Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews

JASA Book Reviews for June 1976

Table of Contents
PASTORAL COUNSELING by Wayne E. Oates. Westminster, Philadelphia, 1974. $7.50, 236 pp.
THE EAST, NO EXIT and ENCIRCLING EYES: THE CURRENT RESURGENCE OF THE OCCULT by Os Guiness, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974, 54 pp. (each booklet), $1.25.
FAITH/FACT/HISTORY/SCIENCE AND HOW THEY FIT TOGETHER by Rheinalt Nantlais Williams, Tyndale House Publishers, 1974, 140 pp., $1.95.
FREE TO DO RIGHT by David Field,
1973, Paperback, $1.25, Ill pp. published by InterVarsity Press, Downers, Grove, Illinois.
TAKING SIDES by David Field,
1975, Paperback, 45p, 124 pp. published by InterVarsity Press, Downers, Grove, Illinois.
GOD AND THE GURUS by R. D. Clements, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1975. Paperback. 64 pp. $1.25.
JOURNEY AWAY FROM GOD by Robert P. Benedict. Fleming H. Revell Company, 61d Tappan, New Jersey, 1972. 189 pp. $4.95 hardback.

PASTORAL COUNSELING by Wayne E. Oates. Westminster, Philadelphia, 1974. $7.50, 236 pp.

The subtitle, "A Strategy and a Christian Philosophy of Pastoral Counseling", offers us hope for a synthesis of the distinctives, if there be such, of pastoral counseling. The author is well suited for the task, since Wayne Oates is one of the deans of the pastoral counseling movement, director of the doctoral program in pastoral psychology at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville for a quarter century, and author of over 25 books in this field. So he speaks from experience, practice, and authority.

Oates builds the book around the "tensions brought about by ambiguity inherent in the identity and function of the pastor". He devotes a chapter to each of these so-called paradoxes of ministry: 1. The Institutional and the Personal, 2. Theological Continuity and Scientific Discontinuity, 3. Training and Charisma, 4. Durable and Short-Term Relationships, 5. Aggressive and Passive Pastoral Counseling, 6. Private and Public Ministries, 7. The Individual and the Group, and 8. The Family Ties and Liberation.

Woven into these chapters are many bits of practical wisdom, sage observations, careful reflection, and good clinical advice. These bow-to-do-it tips are useful to any pastor, although not particularly novel and similar to material found in most pastoral counseling books. But this is not the main thrust of the book. Oates would clarify pastoral philosophy and strategy.

First the philosophy. He states that pastoral counseling takes place within a "God-in-Relation-to-Person consciousness". So far so good. But then Oates reverses himself by saying the counseling proceeds "often, in spite of the protestations of the counselee or without his awareness of it." Come now. Consciousness but no awareness? Later Oates rhetorically asks whose God is the focus of the relationship. The God of the pastoral counselor or the counselee? Oates answer: "the counselee". This is the answer of the secular psychotherapist. But is it the answer of the pastoral counselor? Does this imply that a minister can be pastor to Hindu, Buddhist, Christian Scientist, agnostic, theosophist, and humanist alike? Where is the distinctive of pastoral counseling in this?

Next Oates tells us that the pastoral counselor has an "awareness of God." This be defines as being an " ethically serious thinker". But I know many humanists and agnostics who are ethically serious thinkers. Third, the pastoral counselor engages in "conversation about Faith in God." To Oates this means using words like hope, joy, care, love, concern; " appropriate but earthy words need to be said". Is this conversation of faith?

Having given the counseling distinctive above, Oates goes on to give the distinctive pastoral roles: expert in his religious literature, knows his religious culture, has concrete community resources, has a public character, is an ethicist, has the power to bless, and has a prophetic role. These pastoral distinctives are given brief paragraphs and figure little in any subsequent discusssion of strategy.

Oates then tries to relate these pastoral roles to the counseling role of the minister in the subsequent chapters devoted to tensions between being a pastor and a counselor. In my opinion he fails because the tension is an artificial one. And both his failure and the artificial tension reflect the failure of the whole of the pastoral counseling movement.

The field of pastoral care has been more "clinical" care than "pastoral" care. In the history of the church there is a long tradition of the "cure of souls".1 But many of these pastoral functions have been secularized and given social mandate as professional services. A major reaction among the clergy has been to embrace this secularization of their role and function. The pastoral counseling movement began as an adumbration of pastoral skills, became a "specialized ministry", then full time counseling, moved to separate pastoral counseling centers, and finally exited from the religious context altogether into private practice.

