Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews


PSCF Reviews for June 1986

Table of Contents
ORIGINS OF LIFE by Jim Brooks. Lion Publishing Corp., Belleville, MI (1985). 160 pages.
THE NATURAL LIMITS TO BIOLOGICAL CHANGE by Lane P, Lester and Raymond G. Bohlin. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1984). 207 pages. Paperback.
METAPHYSICS: Constructing a World View by William Hasker. InterVarsity Press (1983). 132 pages, incl. bibliography. $4.95.
SCIENCE, ACTION, AND FUNDAMENTAL THEOLOGY: Towards a Theology of Communicative Action by Helmut Peukert, trans. by James Bohman. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1984). 364 pages. Cloth; $35.00.
THE CONCEPT OF GOD: An Explanation of Contemporary Difficulties with the Attributes of God by Ronald H. Nash. Academic Books, Zondervan (1983). 127 pages.
THE NATURE OF DOCTRINE: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age by George Lindbeck. Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA (1985). 144 pages. Paperback, $9.95; hard cover $16.95.
AN EYE FOR AN EYE: the Place of Old Testament Ethics Today by Christopher J. H. Wright. InterVarsity Press (1983). 224 pages. $5.95.
ETHICS: APPROACHING MORAL DECISIONS by Arthur F. Holmes. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 132 pages. $4.95.
THE CREATION OF WEALTH: A Christian's Case for Capitalism by Brian Griffiths. InterVarsity Press (1984).$5.95.
FREE TO BE DIFFERENT by Malcolm Jeeves, R. J. Berry, and David Atkinson, edited and with Foreword by John R. W. Stott. Eerdmans (1985).155 pages. $8.95.
BRAVE NEW PEOPLE: Ethical Issues at the Commencement of Life, rev. ed., by D. Gareth Jones. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI (1985). 207 pages. Paper; $8.95.
LIFE IN THE BALANCE: Exploring the Abortion Controversy by Robert N. Wermberg. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan. (1985). 192 pages. paper; $7.95.
THE PRESENT-DAY CHRISTOLOGICAL DEBATE by Klaas Runia. InterVarsity Press (1984). 120 pages. $5.95.
HERMENEUTICS, INERRANCY AND THE BIBLE: Papers from ICBI Summit II edited by Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Zondervan Publishing House (Academic Books), Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 921 pages. ISBN 0-310-37081-7
KNOWING GOD'S WORD by Stanley A. Ellisen. Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN (1984). 294 pages. Paper; $9.95.
HOW TO READ PROPHECY by Joel B. Green. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 154 pages.
JESUS, SON OF MAN by Barnabas Lindars. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI (1984). xi and 244 pages. Paper; $9.95.
CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics by R. C. Sproul, John H. Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley. Zondervan Publishing House (Academie Books), Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 364 pages. ISBN 0-310 44951-0
CHRISTIANITY MADE SIMPLE: BELIEF by David Hewetson and David Miller. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1983). 159 pages.
RUNNING FROM REALITY by Michael Green. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1983). 127 pages; $3.50.
THE CREATION CONTROVERSY: Science or Scripture in the Schools by Dorothy Nelkin. Beacon Press, Boston (1982). 242 pages. $9.95.
LETTERS OF FRANCIS SCHAEFFER edited by Lane Dennis. Crossway Books (1985). Cloth; $15.95.

ORIGINS OF LIFE by Jim Brooks. Lion Publishing Corp., Belleville, MI (1985). 160 pages.

Origins of Life is a well made hardback with many excellent color pictures and diagrams of National Geographic quality but with a more academic text. The first half presents commonly accepted theories on the origin of the universe, stars, solar system, and planets. Chapters on the geologic column, radioactive clocks, and chance or purpose precede chapters on early earth conditions, chemical evolution theory and evidence, molecules in interstellar space, meteorites, life from outer space, and the fate of the dinosaurs. The book is seasoned throughout with short, appropriately placed references to God as Creator and concludes with a chapter on science and creation. Brief explanations of radioactivity, plate tectonics, DNA, the chemicals of life and other foundational information are Presented in "boxes" for readers unfamiliar with these topics. A glossary, an index, and a short selection of helpful books and papers support further study.

Origins of Life is a very readable, brief, general summary of origins suitable for both scientists and nonscientists. Jim Brooks was generally objective in handling both science and scripture. He balanced statements of fact with the tentative and open nature of science. Ideas with little or no direct supporting evidence were appropriately referred to as speculations, inferences, extrapolations, possibilities, and probabilities. Dr. Brooks' background as a British geochemist was reflected in a world-wide selection of pictures and examples that focused on England, Canada, and Australia. This book complements other books, such as The Mystery of Life's Origin by Charles Thaxton et al, which explore abiogenesis more thoroughly, but focus less on cosmological aspects of origins.

Brooks firmly believes that God is Creator and that the earth is very old but is not dogmatic or prescriptive about mechanisms. He presents four theories about the origin of life on earth: supernatural creation by God, spontaneous generation, universal life (panspermia), and abiotic synthesis. He wisely resisted the temptation to add to Genesis, which he did not discuss in detail.

In summary, Brooks has written one of the more readable, balanced, attractive treatments of origins. Some will wish for a citation of sources in order to explore certain positions in more detail. Most readers will be satisfied with the amount of information, level of detail, and number of alternatives considered.

Reviewed by L. Duane Thurman, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma. 74171.

THE NATURAL LIMITS TO BIOLOGICAL CHANGE by Lane P, Lester and Raymond G. Bohlin. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1984). 207 pages. Paperback.

This book is possibly the most sophisticated recent analysis of the theories of biological change from the standpoint of limited change. The authors, trained in the relevant disciplines, make a scientifically sophisticated case for an intrinsic limit to biological change. They begin with an excellent overview of modern genetic and ecological theory, continue with careful summaries of the "modern synthesis" and 11 punctuated equilibrium," follow them with thoughtful critiques, and conclude with their suggestions for an alternative viewpoint-change within limits. Their review of the literature, although necessarily limited, touches most of the major areas of theoretical and research interest in current evolutionary science.

Nevertheless, I feel the book has subtle problems, places where the authors' model of biological change influences both the presentation and interpretation of data and perhaps also their theology. Take gene duplication, for instance. If organisms are functions of their genomes, unlimited biological change requires unlimited acquisition of novelty in the genome via structural and regulatory sequence mutations. Gene duplication allows a gene's function to be maintained and mutated at once. On page 87, the authors present as a problem the loss of a gene's original function as it mutates toward new function, Later (p. 90), they discuss gene duplication without pointing out that the problem is thereby solved. On both pages 90 and 160 the possibility of a duplicate gene's mutating to fill a new functional role is denied, and only one example, that of hemoglobins, is cited. Other examples exist, however, such as the homology of the Trypsin group of digestive enzymes with the proteins of the clotting cascade. Similarly, on page 160 Campbell is misinterpreted to say that the gene descends into gibberish in order to rescend to new meaning, rather than occasionally avoiding gibberish in order to make a lateral transit into alternate meaning.

The concept of neutral mutations is discussed on pages 87 and 105. Most mutants are there said to be harmful, or occasionally negligible, but never different in function. In reality, the majority of likely substitutions involve similar amino acids and the majority of sites in most proteins are not functionally critical, hence the basis of the "molecular clock. " Such mutations can change qualities such as enzyme pH optima, and might therefore "preadapt" an enzyme to fUDCtion in a different environment. Interestingly, the authors view "molecular clock" taxonomic differences (e.g., in cytocbrome c) as contemporaneous adaptive differences (page 174), rather than as neutral accumulations over time. However, homologous proteins of different species are so similar that a very few minor substitutions could turn one into another. Thus, if their sequence differences are adaptative, a high probability of favorable mutations has been demonstrated!

The authors raise similar arguments against mutations of the regulatory genome, suggesting that due to those sequences' critical nature, changes are likely to be "overwhelmingly destructive." True, complex effects might thus be easily produced, but slight changes in recognition sequence might only slightly change rates of a protein's synthesis. Surely here too there will be a continuum of change.

In this largely unknown area the authors locate their suggested mechanisms for limits to biological change. The limits consist of a common developmental and regulatory pathway inherited from the "prototype" (the author's term for the first parents of a created kind). They suggest that such patterns on the DNA can be complex enough to "unroll" into a wide variety of species under the pressure of recombination and natural selection. In the meantime, mutations occur, gradually "fuzzing" the initially perfect adaptations, but are largely removed by the "cybernetic" effect of natural selection. They urge an intensive investigation to identify the original kinds (prototypes) on the basis of common developmental pathways.

This proposal has several problems. First, how extensive could the hidden diversity of the original "prototypes" be? After all, annelids and mollusks both develop via trochophore larvae. Could God have hidden all the forms of both phyla in one primordial organism? Quite a Chinese box! How can there be an objective measure of which levels of developmental pathways could have been encoded in common DNA, and which could only have been due to common ideas in the mind of God?

Second, if natural selection acts "eybernetically," one needs to consider the critical parts of cybernetic systems. The central element is a preset norm to which the system condition is compared and returned by system mechanisms. In this proposal, that norm must be the "limit" written in DNA language on the chromosomes. However, natural selection compares an organism with the environment, not with the internal DNA program. If the system is cybernetic, the prototype norms of a population must be written upon their environment, not in their genes. If so, change becomes the norm.

In any case, the concept of absolute limits to biological change presupposes that the encoded limits themselves will remain unchanged. Environments change constantly, hence the need for "tracking" DNA mutates. How are the "norm" sequences themselves prevented from mutating? If they do, would not natural selection cause the organism to change to match the mutated norm? Can you have absolute limits to biological change if the limits themselves are encoded on a mutable medium? The limits can evolve. if they can't where are they located? The advantage of a "platonic ideal" prototype in the mind of God is that it is immutable. Unfortunately, it also can not be investigated.

I'm afraid that the major problem revealed by the authors' view of biological limits is an inadequately biblical theology. Instead of a presently active creator who is "sustaining all things by his powerful word," we are presented with an absentee craftsman who has placed a material caretaker, the cybernetic limit mechanism, within each organism's DNA to rule over it and sustain its created pattern. Mutations are seen as products of random natural forces, attacking the creation order, rather than part of the "all things" which "in him" "hold together." Even the process of "unpacking" the hidden variation of the "prototype" seems to need only autonomous natural processes in order to create descendent species. This is not a theistic view of origins. It is pure deism. Worse, the biological world which God preprogrammed seems to be a sort of materialistic Platonism, in which each "prototype/ ideal" is encoded into DNA, and bodies are projections of those "ideals" forced upon rebellious chaotic (mutating) matter. 

