Science in Christian Perspective

 Book Reviews


Book Reviews for September 1972

INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF RELIGIOUS INFORMATION SYSTEMS, by David 0. Moberg, Ed., Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1971. 88p.
CHRISTIAN FAITH AND MODERN THEOLOGY, by Carl F. H. Henry, Ed. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1971. Paperback. 426 pages. $3.95.
CHRISTIAN FAITH AND MODERN THEOLOGY, by Carl F. H. Henry, Ed. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1971. Paperback. 426 pages. $3.95.
CHEMICAL EVOLUTION, by Melvin Calvin, Oxford U. Press, N.Y. (1969).
A GOD FOR SCIENCE, by Jean-Marie Aubert, Newman Press, 154 pp.
THE CHURCH RELATED COLLEGE TODAY: ANACHRONISM OR OPPORTUNITY? by Richard N. Bender, Ed. The General Board of Education. The United Methodist Church. 1971. Paperback, 105 pages.
LISTEN TO ME by Gladys Hunt, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.
CONFLICT AND CONSCIENCE by Mark 0. Hat field, Word Rooks, Waco, Texas, 1971. 172 pp. 
THE CHURCH BEFORE THE WATCHING WORLD, by Francis A. Schaeffer, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois. Paperback. 105 pp.
CHRISTIANITY AND COMPARATIVE RELIGION by J.N.D. Anderson, Tyndale, London, 1970.
Paperback. 126 pp.
MODERN ART AND THE DEATH OF A CULTURE by HR. Rookmaaker, Inter-Varsity Press.
1970. Paperback. 256 pp.
HISTORY AND CHRISTIANITY by John Warwick Montgomery, Inter-Varsity Press. 1964-65.
Paperback. 110 pp.
THE GOD WHO CARES: A Christian Interpreta tion of Time, Life and Man. A Narrative by Harold F. Roellig, Branch Press, Bayside, New York (1971) 176 pp. $4.50,
THE MEANING OF THE CITY (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerclmatis Publishing Company), 1970, both by Jacques Ellul.

INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF RELIGIOUS INFORMATION SYSTEMS, by David 0. Moberg, Ed., Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1971. 88p.

As a result of sending 600 questionnaires to various agencies involved in analyzing religious materials the author received 77 replies. The author does not indicate how many agencies responded or the criteria for determining inclusion in the directory, thus resulting in an unbalanced directory for the investigation of religious data.

'What is a "religious information system?" An information system is primarily a storage system whereby information may be obtained at a later date. Consequently, a religious information system is primarily a system for the recovery or retrieving of data concerning all phases of religion. If the collection of data is small, no formal system of elaborate electronics would he practical. A simple card index to the collection would he effective. If the collection continues to grow, making separate entries is complicated and tedious errors may leak into the system. Therefore some other form of system is needed to organize the collection for easy information retrieval. There are various systems, ranging from punched cards, microfilm Rapid Selector, storage banks (including tape banks), to sophisticated electronic equipment for information that can scan the data in matter of seconds.

The directory interprets an information system as any equipment, whether it he a hook, computer tapes, abstracting service, microforms, etc. For example, the Institute of Strategic Studies of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. has a system of data gathering and dissemination. The type of information storage is an abstract of some form which is not clear.

The author indicates that his use of information system terminology is broad; thus electronic data processing techniques are not the only systems included Religious professional associations are listed, yet the International Federation of Institutes for Social and Socio-Religious Research (FERES), publishers of the research tool for religious research, Social Compass, is not listed ill the directory. Also one would gather that the Religious Research Association would take precedent over Psychological Abstracts Information Service, which is a limited tool for concentrated research in religion. The author, however, indicates that these and many more could have been included. It's unfortunate that they werent.

Consequently, if the criteria for information system is broad the following should have a place in the directory before any religious professional association is included.

1. International Bibliography of Sociology of Religion (included in Social Compass).
2. Religious and Theological Abstracts, Inc.
3. International Association for the Study of the history of Religions (publishes International Bibliography of the History of Religions).
4. American Theological Library Association. Index to Religious Periodical Literature.
5. Christian Periodical Index (Christian Librarians' Fellowship)
6. Religions & Theological Resources (Boston Theological Institute).

Other indexes and abstract services could he included; any standard guide to reference hooks would provide this information. Since the criteria for inclusion in the directors' is not specified the directory can include all types of information data collections and facilities.

Under type of storage, fugitive documents are listed in many of the associations. Fugitive documents were described as "reprints, letters, mimeographed reports, etc." Religious data gathering from letters and other documents may be important. Unfortunately this is not indicated.

The directory is very limited in comprehending and understanding the extent and complexities of religious data.