We have lost the "pastor" in all this. The pastoral counseling movement does not address him. Rather it tells him that the pastorate is a dead-end. The model of success is the psychotherapist, physician, social worker, community organizer. It tells him the most important tasks are to deal with the sick, deviant, and deprived. It tells him that further training and skill acquisition will provide him with status and function outside the pastoral role. It tells him that personal satisfaction, monetary reward, recognition and status are not found in the context of the pastorate, but outside the parish life as a chaplain, counselor, or community organizer.2

Although pastoral counseling has been built primarily on secular models, there have been recurrent efforts to "prove" that pastoral counseling was something unique and distinctive. In 1961 Hiltner and Colston published one of the few research studies that attempted to document proclaimed differences.3 Since then there has been much rhetoric but little documentation. But more to the point, with occasional exceptions,4,5 the movement has been devoid of a theological base. Likewise, in this book I find no commitment to a theological premise. Oates struggles between the pastor as secular psychotherapist (part time) and religious pastor (part time). No wonder he sees tension, ambiguity, and paradox.

To my mind, the resolution lies in the elimination of the dichotomy. We should stop trying to secularize the pastor and return him to his religious role and function. But this does not mean he does not counsel. Rather he counsels people within his role and function as pastor. That is his unique strength and position which the secular counselor cannot gainsay. Oates sees the pastoral roles as confusing and limiting the counseling role. I disagree. I see the pastoral role as strengthening the counseling role of pastor qua pastor. Only when the pastor tries to ape the conduct of the secular psychotherapist does he get into tensions. There is strength in the multiplicity, complexity, and ongoingness of the relationship betwen pastor and people. Oates sees this as an interference. But I think my own children have made the point most clear when they tell: "Hey Dad, stop being a child psychiatrist; just treat us like a father."

Now we turn to the strategy part, which unfortunately displays again the same weakness of the pastoral counseling movement. To wit, the movement has been parasitic upon the secular psychotherapies. Pastoral counseling books tend to be dreary translations of the most popular psychotherapy fad into religious jargonese. The "in" therapy of the year soon becomes the fad of pastoral counseling. In fact Oates admonishes pastors to "keep in touch with each passing emphasis." How can a busy pastor do this? Much less with acumen.

Another example of the phenomenon is the obeisance to professional wisdom. Oates runs through a long list of individual, group, and family methods and theories, a paragraph apiece. What pastor is helped by fifty pages on fifty therapies? One might expect that a pastor might look up the reference books. But Oates lists the popular best seller books on the psychotherapy market. Like many best sellers they are inaccurate, misleading, and lack the substantive scientific base of psychotherapy. So Oates leads the pastor to books of thin gruel, not warming substance. In fact Oates displays a lack of awareness of the basic scientific literature. For example, in his last chapter on the nuclear family, Oates is totally misleading on the nature of contemporary family structure, even though he lists a major journal where such research studies are reported!

In summary, Oates' book reflects the two major faults of the pastoral counseling movement, which in turn continue to alienate the pastor from the parish. I believe that Oates sees this dilemma. Hence the book. I regret having to render harsh judgement on the failure of the book. But it does not lead us forward; it reinforces the problems.

1Clebsch, W. A. and Jaekle, C. R. Pastoral Care in Historical Perceptive. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1964.
Pattison, E. M. Systems Pastoral Care. J. Pastoral Care 26: 2-14, 1972.
Hiltner, S. and Colston, L. G. The Context of Pastoral Counseling. Nashville; Abingdon, 1961.
Hulme, W. E. Counseling and Theology. Philadelphia: Muhlen berg, 1956.
5Thurneysen, E. A Theology of Pastoral Care. Richmond, Va.; John Knox, 1962.

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

THE EAST, NO EXIT and ENCIRCLING EYES: THE CURRENT RESURGENCE OF THE OCCULT by Os Guiness, Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1974, 54 pp. (each booklet), $1.25.

These two short bookets were originally published as part of a much larger work, The Dust of Death (InterVarsity, 1973) [Reviewed in Journal ASA, 26(4), 180(1974).]. As revised and enlarged in this special edition, Guiness has managed to say a great deal in both brief and lucid fashion.

