusses the history of governmental involvement, relates the successes of the Brown and Carr babies, and quotes significant comments from knowledgeable sources and concludes "that although IVF provides a means by which to help infertile couples, it is fraught with many scientific, social, ethical and theological problems."

The section on recombinant DNA research is fascinating; imagine a cross between a potato and a tomato! You will wish to have the book to read this thoroughly documented research on various organisms.

Finally, human cloning is considered and you will also want to imagine with the author its various possibilities, although distant. It may provide biological immortality (the printer left out the first 'TI), prevent genetic disease, add to twin studies, improve psychic communication, and be used for improved organ transplantation.

In the chapter on Christian responsibility is this concern, "We cannot expect people who do not accept the notion of human sinfulness and lack Christian commitment to protect society from disaster. Christians must participate in the policy making process."

Reviewed by Russell L. Mixter, Professor Emeritus of Zoology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.


No doubt some readers will recognize the title of this work, and wonder about the date given above. I am reviewing the Bantam paperback issue of a book originally published by Norton in 1979. The book, which was considered important enough to be serialized in four periodicals, and by United Features Syndicate, and to be a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, has basically one message: patients should play an active role in their own healing.

Cousins, who was editor of Saturday Review for a number of years, makes a number of cogent, if mostly unoriginal, observations connected with his hospitalization for ankylosing spondylitis. These include: hospital routines are not designed for the good of the patients; an excellent chapter on placebos; the value of laughter in healing; the importance of stress in getting sick; the role of TV ads and the Food and Drug Administration in the proliferation of painkillers; a sane chapter on holistic medicine; and a recognition that the medical profession is not omniscient.

For the Christian, there must be agreement that healing should involve more agape love in such matters as making hospital food more palatable and not bleeding a patient four times in one day for four different tests. There must also be agreement that belief in medicine, doctors, or especially in God is an important factor in healing, and that "a merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Prov. 17:22). We can also affirm that doing away with pain is not the most important goal in life, and can certainly agree that the medical profession is not omniscient.

That many Americans are not fully satisfied with the way things are, in terms of their health, or their experiences in doctors' offices and hospitals, is obvious, one of the signs being the popularity of Cousin's book (which was well received by the profession). Even if one can doubt whether most patients have the resources to bring to bear on their own problems that Cousins did, by our life-styles, our attitude, and our faith, we can play a role in our own healing.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Visiting Professor of Science, Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee 37321

BENT WORLD: A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS by Ron Elsdon, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., 1981. 170 pp. $4.95

Dr. Elsdon begins by discussing several possible involvements of Christians in our environmental problems that many, including some scientists, now realize are not likely to be solved by science and technology alone. Lynn White and others have blamed environmental abuse on the effects of the Judeo-Christian teaching of creation (Gen. 1:28), and even stated that the remedy must also be essentially religious, but of another religion. However, this does not explain environmental abuse by those who do not follow Judeo-Christian teachings.

Rather than back off as suggested, Elsdon believes that Christians should gain a balanced biblical perspective, realize their social responsibility, and make the gospel relevant in the eyes of others as we help correct environmental problems that stem from the fall of man.

Before proposing several Christian responses, Elsdon presents brief accounts of the serious environmental problems concerning the world's metals, energy supplies, cities, and food (ch 2-5). Although many of these problems are familiar to us, Elsdon's background as a Cambridge geologist adds many examples of British environmental problems that enrich our understanding.

Chapters 6, 7, and 8 (66 pages) give some biblical perspective in terms of creation, the fall, salvation, redemption, materialism, and the environment. In the beginning God told man to take care of creation. After the fall, man was no longer in close fellowship with God and correctly understood neither God, himself, nor his responsibilities. In his pervasive insecurity, he turned only to the created world, not the Creator, and selfishly pursued material possessions as ends in themselves in spite of commands not to covet, love money, or give possessions top priority. This change in understanding and attitude of giving short-term personal gain priority over long-term concern for the environment as God's creation only increased man . s insecurity. His expanded material possessions did not provide lasting satisfaction and the deteriorating environment tells him that his irresponsible quest for more has reduced the ability of the environment's ability to give him even more material things.

When man's relationship to God is restored through salvation in Jesus Christ, does this primarily moral and spiritual event also change man's nature enough to affect the way he views and treats the physical world? The Bible says little specifically on the new relationship between man and nature. Christians, however, can be transformed by the renewing of their minds and change from former self -centeredness, with lack of concern for others and for the consequences of their own actions, including environmental. But the materialistic pattern of our present age so easily sustains our old habits and fears that we drift back into materialism with its disregard for proper environmental stewardship.

