Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews


PSCF Reviews for June 1987

Table of Contents
WOMEN IN SCIENCE by Vivian Gornick. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1983. 165 pages; n.p.g.
GOD AND NATURE: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science by David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers (eds.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. xi + 516 pages. $50.00 cloth/$17.95 paperback.
THEOLOGIES OF THE BODY: Humanist and Christian by Benedict M. Ashley, O.P. The Pope John Center (1985). 770 pages. Paperback; n.p.g.
A HISTORY OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY by Duane P. Schultz and Sydney Ellen Schultz. New York: Hartcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1987 (3rd ed.). 403 pages. Hardcover; $31.95.
POVERTY AND WEALTH: The Christian Debate Over Capitalism by Ronald H. Nash. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986. 223 pages. Paperback; $8.95.
IS CAPITALISM CHRISTIAN? by Franky Schaeffer (ed.). Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985. 461 pages. Paperback; $9.95.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSIGHTS FOR MISSIONARIES by Paul G. Hiebert. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1985. n.p.g.
THE RELIGIOUS FACTOR IN AUSTRALIAN LIFE by Gary D. Bourna and Beverly R. Dixon. Melbourne: "MARC Australia" and ZADOK Centre for Christianity in Society, 1986. n.p.g.
BEYOND CHOICE: The Abortion Story No One is Telling by Don Baker. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon (1985). 96 pages; n.p.g.
ORDINARY CHRISTIANS IN A HIGH-TECH WORLD by Robert Slocum. Word Books, 1986. Paperback;
A CALL TO EXCELLENCE: Understanding Excellence God's Way by Gary Inrig. SP Publications (1985). 168 pages.
THE MAJESTY OF MAN by Ronald B. Allen. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon (1984). 221 pages. Cloth; $11.95.
THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM COMING: The Marriage of Evangelism and Social Responsibility by J. Andrew Kirk. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1985). 164 pages. Paperback; $5.95. ISBN 0-87784-938-2. Previously published in England (1983) as A New World Coming.
HANDLING CONFLICT: Taking the Tension Out of Difficult Relationships by Gerry Rauch. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1985. 149 pages. Paperback; n.p.g.
PEACEFUL LIVING IN A STRESSFUL WORLD by Ronald Hutchcraft. Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee (1985). 209 pages. $10.95.
THE RETURN OF THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM by Ken Boa and William Proctor. Zondervan (1985). 215 pages. Paperback; $7.95.

WOMEN IN SCIENCE by Vivian Gornick. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1983. 165 pages; n.p.g.

Vivian Gornick, the author of Women in Science, is not a Christian. The book is not about Christianity, or directed toward a Christian readership. However, I believe the book deals with issues that every Christian scientist should consider. Gornick's original motive as a journalist active in feminism was to "document discrimination against women in science." In the process, however, Gornick also deals with topics such as why people engage in scientific research and the power structure of science itself. The discussion of this latter topic in particular should cause a Christian scientist to evaluate his or her beliefs and behavior.

Ms. Gornick carried out her study by interviewing about one hundred women involved in basic research who represented most of the major sub-disciplines, and whose ages ranged from 24 to 78 years. The study was not intended to be statistically rigorous or scientifically controlled, but rather was designed to discover on a personal or emotional level how women view themselves as scientists, and how this affects their psyches.

In part one, "Who Are These People, And What Do They Think They Are Doing?", the author describes, through excerpts from interviews, why people (women in particular) are attracted to a career in research. In an eloquent manner, Ms. Gornick communicates the special and addictive quality of the intellectual pursuit of ideas:

... a scientist or a writer is one who ruminates continuously on the nature of physical or imaginative life, experiences repeated relief and excitement when the insight comes, and is eDdlessly attracted to working out the idea. (p. 40)

In part two, "Women in Science: Half In and Half Out," Gornick illustrates the current condition of women in the research professions. One recognizes immediately several stereotypes here: the "research associate" who, although every bit as capable as the next person, never received tenure or promotion; and the wife in the "professional marriage" who never received treatment equal to her husband. Other illustrations are given as well, which document the widespread discrimination to which women in science have been subjected. The author rightfully identifies a major factor which continues to act as an obstacle to womeD's rights: scientists (and male scientists in particular) who sincerely believe that they are totally rational and objective, and therefore incapable of discrimination. This attitude makes it particularly difficult to bring about change.

The final section, "Women in Science: Demystifying the Profession," is perhaps the most significant, especially to a Christian scientist. In fact, the issues discussed here should not, cannot, and must not be confined to women. Gornick describes in a very revealing fashion the power structures of science. Abuses of the tenure svstem for personal gain and the incredibly demoralizing exhaustion that often occurs in the .1 run" for tenure are examples. These problems affect all scientists, be they male or female, and point to the need for some changes. The other critical issue presented in this section deals directly with family life and social structure. The pressures placed on a woman by the expectations inherent in the current power structure make it difficult to have a family and to also succeed at one's profession. Some women have decided a family would be a detriment to their career, and yet many others feel that a family must be integral to their lifestyle and, indeed, their "wholeness." In her book, Gornick describes this ongoing debate from both sides. One conclusion she reaches is that the structure of science is changing even now, and that it must change so as to recognize that every scientist exists outside of the lab, and is a human being with normal needs for family, intimacy, and so on. This is a conclusion of monumental importance, and I contend that it directly affects men in science as well. The tacit, subliminal, and sometimes overt expectations at many large research-oriented universities place too much pressure on both women and men, and this has a detrimental ef f ect on the "whole-person." As Christians, we must individually consider how we can make a difference in these power structures and social norms, and collectively we must present a Christ-centered, balanced approach to those activities labeled as science.

In summary, this book, while not directed at Christians, deals with issues which should be of interest to Christian scientists. It is well written, insightful, and should give one cause to consider his or her own attitudes.

Reviewed by Bryan A. Hanson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, DePautv University, Greencastte, IN 46135.

GOD AND NATURE: Historical Essays on the Encounter Between Christianity and Science by David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers (eds.). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986. xi + 516 pages. $50.00 cloth/$17.95 paperback.

David C. Lindberg, Professor of the History of Science, and Ronald L. Numbers, Professor of the History of Medicine and the History of Science, both at the University of WisconsinMadison, have done a remarkable job in pulling together sixteen history authorities from this country, England, and France, to present a tour de force summary of the interaction between science and Christianity from the days of the early church to the present. The material is the outgrowth of an international conference on the historical relations of Christianity and Science, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. It focuses on a variety of inputs to the questions of whether science and Christianity have historically been in conflict, or whether they have really been allies, or whether in' fact-as one is not surprised to learn in detail-the actual situation is far too complex to be described by any simple rubric.

The book has 18 chapters, each about 25 pages long and listing between 23 and 105 references per chapter, plus an 11-page Guide to Further Reading, short biographies of the authors, and a 27-page index. It is therefore a valuable resource for insight into the historical literature, as well as for summaries and interpretations of this literature by accredited scholars.