In The East, No Exit, Guiness sets himself the task, chiefly, of exploring the reasons why many Western young people have in recent years "gone East"-whether to Zen Buddhism, Yoga, or some other version of Oriental mysticism. The author culls together strands of thought from various contemporary authors (such as R. D. Laing, Aldous Huxley, and many others) in buttressing his main thesis-essentially that Western thought, with the demise of Christian influences, has played itself out. In desperation, or boredom, many thinking people have consequently turned to some version of Eastern mysticism. But the latter is "no exit," because the philosophical difficulties underlying "mystical monism" are, though thinly veiled, much worse than the theistic world-view they are supposed to replace.

Monism, whether materialistic or idealistic, is the view that reality is all of one piece. Idealistic monismthe 'block universe" view, as William James once called it-has certain basic flaws: it tends to negate the reality of the physical world (hence time and space are ultimately unreal); it reduces the individual to the status of a mere wave on the ocean of the universe; and it has difficulty making sense of moral responsibility, because in a block universe everything is determined.

If Western monistic idealists have had to face philosophical difficulties, so, as Guiness shows, has Indian religious thought (and Zen as well). Common sense and science may only give us partial truth, but their truths are not illusory. And what is the advantage of a worldview, which has, as in India, so often led to a despairing resignation, in fact a fatalism, about the events of history or one's personal life?

A brief review cannot do full justice to the richness of Guiness' analysis. If The East, No Exit has a shortcoming, it is perhaps an occasional tendency to overgeneralize. Guiness speaks of "the East" as though it were a monolithic entity, whereas in fact Oriental religion and philosophy have been, historically, quite as diverse as West~rn~ thought. Perhaps the mysical-monistic aspect of Eastern thought has had the greatest appeal for Westerners, but skepticism and naturalistic atheism are also to be found in the Orient.

In Encircling Eyes, as in the booklet just discussed, Guiness speaks from personal experience as well as from broad scholarship. The question he initially confronts is: why are we seeing an upsurge of occultism now? He suggests three answers: (1) "the death of rationalism"; (2) "the increasing recognition of mystery in modem physics." (Here I believe Guiness is a bit misleading: "At the subatomic level," he asserts, "objectitvity fades like a shadow, the material dissolves into the mystical and the universe is seen, not as a machine, but as a thought"-p. 12. 1 am not sure even Eddington, an idealist, would have gone quite that far.); (3) the present state of psychic and parapsychologic research.

Whether or not one entirely agrees with Guiness' reasons as to why occultism is presently thriving, his interpretation of the phenomenon is quite convincing. For instance, after providing numerous examples of what he classifies as Superstitution, Spiritism, or Satanism, he notes that even when the genuineness of a particular phenomenon is admitted (and many are not genuine), we still have to ask whether the source of the experience is Divine or demonic. The experience per se is not self-certifying, contrary to what is often (erroneously) supposed.

Guiness correctly cautions us (as did C. S. Lewis) against both excessive skepticism regarding the occult, and an unhealthy interest in it. Today, he says, "many are coming to know God out of a background of firsthand acquaintance with the reality of the occult. Philosophical arguments are unnecessary. That God is, is no problem. It is who God is that is the crux of their conversion" (p. 37).

This short book is a valuable analysis of an important contemporary phenomenon. It of course does not aim at being a compendium of occultism, and says just what needs to be said without taking occultism either too seriously or not seriously enough. Both committed Christians and those who are seeking more light will find this short work, like the aforementioned, helpful.

Reviewed by Frederick R. Stuckmeyer, Department of Philosophy, West Chester State College, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19380

FAITH/FACT/HISTORY/SCIENCE AND HOW THEY FIT TOGETHER by Rheinalt Nantlais Williams, Tyndale House Publishers, 1974, 140 pp., $1.95.

As seen from its title, this little book covers a large spectrum of topics. The book is the development of a theme of a lecture given by Professor Williams at the University College, Cardiff, under the auspices of the D * J. James Pantyfedwen Trust. (Professor Williams is Professor of the Philosophy of Religion at the Theological College of Aberystwyth, University of Wales.) Other topics included in the book are reason, experience, the glory of faith and the birth of faith.

In the preface, Professor Williams states his convictions quite plainly: 

. . . the supreme Truth, which man is unable to reach,    

has, itself, reached man by assuming human nature, and this fact constitutes the foundation of the believer's
knowledge of God and of the good news to which faith is a response.