On page 179, the authors state that a theistic view of origins will affect one's world view (and thus one's science), just as the acceptance of any form of evolution will. Theism, however, is a world view, a global view of the nature of reality. What is evolution? The book seems to imply that it is simply the idea of a common ancestry for all life, a proposed description of history. So would be the creation (sudden abiotic appearance?) of "prototypes." Each predicts certain patterns of data, but as the authors rightly point out, the meaning of data for us depends on our presuppositions. "The inability to recognize our own set of presuppositions can have devastating effects." Consider these two presuppositions:

"The ordinary laws of nature are-or are not-due to the continuous free action of God." If the law is autonomous, an evolutionary history must be completely autonomous; i.e., it would comprise a situation equivalent to that of materialism. Likewise, if law is autonomous, "prototype" creation would be deism. God would be proscribed from acting on organisms after their initial fashioning. In contrast, if law is God's free and continuous action, He could call "prototypes" into existence, hold them in stasis, and cause them to change at any time, to any extent, and by any method (including mutation) He so chooses. "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?... dearly, the necessary link of an evolutionary scenario to a materialistic world view depends upon the unbiblical presupposition of the autonomy of matter and natural law. The authors are right. "The single most basic presumption is the existence or nonexistence of God." But which God will we presume? The remote craftsman/spectator of the deist, or the one "in whom we live and move and have our being?"

And yet, this presuppositional critique probably applies equally to most of us in the twentieth century, enveloped from birth in a world view which presumes that the autonomy of material processes is self-evident. It is hard for us to believe that good science can be done without such a presupposition. But it was, for three hundred years. The God of all providence is a faithful God.

Thus we rise to a conception of both Divine power and Divine goodness; and we are constrained to believe, not merely that all material law is subordinate to His will, but that He has also (in the way He allows us to see His works) so exhibited the attributes of His will as to show himself to the mind of a man as a personal and superintending God, concentrating his will on every atom of the universe." (Adam Sedgewick, about 1840)

This critique should also not be taken as a statement that an
internal or external stasis mechanism isn't possible (under God's direction!). Indeed, the concept of mechanisms for stasis is one of the hottest debates in evolutionary theory (see Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol 61, No. 2, 1985). The real difficulty most investigators have with punctuated equilibrium is not the concept of "rapid" change (possibly at speciation), but rather the multi-million year stasis between changes. The authors' proposals indeed ought to be tested most thoroughly. Perhaps we can yet discover in what way God has chosen to create.

Reviewed by David L. Wilcox, Department of Biology, Eastern College, St. Davids, Pennsylvania 19087

METAPHYSICS: Constructing a World View by William Hasker. InterVarsity Press (1983). 132 pages, incl. bibliography. $4.95.

Christians active in the scientific exploration of reality probably devote little of their working time to metaphysical speculation. Yet, these are concerns of genuine and deep interest to them if they wish to develop genuinely thoughtful, articulate, and coherent perspectives on the reality they investigate and in which they live. What sort of reality does the world have? Does the picture of the world given by modern physics undermine our belief in the reality of everyday objects? How is God to be understood as relating to the world? As absent, or as identical with the world, or as its Creator and Sustainer? Are human actions really free? How does the deterministic picture assumed by the sciences impinge on notions of freedom and dignity when applied to the human person? What is the relation of mind and body? Are MiDds real and distinct existences or merely the workings of physiological brains? In Metaphysics, these foundational metaphysical questions-and others-occupy the attention of one of evangelical Christianity's most skillful and incisive philosophers.

Hasker, professor of philosophy at Huntington College, Indiana, is deeply involved in the contemporary philosophical scene, actively engaged in philosophical conferences and contributing to journals, working largely in metaphysics, The book itself is part of a new series edited by C. Stephen Evans, until recently of Wheaton College, Dow of St. Olaf College. This series should be taken note of by Christian intellectuals in all disciplines. It includes David L. Wolfe's book Epistemology, Arthur F. Holmes' Ethics, and Evans' Philosophy of Religion.

In chapter 1, Hasker introduces metaphysics, that branch of philosophy in which we ask such questions as "What is real?"; "Which realities are ultimately real, and which are only derivative;" "What are the basic constituents of reality?"; and "Are the constituents identified by science all of the 'ultimate reals' that conspire to make up things?" Metaphysics also asks what the place of human beings in the broader context of reality is.

Answering metaphysical questions, according to Hasker, is primarily a matter of giving good reasons for what we believe and for the assertions we make. Reasons are good if they can be shown to be based on other things we know to he true. Hasker gives two basic rules for doing metaphysics. First, we may take as premises for a metaphysical argument anything we know or have good reason to believe to be true. Second, no belief, no matter how firmly held or apparently well supported, is beyond the appropriateness of challenge or questioning. That means that philosophy is, in Hasker's words, a "completely non-dogmatic subject. Nothing is accepted merely on authority. "

This, of course, raises questions for the Christian who works in metaphysics. After all, doesn't Christianity tell us about the world; can we have a branch of study, such as metaphysics, which does not assume Biblical presuppositions? For Hasker, "in the Christian's philosophical work, he is concerned not with the validation of the truth through Divine revelation, but with what can be said about them as well as about other things on the basis of ordinary human methods of understanding and inquiry." just as does the ordinary believer, the Christian philosopher holds to a belief in the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, and does not need to establish this truth as a conclusion of a philosophical argument.

After the first chapter introducing metaphysics, he discusses freedom and necessity in light of the deterministic challenge to free will and human personality. In the third section he talks about the mind-body relationship, defending his own emergentist form of dualism. Emergentism holds that the "soul field" emerges as a result of the organization and functioning of the brain and nervous system. In his chapter on the world, he discusses idealism (reality is ultimately mental, not physical), scientific critique of realism (the material world exists independently of consciousness), and the consequences of scientific realism; and opts for what he calls the scientific picture of the world, which he calls "one of the major accomplishments of our civilization. " Hasker says that science may not provide a complete explanation of human existence, but it provides important insights into human life and behavior which cannot be ignored."

In the chapter entitled "God and the World," Hasker talks about the relationship between the Christian concept of God and metaphysics. He discusses naturalism (the world without God), pantheism (God as identical with the world), panentheism (God including the world), and opts finally for theism (God as the distinct Creator of the world, who stands apart from and alongside his creation).

In conclusion be asks whether there can be a Christian metaphysic, and admits that his book does not provide a system of Christian metaphysics. He rather sees the book as helping to focus some of the issues with which Christian metaphysics must deal. Any Christian metaphysic first of all must speak of God as the supreme, ultimate reality, the sovereign and sole creator. Secondly, a Christian metaphysic must speak of creation, that God has bestowed being on other entities besides himself, including the heavens and the earth. And lastly, a Christian metaphysic must speak of man as being in the image of God. Human beings are different from other animals and other entities of the world because we are in God's image. Hasker concludes by providing options for how Christian metaphysics may proceed.

Hasker's Metaphysics is highly recommended as a treatment that is introductory, yet technically accurate and professionally competent. It should serve as a stimulus for further study and reflection as we attempt to integrate our scientific, philosophical, and faith commitments.

Reciewed by Dr. David B. Fletcher, Department of Philosophy, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

SCIENCE, ACTION, AND FUNDAMENTAL THEOLOGY: Towards a Theology of Communicative Action by Helmut Peukert, trans. by James Bohman. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1984). 364 pages. Cloth; $35.00.

This is a profound and difficult book-an informed analysis of the problem-laden search for normative foundations of human thought and action. First published in 1967 as Wissenschaftstheorie Handlungs-theorie-Fundamentale Theologie, the volume presents Peukert's attempt "to develop a fundamental theology from the theory of communicative action" (P. xxiii).

As this last term implies, Peukert depends on a theological transformation of Jurgen Habermas' theory of communicative action. For the philosophically adept, then, the place to begin is with Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action, volume 1, Reason and the Rationalization of Society, and volume 2, System and Lifeworld: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, translated by Thomas McCarthy, and published in 1984 by Beacon Press. This two-volume summa includes, clarifies, and extends much of the previously published theoretical work by Habermas. For those new to the body of 1. critical theory," McCarthy's exegesis of The Critical Theory of Juirgen Habermas (MIT, 1978) is an indispensable introduction. Habermas: Critical Debates, edited by John B. Thompson and David Held (MIT 1982), and R. J. Siebert's Critical Theory of Religion (Mouton, 1985) are also useful. Peukert's construction of a fundamental theology also involves appropriating the work of Rudolf Bultmann, Karl Rahner, and Johann Baptist Metz. More of this later.

Though the historiographic model of unremitting "warfare" between theology and science is no longer tenable, it remains true that over the past few centuries an increasingly dogmatic and positivistic scientific mentality has declared open season on most everything to do with religion, from presupposition to practice. In the twentieth century the high priests of science have tended to reduce theology to some version of social functionalism or psychological projectionism. Scientific metaphysicians have often claimed to have demonstrated their denial of any legitimate status-intellectual or social-for theology. Peukert takes non-theistic, scientific challenges to theistic belief-systems seriously. Granting the validity of its own premises and principles, the autonomy and integrity of the sciences must be respected. It is with a real body of knowledge, practice, and attitudes concerning the world that theology must speak. Once this dialogue begins, Peukert contends, theology will discover that scientific rationality has reached certain limits that challenge from within the credibility of science's claims to exclusive truth and objective omni-competence. It's not that the late nineteenth-century God of science is dead, or even limping, but that science (and the world it studies) can now be seen as a thoroughly human product. Recent history, sociology, and philosophy of science now recognize the presence within science of constitutive social and ideological elements, of unexamined and gratuitous presuppositions, and of what could be called "transcendent" intersubjective concerns that skew its own self-understanding. Peukert stresses the move in philosophy of science and linguistic analysis toward developing some theory of communicative action as a foundation for their own methodological and productive operations. Ordinary language, with its goal of inter-subjective communication and action is seen as the ultimate basis for any working discipline. Peukert argues that even the introduction of meta-theories and metalanguages (always a popular past-time among theoreticians) must be related via some "hermeneutical circle" back to ordinary language and "communicative action."

Peukert regards the theological renderings of Heidegger's existentialism and Kantian transcendentalism as significant resources for the construction of a fundamental theology for our time. Thus, Appendices I and II are devoted to analyses of the work of Bultmann and Balmer, respectively. However, as Peukert states in his Introduction, he is seeking to situate his fundamental theology in the context of political theology. This intention inevitably exposes limitations in both existential and transcendental interpretations of history and human subjects. It is here that Peukert turns to Metz's reading of fundamental theology as an eminently practical and political enterprise that seeks to be socially relevant and responsible by securing theoretically and normatively the foundational categories of political tbeology (e.g., history, work, solidarity, liberation).