After an initial chapter by David Lindberg on "Science and the Early Church," subsequent chapters deal with the Middle Ages, the Copernicans, Galileo, Catholicism and early modern science, Reformation theology, Puritanism, studies based on Kepler, Descartes, Newton and Laplace, the mechanistic conception of life, earth history, geology and Genesis in the 19th century, the impact of Darwin and Darwinism, the Creationists (a chapter by editor Ronald L. Numbers), and reflections on modern physics and the modern interaction between Protestant theology and natural science. The authors strive for a thoroughly balanced picture, seeking in authentic professional discipline to avoid simplistic interpretations. Perhaps their very success in doing this sometimes poses a problem for the reader: How can any layperson unravel the actual historical interactions, in view of their overwhelming complexity, in order to learn as much from history as we would like? It appears that along with general overall changes in perspective, many specific interpretations shift back and forth between extreme positions, with both persisting in some form down through the centuries even into the present.

The comprehensiveness of the historical coverage sometimes leads to another problem, which is essentially unavoidable in a book with such great ambition: the reduction of major individuals and major concepts to a few lines. Perhaps this seemed to be more troublesome in the later chapters dealing with events closer to our own day, with which we are more familiar and hence more likely to recognize omissions of full detail. The attempt to cover in 25 pages the thoughts of Barth, Brunner, Bultmann, Tillich, the Niebuhrs, Neo-Orthodoxy, Mascall, Ramm, Gordon Clark, Donald MacKay, Whitehead, and Hartshorne is bound to leave the reader with only the barest glimpse into these men and their thoughts. For example, the brief comment on MacKay's view of complementarity as a way of relating science and Christianity-that complementarity does not "by itself, answer the questions about how science and theology are related" (p. 465)-is a rather rapid dismissal of a powerful, interpretive perspective. Perhaps one of the positive results of the book will be the impetus it provides the reader to fill out areas of particular interest, once he has been made aware of them.

The common dictum that people ignorant of history are doomed to repeat its mistakes is nowhere more cogent than in the area of the interaction between science and Christianity. The historical views set forth in this book shed a great deal of light on present day controversies, and provide insights as to the authentic issues and the most promising ways of resolving them, both by recognizing their complexities and sometimes in spite of them. It is somehow refreshing to realize that in the early 5th century Augustine (as described by Aquinas some 800 years later) was insisting upon the hermeneutical principle that "no particular explanation should be held to rigidly that, if convincing arguments show it to be false, anyone dare to insist that it still is the definitive sense of the text. Otherwise unbelievers will scorn Sacred Scripture, and the way to faith will be closed to them" (p. 63). If Christians could learn from that single thought, how great would be the contribution to Christian witness.

This book is essential reading for anyone seriously concerned about the interaction between science and Christianity. Students who are introduced to it early will find it a tremendous help in integrating their own faith and life.

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

This review was prepared initially for Fides et Historia, Journal of the Conference of Faith and History.

THEOLOGIES OF THE BODY: Humanist and Christian by Benedict M. Ashley, O.P. The Pope John Center (1985). 770 pages. Paperback; n.p.g.

In his foreward the author, a Dominican Thomistic theologian, apologizes for presenting material from some fields, in which he obviously lacks expertise, in his desire to present a "broader synthetic purpose." Unfortunately, his selection of data is invariably done uncritically from a narrow, subjective viewpoint. The announced theme is "Can We Create Ourselves?," and the answer is given in the concluding chapter: "Humanists and Marxists say yes ... modern science and technology have made this a real possibility ... the Christian answer is also yes."

Part I deals with "Science, the Body and the Humanist Theology." "Science has taught us ... we have evolved from star dust." The author not only neglects to define science, but carelessly uses the same word for all knowledge throughout the ages-regardless of the phenomena or methodology. Our only clue is that he himself prefers Aristotelian epistemology and the dictum that "science is knowledge of the universals." Nor is it helpful to follow Aquinas's argument that theology is a science. It is difficult to understand precisely what the author means by his casual use of the terms moral science, scientific facts, scientific truth, positive science, positive theology,or positivistic materialism.

It is not surprising to find a philosophy-minded theologian subscribing to the historian-philosopher school that regards the fourteenth century as the renascence of science in the Paris-Oxford schools. Here one finds a glorification of the revived Pythagoras- Plato tradition culminating in the mathematization of science. Begrudgingly, the young Galileo is regarded by the author as having participated in the revision of Aristotelian physics. In grouping together Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler, Ashley reveals his own lack of appreciation of observations per se-the genius of the modern scientific method. Nor is his understanding of Newton any better when he extolls him as one of the first theologians of deism.

The author appears particularly gullible with respect to modern scientific theories, many of which are merely interesting speculations. A favorite phrase is "matter and energy;I believe he means matter and radiation. He is apparently not familiar with mathematical invariance or physical conservation laws. I doubt if he understands the meaning of E = mc', which he cites. I cannot agree with the author's opinion that 11 modern science no longer claims to predict the future of natural events"-true only of particles under certain conditions-or that"natural laws are statistical only."

Part II is entitled "Christian Theologies of the Body." While subscribing to P. Tillich's definition of religion as dealing with matters of "ultimate concern," the author manages to include a diversity of subjects including humanism, secular religion, and so forth. He does not simplify matters when he uses the terms "philosophical" and "theological" interchangeably in making comparisons. For example, he speaks of the "theologies of humanism." He speaks also of 11 the scientific culture of facts and the more humanistic culture of values." He insists, wrongly, I believe, that science is value free. Inasmuch as the book has been published by Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, the opinions expressed in this area have at least been reviewed by some Catholic theologians.

I was interested to learn of the general Catholic acceptance of the critical-historical method for interpreting the Scriptures. I did not realize, however, that inspiration is believed to comprehend the Bible as a whole, not necessarily individual pieces. As a Lutheran, I noted particularly the apology for various Catholic pronouncements, as well as incidental opinions about Protestantism. Although I have always had a high regard for the Jewish maiden Mary, I was astounded at the accelerated growth of Mariology, Immaculate Conception, Assumption, Mother of God, Mother of the Church. I cannot accept the author's view of Jesus and Mary as "brother and sister." I do not believe that "the presence of God in the human world could not have been merely through the man Jesus, but required also a woman, Mary."

Part 111, "A Radical Process Interpretation of Science," and Part IV, "A Process Theology of the Body," are complementary. In particular, he discusses the spiritual body. As a strict Aristotelian, he opposes Plato's dualism of the real and of the actual, that is, the soul imprisoned in the body. For the human self is "a body whose form is the soul." Disembodied spirits are the subject of angelology. Apparently, the less information in the Scriptures on this subject and on resurrected bodies, the greater the opportunity of a theologian to speculate. I am amazed that the author confesses to take seriously without any evidence "the popular belief of many primitive people that some of the dead linger about the places in which they lived and others move more freely." The author likens some of the lacunae in these views to the empty places in Mendelejeff's Periodic Table of the elements. I do wonder, however, that even a theologian could possibly believe that the history of evolution has reflected the civil war among the cosmic intelligences.