He adds that the book is written in a popular fashion, to appeal to fairly well educated people. In this reviewer's opinion, this is no hindrance. I think it is a fine book for those who have not had extensive background in the areas discussed.

In discussing the various topics Professor Williams draws on his breadth of knowledge to show how at least two opposing views are commonly held. (e.g., reason is hostile, friendly or indifferent to Christianity; science deals only with facts, religion with values, etc.) This has the advantage of setting the stage for his own views which, of course, do not fall in either of the extremes which he presents first. He aptly discusses the views of such noted men as Ayers and Russell, and shows weaknesses and inconsistencies in their thoughts.

His theme is best displayed in his chapter on History. It is not an attempt to give a philosophy of history: rather it claims that God has entered history in the person of Jesus Christ, His Son, and that Christ lived, died and rose again in history. It is this to which the apostles appealed when they presented the Gospel. He rightly claims that the resurrection of Christ is not just a proof that we too will be raised, but rather is itself an explanation of the cross. Here Professor Williams could have strengthened his case by including the truth that both the cross and resurrection can only be understood in the light of God's revelation to us, the Bible. Without it, we would be in darkness concerning the deeds of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is true that he later adds that our experience must be based on the objective fact that God has spoken. And I am sure that what he means by this is the Word of God, the Bible. But because of the current views of some of the so-called various forms of the "Word of God", be should have been more explicit.

He ends his book with a discussion of how faith begins. God must make the first move, and the move is to awaken us to our need (Regeneration). The fruits of this are repentance and trust. Even these, though, are gifts from God, and are in no sense produced by man. God is Sovereign.

The book is a good one. His theology is sound, has the warmth expected of an evangelical and the depth expected from a Calvinist. He views Christianity as being firmly rooted in historical events and claims that reason and science, if used within the proper perspective, can be of help in our understanding and propagation of the Faith. In my opinion, so can his book.

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

FREE TO DO RIGHT by David Field, 1973, Paperback, $1.25, Ill pp.
TAKING SIDES by David Field,
1975, Paperback, 45p, 124 pp.

Both books published by InterVarsity Press, Downers, Grove, Illinois.

These two books form a pair by the Senior Tutor at Oak Hill Theological College in London. The first sets forth general principles of Christian ethics, and the second applies these principles to the specific areas of ecology, abortion, divorce, work and race.

In Free to Do Right the author argues that the character of God must be taken as the basic moral standard; any choice that goes in a different direction or seeks a different basis is ipso facto in the wrong. He challenges advocates of situation ethics and argues that "keeping moral rules and doing the loving thing do not seem to be nearly so opposed in New Testament teaching" as many modem moralists sem to think. He goes on to discuss rewards and punishments, the place of pleasure, the conflict between public and private, and instances where two principles clash with each other. He recognizes the necessity sometimes to make lesser of-two-evils choices, but he argues that we must continue to recognize the evil as the evil and not attempt to promote it to good simply becauseit is the right thing to do under the circumstances.

Taking Sides starts with a brief review of Free to Do Right, and the author offers five guiding principles governing the right use of Scripture in dealing with moral issues: (1) examine the context, (2) distinguish the "weightier matters", (3) choose the lesser evil, (4) weigh the interests of others, and (5) listen to the voice of conscience. The author sees stewardship as the category in which man's role as creature and as manager are integrated; quality of life as the keystone to discussions of abortion, but not in a manner that "labels the deficient and deprived as disposable;" a divine marriage-standard that applies to all human beings, whether Christian or not, and allows for divorce only in cases of sexual unfaithfulness or desertion of a Christian by a non-Christian; work as part of God's ideal creation and in no sense a consequence of sin; and universality of human dignity without reference to race. Each chapter is concluded by a few questions designed to lead to discussion of the contents.

Although the author recognizes the reality of social problems and champions the involvement of Christians in their solution, his own approach is conservative and he frequently appears to slide off or over things that Christians could or should do to attempt to correct these inequities.

GOD AND THE GURUS by R. D. Clements, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1975. Paperback. 64 pp. $1.25.

This is a convenient summary written to help Christians understand Eastern sects, particularly three of the best known ones: Divine Light Mission, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and Transcendental Meditation. It is the author's conclusion that these sects contain some insights that would be valuable for Christians to recover, and also some grave errors that Christians must vigorously combat.