Along with Metz, then, Peukert is working to make fundamental theology more historically concrete and politically practical. In a systematic way, and at a basic level, theology must be aligned with the interests of the oppressed and the poor, in solidarity with those who are pushed to the margins of society through institutionalized violence and injustice. Given these commitments and the necessity for interdisciplinary dialogue, Peukert argues that it is Habermas' critical theory of communicative action that is best equipped to establish the insights and methods of political theology in a new, more practical, fundamental theology.

Science, Action, and Fundamental Theology is divided into two major parts. Part 1, which concerns modern developments in linguistic theory and philosophy of science, is a difficult, technical, and complex beginning to a difficult, technical, and complex book. Here, Peukert covers the move of scientific naturalism away from the anti-theistic bias and logical positivism in early Wittgenstein and the "Vienna Circle" (chapter I), through the collapse of the "verification principle" and the implications of Godel's "completeness theorem" (chapter 2), through various transformations in the philosophy of empirical science, including Popper's principle of "falsification" (chapter 3), up to "speech-act" theory, Chomsky's linguistics, and the "turn to pragmatics" in late Wittgenstein (chapter 4).

The upshot of this movement is the recognition that the search for normative foundations of scientific rationality requires a theory of "communicative action" that accepts the basic value and importance of ordinary human language and interpersonal activity. The author's point is that science has introduced questions of history and social relations into its quest for foundational self-understanding. This turn of events in philosophy of science and language, Peukert argues, has special significance for sociological method (chapter 5), for the reconstruction of Lorenzen's concept of "life-world practice" and the Erlangen School's proposed "constructivist theory of science" (chapter 6), and for theories of communicative action (chapter 7).

Part II concerns the appropriation of Habermas's work in the articulation of a fundamental theology. Peukert sees fundamental theology and philosophy of science coverging upon a theory of communicative action (chapter 8). He is critical of any attempt to develop fundamental theology in opposition to, or even in isolation from, the concerns of scientific theory and method (chapter 9). One reason for this is his belief that theology requires some theory of commumicative, action for its own analysis of social relations.

In chapter 10 Peukert offers a critique and a comparison of the communicative action theories of Mead, Ape], and Habermas, ending with a rejection of all claims to theoretical self-sufficiency. The ideals of communicative action-"mutual recognition," "universal justice," "unrestricted community" and the like-run into difficulties when faced with the limiting case of "anamnestic solidarity" (a notion related to Benjamin's "empathetic memory"). The fact that "those human beings who have sought to act in solidarity, to whom we owe the very possibilities of our own lives, have been annihilated without blame or guile" makes anamnestic solidarity paradoxical (p. 231). Indeed, it marks "the most extreme paradox of a historically and commnicatively acting entity," for "One's own existence becomes a self-contradiction by means of the solidarity to which it is indebted. The condition of its very possibility becomes its destruction" (p. 209). Reaching the limit of communicative action theory, Peukert proceeds to theologically transform that theory in the service of fundamental theology.

In the eleventh and final chapter Peukert argues that Judeo-Christian belief is concerned with the reality of paradoxical "limit experiences" and with "the kinds of words and acts still possible in the face of those experiences" (p. 215). Fundamental theology "can and must be developed as a theory of this communicative action of approaching death in anamnestic solidarity and of the reality experienced and disclosed in it" (ibid.). Turning to the Bible, Peukert shows how the Exodus and exile traditions, the prophetic texts and gospel parables tell the stories of people who lived in "anamnestic solidarity" with the dead, defeated, and downtrodden. It is with the narratives concerning Christ's Passion, however, that we reach the summit of this solidarity, as well as the most critical question of God's reality and goodness. "If the one who in his existence asserts God for others is himself annihilated, is this assertion then not refuted? How can we still talk about God at all?" (p. 225). The New Testament, of course, deals with the despair of Good Friday by proclaiming the glory of Easter Sunday. While cries of "Christ is risen!" answer the agony and scandal of the Cross for believers, something more intellectually rigorous is required for philosophers, something more politically empowering for faithful activists. And so fundamental theology must devise an interpretation of Jesus' resurrection that opens up for people a way of relational existerice-in-solidarity through liberating social action. Thus a theological theory of communicative action must somehow be wedded to political theology and to Christian theories of society and history (pp. 242-244). This fundamental theological work is still unfinished.

All this seems strange to English-speaking, Evangelical audiences unfamiliar with the often insular world of Germanic critical theory and philosophical and political theology. Any science-and-religion students who were disappointed with Wolfhart Parmenberg's Theology and the Philosophy of Science will probably not appreciate Science, Action, and Fundamental Theology. Still, many readers will find this an important and basic, if demanding, book for understanding the relations of philosophy of science to language and action, and the relations of theology to all of the above, and to society and politics.

My major regret is that Peukert was unable to consider the most recent literature in historical sociology of scientific knowledge, nor to discuss the current work of such liberation and political theologians as Juan Luis Segundo, Jose Miguez-Bonino, Gustavo Gutierrez, Dorotbee Solle, Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, and Rosemary Radford Reuther. This latter group of writers especially provide biblically-grounded and politically sensitive critiques of previous, ideologically loaded hermeneutics and "fundamental" theologies.

Reviewed by Paul Fayter, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto.

THE CONCEPT OF GOD: An Explanation of Contemporary Difficulties with the Attributes of God by Ronald H. Nash. Academic Books, Zondervan (1983). 127 pages.

This book is an invitation to think about God. It is an exploration in philosophical theology that focuses on classical and contemporary discussions of the divine attributes, especially as difficulties with those attributes are believed to raise doubts about the coherence of the concept of God. The days when philosophers were content just to ask if God exists are gone forever. Of course, they will continue to discuss the traditional arguments for God's existence. But in recent years, the attention of philosophers has been directed to an entirely different and more fundamental set of issues. The question today is not "Does God exist?" but "Is it logically possible for God to exist?" (from the author's Preface)

Panentheism, or process theology, sees severe problems with the classical Christian theistic position (which is also described in the book as the Thomistic position). Professor Nash provides a very helpful introduction to the motivation behind both positions, and the major tenets of each. He then discusses particular attributes of God from the Thomistic 11 package" in successive chapters, to clarify and then to reinterpret them as necessary.

The chapter on omnipotence concludes that there is no contradiction in affirming that God is essentially omnipotent. Two chapters on omniscience result in the conclusion that statements in this area have to be carefully worded, but that there is no inherent problem in reconciling divine omniscience and human freedom. A chapter on eternity terminates without a conclusion as to whether God is timeless (exists outside of time) or everlasting (in time, but without end); Nash believes that theism could accommodate itself to either interpretation. The chapter on simplicity is certainly not simple, but concludes that this is not something that Christian theology must affirm. The chapter on immutability concludes that there is no reason not to A firm this attribute, even though humans "can make a difference to God." The final chapter, "Theism Revisited," affirms that the traditional theistic position should be modified slightly, but can be held against objections of process theology. The "modifications" proposed for the "traditional" view are certainly compatible with biblical revelation.

This book is easy to read. A great deal of useful material is packed into a small compass. I highly recommend it.

Reviewed by Dr. David T. Barnard, Director of Computing Services, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

THE NATURE OF DOCTRINE: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age by George Lindbeck. Westminster Press, Philadelphia, PA (1985). 144 pages. Paperback, $9.95; hard cover $16.95.

The Nature of Doctrine addresses questions which are fundamental both for theologians and for all who are concerned with the relationships between theology and other disciplines. The basic concern, as the title suggests, is "What is doctrine?" Lindbeck analyzes the usual answers to this question, and goes on to argue for a post-liberal "culturallinguistic" approach to this fundamental concern.

Lindbeck's study has its origins in his participation in ecumenical dialogue, especially those dialogues in which he has represented the Lutheran position in discussions with Roman Catholics. Such dialogues have often resulted in joint statements to the ef feet that considerable agreement has been reached on previously divisive issues, while each party to the dialogue maintains that its own position has not changed substantially. How can that be? Perhaps our difficulty in understanding such a result of doctrinal discussions stems from an inadequate understanding of what doctrine is.

One traditional approach stresses the cognitive aspects of religion and regards doctrines primarily as propositions about objective realities. This is characteristic of, for instance, traditional Roman Catholic theology and Lutheran or Reformed orthodoxy. On the other hand, liberal theology often concentrates on the "experiential-expressive" aspect of religion, and doctrines are regarded as "noninformative and nondiscursive symbols of inner feelings, attitudes, or existential orientations" (p. 16).

Neither of these approaches is able to deal well with that puzzling result of ecumenical dialogue, agreement without change. For the propositionalist, two doctrinal positions that is, two propositional schemes-which disagreed in the sixteenth century must continue to do so forever. Agreement could be reached only by capitulation or compromise in which at least one of the parties changes its doctrinal stance. On the other hand, in the experiential-expressive approach, doctrinal constancy is of secondary importance, and religious accord must take place at the experiential level to be of real significance. Lindbeck thus finds both of these understandings of doctrine, as well as attempts to combine them such as those of Ralmer or Lonergan, inadequate.

The alternative which the author proposes is a "cultural-linguistic" one, in which religions are understood as being similar to languages. Doctrines are then neither propositions which refer directly to objective reality nor symbols of experience, but "communally authoritative rules of discourse, attitude, and action" (p. 18). This theory may therefore be described as a "regulative" one. In this view the ecumenical creeds, for example, are not so much collections of correct propositions or expressions Of Christian experience as they are rules about how Christians must speak of the fundamental matters of their faith. Lindbeck points out that this is not at all a new idea. Non-theological (e.g., sociological) studies of religion have often taken this view of their subject. In addition, the appeal of orthodox theologians to a "rule of faith" (regula fidei) is very ancient.

Different rules about, for instance, "the locus of infallibility" in the Church (pp. 98-104) may be in apparent contradiction. But it may be possible to resolve the conflicts by noting carefully in what situations the different rules are intended to apply. Thus Lindbeck's initial concern, that of making sense of ecumenical dialogues, can be dealt with by a regulative theory. That of course does not, in itself, mean that it is the superior theory of doctrine, and the author goes on to examine the adequacy of the different theories with some care.

Lindbeck's discussion is thus concerned not with the validity of various doctrines, but with the adequacy of different ideas of what doctrines are. The analysis is first carried out on a theoretical level (chapters 3 and 4). Chapter 5 then tests the regulative theory against its rivals by considering specific areas of Christian belief-the Trinity, the Incarnation, Marian dogmas and infallibility. The purpose of this discussion of specifics is not to determine which doctrinal positions are correct but to see how well the different theories of doctrine function in allowing the different positions to be expressed. "Can the theory make sense of these doctrines and yet not decide the substantive issue of whether they should be accepted?" (p. 91). Lindbeck's conclusion is that a regulative theory of doctrine functions as well as, and in some ways better than, the alternatives.