One of the most interesting chapters is on "God's Fullness in Bodily Form." Here the author considers the human body of Christ and the Church as the Body of Christ, concluding with the Mother of God. The spiritual body of the wounded Christ and of the resurrected Christ, and the glorified body are discussed as they relate to the current metaphysical problem of the Eucharist Celebration.

The final chapter is entitled "The Godliness of Matter," in that matter by its infinite potentiality allows for the infinite creativity of God. The human body is "God's Image" and "God's Glory." Protestants, however, will tremble to find the book conclude with Revelation 21:1-4, interpreted as here foretelling Mary as "the Church, the beginning of the reign of God. "

A few footnotes! One is impressed with the vast reading associated with the 14 chapters; the almost 1300 notes (157 pp.) are generally explanatory. The index of names is lengthy, but does not always indicate more than casual asquaintanceif even that. (The reader would appreciate more consistency with respect to full names and years of both birth and death.) Throughout the book many undefined terms are apt to puzzle the "average reader;- for instance, electromagnetic charge, economic Trinity, ontological Trinity, scientistic humanism, cultural scientist, and so on. It might be helpful if a calendar of significant periods and events were included. More careful proof reading might have detected glaring errors such as Pope Paschal in the Name Index for Blaise Paschal in the text. I believe the purpose of the book might have been better achieved if more attention bad been given strictly to it per se and less to more broadly related matters. Too encyclopedic!

Reviewed by Raymond Seeger, Bethesda, Maryland.

A HISTORY OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY by Duane P. Schultz and Sydney Ellen Schultz. New York: Hartcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1987 (3rd ed.). 403 pages. Hardcover; $31.95.

Psychology is among the oldest scholarly disciplines in existence today. Ever since the Garden of Eden, people have been fascinated by behavior and speculated on its causes. Early in mankind's history, the speculation was done by philosophers and theologians. However, Schultz and Schultz show that the problems considered in antiquity (memory, learning, perception, irrational behavior) were psychological in nature and are the same ones which continue to occupy the attention of the psychological community today.

In this volume, the twists and turns on the path to modern psychology are expertly set down by Schultz and Schultz. This book is a fascinating account of the growth of psychology through the friction provided by conflicting schools of thought. Each school served as a foil for the emergence of an antagonist: structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, Gestalt, and psychoanalysis.

While Schultz and Schultz trace the origins of psychology to antiquity, they do not begin their history of psychology with Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Indeed, as the authors of this volume point out, while psychology is one of the oldest disciplines, it is also one of the newest. This paradox is illustrated by Hermann Ebbinghaus' famous quote: "psychology has a long past but only a short history. "

The long past goes back at least to the emergence of Greek civilization; the "Greek miracle," as it is frequently and appropriately called. But the history of experimental psychology is a short one; it began in 1879 in Germany with a genius named Wilhelm Wundt when he set in motion the first experimental psychology laboratory. Thus, the centennial of the birth of modern psychology was just recently celebrated in 1979.

According to the authors, the distinction between the psychology which Wundt originated and its predecessors relates to the methods used, rather than the questions explored. Wundt used the tools and methods of modern science, especially the experiment, rather than relying solely on intuition, speculation and logic. Wundt not only started experimental psychology; he also initiated its first journal to preserve its findings.

An interesting feature in this book is its attempt to correct the myths and legends concerning Wundt that have been taught. The authors admit that the previous editions of this book "have been compounding and reinforcing the error under the imprimatur of their alleged expertise" (p. 59). This illustrates that while history does not change, the interpretation of it does. The authors are to be commended for candor in admitting their error.

Schultz and Schultz emphasize the important role the United States has played in the development of modern psychology. Although experimental psychology was born in Germany, it quickly f ound its most f ruitf ul soil f or growth in America. just eight years after experimental psychology's birth, the first psychology journal in the United States was published. That was followed a year later by the appointment of the first professor of psychology in the world at the University of Pennsylvania.

During the fifteen years following the start of modern psychology, 26 psychology labs were opened in the United States. In 1892, the American Psychological Association (APA) was formed. Today more than half of the psychologists in the world live in the United States and 61,000 of them are members of the APA.

This book pays tribute to the eminent historian of psychology, E.G. Boring, by references to his classic volume, A History of Experimental Psychology (1929). In addition, Edna Heibreder's Seven Psychologies (1933) was also used as a reference by Schultz and Schultz. Both of these books are indispensable to the reader who desires to know more about the people and thoughts that provide the foundation for modern psychology.

This book appeals to several audiences. For those interested in the history of science, Schultz and Schultz provide a succinct thread upon which to trace the flow of ideas and their impact on the fledgling field of psychology. For those who work in the field of psychology, this book can provide a quick review of the contributions to science of their intellectual ancestors. For those who teach a history of psychology, this would make a wonderful choice as a text for undergraduate courses. And for scientists in any discipline, this book offers an interesting account of one of the most popular disciplines in contemporary science.

Christians in the scientific community will find this book stimulating, as it contrasts the theological and scientific approaches. For instance, Rene Descartes, the bridge from the Renaissance to the modern era of science, is viewed as the one who "freed inquiry from the rigid theological and traditional dogmas that had controlled it for centuries" (p. 22). It is noteworthy that Descartes was trained in a Jesuit college. Schultz and Schultz indicate that many other early scientists and psychologists were reared in Christian environments including George Berkeley, James Mill, Ernest Weber, Gustav Fechner, and Wilhem Wundt.

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

POVERTY AND WEALTH: The Christian Debate Over Capitalism by Ronald H. Nash. Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986. 223 pages. Paperback; $8.95.

This book is both readable and enjoyable. It is written for the Christian layman who lacks expertise in economics but who wishes to be better informed in his thinking about our economic system. It is especially helpful for those who ask, "Can 1, as a Christian with compassion for the poor, be committed to the capitalist system?" The author's answer is a resounding "Yes!" Nash lays to rest the assumption that to accept socialism is somehow to be more just, compassionate and Christian. The work is suf f iciently lively in style to invite one to persist to the last page with a minimum of effort.

The author's previous writings include, Social justice and the Christian Church, and Freedom, justice and the State. The present work is a defense of capitalism as a system that contributes to social justice and is efficient in its operation. Nash believes that many evangelicals, in their compassion and concern for the disadvantaged in the United States and abroad, have mistakenly espoused interventionist or socialist schemes that do not produce the social benefits desired. Good intentions wedded to unsound economic theory often lead to negative rather than the intended positive results. Nash pronounces the well-intentioned programs of liberals and socialists a flat failure. He argues that the only effective means for providing the greatest good for all is to return to a laissez-faire system. All central planning and government intervention in the economy must be abandoned if the economic machine is to run smoothly. Concerned Christians need to get a firmer grip on the basic principles of economics if they are going to ameliorate suffering. When Nash talks about basic economic principles, he seems to be thinking in terms of classical economics, or the free market emphasis of economists like the University of Chicago's Milton Friedman.