Arguing that Christians do not need to try to disprove or invalidate mystical experience per se, the author points out that the elements of monistic philosophy often associated with mystical experience do not arise from the experience but are imposed upon it. Discussing the dangers of "getting hooked on experience, 11 he suggests that mysticism can become "spiritual masturbation."

In discussing the pros and cons of meditation, the author always treats them as if the person involved were seeking a religious experience. He does not treat the possibility that many kinds of mental and physical exercise or relaxation may simply be good physiological practice for the body.

The pamphlet concludes with a series of "do" and "don't" suggestions for a Christian coming into contact with those involved in Eastern thought.

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

JOURNEY AWAY FROM GOD by Robert P. Benedict. Fleming H. Revell Company, 61d Tappan, New Jersey, 1972. 189 pp. $4.95 hardback.

The discussion of the relationship, if any, of scientific knowledge, scientific claims to knowledge, and Biblical truths, seems to know no end. The particular scientific claims about the origin of life, its evolution, etc. continue to engage the interest of Christians. If they are true or shown to be true, is the Scripture false in all it says about the creation of man, of the world, and about God Himself, the Creator? Indeed, grave doubts could be cast over the veracity of the total belief system of Christianity.

Journey Away From God, by Robert P. Benedict, attempts to figure out the relationship of the claims of science about the origin of life and Scriptural truths. He suggests that the division between science and religion is clear and their "ways diverge sharply" (p. 9). To recognize that a conflict exists between them, as he does, is not enough. Rather, he urges ". . . let us attempt to resolve (the conflict) now so that our children can more fully realize their heritage" (p. 10).

The conflicts which are explored in this book are those of Creation, Evolution, The Flood and The Methods of Dating. In each of these topics, he locates methodologies employed in arriving at certain claims and Scriptural statements. He describes the scientific methodologies employed in arriving at certain claims that science presents to be true about a given problem. At the same time, the limitations, inadequacies, and difficulties of such methodologies are shown. Invariably, the author concludes that most of the scientific methodologies are not absolutely trustworthy and reliable and if at all acceptable, only on a tentative basis.

Of the conflicts he discusses in his book, Benedict concludes that ". . . there is really complete agreement between the account of Scripture and the known facts of science . . ." in the matter of Creation (p. 58). However, in other areas explored, for example, evolution, Biblical records and scientific claims are in conflict (p. 97), are ". . . worlds apart-on the Flood account" (p. 120) and ". . . there is little hope for reconciliation . . . in the very important area of dating" (p. 153). Given these conflicts, the author urges his reader to choose: "Religion versus science. Science versus religion. Which way does your journey wend? (Away from or toward God?)" (p. 30). We must choose for there is no "middle ground" (p. 99).

What are the strengths of this book? The author is to be commended for his efforts at rendering, albeit in summarized version, scientific information in simple language. The discussions are easy reading and where there are technicalities involved, they are explained clearly and well. In the discussion on Creation, the author notes the different versions of Scripture and figures out their central agreements with regard to the use/meaning of the key terms employed in the creation story in Genesis. Side by side with the Scriptural record is a corresponding scientific explanation. The discussion in this section is well done, clear and engaging. The sections on Evolution, and Time and Dates are particularly informative. Both cover a wide range of information on the subjects, including the difficulties of the different methodologies employed which lead to controversies in the claims put forth by scientists. He presents, as well, some of the claimed triumphs of scientific investigations and shows why and which parts of these claims are questionable scientifically. The discussion on The Flood presents the three possible explanations about it, namely, (1) The Universal Flood, (2) The Local Flood Theory, and (3) No Flood at all Theory. There is not the same excitement here as in the two previous sections. Perhaps, this is so because the Flood has not been taken seriously by scientists as an agent in geological work since 1830 (p. 106).

There is no mention of the audience to whom his book is addressed. However, the simple language of the book and avoidance of complicated and intricate scientific problems relevant to the matters discussed indicate that the book is addressed to the reader who is not a professional scientist or who is not thoroughly at home in scientific knowledge/matters and their corresponding controversies. For the purpose of the author, it is immaterial whether or not the reader is a Christian. Anyone can profit from the reading of his work.