In some ways Lindbeck's approach may be more congenial to conservatives, often accustomed to a propositional approach, than it is to liberals. The book's subtitle suggests a clearly felt need to go beyond liberal methodology, but that is not the same thing as going back to propositional orthodoxy. We might compare this with the situation in biblical studies, where the need to go beyond purely analytic historical criticism (as with recent attempts toward "canonical criticism") should not be confused with attempts to return to pre-critical views of biblical inerrancy.

Those accustomed to a propositional understanding of doctrine (and this probably includes most people concerned with the science- theology interface) will be particularly interested in the question of religious truth and in the distinction between ontological truth and intra-systernatic truth. The "Excursus on Religion and Truth" (pp. 63-69) needs to be studied carefully in this regard. The cultural-linguistic approach allows the possibility that statements like "Jesus is Lord" are ontologically true-that is, that they are correct propositions about objective reality. But this is the case only when they are "used to mold lives through prayer, praise, preaching, and exhortation" (p. 69). Doctrinal statements, on the other hand, are "grammatical" statements about the proper use of the religious language. The point is not at all that objective truth is unattainable, but that, in a regulative theory of doctrine, doctrinal statements are not necessarily the most important ones that car) be made.

Lindbeck's treatment of basic methodological questions of theology has some important implications for any kind of apologetic concern, including that of presenting Christianity in the context of the modern scientific world view. If the regulative approach is correct, the Tillicbean "method of correlation" of identifying modern questions and then translating the gospel response so as to address those questions is a questionable procedure. Instead, one "seeks to teach the language and practices of the religion to potential adbererits" (p. 132). How one is to "target" groups like those concerned with questions of faith and science is a question that Lindbeck does not address, although he does see serious practical problems in implementing his "catechetical" approach.

The Nature of Doctrine will reward the efforts of those who are willing to do some bard thinking about the character of the theological enterprise. It can help theologians, and all who are interested in theology, to get a better understanding of just what that enterprise is about.

Reviewed by George L, Murphy, Pastor, St. Mark Lutheran Church, Tallinadge, Ohio.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE: the Place of Old Testament Ethics Today by Christopher J. H. Wright. InterVarsity Press (1983). 224 pages. $5.95.

Christopher J. H. Wright believes that the whole Old Testament is relevant for modern ethical decisions. He rejects the separation of ceremonial and civil law from moral law, and contends that all of Scripture is useful today. An Eye for an Eye is his development of a way to understand the Old Testament, which avoids the perils of trying to remake the modern world in the image of ancient Israel, on the one hand, or spiritualizing away the concrete application of the Old Testament, on the other.

First, Wright presents a framework of Old Testament ethics, in which God is presented in covenant relationship with a people and with the land. He depicts this as a triangle, in which the covenant relationship can be seen with emphasis on God (the theological angle), the people of Israel (the social angle), and the land (the economic angle). He believes this three-fold relationship serves as a paradigm for knowing God's will in the world. The "existence and character [of Israel] as a society were to be a witness to God, a community" (p. 43). So God's promises and demands in His relationship with Israel can be studied in order to find patterns and principles to aid in ethical decisions now.

The second part of the book deals with themes in Old Testament ethics. This is a general application of the perspective presented in the opening chapters, but is not a detailed treatment coming to specific conclusions. Wright deals with economics, politics, justice, law, society, and culture, and the place of the individual in society. It is interesting that the individual is dealt with only in the last chapter, and, even then, as a part of the community. He believes that "the individual aspects of the Old Testament theology and ethics cannot be appreciated apart from an understanding of the community that God called into being in his election and redemption of Israel" (p. 197).

An Eye for an Eye is well written and coherent. It deals, in a satisfying way, with the whole person and the whole of life. While presenting an interpretation of God's will from creation, it takes into account the results of the fall, and the process of redemption. It indicates an approach to the Old Testament consistent with Paul's dictum that "all Scripture is inspired by God, and useful" (11 Tim. 3:16). Wright has suggested the need for another book, to facilitate a detailed application of his paradigm to specific issues in the modern world. I, for one, hope that Wright himself will do that, since his treatment of the framework and major themes of Old Testament ethics is so satisfying to me.

Reviewed by Joseph M. Martin, Professor of Missions, Edward Lane Bible Institute, Patrocinio, M.G., Brasil.

ETHICS: APPROACHING MORAL DECISIONS by Arthur F. Holmes. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 132 pages. $4.95.

This book is part of the Contours of Christian Philosophy series, edited by C. Stephen Evans. In a general preface he explains that the series consists of "short introductory- level textbooks in the various fields of philosophy." Holmes states (page 10) that this book in particular "is a Christian introduction to ethics, to both ethical theory and moral application. Ethics is about the good (that is, what values and virtues we should cultivate) and about the right (that is, what our moral duties may be)."

Four chapters "examine some widespread views that appear incompatible to a Christian ethic." Cultural relativism sees moral beliefs and practices as grounded in human needs and social conditions, and thus denies universal moral absolutes; ethical emotivism sees moral language as expressing or arousing emotions, so truth and falsehood are not applicable categories for moral terms; egoism considers the consequences of acts for oneself, and utilitarianism considers consequences for people at large. All of these are examined and found wanting for various reasons.

Three chapters then outline a proposed Christian ethic. Four "ingredients" are distinguished: particular cases, moral rules that apply to various areas, underlying principles, and theological or philosophical bases (presuppositions). Holmes argues that we gain moral knowledge via "biblical and material indications of God's purposes for us," or special and general revelation. Finally, the basis for obligation is God's nature and will. Thus, "moral language therefore refers ultimately to God's love and justice in relation to what he proposes for his creation."

Four chapters apply this ethic to various moral issues. Human rights, criminal punishment, legislation of morality, and sex and marriage are considered from a Christian perspective.

The final chapter, "The Ethics of Virtue," discusses what we should be as opposed to what we should do. For a Christian, ultimate recourse is to the grace of God that "builds within us the virtues of godly character."

The book is concise and cogent, and can be recommended as an introduction to Christian ethics.

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

THE CREATION OF WEALTH: A Christian's Case for Capitalism by Brian Griffiths. InterVarsity Press (1984).$5.95.

Much has been written on economics and its relation to Christianity and ethics. Like the science and faith literature, such material often centers on inappropriate questions addressed by writers unfamiliar with both the method (tbeory) and results ("facts"), in this case, of modern economics. Religious and political convictions, orthodox or otherwise, tend to predominate in discussion. of course, men who do not necessarily have a background in economics are involved daily in economic activity, and so economics is often more closely linked to political and social views than to the "science" of economics itself. Accordingly arguments concerning economics, not necessarily edifying, readily arise.

Griffiths, an economist and business school dean, and former central banker, for the most part escapes such general criticism in his book, which, as indicated by the title, deals with the question "Is Capitalism Christian?" He is explicit in denying that this is a meaningful question: the Bible does not outline an economic system-cum- Utopia, though it does describe appropriate individual behavior. He similarly takes up other related questions, in chapters on the economic, theological, moral and ideological dimensions of the "income generation." On the whole Griffiths accomplishes the task he sets for himself, though his discussion of economics is filled with many inaccuracies, poorly framed or dubious arguments, and careless statements-ironic given his background.

To give some examples of his economics, in his second chapter he argues that in practice the Western economies are inherently more efficient. In economic theory, faultless planners produce the same results as a faultless market; in the real world they do not, but different systems do have different strengths and weaknesses in the face of sin. He does not attempt to ask or answer the question which this implies, but instead focuses on only one of many criteria, that of per capita GNP growth. He also compares extreme cases, biasing his results. Hence while his conclusion may be proper, his arguments do not support them; some use of the tools of comparative economics would have been appropriate. But in general he is successful in sidestepping the "capitalism" versus "socialism" debate, noting that changing the system does not remove the source of problems, that only the Cross provides a way. Other examples of poor economics in the book are Griffiths' discussion of development, where he follows Lord Bauer on the role of investment, in contradiction to all attempts at growth accounting, and implicitly claims the irrationality of the peasant, in opposition to the Nobel prize work of Schultz. (To his credit he does have one or two interesting observations, such as the possible dependency of measures of income distribution on the demographic profile.)

Another weak area is his discussion of the importance of public (British) morality for an economy. It is tempting to, blame economic problems on declining morals, but the interrelationships are unclear, and I have seen no evidence to indicate that current morals as they relate to economics are worse than their historical average, however great the contrast with the early post World War II era. Weber, to whom he refers, was concerned with the origins of "capitalism," not with its spread or current strength; and it is easy to find examples which would indicate that good morals have not been enough to bring about prosperity, nor non-Christian morals (e.g., Japan, California) enough to prevent it. He would do better to expand his overly short list of economic reasons for Britain's poor performance.

His subsequent chapters are much better, and in places stimulating. His discussion of stewardship is good; be points out that the condemnations of the prophets were of the immorality of the rich, not of wealth itself. His handling of the ethics of "competition" correctly notes that the secular and the economic use of the term are quite different, and that economic self-interest (which means "efficient" behavior) is not immoral, though the goals to which it is directed may be. His critique of libertarian thinking is pointed: "the Bible does not condone a society of freely consenting adults. " Finally, his tracing of the religious stance of the classical economistsstarting from the Deism of Adam Smith-was both new to me, and thought provoking. It could readily be extended to the current equivalent of Smith's "Invisible Hand," general equilibrium theory. Despite widespread faith in this theory, equilibrium does not exist outside of the artificial Arrow-Debreu world, while even given existence (and endowment transfers), equilibrium would by the Arrow Impossibility Theorem not be desirable. Faith in economics, like faith in science, is dubious on its own merits, and certainly at odds with belief in the Lord.

Reviewed by Michael Smitka, New Haven, Conn.

FREE TO BE DIFFERENT by Malcolm Jeeves, R. J. Berry, and David Atkinson, edited and with Foreword by John R. W. Stott. Eerdmans (1985).155 pages. $8.95,

Many twentieth century men and women seem to be preoccupied with demanding their rights and expressing their freedom to do what they want when they want. On the other hand social and biological scientists have been attributing much, if not all, of our behavior to our heredity and to our past and present environments. The age old controversy of freewill versus determinism is still with us and still far from settled. Based on their 1982 London Lectures for Contemporary Christianity, Malcolm Jeeves (Psychologist), R. J. Berry (Biologist), and David Atkinson (Theologian) have put together an insightful analysis of our present understanding of the problem.

in the first part of the book, Jeeves discusses environmental conditioning and concludes that "there is ample room for freedom within a deterministic science," but that, as Christians, our ultimate confidence and hope is in our acceptance by God through His grace. Berry gives us an up-to-date description of the deterministic role of our genes, but empbasizes bow these genetic factors are often readily influenced by our environment. Furthermore, we can often choose our environments and cannot blame our misdeeds on either our genes or our environment. Atkinson attempts to answer the question, "What is the relation between God's grace and human freedom?" Grace is a God-originated word that refers to His creation and providence, His covenants, and His redemption, Such grace conditions our behavior in relation to God, to others, and to biological and physical circumstances.