Reviewed by Jerome Drost, Reference Department, Lockwood Memorial Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14214

CHRISTIAN FAITH AND MODERN THEOLOGY, by Carl F. H. Henry, Ed. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1971. Paperback. 426 pages. $3.95.

In the summer of 1961, a group of evangelical scholars met for most of a week at Union Theological Seminary ill New York City to discuss the teachings and influence of Rudolf Bultmann. From this seminar came plans for a hook relating the Christian faith to some contemporary theologies.

Man's of those who attended and participated in the discussions at Union have written articles for this volume. Among the theological luminaries contributing prose to this endeavor are John H. Gerstner, Gordon H. Clark, Roger Nicole, George F. Ladd and Vernon Grounds. With the exception of Hermann Sasse, who wrote on modern European theology, and James I. Packer, who wrote on contemporary British theology, all the contributors are American.

Christian Faith and Modern Theology is the fourth in a series of volumes initiated under the title Contemporary Evangelical Thought (1957). It was originally published in 1963 by Channel Press and is now reprinted ill this edition by Baker Book House.

The purpose of the book is to present "a reasoned defense and elucidation of traditional Christian perspectives in the modern world. It is a response to the new writers and thinkers who advance revolutionary ideas and interpretations which pose problems to traditionally basic beliefs. The new writers and thinkers" dealt with invariably include Albert Schweitzer, Karl Barth, Emil Bruner, Rudolph Bultmann, Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Carl F. H. Henry, editor of this book, was formerly editor of Christianity Today and has recently served on the faculty' of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. John E.Wagner in a review of Henry's new book, A Plea for Evangelical Demonstration, characterizes him as the theologian par excellence in the renaissance of orthodox biblical scholarship in America" and "unofficial dean of the evangelical think-tank." Henry lives up to this billing in the one article attributed to him in this collection, "The Nature of God."

A few negative features make the book less useful than it could he. It has no index. Scripture, name, and topic indices would have added to its utility as a reference work. Further, the bibliography is incomplete and somewhat dated. All but 16 of the 103 references are dated prior to 1960. The most recent citation is 1965. (How does a hook originally published in 1963 cite a honk published two years later?) And finally, the word "modern" in the title is used generically, since a lot of water has gone under the theological bridge in the nearly ten years since this honk was first published.

But the positive features outweigh the negative ones. The stellar writers seem to have a unifying view of the project and enter into it adroitly. There is a helpful biographic sketch given about each author preceding his article. The topics are well chosen, running the gamut of systematic theology. Three introductory articles cover the contemporary theological scene in Europe, Britain, and the United States. Each of the 20 articles covers about 20 pages. Baker Book House is to he commended for the reasonable price of this volume, less than a penny a page.

As might he expected in a book of this kind, the value of the individual articles is not uniform. The authors vary in writing skill and some of the topics are intrinsically more interesting than others.

The writers are non-sectarian in their treatment of controversial doctrines. This is especially evident in Harold B. Kuhn's coverage of eschatology. In discussing the last things, Kuhn emphasizes the similarities rather than the differences prevalent in the various views. While most of the articles are straightforwardly academic, a few of them, as Robert D. Preus' "The Nature of the Bible," have a devotional touch.
To what audience is the honk appropriate? If judged on Rudolf Flesch's (The Art of Readable Writing) readibilitv scale, it rates as difficult reading, more so than the average theological textbook. It definitely will not turn some readers on. Some of the articles will provide rough sledding, especially to the non-theologian. However, for the theologian, pastor, educator and sophisticated student, the book is worth buying and is happily recommended.

Reviewed by Richard Ruble, Division of Biblical Studies, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

CHEMICAL EVOLUTION, by Melvin Calvin, Oxford U. Press, N.Y. (1969).

This book is derived from a series of lectures given by Professor Calvin at Oxford in 1967-68, based largely on his own research. The book is now somewhat dated; however, it is strongly recommended in the sense that it provides an excellent review of one approach (that of Calvin) to the evolution of living systems from nonliving matter written by a Nobel prize winner.

The book is organized into three sections, with Parts I and II ("The view from the present towards the past" and "The view from the past toward the present") detailing the development of Calvin's theory of chemical evolution, and Part III providing some insight into the author's philosophical perspective. Part I describes the attempt to learn the nature of organic molecules that might have existed in micro-organisms thousands of millions of years ago and to know more exactly the nature of the materials we have today', so we know what to expect as we look backward in time (Part II). This section deals primarily with organic geochemistry and molecular paleontology; and Calvin clearly demonstrates that certain patterns of hydrocarbon distribution in various fossilized rocks, oils and shales give evidence of biological origins. A particular variety of rather specific types of hydrocarbons suggests that living organisms existed as early' as 3.1 billion years ago. I found it most helpful in understanding this and the following section to have a basic knowledge of organic chemistry and to know something about the technique of gas chromatography with which most of the analyses were made.