If this is so, then, the author has succeeded in informing the reader of the ways of scientific methodologies, the tentative nature of scientific knowledge claims, and the limitations of scientific endeavors that may be due to certain limitations of its techniques. In short, he has done reasonably well in introducing the reader into the manners and matters of science. Science is clearly portrayed as an aspect of human knowledge limited by the conditions and constraints of human knowledge itself, which prevent scientific claims from saying that they are always/will always be correct.

More importantly, the author is to be commended for his expressed concern that the scientific theory of evolution has seemingly ceased to be a scientific theory but, accepted as though it were a scientific certainty/ fact, it is now the justification of a total way of life. It has become the description, the explanation, the interpretation of total life and its meaning (pp. 96-97).

Unfortunately, in his zeal to convince his reader that the Scriptures, as a form of man-made record, are trustworthy, perhaps even more trustworthy than scientific claims on matters about the origin of life, attempts at dating the age of the earth, etc., the author tends to make judgmental statements which are more expressive of personal convictions than descriptive of scientific observations on scientific matters. He tends to over-emphasize the limitations and difficulties of science and its methodologies, which scientists do not deny, giving his reader the impression that all scientific assertions/claims, especially where there is need for interpretations, are suspect and have failed to meet the necessary requirements of science,

Perhaps it is not a grievous shortcoming when the weaknesses and inadequacies of science are belaboured. But, surely, it is distressing to find, in what could have been responsible writing on these topics, insidious suggestions and indirections that there is a connection, however it is construed, between and among the concepts 'Satan,' Iie,' and 'science.' The association among these terms may not be intended, but that there seems to be a suggestion that there is an association among them cannot, however, be missed. Consider the quotation:

What shall we say to all these things (the conflicts discussed)? Scriptures say that the father of all lies is Lucifer-Satan-the Devil. Now it is well known that once we accept a lie we are doomed to live it. The alternative of God's creation is man's lie. Man who has rejected God will invent all sorts of arguments to back his position. So the initial lie (that there is no God) leads easily into the next lie-that man has evolved. And next, we are forced to reject the Scriptural Flood in favour of man's uniformitarianism. And we are not finished yet.... And so we accept the long, long dates of geology, astronomy, radioactivity . . . one lie leading to another, until we reach the ultimate lie. . . . Have the lies we live by in our very scientific world forced us to accept the ultimate lie of Satan, namely that the empty tomb does not exist? (p. 164).

It is, of course, possible that the author does not have science as his object of criticism but that which be calls "scientism" or "pseudo-science of rash. men" (p. 43). But the use of these terms is not clarified; consequently, agreement or disagreement with him is not possible.

On the matter of clarification, the author tends to leave some of his statements ambiguous, sounding more like a slogan intended to arouse emotional, not critical, responses than a descriptive statement. Associating what he calls "the collective fall of modern man with the advent of science" (p. 15) and in turn associating science with "reason" (p. 16), the author then warns: "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has" (pp. 34 and 91). But the meaning of such a claim is not clear. In writing his book, did the author employ I reason?' If he did, is he against 'faith'? Or, is the author talking about a special kind of 'reason?' Unless such kinds of utterances are clarified, they are wrong and must be rejected.

The author repeatedly states that science rests on faith (pp. 31, 95, and 145). This suggests that science cannot claim superiority over religion for like religion, science, too, rests on faith. Is this to say then that the claims of science about scientific maters have to be taken and accepted by faith alone? One's faith in something/someone, like a number of religious beliefs, can be given credence regardless of whether or not they can be supported by evidences. If the claims of science can be accepted in this manner, are scientific claims/ problems identical, to religious problems/ claims? Clearly not. It is still the case that the final test of acceptability of scientific claims rests with the ability of such claims to show themselves valid and verifiable, if not actually verified. Granting that the notion of 'faith' in science suggests that in part science is not verifiable, still this says that such a 'faith' if truly 'scientific' can also be checked scientifically, That indeed I have 'scientific faith' in the workings of my irrigation system is to say that I have exhaustive empirical evidences for such a claim. My evidences are equal to my scientific faith/belief in my irrigation system. The evidences and my faith in them are identical with one another; there are no irreducible elements in my faith in the irrigation system. In the case of 'faith in religion,' the demands of scientific faith are not necessary to the establishment of its claim to being a true 'faith in religion.' Also the evidences employed to argue for the credibility of one's faith in religion are not identical with one's religious faith, The evidences may be publicly true, checkable, but they do not necessarly imply one's religious faith. The same evidences may be used to argue against the same claimed religious faith. The gap is clearly seen when acceptance of empirical evidences supporting one's religious beliefs or faith in God result in acceptance of and believing in the revealed truths of God that are not logically related with the empirical evidences. The revealed truths of God that one believes cannot be verified, although the claimed empirical evidences for them can be. The historical fact of the birth of Christ can be verified, but the revealed truth that He is the Son of God who will save mankind from sin cannot be verified : The point is that there is a distinction between 'faith in science' or 'scientific beliefs,' and 'religious beliefs' or 'faith in God' which the author fails to make. Quite simply, the bases of the claim 'I have faith in God to carry me through life' and the claim 'I have faith in Capt. Jones, the TWA pilot, to fly me to Toronto' are different.