The New Testament exhorts us not to be anxious about our material needs (Matt. 6:25), to be content with what we have (1 Tim 6:6-8, Heb. 13:5-6), and to place our security in Christ. This renewal of mind and a more responsible lifestyle are part of our testimony (witness) as God's children carrying out His will on earth as it is in heaven. We are not to underestimate our individual and small-group efforts as we encourage the church to expand its responsibilities to the caring for God's creation as man was instructed before the fall. Even though this new moral dimension and persuasive lifestyle will only improve rather than perfect our world, we are not to despair, feel helpless, and sink into inactivity. Elsdon suggests several realistic ways individuals and groups of Christians can meet this challenge at several levels.

This book is certainly germane for our time. It needs to be read and its principles implemented by all who are interested in helping solve our environmental problems and by Christians wanting to increase the effectiveness of their witness.

Reviewed by L. Duane Thurman, Professor of Biology, Oral Robert's University, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

THE 1980'S: COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON by Hal Lindsey, New York City: Bantam Books, 1981, 178 pp., $6.95.

Here we have a book by the"No. I Apocalyptic Evangelist" of our times, a man who has written 6 books selling over 30 million copies, published in 30 languages. He thus evidently, has a huge following, one which could hardly be persuaded that he is wrong. Since he prophecies, or interprets prophecies, he is, at least, a minor prophet himself. He is a peerless purveyor of dire news and if his warnings cause mankind to think about religious matters, he has accomplished something worthwhile.

There are eleven chapters followed by a footnote section. The following figure strongly in the book; communism in Zimbabwe, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the sale of technology to China, the Israel-Egypt attempt to settle their differences, the European Common Market with its 10 members, the Salt II treaty, the military coup in Liberia, the lack of battle-readiness of the American armed forces, and, of course, the Bible prophecies on these and other subjects. Taking everything together, Lindsey concludes that "the decade of the 1980's could very well be the last decade of history as we know it." I do hope that I can have this review published before the final curtain falls. just think, it is now 1982 and we have only 8 more years to go. Note, however, that in the quotation above he says "could very well be" and "history as we know it." These escape clauses should be borne in mind because they allow us to believe that the world will still be here by the year 1990.

The study of history is full of doomsday prophets and Lindsey's predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. "No man knoweth the day thereof" is a good admonition. There are events going on in the world, however, and largely not covered by the author, which do paint a rather gloomy picture for humanity.

There are three popular theories that come to mind dealing with the demise of the world. One is its destruction by atomic forces, another is its annihilation at the judgement day and the third is the explosion of the population bomb. According to many experts, the third theory is by far the most likely. The mere doubling of the world's population in the early part of the 20th century, despite our half-hearted efforts to control it, will have so many catastrophic consequences that the world can become only a "madhouse." I fault religious writers for almost totally ignoring the population problem. The second theory is a possibility but it may well be interepreted as a corollary of the third.

Some points that should be clarified; on page 12 "The prophets said that the Arabs . . ." and on page 13 "Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah all said--no verses are given for these statements. On page 29, he seems to favor the predictions of dire events when all the planets become aligned (the Jupiter effect). To date, there has been no catastrophies which can be assigned to this effect. On page 39 we find, "In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Israel launched an attack on Russia as well. . . . " I take it that this is the author's prophesy and is not found in the Bible. On page 90, he speaks of the destruction of Russia by Israel. This seems so ridiculous that I am sure Lindsey has gone wrong somewhere. On page 100 and following, the author devotes some space to the Common Market and I am not clear as to whether the Messiah will destroy this "Monster," since it has as one of its members the anti-Christ, before or after He has destroyed the atheistic Russian Bear.

All Hal Lindsey's books are interesting reading and should make one think about the sad condition of the world and hopefully to turn to religion for solace. I personally feel that much of his philosophy is based on too sensational an interpretation of biblical passages.

Reviewed by Irving W. Knobloch, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, Michigan 48824.

THE SEARCH FOR AMERICA'S FAITH by George Gallup, Jr., with David Poling, Abingdon, Nashville, Tennessee (September, 1980), $8.95.

This study of American religion in the decade of the 1970s by the director of the Princeton Religion Research Center and his associate continues the pollster's fascination with the study of religion. The book illustrates the value of keeping a pulse on religion as it shifts with dynamic change in society. But it also offers a reminder that the influence of polling, as proper as it might be in society, has no place in the study of religion.

The data are selected from an impressive array of Gallup polls and directed toward certain issues: the unchurched, youth, family, future of religion, and Catholicism. But the presuppositions underlying the data are often shaky. The claim that "the future has us in its grip 11 suggests neither a responsible view of social science nor of the power of the Holy Spirit. Especially in their religious faith, people do not act in predictable ways. What the data can give us are only current trends and not future determinants.