In the second part of the book each author examines a specific case in which there is confusion between freedom and responsibility. Jeeves discusses the interplay of science and religion and concludes that religious beliefs, experiences, and behavior vary with numerous local, cultural, transient, and superficial factors. The essential continuity among Cbristians through the ages has been the centr~lity of Christ (Colossians 1) and the requirement that commitment be accompanied by appropriate behavior. I especially appreciated his reference to the "long-living scholarly space visitor who was given a research grant to make periodic visits to the planet Earth to study the behaviour of Christians living there." He visited Jerusalem (37 AD), Nicea (325 AD), Ireland (c. AD 625), England (1840), and Nigeria (1980); it is intriguing to think of how drastically different Christian behavior has been!

Berry discusses some of the problems with freedom and responsibility in regard to the biology, psychology, and theology of sex. After emphasizing that sex is not simply genetic, but also behavioral and hormonal, he concludes:

The doctrines of predestination, of original sin, and of the primacy of Satan in this world, appear to me to be vastly nearer the truth than the "liberal" popular illusions that babies are all born good and that the example of a corrupt society is responsible for their failure to remain so.

He then proceeds to discuss sexual deviation, particularly homosexuality, in some detail. Perhaps because Berry was discussing an area of biology /psychology with which I am not too familiar, I found this section a bit confusing in spots. If I understand him correctly, be is concluding that we should view homosexuality (the condition) as a form of immaturity, to be dealt with as such, and not simply condemn it as a deliberate choice of evil. If this is a plea to understand the homosexual condition without approving the homosexual act-and I think this is one of the things that Berry is saying-then the author has given us a helpful introduction to a most serious problem in society today. He concludes the chapter with a good defense of heterosexual monogamy and the familiar, but all too often unheeded, prayer: "0 God, give us strength to change those things we can change, the patience to accept those that we cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference, for Jesus Christ's sake."

In the last chapter Atkinson discusses conscience as moral sense developed by both nature and nurture. He emphasizes that in both the Old and New Testaments there is the implication of a sense of morality and justice for all people. Furthermore, development of conscience involves maturing from mere external morality, with conscience only as a judge, to a personal morality in which conscience is both a judge and a guide. Within the bounds of Christian freedom we are free from the condemnation of the law, from other people's norms, from petty little do's and don't's, and from the past. However, our freedom of conscience must be limited by our dependence on God, by respect for our neighbor's conscience, by recognizeable differences, and by the requirement that we support the weak.

Two statements in the Epilogue summarize the challenge of the complex subject dealt with in this book:

"Our tendency is to blame the environment for our failures and take credit for our successes. At the same time, we tend to attribute total responsibility to others for their beliefs and actions, while lacking the sympathy to acknowledge the factors which have helped to make them the sort of people they are. The truth is that all of us are responsible within limits."

"But perhaps above all, we ought to regard our differences as a challenge and an opportunity-a challenge to become conformed to Jesus Christ rather than to the world, and an opportunity to contribute uniquely to God's purposes. For we are not automata, able to do nothing but react mechanically to our genes, our enviromment, or even God's grace. We are personal beings created by God for himself ... What is true of us is equally true of others. We rejoice in our variety. We affirm with enthusiasm the unique temperaments and gifts which God has given to others as well as to ourselves, all to be used in His service."

This is a challenging, provocative, and worthwhile book. I recommend it, but you will certainly want to read it carefully-and more than once-to grasp the full impact of the issues discussed.

Reviewed by Wilbur L. Bullock, Zoology Department, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

BRAVE NEW PEOPLE: Ethical Issues at the Commencement of Life, rev. ed., by D. Gareth Jones. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI (1985). 207 pages. Paper; $8.95.

The eighteenth century cleric, George Berkeley, once observed. . . "We are indeed (to our shame be it spoken) more inclined to hate for those articles wherein we differ than to love one another for those wherein we agree." Brave New People and the reaction to it, especially in Christian circles, has demonstrated that the above conclusion is still valid. The author of this book must have been aware that the topics addressed were controversial but was not prepared for the vehemence of some readers. In its preface, the revised edition addresses the explosive responses to the first edition (1984, IVP). This journal has also served as a corner of the arena (see JASA, 37 No. 3, Sept. 1985). Professor Jones holds an anatomy professorship at Otago University, New Zealand and identifies himself as a committed evangelical Christian deeply concerned with the ethical issues and decisions that society faces today.

In chapter one Jones identifies this situation as a revolution in which the Christian (as well as the non-Christian) created in the image of God is faced with moral responsibility. The fall that fractured humanity tainted all existence including modern biomedicine even though biomedicine is a useful tool. Jones reviews some historical dilemmas of science and points out that scientists are beginning to realize that scientific enterprise is not morally neutral. Ethical guidelines are required when scientific knowledge is applied. Christianity has the perspectives that are sorely needed to bring moral order to that which might otherwise become chaos. The author moves from general principles in chapter two to specific topics in the next five chapters: improving the quality of life; new techniques and the beginning of life; new beginnings to human life; tampering with heredity; and the ethics of therapeutic abortion.

Jones points out that although control has been at the heart of all modern medicine, the degree and precision of this control is escalating rapidly. The strides made in understanding such genetic diseases as PKU and Tay-Sachs are leading to the improvement of quality of life in many instances. The beginning of life and the contemporary questions, directions of research and biotechnology surroun~ing this event occupy the middle section of the book. Fertilization and conception, in vitro fertilization (IVP) and embryo transfer (ET), two variations of artificial insemination-husband (AIH) and donor (AID), cloning, and the moral and ethical questions surrounding the above topics are discussed. Jones concludes at this point: "People are not just an assembly of genes. Everyone is important; everyone has a dignity because of who they are in the sight of God .... Love of one's neighbor and, supremely, love of God are more significant than a fortuitous (or even partially directed) combination of genes."

In his most lengthy and most controversial chapter, "The Ethics of Therapeutic Abortion," Professor Jones, like Eve's mythical counterpart Pandora, received considerably more from his investment than was intended or expected. In the preface to the revised edition the author pleads with his readers to read from page one onwards and not to isolate chapter seven from its context. In this chapter he discusses the fetus and compares the stances that can be taken regarding the personhood of the fetus. He is aware that many other Christians interpret the data differently. He moves logically to consider perspectives on abortion, citing, for example, Joseph Fletcher, the Roman Catholic position, Paul Ramsey and Helmut Thielicke. A section on Biblical guidelines is followed by one expressing the most controversial of his positions, "Possible grounds for therapeutic abortion." The door he leaves ajar for himself here, as well as in the section "Abortion for genetic reasons," has admitted a host of antagonists. The JASA article cited illustrates the intensity of this reaction. Dr. Jones would reluctantly consider abortion as an admissable procedure, for example, in the case of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome or of Tay-Sachs disease. He does acknowledge that we do walk along a knife-edge relative to such decisions.

The book concludes with the chapter "Human Technology and Human Values," the first section of which is entitled, ironically in this case, "Towards an uncertain future." Jones observes that the topics addressed in the book, both developed and incipient, are part of the world in which we Christians live, and that the questions and dilemmas must be addressed in a Christian fashion. A suitable focus would be the task of remedying defects in order to diminish human suffering. He calls upon the biomedical professions to recognize their accountability to society. In the final two parts of this chapter, "Compassion and forgiveness," and "Individual uniqueness," the author urges us to apply Biblical guidelines. Jesus, when confronted with sin and human ills, moved in the direction of compassion and forgiveness rather than toward astringent condemnation and judgmental rebuke.

Professor Jones is to be commended for his courage and for causing us to face our responsibility as Christians to bring Scripture and our God-given minds together. Even though this results in a spectrum of positions and interpretations, Christian love and respect for the conclusions of others must be the mark of our discussions rather than an uncharitable sharpness toward one another regarding "those articles wherein we differ."

Reviewed by Frederick D. Shannon, Department of Chemistry, Houghton College, Houghton, NY 14744.

LIFE IN THE BALANCE: Exploring the Abortion Controversy by Robert N. Wennberg. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan. (1985). 192 pages. paper; $7.95.

There are few books on controversial ethical issues especially a complex issue such as the abortion debate-that grip the reader's interest and stimulate interaction with the material as well as this book by Robert N. Wennberg, Professor of Philosophy at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Time and again the author cuts through the confusions of rhetoric, the misleading implications of naive thinking, and the temptation to present an emotional, ideological position, in order to provide the reader with a thought-provoking and well balanced analysis of the various theories and ethical positions that have been proposed to deal with the abortion issue. By publishing this book together with the recent reissuing of D. Gareth Jones' Brave New People, Eerdmans has made a major contribution to the abortion debate. Both books deserve serious reading and consideration by all Christians.

In three initial chapters Wennberg sets the stage for the discussion to follow, in order to achieve his purpose of providing a systematic moral evaluation of the abortion issue, combining the most effective contributions available from professional philosophy with a theological tradition that is orthodox and biblically based. Growing out of a course on "The Morality of Killing" given at Westmont College, the book argues that "biblical and theological considerations do not narrowly limit the positions open to us," and seeks to formulate its arguments in a form useful not only to evangelical Christians but also to the secular community.

He points out that consideration of the implications of an ethical theory is one of the first steps in evaluating it. In particular, if a person is morally compelled to reject the implications of a particular theory, then it is also necessary for him to reject the theory that leads to those implications. Similarly, if one is led to act in a certain way in response to authority, one must be sure that the action does not conflict with one's "persistent and deeply felt moral convictions." In all such considerations, however, the Christian community must consistently maintain that abortion is a moral issue, not simply a social or utilitarian issue.

Wennberg explores the principal factors that have contributed to making abortion such a serious social problem today: (1) great improvements in safety with a concomitant decrease in the seriousness of the procedures, (2) the number of significant reasons for which women may be led to seek an abortion, and (3) the standing fact that abortion involves ending the life of what is at least a potential person. The author promptly avoids some of the confusing circum)ocutions that confound discussions of abortion. He is clear from the start that the fetus at any stage is indeed alive, and constitutes unquestionably a case of human life: abortion terminates a human biological life.

In several places in the book the author emphasizes the difficulty of maintaining any essential difference between a fetus before birth and an infant after birth. Both are "subcortical" organisms, i.e., it is not until the tenth day after birth that the neocortex, that part of the brain responsible for the higher mental functions, shows signs of change. Thus the fetus and the infant have similar claims to life since both are subcortical creatures, but at the same time efforts to build a case on fetal behavior like thumb-sucking, feeding response, and the like may founder since the same responses can be found in an anencephalic, which has no chance of developing into a rational being.