It is simply naive to say that "Man became scientific" is another way of saying that "man becames more proud of his position in the universe than he should" ~ p, 159). One can also say "man became scientific" and "he did not become more proud of his position in the universe than he should" and there is no semantic nonsensicalitv that obtains. Or, one may be proud of his position in the universe even if he is not scientific but  of superstitious/mythical beliefs about himself and the world. Clearly, the two expressions are not logically related; one does not imply the other.

is the author successful in his attempt to resolve the conflict that exists between science and religion? If 'to resolve' means 'to make up one's mind' or 'to decide' about a given problem, it is clear that the author, in his study, has 'resolved' the conflict, at least for himself. However, if 'to resolve' means 'to answer and explain' or 'to solve' the conflicts discussed (if they are indeed conflicts) then it is doubtful whether or not the author is altogether successful in his attempts to do so.

In part, the author failed because he did not inquire into the prior question of whether or not a conflict indeed exists between religion and science. If such a conflict exists, what is its nature? The fuzzy use of 'conflict' renders some of his statements and arguments ineffective, if not useless. He says: ". . . there is a realm of science and a realm of faith. These two areas of human thought have confronted, are confronting and will continue to confront each other face to face" (p. 30). How, in what ways, do they confront each other if each has its own realm? The author suggests that they do not: "Science and Scriptures really are at odds, really are in conflict, really do confront each other, whenever one trespasses the grounds of the other" (p. 165. Italics mine). As long as each area of human thought keeps to its own realm there is no conflict between them. There is, therefore, something odd to the author's claim that "(Scripture and science) cannot both be correct" (p. 31). But correct about what? If each realm has its own mode of operations, then it has to be admitted that scientific statements are correct scientifically (if they meet the standards of a correct scientific claim). Scriptures, likewise, are correct, are true, in the sense of Scriptural truth. The revealed truth of Creation, as a unique event outside the realm of science (p. 59), is correct Scripturally. Scientific statements, on the other hand, cannot be accepted as self-evident or revealed truths but must be judged acceptable or not when they meet the rules for establishing truth claims scientifically. Statements about the ebb and flow of the tide, changing atmospheric pressures, climatic conditions, the age of fossils and rocks, etc. may be spoken of as correct scientifically. Science and Scripture can both be correct according to the requirements of their specific distinct claims. Of course, religion and science cannot give the same answer to a given problem because the bases of their comments, notions of truth, evidence, and of logic, are distinct from one another, which is not to say that they contradict each other. One simply talks of that which is and the other talks of that which is revealed or unseen. The 'eye of faith' discerns spiritual problems and the 'human eye' observes that which can be observed physically. In this sense, it is correct to say, along with Bridgman, that 'the scientific method of test-hypothesis-confirm-law-or-theory is always based on sensing natural phenomena, never does it attempt to examine spiritual matters, nor can it hope to" (p. 29). That which science cannot observe it cannot deny. However, it is also correct to say that depending upon one's beliefs about ultimate matters, beliefs that may be 'based on' Scriptural truths, matters of fact may be given an entirely different interpretation that need not be logically derived from or related to the given matters of fact themselves. Thus, given one's acceptance of eternity, one may view life and its possibilities differently from one who limits it to the earth. Both views, however, are necessarily metaphysical, thus not reducible to matters of observation.