At the outset, the author attempts to provide a mini-course in basic economic ideas, explaining such things as the distinction between macroeconomics and microeconomics and the role of scarcity in economic theory. In a chapter on the free market system, he defends the market as a spontaneously operating mechanism that satisfies the innumerable and constantly shifting needs of buyers and sellers, without the need for central planning or direction. In two chapters on capitalism, he asserts that this system should be accepted by the thinking Christian as one that is morally superior to socialism. Nash does not presume to argue that there exists a Christian or biblical system of economics. He does assert that the efficient operation of the capitalist system and its respect for liberty makes it more capable of meeting the expectations of Christians; that an economic system must provide a decent life for all segments of society, and that it do so while upholding human freedom and dignity.

A chapter on socialism concludes that the system is unworkable. Similarly, Nash decries the present mixed econ-omy of the United States, which he classifies as interventionist. He does not see the American example as a paradigm for capitalism, but as an untenable middle ground between socialism and true capitalism. There are also chapters on Christianity and Marxism, liberation theology, the Great Depression (which he blames, surprisingly, on Hoover for being an interventionist), social security, money, and on the problem of poverty in America and the Third World.

This book is a well-reasoned response to the tendency of some evangelicals whose concern for social justice has led them to flirt with forms of socialism or Marxism. Many Christians who are moderate or conservative in their economic and political outlook will find in this book intellectual justification for their views. As well, many will also agree with the call for more careful study of economic principles before espousing social-help crusades that might be ill-conceived, or even leave the poor in a more dependent and helpless situation than before. But many moderates, not to mention liberals, will find Nash's call for a return to a laissez-faire system, a call to revert to a system that desperately needs reform. It is difficult to conceive of a return to the unbridled system of the 1800's. If the government were to keep its hands off the economy, serious crises would be inevitable. What check would an unrestrained market system have on the tendency of profit-seeking competitive corporations to pollute the air, land and water resources of the nation? What historian, remembering the unbridled greed of the robber barons of the last century, would like to see railroads and other monopolies choking out competition and charging extortionate rates? It could be argued that the American experience of the 19th century demonstrated that the free market system works best with a moderate amount of regulation and intervention. Without government as an umpire, the powerful corporations would as soon destroy competition and enjoy a predictable and controlled economy (one controlled by tbem). Since Nash argues that there is no viable middle ground between socialism and laissez-faire capitalism, those who believe in a market system with some modification will feel that he has attempted to cut the ground from beneath them. Whatever one's views, this is a book that is lucid, helpful, and provocative.

Reviewed by Richard L. Niswonger, Chair of the Social Studies Division, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761.

IS CAPITALISM CHRISTIAN? by Franky Schaeffer (ed.). Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1985. 461 pages. Paperback; $9.95.

This book is an anthology of essays on subjects which relate to the ethical aspects of competing economic systems. Each of twenty-one authors has contributed an article and, although the emphases are diverse, all expositions are written from a conservative political-economic viewpoint.

A more accurate, if more verbose, title would have been, "Are Capitalism and Christianity Compatible?" Nevertheless, it is recognized that not all capitalists are Christians, and no economic system in this world will be faultless. This point is not belabored. None of the contributors go into a discussion of Rev. 18, or Ezek. 27, or other passages pertaining to potential or real commercial corruption; these are seldom cited by liberation theologians anyway. The emphasis is on the material and spiritual superiority of capitalism over all forms of socialism as reflected in 20th century history, and in particular, opposition to leftist economic leanings outside and inside the Church. The jury's decision is unanimous: the capitalist system should be defended and appreciated, and socialism's failures should be squarely faced.

Although in his introductory chapter Schaeffer does not explicitly say so, the cumulative evidence is so great that one leaves the book with an impression of massive hypocrisy on the part of the leftists, whether Christian or otherwise. 1, for one, would like to see what kind of rebuttal the liberals can produce, if they choose to do so at all!

Schaeffer has divided his book into parts containing essays on similar themes. These sectional topics may be paraphrased as follows: (I.) How free enterprise produces prosperity. (II.) The socialist experiment in the Third World. (Ill.) Impact.of socialist ideas in the U.S. (IV.) What the modern doomsdayers overlooked. (V.) Liberation theology debunked. (VI.) Appendices.

Like Clark Pinnock, professor of theology at McMaster Divinity College and a contributor to this work, I had been attracted by radical leftist ideas before moving to a more conservative stance. From my current perspective, there is little in this anthology to argue with and considerable detail worth revealing.

Warren T. Brookes, writer of the weekly column, "The Economy in Mind," is the author of an essay in Part 1. He notes religion, which is the teaching and promulgation of values, is intimately connected to the economy." "Redistribution has replaced contribution as the dominant theme." He also documents a recent steep decline of belief in God's existence in democratically socialist nations: " . . . capitalism thrives on the political and religious freedom also essential to Christianity."

In the next section, Paul Johnson writes a most interesting revisionist history (1945-1962) on the emerging identity of selected Third World nations. P.T. Bauer, of the London School of Economics, shows that conditions in the Third world should not provoke guilt in the West. In particular, those nations with greater economic contact with the West have been experiencing greater advancement. Humberto Belli, a former Sandinista, relates the recent events in Nicaragua as far from explainable merely as reaction against real or imagined capitalist greed.

The next division deals with the impact of socialist ideas within the U.S. itself. The feminist concept of "comparable worth," for example, is a clear departure from laissez-faire capitalism. Michael Levin exposes the philosophical problems associated with comparable worth, not the least of which is the absence of hard criteria for determining worth, apart from market forces. Thomas Sewell, a Hoover Institution Senior Fellow who is black, contrasts rights vs. quotas and equal opportunity vs. equal results. He points out that there are several factors confounded with race, such as age, educational pursuit, geography, and culture. Part III is concluded by a lengthy article detailing the utopian bias of the media and its highly selective reporting.

Projections of doom within the next generation or two have been a recent staple of the liberals. Two essays in the fourth section discuss the demographic fallacies associated with such predictions. It may be added that the earlier models of disaster had made projections even for the mid-1980's, which now seem quaintly pessimistic. Even so, the Global 2000 Report, casting a similar pall over the future, was compiled as recently as the Carter administration. A masterful rebuttal by Simon and Kahn, which should have been included in this section, appears instead in the appendices.