No discussion of abortion can be complete without an evaluation of such questions as, "Is the fetus a person?" and .1 what is the role of the 'soul' in these considerations?" Although he acknowledges that the answers to these questions may be significant, the author also suggests that they may not play the ultimate role often ascribed to them, i.e., "the abortion issue would not be settled by a simple determination of whether the fetus is a person." One of the problems in using the concept of "person" revolves around the prickly question of definition-whether one who has the potential for rationality is intended, or one who has the actuality of rationality.

To be sure, the biological basis for personal life is developing as the fetus grows, but personal life itself does not emerge in the womb at all, nor will it begin to emerge until some time after birth, when the socialization process begins ... If an acquired rational capacity is the mark of personhood, then infants are not persons. Thus whereas both fetuses and newborn infants possess biological human life, neither one yet possess personal human life. (p.35)

In the development that follows, Wennberg essentially equates the terms "human person" and "image of God," and presents a useful analysis of the meaning of those terms. He provides a thoughtful analysis of what is meant by speaking of a fetus "having a soul" and concludes that one may well conclude that a soul is not some immaterial part of a human being, and that the contention that souls are intrinsically immortal is essentially non-Christian. This portion of his discussion, particularly in view of the "gradualist" position he later advocates, would be assisted if be did not speak continually of souls as something persons "have," but rather of something that persons "are," systems properties of the whole human being. His conclusion is that "the question of whether fetuses have immortal souls is essentially irrelevant to the that as the pregnancy progresses the reasons required to justify an abortion debate." abortion have to become increasingly more substantial. (pp. 112, 113)

The author then considers in detail the various theories that have been advanced to relate the "right to life" to some decisive moment such as conception, implantation, human appearance, viability, beginning of brain development, attainment of sentience, and birth. Such "decisive moment theories" are in contrast to "gradualist" theories, which claim that becoming a human person with a strong right to life is a gradual process extending over an appreciable period of time. In the course of this discussion, Wennberg deals forthrightly with such key biblical passages as Psalm 139:13-16 and Jeremiah 1:5, often supposed to provide key insights into the nature of the fetus and the permissibility of abortion, and concludes that "these verses, then, do not teach-either directly or by implication-that the zygote or fetus is a person, an individual fully in the image of God."

The author also deals effectively with the "fallacy of the continuum," the argument that since a newborn infant clearly has the right to life, and since there is no clear-cut moment of change as one moves backward in time to the moment of conception, then it follows that "there is no difference between a newborn infant who has a right to life and a newly fertilized ovum." His treatment of each of the "decisive moments" is always to the point, clearly setting forth the positions on each side and driving to the heart of the matter.

Three chapters then examine the major principles that have been proposed to provide guidelines for abortion considerations: the actuality principle, the potentiality principle, and the species principle. The way in which he unravels the complexities of each of these principles, deftly showing their strengths and weaknesses, is nothing short of beautiful. As a reviewer I am tempted to describe many of the vital insights, but, alas, review space is short and I must leave this discovery to the reader. When all is said, the actuality principle (the right to life comes only when full personhood has been actualized) leads inevitably to the conclusion that infants do not have a right to life, a conclusion totally incompatible with the Judeo-Christian tradition. This consideration leads to the key conclusion.
Indeed, the only way to have a morally permissive position on abortion is to deny that infants have a right to life, for as soon as one holds that infanticide is intrinsically objectionable, abortion will inevitably be rendered problematic and morally risky. (p. 91)

The potentiality principle affirms that "a right to life belongs not only to persons but to all who in the course of the normal unfolding of their intrinsic potential will become persons." After carefully laying out a path between the various problems associated with this principle, Wennberg finally arrives at what he calls "the gradualist variant of the potentiality principle." It is also not free from all problems, but it moves in the direction that seems most consistent to the author.

"It holds that the right to life gradually becomes stronger as the newly fertilized ovum develops into a newborn infant, that there is no decisive all-or-nothing moment, that just as there is a continuous and gradual life of physical development from conception to birth (and beyond) so there is a continuous and gradual development in the right to life. This means that as the pregnacy progresses the reason to justify an abortion have become increasingly more substantial (pp 112-113).

Finally the author considers the species principle, which specifies the same strong right to life to all members of the human species. This he concludes, after his usual careful analysis, to be deficient since it gives full moral standing to those "with no potential whatsoever for personal existence."

Wermberg then examines the various considerations necessary for actually making a decision concerning abortion. These include the degree of the woman's responsibility for the pregnancy, the extent of the burden the woman will have to bear as a result of her pregnancy, and the degree of fetal development. He then explores the possible grounds usually advanced to argue for an abortion. He distinguishes between excusing an abortion and justifying an abortion. Throughout he is careful to be clear as possible about what we mean by 11 the right to life" and the grounds for it.

He recognizes that moral decisions concerning abortion are not synonymous with legal decisions and he provides a penetrating and helpful analysis of the difference between these two kinds of decisions. Certainly the political debate focuses on whether abortion should be legalized or criminalized. He explores a dimension of the problem not often discussed:

"It would seem, then, that the advocate of restrictive abortion legislation not only has to show that the fetus has a right to life but also has to show that the right to life includes the right to use another's body for life-sustaining purposes against that person's will." (p. 155)

This leads him to a careful analysis of Judith Jarvis Thomson's "Case of the Famous Violinist" and its relevance for abortion questions. One of his conclusions is that this illustration " serves to undercut an assumption that often leads to an uncompromising anti-abortion position-namely, the assumption that if fetuses have a person's right to life, then abortion is murder." From this approach the author argues strongly that we ought to use moral persuasion to decrease the incidence of abortion, but not legal coercion.

Finally Wennberg provides a summary and some reflections on the various dimensions of the issue. He holds that conception marks "the beginning of moral standing, the beginning of a right to life, the beginning of a unique center of emerging value." This right to life increases in strength as the fetus grows and develops, following the gradualist thesis. Such a position does not demand moral neutrality with respect to abortion, but rather is fully consistent with a view that sees abortion as morally objectionable. He rejects the common argument that "abortion involves a conflict between the woman's right to bodily self-determination and the fetus's right to life," because the fetus's right to life does not entitle it to the continued use of another's body to sustain that life. While recognizing that the moral argument is often kept socially alive because of the debate on the legal argument, still Wnnberg feels impelled to conclude that we must uphold both the morally objectionable nature of abortion and the right of the pregnant woman to make the abortion decision.

It is clear that a genuine concern for the issues involved in abortion leads one to recognize the intricate complexity of a justifiable and authentic evaluation of those issues. The author is well aware that be has provided no simple set of answers. But this is exactly the best thing be can possibly do; by cutting away the false arguments and the misleading caricatures, be opens the way for Christians dedicated to following Christ in faith to face the issue in their own lives, in the lives of others, and in the society in which we live.

Reviewed by Richard H, Bube, Department of Materials science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.

THE PRESENT-DAY CHRISTOLOGICAL DEBATE by Klaas Runia. InterVarsity Press (1984). 120 pages. $5.95.

This short book, part of the series Issues in Contemporary Theology, is an expanded Paper originally presented at a Conference of the Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologicans in 1980. Runia gives an overview of Christology as it stands today. In doing so, he also provided a good introduction to modern liberal theology. He starts from the orthodox foundations of Nicea and Chalcedon ' which affirmed that Jesus was "very God and very man" and one person with two natures, human and divine. In defending orthodoxy, Runia calls attention to present-day shifts from it:

In a survey of recent developments, the theological positions of some recent contributors are presented beginning with that of Karl Barth. He held to orthodox Christology, including its ontology in Greek categories, and in an " essential" versus an "economic" Trinity-in which God is triune in his very essence and not in manifestation only. Barth influenced post World War 11 developments insofar as they did not return to the 19th-century liberalism which had demythologized the Bible by elimination.

Instead of cutting out myths, Rudoloph Bultmann reinterpreted the New Testament existentially, driven in that direction by the difficulty of extracting factual history about Jesus from the mythological form of the writings. This led to a dichotomy between the Christ of faith and the historical Jesus. But the question, "Who do men say that I am?", still persists, and re-emerged in the sixties in two forms:

1. Post-Barthians going beyond Chalcedon

2. Those abandoning Chalcedon, returning to New Testament data, and expressing Christology in contemporary modes of thought.

In the first category are Wolfhart Parmenberg and Juergen Moltmann, both nearly orthodox but differing in their
emphases. Pannenberg begins with the historic Jesus and emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Moltmann developes a World War II prison-camp theology, a "theology of the cross," asking' "Who is God in the cross of the Christ abandoned by God?" For Moltmann, the death of Jesus is not the death of God but rather is death in God.

In the second category are, first, Roman Catholics Schoonenberg, Schillebeeck, and Kueng. Protestants included are Flesseman, John Robinson, and Hendrikus Berkhof. Their Christologies are presented and evaluated. The major aspect of their abandonment of Chalcedon is in the switch from .1 true God, true man" to "man Only." Finally, and most recently, Runia turns to the debate over the book, The Myth of God Incarnate which nearly returns to the old form of liberalism, but with the interesting difference that the confessions of some of the authors strongly resemble those of pious evangelicalism!

Runia then analyzes the trends and makes several points:

1. "- - . the confession of Christ as Savior and the Christology awrheircehlaatepderson holds are not simPly identical" though they are related."

2. The new Christologies, in emphasizing the humanity of Christ, can be corrective of an unacknowledged docetism in Popular evangelicalism.

3. Functional Christology, emphasizing revelation aind avoiding incarnation, fails to deal with the central quest on of who Christ is. It separates God's revelation from his nature.

4. The human versus divine (or "from below/from above") categories must not be opposed but both must be adequately accounted for in Christology. In our time it may be preferable to begin with the historic Jesus, but the ideas of preexistence and incarnation are also biblical and must be included.

The final chapter explains and justifies the ontological concepts of Chalcedon (for example, distinctions between person and nature are explained) I and would be a good introduction to another recent book Runia recommends by Gerald Bray-Creeds, Councils, and Christ.

This book provides a good introduction to both trends in liberal theology and to the patristic creeds, from an orthodox perspective, and is presented in a succinct yet pithy form.

Reviewed by Dennis Feucht, West Linn, Oregon.

HERMENEUTICS, INERRANCY AND THE BIBLE: Papers from ICBI Summit II edited by Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus. Zondervan Publishing House (Academic Books), Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 921 pages. ISBN 0-310-37081-7

The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) is a coalition Christian scholars who believe that the reaffirmation defense of biblical inerrancy is crucial to the life and vitality of the Christian Church. This book contains the papers, and responses to those papers, prepared for the ICBI Summit 11 (held in Chicago on November 10-13, 1982). Contributors to this volume include Carl Henry, J. 1. Packer, Gleason Archer, Henry Morris, S. Lewis Johnson, Roger Nicole, James Montgomery Boice, John MacArthur, and Norman Geisler. 