What are these trends? Some of the most notable offered by the authors are: (1) youth's persistent criticism of the church in spite of their increased concern for personal religious faith, (2) continued confidence in the family in spite of its shakiness, (3) an increase in the number of unchurched believers, (4) an improved climate for ecumenicity in spite of a reduction in church membership, and (5) a tendency toward orthodox convictions of believers but without orthodox practice. In sum, the portrait of today's American religion is filled with ambiguity and contradiction.

This is useful information, especially for the layman who wants to know where we've been. But it will not provide a reliable map for the future. The data also have value in the broad contexts in which they are presented. What is lacking are the clear and crisp relationships sought by the scientist.

This "pop" quality is, perhaps, the book's most notable strength or weakness, depending on your point of view. There is too much reliance on undocumented materials used as fillers. And when a poem by D. H. Lawrence is documented, it adds little to the integrity of the book. Definitions are of little concern to the authors and no index is given. In short, it is a book designed for casual reading and not study.

Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note the continued interest in religion as a social phenomenon. There is a tension between the sacred and society which needs to be studied. Although this book does little to advance that study, it may whet a few appetites to feast on richer fare elsewhere.

Reviewed by Russell Heddendorf, Professor of Sociology, Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

WORLD HUNGER, TEN MYTHS by Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins. 52 pp., notes, selected sources, and Organization's publications. San Francisco: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1979. $2.25 paperback.

Rather than list the ten myths referred to in the title, it might be better to turn to pages 51 and 52 where the myths are countered with true statements.

1. Every country in the world has the resources necessary for its people to free themselves from hunger. (Broadly interpreted, this could be true.)

2. To balance a country's population and resources, it is urgent to address now the root cause of both hunger and high birth rates: the insecurity and poverty of the majority that results from the control over basic national resources by a few. (If many controlled, I am not sure that the problems would go away-hunger is due to an insufficiency of food which is tied directly to overpopulation.)

3. Hunger can be overcome only by the majority first transforming the social structures so that they directly participate in building a democratic economic system. (Many claim that India is democratic and there are some who say that India cannot possibly survive much longer due to its antiquated philosophy and its resultant overpopulation.)

4. Safeguarding the world's agricultural environment and people freeing themselves from hunger are complementary goals.

5. The hungry are our allies. Our food security is not threatened by hungry people but by a system that concentrates economic power into the hands of the elite. (It is true that there have been many abuses by those who manage the "food chain" and these need to be stamped out, but those who are truly hungry are seldom well educated and cannot be counted on to have any input into food management.)

6. Export agriculture is not the enemy. To insure food security, agriculture must become a way for people to produce their own food and secondarily a possible source of foreign exchange. (This sounds good but there will always have to someone who directs the operation and hopefully he or she will not be one of the "elite". If the authors mean that everyone should go back to the farm, then we would truly become a rural society. I hardly believe the authors advocate this.)

7. The most wasteful and inefficient food system is one controlled by a few in the interests of a few.

8. Hunger cannot be eliminated by denying people's freedom but by encouraging participation in decision making. However, it may be necessary to limit the choices of some. (As we all know, a truly democratic system cannot work in a large, modern society and for this reason we are called the Republic of the United States, a political system whereby we elect representatives to make the laws for us. If we find the chosen ones to be unworthy, we recall them.)

9. The response of Americans to hunger abroad is not more government foreign "aid." We must work to help remove the obstacles, especially those being built by U.S. economic and military interventions abroad and by the penetration of U.S. based corporations. (The authors will get a lot of "flak" on this truth (?).)

10. Our role is not to go in and "set things right."

A few notes on some statements in the forepart of the book should be made here. On page 8, it is stated that 80% of the children in rural areas of Mexico are undernourished partly because of feeding livestock. Livestock is one of their necessary exports to obtain money to buy food that they import in large quantities. Overpopulation is Mexico's "enemy." It is estimated that Mexico's 74 million will rise to 174 million in less than 40 years. Present-day problems there will seem small by comparison. On page 10, they claim that overpopulation is not the cause of hunger. Already the experts tell us that the world should hold no more than one billion persons.

On pages 13-15, much is made of the decrease in farms, the increase in technology and much unemployment. My guess would be that total farm acreage is increasing but the emphasis is on large, more efficiently-run operations. This is the way "it has to go" to prevent global starvation. One part of the solution is to greatly depress the birth rate so that no family has more than one child. This is one of the themes of Negative Population Growth, Inc based at 16 East 42nd St., N.Y.C. 10017. On page 35 they say that Cuba and China have achieved greater food, job and old-age security because they are in a state of freedom. In answer to this, I can only say that I must read different literature than they do.

The authors have raised some valid points and are, no doubt, very sincere in their beliefs. I do believe that dismantling the present system would not only be catastrophic but would be self-defeating in the long run. My belief is that the inequities and corruption of our present ways can be eliminated by building on what we now have. The book is well-worth reading even if you do not fully agree with the philosophy therein contained.

Reviewed by Irving W. Knobloch, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, Michigan 48824.