Part V is appropriately titled, "Liberating the Church from Marxism." The opening salvo is Dale Vree's critique of Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian and a leading liberation theologian. This is followed by Neuhaus's history of the capitulation of much of Protestantism to modernist economic thought; a key essay, since a reversal of this is evidently a major goal of Schaeffer. One of my favorite works is that of economist P.T. Bauer on the legitimization of envy. Some of the socialist documents he quotes originated in the prestigious Vatican. They all seem to ignore the variety of causes of poverty. On the other hand, he cites Bishop Bududira, an African, who perceives that tribalism and local Third World cultures actually obstruct material progress. In the final selection, by Lloyd Billingsley, the concept of "compassion" is addressed. It is pointed out that the compassion of radical Christians is directed only toward the "interesting" poor, namely those who are actively anti-Western.

Some essays have been relegated to an Appendices section, but the quality of these is every bit as good as the rest. For example, Peter L. Berger examines the reasons for the recent economic success or failure of several nations. Nick Eberstadt provides information on disaster management in developed and underdeveloped nations, as well as foreign aid and its effects, including the phenomenon of investment without growth. In poor countries, "rates of gross domestic investment are higher today than they ever were in the United States."

In short, this anthology not only provides a staunch defense of Western capitalism, but makes it clear that Third World countries must disavow socialism if they are to have real hope for economic and industrial modernization. Schaeffer has compiled a wealth of information and observation which should be extremely valuable for any of us involved with debating the apologists for utopianism. No nation has yet fashioned an economic system more compatible with Christian freedom and productivity than capitalism.

Reviewed by Philip F. Rust, Department of Biometry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425.

ANTHROPOLOGICAL INSIGHTS FOR MISSIONARIES by Paul G. Hiebert. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1985. n.p.g.

Cultural anthropology and theology present two views of the world. These are based upon two different perspectives, and often seem to be irreconcilable. Theologians might argue that Christ is above culture. The anthropologist might counter by saying that Christ has come to us in a specific "cultural package." One argues for the primacy of a theological viewpoint, and the other argues for the necessity of being grounded in an understanding of culture and society. Even if we are able to move past this basic level of discussion to a consideration of contextualization, we still find major questions remaining as to how this might be done. How do we keep from contextualizing the Gospel message and still keep theology from being put at the service of anthropology?
These are hard questions.

At a more practical level for the cross-cultural missionary, how do we work cross-culturally without either collapsing under culture shock, or flailing our host with truisms from our own cultures? How do we live in a new society and in the midst of a different culture, attempt to communicate about the most subtle yet most basic aspects of life, keep family and health intact, relate to the "folks" back home, and then eventually return to our original societies and cultures only to find that we are now the marginalized persons who are truly "betwixt and between"?
These, again, are hard questions.

Dr. Paul Hiebert of the School of World Mission at Fuller Theological Seminary has provided us with a masterful tool which, although not making these questions any less difficult, at least affirms their importance, that answers can be sought, and that we will come out of this process in one piece. He provides a sound treatment both of culture and the Gospel which denies the complexity of neither. He treats the task of living in another culture with much practical wisdom and a good deal of intellectual sophistication. He presents a thoroughly sound and persuasive approach to contextualization and the communication of the Gospel, which not only will be helpful to the cross-cultural missionary, but also the rest of us living "here at home" while we attempt to witness to our non-Christian co-workers, neighbors, and friends. Lastly, he brings us into the current world scene by describing the "Bi-cultural Community" as that community which is working at the integration of faith and culture. Here, we see clearly that we can no longer live under the illusion of going to pristine societies, which are unaffected either by external events or by our presence and the message we bring.

This is all done in clear, non-jargony language. Effective charts and diagrams sprinkle the text and go a long way towards illustrating difficult concepts and ideas. Dr. Hiebert is an analyst and a storyteller. He is an intellectual and a missionary, clearly displaying his many years in India-first as an MK, later as a missionary with the Mennonites.

This book is believable, convincing, and practical. I would recommend it for anyone involved in cross-cultural work, attempting to understand the Gospel in an integrated sense as impacted by cultural and social forces, or considering being part of the mission enterprise. It would be useful for courses in applied anthropology, missiology and missionary preparation, and the theory of culture.

Reviewed by Harley Schreck, World Vision International, Monrovia, CA 91016.

THE RELIGIOUS FACTOR IN AUSTRALIAN LIFE by Gary D. Bourna and Beverly R. Dixon. Melbourne: "MARC Australia" and ZADOK Centre for Christianity in Society, 1986. n.p.g.

Utilizing data gathered in 1983 by the Morgan Gallup Pollsters, Bourna and Dixon have examined various aspects of Australian religious life and the influence of religion on Australian society and behavior. This is a valuable work. It has long been assumed that Australia is "post-Christian. " This study goes some distance toward convincing us that Australia is not a secular society, and that religion still plays a major role in the way people think and behave.

Grouping the respondents into five categories-Roman Catholics, Anglicans, mainline Protestants, Evangelical/ Fundamentalists (interestingly labeled "Right-wing Protestants," requiring a bit of cultural translation for this American reviewer), and the nonreligious-the authors found that there are clear differences which could almost denote five subcultures. Significant differences were found in attitudes on morality, tolerance for other races, ethnicities, followers of other lifestvies, evaluations of social change, political stances, and so forth.

Surprises abound. 57.9% of Australians claim to be religious, yet 8,5.6% identify with some religious group. The nonreligious are the most intolerant and the "Right-wing Protestants" are most tolerant of ethnic and racial differences. Denominational differences had a clear association with a number of social issues. These and other findings have implications for ministry and evangelism.

For example, there is a substantial difference between all the religious sub-groups and the nonreligious. This would suggest that we have a situation where the religious are largely irrelevant to, and often speak past, the nonreligious. This offers precious little hope of effective evangelism. Yet, all Australians value family very highly. Could not a recognition of this fact, and a redirecting of ministry and outreach in response to this, result in substantial success for evangelistic efforts among the nonreligious?

Yet, a studv like this raises more questions than it answers. The survev questions often seem problematical in terms of measuring substantial values or behaviors. Measurement aside, the survey cries out for the richness of conversation, questioning, contacts. It does its best in getting into the issues, but leaves us hungry for substance. Hopefully, the next step will be a core of researchers and practitioners who will search for answers of more depth and strive to find better ways to minister to the heart and soul of Australia.

This publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International. Call toll-free 800-521-3044. Or mad inquiry to: University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

This book is recommended for those who are interested in the study of religion in modern life. It would best be used in conjunction with ethnographies of urban, industrialized society.

Reviewed by Harley Schreck, World Vision international, Monrovia, CA 91016.

LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF THE SECOND COMING: American Premillennialism 1875-1982 (enlarged edition) by Timothy P. Weber. Academie Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1983). 305 pages. Paperback; out of print since late 1985.