A variety of important topics are covered. These include the relationship of theories of truth to hermeneutics (the " science" of interpretation, usually used with biblical interpretation), the implication of the Scriptural author's intention regarding biblical interpretation, the role of the Holy Spirit in the hermeneutical process, homiletics (the art of preaching) and hermeneutics, and the role of logic in biblical interpretation. The impact of philosophical presuppositions, the adequacy of language for communicating divine truth, and the trustworthiness of Scripture in areas relating to natural science are also addressed.

Each of the papers treats its subject cogently and carefully, facing critical issues candidly, and provides a great deal of insight about the subject. There are two responses to each paper. Authors of the responses are paired so that they provide reflections upon the paper from two significantly different perspectives.

The serious reader will find a mine of valuable materials in this book. Unfortunately, neither the book as a whole nor the individual papers are indexed, so it becomes somewhat difficult to pinpoint all that pertains to the particular subject without reading the work in its entirety. Nevertheless, there is probably no other book at this time which covers the same scope of materials on the subject of biblical inerrancy and interpretation with the depth of evangelical scholarship found in this book.

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

KNOWING GOD'S WORD by Stanley A. Ellisen. Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN (1984). 294 pages. Paper; $9.95.

This book is one which I wish would have been available when I first became a Christian over fifteen years ago. The author is professor of Biblical Literature at Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon and in his preface states his commitment to providing a simple guide to the content, movements and personal application of the books of the Old Testament.

Each of the four Old Testament divisions has been introduced to help one appreciate the various types of literature. The individual books are then introduced and sketched with a symmetrical and interpretive outline. Many chronologies and historical listings are included to set people and events in clear perspective. A final feature is a section labeled "Unique Contributions" for each book in which the author shows the individual importance of the book and how it harmonizes and contributes to the whole of the Bible. Helpful bibliographic lists of commentaries, a ten-page glossary of terms and brief sections on selected topics such as the Hebrew calendar, highlights of the iritertestamental period, and guiding principles of Biblical interpretation provide added helps for the reader. This book is highly recommended in that it achieves the goals of the author and provides an excellent guidebook to the Old Testament.

Reviewed by Fred Walters, Dept. of Chemistry, U. of S.W. Louisiana.

HOW TO READ PROPHECY by Joel B. Green. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1984). 154 pages.

InterVarsity Press is to be commended for the How to Read series-books "designed for non-professionals who want a professional understanding of Scripture." And Joel B. Green has made a useful contribution to the series.

It is Green's contention that all prophetic Scripture, and he includes the apocalyptic literature in this dictum, was intended in the first place as a message to the original recipients. God did not send meaningless encoded messages to them for our benefit. The corollary of this is that the meaning of Biblical prophecies for our day is to be drawn out of the meaning the prophecies had to their original hearers or readers. "The cardinal rule for applying Scripture to our situation is easily asserted: the significance of a passage for us must flow from its meaning in its context" (p. 37).

Green believes that prophecy requires a special kind of hermeneutic. "Prophecy and apocalyptic ... are unique literary forms that require appropriate methods of interpretation. They are not straight forward proverbial sayings, nor pedagogy in college-lecture format, nor news stories in the Sunday morning paper" (p. 66). His approach leads him to disagree with such authors as Lindsey, DeHaan and Pentecost. He cites some of their writings, but does not give a detailed rebuttal of their positions. His purpose is to present his readers with a way of understanding prophecy, and he mentions other positions not in an attempt to counter their assertions, but rather as a teaching too] to enable readers to grasp his position.

The book suffers from the brevity of treatment given the various issues raised. But that is inevitable in a short book written in a popular style for "non-professionals." It is, I believe, well suited to its purpose. And it offers bibliographical information for those who want to delve deeper into the subject.

Reviewed by J. M. Martin, Professor of Missions, Edward Lane Bible Institute, Patrocinio, M.G., Brazil.

JESUS, SON OF MAN by Barnabas Lindars. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI (1984). xi and 244 pages. Paper; $9.95.

This book is a serious study of the Son of Man sayings in the New Testament. These sayings were not messianic either in Jewish or Hellenistic thought, but they became messianic in Christian writings, Lindars tests the hypothesis that the phrase "Son of Man" has messianic meaning in the authentic statements of Jesus and concludes that it does not.

He maintains the position that when Jesus referred to himself as Son of Man, he was not using a title, and that the phrase neither carried any christological or messianic meaning nor did it bear any relationship to the visionary figure of Daniel 7. On the positive side, the author then argues convincingly that a correct understanding of the Son of Man sayings may provide the reader with a new grasp of Jesus' own understanding of his mission from God.

The manner in which Lindars understands the saying itself may be culled from the following illustrative translations of biblical texts:

Whoever speaks a word against a man may be forgiven but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit may not be forgiven. (Matt. 12:32)

For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will a man be to this generation. (Luke 11:30)

But that you may know that a rnan has authority on earth to forgive sins-he said to the paralytic-1 say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." (Mark 2: 10)

In each case the underlined generic a man translates the Greek words for Son of Man.

I Lindars concludes that the real significance of the saying lies in the way in which the sacred authors and community of believers came to interpret it. He writes:

"... the early history of Christology consists in putting into relation with Jesus, now understood to be the exalted Messiah, more and more of the messianic concepts of the time. He absorbs, but also transforms, an ever increasing range of ideas connected with the Messiah and the new age. Part of this process is the application to him of the figure of the Danielic Son of Man. So the Son of Man, as traditionally understood, belongs to the development of Cbristology, which took place in the burst of creativity which accompanied the emergence of Christianity in the post-resurrection period. (p. 189)"

Lindars has written a complex, scholarly text in a style accessible to all serious readers.

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

CLASSICAL APOLOGETICS: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics by R. C. Sproul, John H. Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley. Zondervan Publishing House (Academie Books), Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 364 pages. ISBN 0-310 44951-0

This substantive book is devoted to the premise that Christianity is rational. That Christianity involves much more than simply rationality is evident, but Christianity's rationality is not always so evident. The authors of the book believe that a Christian's capacity to love God and serve Him is inseparably linked to his understanding of the character of God. Thus, this book is concerned with a most important topic for Christians.

The book provides an increased appreciation for the role of apologetics in the life of the Church. Many think apologetics to be of little value because they think of it only in terms of evangelism. And it is true that no one is ever argued into the kingdom of God. Conviction and conversion is the province of the Holy Spirit. But, as the authors of this book point out, apologetics can act "as a bulwark against unbridled antitheistic ideologies and their cultural impact. Man's general welfare is enhanced by a cultural consensus in which Christianity and its values are deemed credible. Apologetics is a useful tool to shut the mouths of the obstreperous."

The book is divided into three major parts. The first is a prolegomenon dealing with the problems and methods of apologetics. The second section addresses theistic proofs and the authority of Scripture. The third section is devoted to a critique of presuppositionalism in apologetics, and deals extensively with the thought of Cornelius Van Til.

The book is well organized and adequately documented. It contains much stimulating material. However, the book presumes extensive, perhaps excessive for the general reader, familiarity on the reader's part with a number of apolgetical writers.

One point made convincingly and strongly by the book is that creation itself can teach man some things about God, in contradiction to the conclusion of Immanuel Kant that philosophically we can know nothing about God, nor even prove (or disprove) His existence. The arguments presented are ones which Christians having contact with those in the academic community should comprehend.

Many Christian students and faculty members on college and university campuses will find the first two sections of this book extremely valuable in preparing them for discussions with their colleagues.

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

CHRISTIANITY MADE SIMPLE: BELIEF by David Hewetson and David Miller. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1983). 159 pages.

Christianity Made Simple: Belief is the first in IVP's Christianity Made Simple series which will also cover ethics, Jesus, and the Bible. The authors make it clear that Christianity Made Simple should not be confused with "Christianity made easy. " However, it is their conviction that the Christian faith can be "at least simply explained." Even though "God's personality must be highly complex, his plans for the world unbelievably intricate, his influence on us mysterious and incredibly subtle....God himself in his relationships with us is plain and straightforward."

This abundantly illustrated handbook attempts to explain the basic areas of revelation, God, creation, conversion, 
sanctification, the church, prayer, and judgment. The general format and attention-grabbing style is well done. And Belief properly attempts to place right doctrine in the context of  concrete events in order to facilitate making Christianity simple. " 

For example, Belief charges that much scientific research performed today becomes so preoccupied with the handi work of God's wisdom that "it revels in its discoveries for their own sake and honours the created rather than the Creator." An illustration of this is given of a scientist analyzing da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa and saying, "It's nothing but 7 lbs. of pigment, 4 lbs. of fabric, 16 feet of molded wood, etc. " The different claims to truth are also amply illustrated by a set of panels, each containing the authority of a major world religion: the Vedas ("Truth is one, but the sages speak of it in many different ways"); Buddha ("My teachings point the way to attainment of the truth"); Mohammed ("The truth has been revealed to me"); and Christ ("I am the truth"). 

And yet, Belief frequently makes Christianity "simple" by merely dismissing much of the intellectual tension in divine
mysteries. The doctrine of the Trinity is stated as "the Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Spirit incomprehensible. But there is only one incomprehensible, though three incomprehensibles. Do you understand?" One yet three at the same time and in the same respect is not a mystery, it is a contradiction. We agree with the authors that God "is not a mathematical problem for which we must find a solution." But God is not a square circle either.

 The old illustration of the Trinity-steam (gas), water illusory, an imaginary solace for the neurotic" (p. 14). The
(liquid), and ice (solid)-unfortunately illustrates a modalistic view of the Godhead. Moreover, a modalistic conclusion is stated: "the same substance in three forms." Agreed, all finite examples of an infinite Being will be "imperfect," but illustrations which are clearly unorthodox should be avoided.

The question of pantheism is raised in the study guide and answered" with a Scripture reference-without adequate rational reflection. The controversy over predestination is brought up in the wrong category (that of "Sanctification" rather than of "Conversion"), and no data is offered reader in order to deal with the problem. In the section entitled, "A Spoiled Universe," it is rightly said that "as man has been creation's downfall, so a man- Jesus would be its Saviour. " But the inevitable question is left unanswered: "Why blame us for Adam's mistake?"

Hewetson and Miller may object to these "apologetic" criticisms. Apologetics may have been outside the scope of
 their book, but can a book which proposes to explain the major doctrines of the faith exclude apologetic concerns? A  book of this kind will more than likely be purchased by neophytes in the faith or even unbelievers who are considering the claims of Christianity. Belief cannot merely offer the understandability of Christianity without defending its credibility as well.