Surely, to say that science demands that Scripture be scientifically correct before it can be accorded credibility, even if Scripture is not commenting on scientific matters and not claiming to be scientific, is to make a rash judgment on science. Also, the interests of science internal to itself or its essential objective is not ". . . to oppose religion and all that it requires in faith and belief in supernatural" (p. 25) nor "to consent bitterly against the church" (p. 24). Simply, it is to describe, to explain, and to predict the ways of the world of natural phenomena.

Unfortunately, it is true that some scientists have made disparaging comments about the beliefs of Christianity, casting serious doubts about Scriptural truths. Such comments are often assumed to be strictly derived from or based on scientific knowledge. But how can one claim that from matters of fact statements one can strictly derive conclusions pertinent to God, His creative acts, or eternal life: matters relative to one's belief in God? It is perfectly sensible and rational to say 'John is a scientist and he is a Christian' and sensible and rational to say 'Peter is a scientist and he is not a Christian.' There is nothing in the meaning of 'science' that says 'one ought (logical ought) or ought not to believe in God.'

That some scientists do violate rules of logic and meaningful discourse is no reason, on the part of Christian scientists, to blame science and what it has claimed to find. What scientists do with what they know about science may have nothing to do with science but may have something to do with scientists' personal history and private problems. To castigate science because of what scientists say about and do with science is similar to the tendency of some to blame, even deny, Christ and Christianity because of what Christians say and do about what they claim to know and believe about Christ.

Finally, it may be said that the author's intention in writing the book is not, strictly speaking, "to resolve" the conflict that he says exists between science and relig;on but 'to confront,' in the sense of 'inform,' the reader with the different findings of science on matters that may have suggestions regarding the truth status of Scriptures. He also confronts the reader with statements made by scientists that tend to discredit the claims of Scriptures. The author urges his reader to choose between science and the Scriptural records, (p. 104). How, on what basis, is he to make his choice? On his knowledge of both science and religion.

"Through our study (of his book, for example) we will be in a better position to judge . . . what we believe it is good to believe, and so order the direction of our individual journey" (p. 31). The decision is private, individual, and ultimately between man and his Maker" (p. 31).

The continuing interest among Christians in science and religion surely necessitates a serious study of some related prior questions, namely, (1) Is there a relationship between scientific knowledge or scientific claims to knowledge and religious knowledge? (2) If so, what kind of relationship holds between them? (3) May religious knowledge seek the support of scientific knowledge for its claims to being true or being The Truth? Is such a support necessary?, For what? Why? (4) On what grounds may religious knowledge reject scientific knowledge claims to being the justification of a way of life (if such is made)? (5) And, finally, do Christians know what it is that they are doing when they claim 'to believe in God,' 'to believe in the Scriptures and all that it holds?' In raising and attempting to answer these questions, the hope is that Christians will increasingly learn how to speak sensibly of their religious beliefs and commitments, of scientific knowledge and scientific claims to knowledge, and of the relationship that holds between them, if it is shown that indeed there is such.

Reviewed by Evelina Orteza y Miranda, Educational Foundations Department, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

THE IDEA OF A CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY: Essays in Honour of D.H.Th. Vollenhoven, H. Dooyeweerd, editor, Toronto, Canada, Wedge Publishhcig Company, 1973, 232 pp., no price given.

This collection of essays, originally published as the 38th volume of Philosophia Reformata, were presented to honor Dr. Vollenhoven on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. The studies of Dr. Vollenhoven all have dealt basically with the history of philosophy and a detailed comparison of philosophical traditions.

The contributors represent a wide range of backgrounds and interests; not too surprisingly, most are either on the faculty of the Free University or have studied there, both groups experiencing personal contact with Vollenhoven and his philosophical approach. A variety of topics are developed, several of which deal with philosophical interrelationships between science and religion, indicating the influence of early work of Vollenhoven (his doctoral dissertation was entitled "The Philosophy of Mathematics from a Theistic Point of View"). Other areas explored include problems of time and sense, a consideration of non-Christian philosophy drawing from the works of Calvin and neo-Calvinistic writers, the impact of science and philosophy on ethical decisions, and several papers dealing with various approaches to the history of philosophy, emphasizing the contributions of Vollenhoven.

Many of the ideas have practical application and would be of value to a larger group, but are couched in the language of the specialist, making them somewhat inaccessible to most readers.

Reviewed by Dr. Donald F. Calbreath, Director of Clinical Chemistry, Watts Hospital, Club Blvd., Durham, North Carolina 27705