This work is a triumph and a tragedy. It is a tragedy that it went so quickly out of print, for Weber has written an outstanding work of history; one which triumphs over the typical difficulties authors have with fundamentalist controversy, and which is written with skill and flair. Rather than recapitulating theological controversies and the ebb and flow of doctrine, Weber examines how the beliefs of fundamentalists have influenced their behavior.

In this regard, Weber acknowledges the perspective offered by Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr., in A Behavioral Approach to Historical Analysis (New York Free Press, 1969), which states:"By concentrating on what people actually did ... the historian can better evaluate what [they said or] thought they were doing. He can discover the true beliefs of individuals and groups. What people do frequently speaks louder and is more revealing than anything they say, or claim to believe" (p. 7, emphasis Weber's). He observes that this approach is particularly helpful to the student of Christian history, for "Christians ... have always been expected to live out the implications of their faith."

Thus, we do not see an examination of the different exegetical presuppositions of various premillennialists, nor do we see much of the personal and intellectual conflict that has troubled the emergence and development of fundamentalism. Instead, we are given a clear and objective view of bow premillennialists behaved in their world.

The feature of this work that impressed me the most is its emotional maturity. Weber treats all the characters he encounters with altruism and respect, never descending to sarcasm or ridicule. He writes "non-judgmentally," allowing the reader to make his or her own value judgments. Kindness notwithstanding, he never hesitates to discuss negative issues or regrettable behavior. But in doing so, he remains emotionally neutral. The book is full of subtle wit, always goodhumored-I was repeatedly surprised and pleased by Weber's fairness and restraint.

The work is scholarly. It began as a Ph.D. thesis at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago under Martin Marty-34 pages of notes and a 23-page bibliography attest to that heritage. Weber's reading has been encyclopedic-the notes and bibliography provide an excellent entry to the extensive literature of American premillennialism. Although he covers primarily American authors, he does not neglect the important British ones.

He also writes objectively. It is a tribute to his evenhandedness that I could not discern whether Weber is a believer, nor his doctrinal stance. But it is obvious from the first chapter, a summary of premillennial doctrines and their origins, that the author has come from "within" premillennialism. No one from outside the "circle" could possibly have such thorough knowledge of both the literature and the behavior of premillennialists.

In the body of his work, Weber first outlines the doctrines, in extremely simple form, that comprise premillennialism and its origins. He then discusses how the doctrine of the .1 any-moment Coming" affected actual practices and how the "now/not-yet" tensions were overcome. This teaching, interestingly, seems to have energized the preaching of the Gospel (to beat the deadline, as it were) rather than enervating it. Premillennialists also faced tension over social reform, teaching that the moral decline of humanity is inevitable, but not wishing to neglect needs that they saw. Weber's chapter on this problem is particularly interesting.

The world wars and the modern Middle East conflict have been important in the growth of premillennialism, and Weber devotes several chapters to the doctrinal issues that have been involved and to the resulting response of premillennialists. He also treats at length the attitude of premillennialists toward Jews in respect to Zionism, Nazi persecution, Jewish evangelism, and current relations of the Western powers with Israel.

The last portion of the book deals with recent Second Coming prophetic works and the current Middle East situation, in which he points out several problems that beset premillennialists in their tendency to over-predict and overinterpret Scripture. He also indicates the developing difficulties which are being seen in those who combine fundamentalism and rightist politics, but this concern is of such contemporary interest that historical discussion is premature and Weber avoids it.

It is regrettable that this book has been taken from print. It is very well written: easily read, interesting, and stimulating. Its scholarship make it the best historical work on American premillennialism to date, one that will be a standard reference for years. Unfortunately, it is just too substantial for the  popular Christian" market.

Reviewed by Daniel Johnson, Memornie, Wisconsin.

BEYOND CHOICE: The Abortion Story No One is Telling by Don Baker. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon (1985). 96 pages; n.p.g.

In 1973, the Supreme Court made the decision that abortion was legal in all fifty states. Since this time, many people have debated the issues of the acceptability of abortion. Some people are pro-life; some people are pro-choice.

Don Baker presents a poignant picture of one person's experience with abortion. To me, this was very reminiscent of F. Schaeffer and C. E. Koop's book and films, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Baker emphasizes the lack of choice and knowledge Debbie had when forced to make her decisions. I struggled with anger as I read the discussion during the counseling session for Debbie's first abortion. She was told it was "simply gettting rid of some unwanted fetal matter just as [a person] would get rid of some phlegm from their throat or mucous from their nose" (p. 25). It was never shared with Debbie that some people are very concerned for life, because God made us in His image.

Debbie was also told that the "little blob ... has practically no resemblance to anything human whatever and is no bigger than a peanut" (p. 26). Later, when Debbie read Jimmy Swaggart's message, "America's Greatest Crime," she became aware that her abortions involved babies, not a fetus or an impersonal "blob" as she had been told. Even though Debbie communicated to the counselor that the abortion was being performed because of parental pressure, no one heard her and recognized the need to clarify her confused thinking.

That first abortion was the beginning of a downward spiral which gained momentum as the descent proceeded. You become involved in her feelings of abandonment, loneliness, guilt, shame, grief, sadness and depression as she allows two more abortions to be performed. You read of her struggles as she first abandons her daughter, Jennifer, and then tries unsuccessfully to regain custody. You empathize with Debbie and Steve as they seek for reasons why Debbie cannot get pregnant. Debbie has become a Christian, is married to Steve, seeks professional help on fertility, yet is unable to conceive. Why? She never had trouble conceiving before. Debbie continually questions whether this is the result of her abortions.

Baker concludes his book with Debbie realizing her need of God's forgiveness as she accepts responsibility for the behavior which led to the first abortion. Her problems are not solved-scars remain, but Debbie is using her experiences to help others in need.

Reviewed by Emily Egbert, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

ORDINARY CHRISTIANS IN A HIGH-TECH WORLD by Robert Slocum. Word Books, 1986. Paperback;

When I requested this book, I expected a work that would in some way relate high-technology to Christianity. I expected chapters that would speak of the mechanization and computerization of society, the relationship between faith and technology, and perhaps a chapter on how ordinary Christians could make use of high-tech in the cause of Christ. The author's background in lasers, satellites, and other hightech areas made this the likely content, or so I thought.

This book has little or nothing to say on the topics I imagined. Only one brief chapter (the first) comes close, in which Alvin Toffler's book The Third Wave is briefly considered. Slocum contrasts three general kinds of churches, each corresponding with the three "waves," then describes the six characteristics distinguishing the second and third 11 waves" as well as their church correlates.

At this point, the book turns to the topic of what the church is to be about. The author emphasizes lay ministry, as he does throughout the book-he even warns clergy not to read the book unless accompanied by a lay person! A second key emphasis here, again maintained throughout the work, is the need for small groups in the church. With both of these emphases, Slocum maintains that the only path to survival for the church is for the laity to be involved, particularly outside of the institutional church context.