 The desire to be relevant and effective communicators can tempt us into misrepresenting the more complex areas of Christian truth. Perhaps it is time we admit that although some things in Christianity are simple to understand (e.g.,  how to be saved), other basic yet important doctrines are not (e.g., the Trinity, election, the incarnation, imputation, etc.). An intelligible understanding of such doctrines can only begin through rigorous study. Is that so bad?

Reviewed by J. Yutaka Anwno, Probe Ministries, Richardson, Texas.

RUNNING FROM REALITY by Michael Green. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1983). 127 pages; $3.50.

Michael Green has written yet another book on the theme he treated in Runaway World, published in 1968. Running from Reality is an apologetic work, designed to show that Christianity is not just another attempt to escape from the pressures of the world, but that it is rather the source of power  to face the world and deal with its problems.

The book is not written to serve as a manual for Christians who deal with agnostics, although it could be used for this purpose. Rather, it is a respectful and sensitive treatise specifically addressed to agnostics.

After affirming that escapism is rampant in the 1980's, Green addresses the question, "Is Christianity a crutch?" Yes,  he says, "in one sense Christianity is a crutch. it is for people who are fractured" (p. 13). But be denies that "it is puerile, illusory, an imaginary solace for the neurotic" (p. 14).
The argument he uses to back up his admission and his denial is the solid presence of Christianity in history. Therefore, he argues, it is not an illusion of those looking for solace. Indeed, its fruit in history is consistent with its claims-lives trans formed by the Gospel.

Six chapters are committed to examining the historical evidence for the claims of Christ, concluding with a call to the reader to respond in faith. Faith is defined as "self-commitment on evidence" (p. 63). An interesting array of sources is  the cited-secular and Jewish historians, archeological finds, and  the Bible-culminating with an emphasis on Jesus' resurrection  as the cornerstone of Christianity.

Four chapters are devoted to answering objections to Christianity. The longest deals with alleged conflicts between science and the Bible, in which Green demonstrates areas of harmony between science and Scripture. He proceeds to talk of the difference between scientific and personal knowledge. Finally, he adopts the idea that nature and the Bible are both truthful, because God is the author of both, and demonstrates that evolutionary theory does not necessarily conflict with the Bible. He accepts a remote date for creation.

The closing chapter calls on the reader to "lay the book down now ... and come back to the Lord" (p. 123). This orientation, he says, will not lead to a dull insipid life, but to the exhilaration of running with Jesus. It means the discipline of training, the endurance of going on to the finish line to receive the victor's wreath. He ends by saying, "What a magnificent prospect for runners who finish the race!"

This is encouraging reading for Christians. It is helpful to Christians as a tool for evangelization. But it also has the potential for bringing to faith those who may in fact be running from reality. Keep some copies on hand for your agnostic friends.

Reviewed by Joseph M. Martin, Professor of Missions, Edward Lane Bible Institute, Patrocinio, MG, Brazil.

THE CREATION CONTROVERSY: Science or Scripture in the Schools by Dorothy Nelkin. Beacon Press, Boston (1982). 242 pages. $9.95.

Although it was published in 1982 1 had not heard of The Creation Controversy prior to reading it, and so had no preconceptions about its content. According to the author's preface, this book is the report of a study sparked by the appearance of creationism on the scene as a curious social phenomenon. Dorothy Nelkin, a sociologist involved in science commentary, has produced another example of the .1 us versus them" literature that typifies the "controversy" today. A rather transparent guise of objectivity says more about the author's biases than the actual circumstances under investigation. She is admittedly interpreting the controversy from the point of view of one who sees science as that which is 11 grounded in reality" (p. 29). The implication is that religion has no objective reality. The book's publisher, Beacon Press, a Unitarian- Universalist organ, might also give a clue to the religious perspective expressed therein.

Author Nelkin fails to clearly separate those who totally reject evolution as a theory and those who specifically oppose naturalistic explanations for origins and evolution. The A.S.A. is classified as one of the "creationist" organizations (p. 77). There is some distinction made between the A.S.A. and creation scientists per se, but there is really no appreciation shown for the Affiliation's scientific integrity.

Various chapters discuss the characters and motivations behind public opposition to evolution. Textbook censorship and the now infamous Arkansas court case are dealt with in detail. Another major facet of Nelkin's report is her review of the MACOS project (p. 47-51, 121-136, and 169). MACOS stands for Man: A Course of Study, a 1960's attempt to teach elementary school social studies with naturalistic evolutionary assumptions about the psychosocial makeup of humankind. The project was funded through the National Science Foundation and played to very mixed reviews. MACOS materials were produced and distributed in the early 1970's, and although "acclaimed by teachers, parents, and students" (p. 124), the curriculum was essentially discredited by 1975 due to protests in school districts and consequent pressure on the NSF. The strong emphasis on situational ethics and denial of any moral absolutes was more than the public or the government overseers were willing to tolerate. Dorothy Nelkin depicits the whole scenario as a clash between rational science and conservative religion/ politics.

The last chapter, "Science and Personal Beliefs," distills the world view expressed throughout the book. It comprises a championing of the purity and pragmatism of a science free from attachment to nonscientific influences. Creationists are seen as having wrongly imposed their external values on science. However, science has supposedly proven its dominion in predicting human behavior. These assumptions give rise to the conundrum of a "value-free" science, created by men with values, which accurately depicts the behavior of value-laden men. (See p. 189 where this apparent contradiction appears). Since when have the physical or social sciences really been successful in defining the mind and soul parameters of human values? How much has naturalism contributed to the improvement of our nonphysical lives?

I recommend The Creation Controversy only to those who cannot get enough of the controversy. In this case, you are in for another variation on the anti-spiritual mindset.

Reviewd by Jeffrey K. Greenberg, U. of Wisconsin - Extension, Geological and Natural History Survey

LETTERS OF FRANCIS SCHAEFFER edited by Lane Dennis. Crossway Books (1985). Cloth; $15.95.

I admit it. I'm a Francis Schaeffer fan from way back. When I was only a freshman in college I cut my intellectual teeth on his book Escape From Reason. Years later I worked my way through all of his books, which now Dumber more than twenty-two. I teach a class at Toccoa Falls every January using one of his books and a series of films he did.

Most of his books deal with the reasonableness of Christianity and the deficiency of anything other than Biblical Christianity. He discusses almost every topic one can imagine, including history, art, literature, philosophy, science, law, democracy, church government and even modernistic tendencies in some evangelical circles.

But once, back in 1970, he departed from his standard
approach and released a more or less devotional book entitled True Spirituality (actually it was written in 1955). As much as I appreciate his other books, it remains my favorite. In True Spirituality he deals with personal issues in a pastoral and practical manner. I have used the lessons I learned from that book many times in my life.

Now that Francis Schaeffer has passed on I did not expect to add another book to my Schaeffer bookshelf. But I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago by the release of Letters of Francis Schaeffer, edited by sociologist Lane Dennis. Dennis, also a fan of Schaeffer, wrote his doctoral dissertation on L'Abri Fellowship, Schaeffer's organization in Switzerland.

Lane Dennis uses both his research expertise and Schaeffer's last instructions as guides in putting the book together, and the result is very well done. The book is generally chronological, beginning with letters written in the 1950's when Schaeffer's organization was being started. These early letters detail Schaeffer's struggles with the loveless fundamentalism of which be was a part. Schaeffer broke with the denomination associated with Carl McIntire, yet maintained a spirit of humility and love in the process:

I do not think we can ... fight without any restraint even against the World Council of Churches-let alone in dealing with those who differ from us in our own work-and then expect the Lord to bless our efforts.

In another letter Schaeffer continues his thought:

I am sure "separation" is correct, but it is only one principle. There are others to be kept as well. The command to love should mean something ... I will push and politick no more ... The mountains are too high, history is too long, and eternity is longer. God is too great, man is too small ...

Schaeffer also expresses doubts about church organizations in his letters:

... so often organization becomes a means to an end in itself. So often it takes so much energy to turn over all the machinery that the work never gets finished. And so often we put the machinery in the place of the Holy Spirit.

A second section of Letters of Francis Schaeffer deals with spiritual reality in daily living, more or less an extension of his pastoral approach in True Spirituality. Indeed he refers to the latter book many times in his letters. There are no dramatic revelations in this section, but he does touch on some subjects which are given little or no space in his other books. He counsels others regarding depression, admitting that he battles this problem occasionally himself. Schaeffer also deals with the problem of suicide and disturbing memories of sins committed before becoming a Christian.

I was particularly interested in Schaeffer's ideas on how to choose a church. He suggests that the church one attends must be orthodox in doctrine, but should also be a community where people care for one another in the whole spectrum of life. just having a preaching or activity center is not enough. Schaeffer also maintains that a good church must meet the individual's needs. What should a person do if no such church exists locally? He suggests joining a distant church that does meet the criteria, even if it means one cannot be a regular attender.

Other topics in the second section include eternal security (he believes in it), the Catholic church (he doesn't believe in it), baptismal regeneration (he doesn't believe in that either), and the unforgivable sin (he describes it as the person who continually refuses to accept Christ).

The third and final section of the book includes letters on marriage, family, and sexual relationships. Much of this section is devoted to sex-related issues as considered from a conservative viewpoint.

The editor states that Schaeffer changed in his view of divorce, but it took some looking to find the change. Initially he allows for divorce and remarriage on the basis of desertion or adultery, suggesting that those who become divorced should not hold a position in the church until some time has elapsed. A few years later he adds that divorce before becoming a Christian is "under the blood," but that the new Christian should attempt reconciliation before marrying another person. Still later be discusses non-biblical divorce by a Christian, which Schaeffer states requires repentance followed by investigation by the church "to determine what the situation then was." Yet in his comments a casual attitude toward divorce is always seen as deplorable.

He is sensitive and loving as he writes to those who engage in adultery and homosexuality, yet he is uncompromising in presenting the Biblical viewpoint on these issues. He feels birth control is fine, but insists that all married Christians should have at least one child. Schaeffer is not sure if masturbation is sin or not, but concludes that if it is he is sure God will forgive it. Letters on dating, sex in marriage, premarital sex, marriage with an unbeliever, age and marriage, and sex roles are included. Finally, Schaeffer counsels a couple that nothing in the Bible prohibits interracial marriage, but that they may encounter difficulty with outsiders as a result.

While the book as a whole is well done, there is some repetition which could have been reduced by further combining the letters. Also the price seems excessive-$15.95 for a 264 page book.

This book is a fine addition to any Schaeffer library, detailing his ideas on many subjects not covered in his other books. If you know little about Schaeffer or his works, this is probably not the place to begin. Yet you may want to pick up True Spirituality and follow it up with Letters of Francis Schaeffer.

Reviewed by Donald Ratcliff, Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, Georgia