After the two introductory chapters, the book takes a devotional turn. Slocum spends six chapters describing the heart. Attempting to be fully biblical, "heart," as he defines it here, goes far beyond the modern understanding of the word to include the intellect as well as the emotions, and the volitional aspect of human nature.

The third section attempts to apply this understanding of the heart to the practical situations of work, marriage and family, government, and the church. A number of practical suggestions are made in these areas. I expected some comment on how high-technology could be used profitably in these situations, but this does not seem to have occurred to the author.

I had a hard time relating his applications to the previous section of the book. The illustrations and ideas, while having considerable merit, are not well linked to his ideas on the heart. indeed, there is little linkage of any kind between the different sections of the book other than his ideas regarding lay ministry and small groups, and these are only peripheral to many of his comments. In other words, the book is not well integrated and the schema is sometimes fragmented.

I cannot get away from the feeling that the phrase "hightech" is only superficially added to the ideas in this book. The ideas Slocum suggests have merit, but I suspect the word 1. today" could have been substituted for the phrase "hightech," and it could have been marketed as a devotional book that also encourages the use of small groups and laity involvement. There are a few small sections, such as chapter one, where the book is specifically oriented toward issues of high-technology, but these are indeed rare. Is "high-tech" used to give the book respectability and relevance? Or is it used to gain a male audience for these topics?

Another criticism is that, at times, the book is lightweight and general. Perhaps this is because Slocum expects it to be used as Sunday school curriculum. Of course there is nothing wrong with this, but I expected more when I read the title. It contrasts markedly with the more scholarly approach to high-technology and modern trends as they relate to Christian faith found in David McKenna's recent book Megatruth.

Again, I heartily endorse much of what Slocum has said here. While others have said many of these things better, Slocum may be able to reach the laity directly-his obvious intention. You may want to use this book in a Sunday school class, but be sure the members of the class know what they are going to study rather than relying on the title.

Reviewed by Donald Ratcliff, Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, GA 30577.

A CALL TO EXCELLENCE: Understanding Excellence God's Way by Gary Inrig. SP Publications (1985). 168 pages.

This book is based on the author's Doctor of Ministry dissertation at Dallas Theological Seminary. It obviously picks up on a term and an emphasis that is currently much in the public awareness. The term is not a label for a well defined doctrine, nor does the book pretend it is, but it does serve as a focus for drawing together a considerable body of practical Christian instruction.

The book begins by telling us that the believer "is called to excellence, to be the best that he can be for his Saviour"(12), and that excellence is not expertise but rather living as Christ lived. In this light, servanthood is the standard to meet. Ambition is a prerequisite for achieving excellence, which is not something that can be achieved but rather a direction of life-its pursuit. In this pursuit the believer must be selective-not all that can be done should be done. Biblical excellence is primarily concerned with character, which can ultimately produce a life that's practically useful and divinely approved.

Developing this character requires continual communion with God. This is a recurring theme: excellence isn't instantaneous and it requires work, even though the grace of God is what makes it possible at all. "The consistent teaching of the Word is that true excellence is grown and not conferred in immediate response to even the most earnest prayer" (75).

The closest thing to a definition appears just over halfway through the book, where we are told that excellence is "the maximum exercise of one's gifts and abilities within the range of responsibilities given by God" (87). There's a cost associated with this, a cost of commitment to obedience and routine faithfulness to divine responsibilities. There is a paradox here, because although personal effort is required it's not adequate. Excellence is not simply an individualistic effort. It's intended to be produced in the context of a nurturing community-the church. And this requires effective leadership. Every believer has a unique contribution to make in the church and the body should expect excellence from each one.

There are several problems associated with biblical excellence. The first is a utilitarian view which wrongly connects the believer's pursuits with a guaranteed success. The second is a relativism that compares individuals to each other instead of to the divine standard. The third is an absolutism that creates an expectation of perfection attainable in this life. The fourth is a motivational perspective which differs from what the book teaches in that it is man-centered rather than God-centered.

Finally, achieving excellence is summarized as requiring discipline, direction and determination. "Because [God] has purposed that all His regenerated people be conformed to the image of His Son, growth in Christ-likeness is the essence of excellence in our present world" (161). This book is quite well written and very useful. I recommend it.

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

THE MAJESTY OF MAN by Ronald B. Allen. Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon (1984). 221 pages. Cloth; $11.95.

Ronald B. Allen, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, is a professor at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. This is one of Multnomah Press's Critical Concern Books which seem to focus on important contemporary issues.

The book's twelve chapters fall into three categories: the mystery of man, the majesty of man, and a mandate for man. Helpful additions include subject and Scripture indices, an appendix and annotated bibliography. His chapter endnotes provide interesting and informative reading.

Allen seeks to reaffirm the dignity of man in this age of confusion. His observations are tied to the Psalmist's question "What is man?" which Allen considers the most pressing theological question of our day. (Allen uses the word "man" in a generic sense to refer to both male and female.) To this question Allen relates such topics as genetic manipulation, abortion, feminism, homosexuality, euthanasia, pornography, computer technology, nuclear weapons, and androgynous theism.

Allen wants the readers to "learn and to be true humanists, for humanism, rightly defined in Christ, is our divinely intended glory" (p. 13). Allen writes that secular humanism is an unfortunate coupling of ideas. This is because, to quote J. 1. Packer, "it is only a thoroughgoing Christian who can ever have a right to that name." While Allen thinks secular humanism is a real threat, he contends that the controversy has been shrouded in overstatements and exaggerations which have led to pettiness and provincialism. Allen thinks that Christians who teach in public schools should not be made to feel guilty as though they were aiding the humanist conspiracy.

The contents of much of this book are warm and devotional. Allen believes that man as created in the image of God is majestic. By celebrating this majesty, man glorifies God. Allen has a sense of God's greatness and goodness, and his response is one of awe and gratitude. When critical issues are discussed, an irenic spirit prevails. Allen knows a lot about a lot of things and consequently his challenge is to the reader's head as well as his heart. This book would especially appeal to the neophyte, because the approach is reasoned and incremental.

Reviewed by Richard Ruble, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansa8 72761.

THE GOOD NEWS OF THE KINGDOM COMING: The Marriage of Evangelism and Social Responsibility by J. Andrew Kirk. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1985). 164 pages. Paperback; $5.95. ISBN 0-87784-938-2. Previously published in England (1983) as A New World Coming.

Andrew Kirk's book is challenging and painful. It may be too much for many Christians. It hurts to have so many comfortable positions and practices (including our traditions as evangelicals) shaken so badly, but I believe that we can not ignore the issues that Kirk has addressed unless we are willing to ignore both the Scriptures and our Lord.

Kirk is associate director of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. His concern is the real gospel, not a caricature of it nor a partial gospel. And in addressing such, he does not pull his punches. He comes right to the point. "When it comes to convincing people that the gospel is true, the Church is its own worst enemy" (p. 118). He illustrates this repeatedly. He helps to penetrate the confusion about the impact of our culture and economic system upon many of our attitudes as Christians and upon our approaches to evangelism. His analysis addresses ideas held by evangelicals, liberals, and even Marxists. His diagnosis of these problems is compelling and lucid. Unfortunately, his prescription for solutions is less satisfying and not as convincing, although he has much to say that is enlightening and helpful. He has faced the issues head on and, consequently, is far ahead of most of us in this because we, especially the evangelical community, have been largely blind to them.

Kirk's emphasis is upon the kingdom of God. He shows it to be a central theme of the Scriptures and looks at what that means. His book deals with questions of justice, peace, poverty, evangelism, and the nature of the church. In this, he is looking for an authentic restatement of the Christian faith which both adequately expresses the reality of the Christian life and does justice to all that God has shown of himself in Jesus Christ. While many Christians would concur with this objective, most whom I know are not ready to deal with it as seriously as Kirk does.

I am not sure that Kirk will get a fair reading from most evangelicals because his book contains such strong meat and he writes with such sympathy for a socialistic economic perspective. He even seems a bit pessimistic; as when, after showing how far our present approaches to ministry are from the teachings of the New Testament, he says "One is driven to the conclusion, therefore, that the present pattern of ministry is a sacred cow that cannot be touched" (p. 125).

As for myself, Kirk's book has made me despair. I have come to see far more clearly than before how far the Church is today from what the Scriptures reveal as God's intent for His Church. And I see no reasonable hope, apart from special Divine intervention, of significant movement toward what God would have the Church to be. I have reflected much since reading Kirk's book upon my experience as a Christian in a variety of congregations and upon my knowledge of church history and current Christian activities. I have concluded that we, that is, any sizeable group of Christians and not just the whole of Christendom, are not much different from the unredeemed people of our society in terms of attitudes or actions. And we seem unwilling to become real disciples of the One Whom we profess.

I would encourage Christian leaders to read this book and then to prayerfully seek God's guidance about changes needed in their lives and in the congregations which they influence.

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

HANDLING CONFLICT: Taking the Tension Out of Difficult Relationships by Gerry Rauch. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Books, 1985. 149 pages. Paperback; n.p.g.

Gerry Rauch, an elder of a Christian community in Ann Arbor, draws upon his personal experience and Scriptural principles to give a Christian approach to solving problems between people. This book is one of three in a subset on "Overcoming Obstacles to Christian Living" in the Living as a Christian series.

Each chapter deals with a different Christian approach based on a Scriptural principle of handling conflicts in personal relationships. These different approaches depend on the type of conflict, ranging from chapters on "Matters of Clear Right and Wrong" to "Personal Preferences." Models are offered in chapters entitled "Imitating Christ" and "Men and Women of Peace." Other ways of handling conflict are described in the chapters "Using Forbearance," "Keeping Peace," "Separating If Necessary," "Speaking the Truth," and "Openly and Honestly Facing Conflict."

Written in anecdotal and conversational style, Rauch leaves the reader hanging on the outcome of an unresolved conflict at the end of each chapter, enticing the reader to continue to the next chapter which gives the solution using a different approach.

Reviewed by Jerry Albert, Mercy Hospital and Medical Research Facility, San Diego, CA 92103.

PEACEFUL LIVING IN A STRESSFUL WORLD by Ronald Hutchcraft. Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee (1985). 209 pages. $10.95.

Jesus has promised us, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you" (John 14:27). Nevertheless, it appears that many Christians are gyrating in the turmoil of the world more than enjoying the peace of God. Hutcheraft, by his own testimony, was one of these, directing Youth for Christ and engaged in a host of speaking and writing activities. His success in obtaining experiential peace not only offers hope to many of us, but also guidelines for the attainment of this goal.

It is natural to think of peace in terms of the absence of the pressures, schedules, and trials of this world. As the author points out, God's ways are often different from human ways. Psalms 34:14 contains a key phrase: " . . . seek peace, and pursue it." In other words, peace will not just fall into one's lap: initiative must be exercised.

Once this thesis has been well established, Hutcheraft describes in considerable detail his four-point peace plan. First, there is a defensive strategy: a commitment to protect life's "quiet centers," which are facets of our relationship with the Lord. Next, the five roots of restlessness (or, as many as may exist in a reader's life) are to be removed. Third, one can mount an offensive against the stress centers, including strife, worry, and procrastinating activities. Finally, development of habits of peace serves to hold the conquered Promised Land.

The book is written with an entertaining style, liberally sprinkled with modern parables, anecdotes, and humor. However, one should take care not to be either euphoric or offended over the light language and thereby miss its considerable depth. Hutcheraft has thoroughly researched the Scriptures on the subject, and a great number of these are presented and discussed in the text. Undoubtedly there is further topical revelation knowledge that could be received (I. Cor. 13:12), but Hutchcraft's considerable progress, involving peace in spite of turbulent circumstances, deserves our respect. I recommend this book to all who are willing to make the commitment to actively seek the Prince of Peace.

Reviewed by Philip F. Rust, Associate Professor of Biometry, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425.

THE RETURN OF THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM by Ken Boa and William Proctor. Zondervan (1985). 215 pages. Paperback; $7.95.

In the afterword, the authors-a Bible teacher and a professional writer, respectively-state: "The purpose in writing the book was not to produce a quasi-science fiction story or a theoretical theological thesis. We have been talking about the actual circumstances under which we live and the outline of events that Scripture assures us will occur in the future. "

It is certainly not good science fiction, which requires good fiction in a framework of good science. Although it appears to be based strictly on Scripture, its theological fabrication relies too heavily on nebulous UFO's in an undefined multidimensional space.

The first part, "A Star in the East," relates Matthew's account of the visit of the Persian (?) Magi to Bethlehem about 4 B. C., and the tendency of the Star to disappear and appear without attracting any public attention, while yet locating precisely the Messiah. Part two, "What Was the star?," discusses the nature of the star. Was it a meteor? A meteoric shower? A bolide? A bright star? A planet? A conjunction of planets? A comet? A nova? A UFO? A third class encounter with a visitor from outer space? (The authors are impressed by the current search for extraterrestrial intelligence, ETI.)

Fascinated by the mysterious relation of an (n + 1) spatial object to n dimensional space, but carelessly ignoring the necessity for all dimensions to be essentially alike, the authors regard the Magi's Star as "an extradimensional entity guided by an apparent purpose that was unequivocally good." The Star, and other such unexplained UFO's, are claimed to be not antiscientific, but "actually beyond science." The authors, in fact, classify the Star as a "foreign object" (FO), which is the Hebrew shekinah and which belongs to the extradimensional "parallel" space we call heaven. The Star tells of God's presence and serves to guide His people.

Quite fanciful-if not mathematically correct. The argument is too ad hoc. It is not recommended reading.

Reviewed by Raymond Seeger, Bethesda, Maryland.