Part II is concerned with the development of a chemical evolutionary process, and here Calvin makes the basic assumption that " 'living systems' appeared on the surface of the earth as a result of the interaction of 'primary energy sources' with some set of 'primeval molecules' (that is, non-living molecules) present on the surface of the earth". Calvin mentions an alternative, namely "that the 'living system' (whatever that was) arrived with the aggregation of the substance of the earth itself; that life, as we understand it, is coeval with matter throughout the universe"; but he suggests that this is outside our capability for analysis. I would personally add another and what I consider more viable, alternative to the origin of living systems.
After discussing energy sources, Calvin reviews the production of small molecules from electric-discharge, electron-bomhardment and thermal experiments. The HCN molecule is treated at some length (relatively) since it, together with ammonia, is considered to constitute a very versatile source for the many expected materials upon which the following stages of chemical evolution operate. The result of all this (and several following chapters) is summarized by Calvin:

We started with the primeval moleculess, and by putting in energy have created the monomers: metabolites and energy-storage molecules, such as the carbon-nitrogen multiple bond in cyanide and the pyrophosphate bond in ATP. With additional energy, either in the form of light or from energy-storing molecules (cyanide and pyrophosphate), we have polymerized these monomers (amino acids, sugars, nucleotides, fatty acids) to the corresponding polymers (nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, polysaccharides ) . Following this polymerization, or simultaneously with it, antocatalysis came into play, resulting in a selection process that gave rise to two streams of polymers. One of these is a poorly reproducing but catalytically effective system (the enzyme proteins); the other a very accurately reproducing but poorly catalytic system (the nucleic acid information storage system). We then devised a means of coupling these two systems together so that the fidelity of information transfer and the facility of catalysis and energy transdnction could both survive. This latter process gave rise to what is essentially a virus particle. This coupled information and enzymatic system under the influence of phase-boundary separations, could ultimately give rise to a cellular structure, encased in a boundary membrane.

Calvin is realistic in his assessment of this scheme in pointing out that it may not he the only possible sequence and raises the question of whether any such sequence may he a necessary event. He suggests that "As long as we are limited to biology as it is on the earth, it is going to be very' difficult for us to he sure that such a system occurred in the way described in this hook" and looks to lunar arid planetary exploration to provide further necessary information. The sequence presented is certainly conceivable, but the work presented here does not convince me that life evolved in this way.

The final section, "The Search for Significance", provides an opportunity to examine some of Calvin's presuppositions. I prefer simply to quote some relevant statements here.

A god whom men conceived in man's own image, and whom we confined and imprisoned in our small -world, was both the foundation and the star of the Western world for the last 2000 years
Today, no such unambiguous star rides the heavens to direct our steps, either individually or collectively. Man's very concentration upon the need to search for significance, the broad growth of the existentialist philosophv over the last 20 or 30 years, and national and world-wide discontent and anxiety-all these things are evidence for this.
There can he no ultimate right, no final understanding, no permanent solutions for the problems of mankind. For change is inherent in the structure of the molecules of which we are composed. This is perhaps the hardest truth, for it allows no rest.

Hebrews 1.3:8.

Reviewed by Bernard 1. Piersma, Department of Chemistry, Houghton College, Houghton, New York.

A GOD FOR SCIENCE, by Jean-Marie Aubert, Newman Press, 154 pp.

This translation from the French by Paul Barrett, OFM Cap., makes the book available for more people who might be overwhelmed with science and technology and so immersed in its pursuits that God appears to fade on an unreal horizon. The author believes, with Cbardin, that science, far from separating its from God, is a common meeting ground for all varying degrees of faith and doubts-a field acceptable to all. It is in the realm of science, in fact, that Cord can be found by people of all faiths.

In the first part of the book, which discusses the "Conditions for Unity" of science and religion, the psychology of the methods proper to science and faith is explained. We must know before we proceed whether or not the two viewpoints are compatible. Then we look more closely at the great dividing line that runs through the universe, separating the two worlds: those of the spirit and of matter. Since the Christian solution is a spiritual one, and the working world of the scientist is one of matter, we must know what is involved when we speak about matter and spirit; we must be clear about boundaries and also about the areas in which they overlap.

Aubert discusses problems that lie on the borderline between faith and science: materialism, evolution, the possibility that science will synthesize life, the relationship between brain and thought. Also, in the question raised by the phenomenon of life in the duality of matter and spirit, there comes the problem of free will and determinism. When we come to understand to wlsat extent our psychological processes are conditioned 1w physical, biological and social factors, we can ask what free will is. It will he useful to reflect on free will's role in the moral sphere. Does it make man the absolute creator of his destiny, the creator of values which science cannot ignore? Must science concern itself with the moral problem of human destiny.

In the discussion of the attempt to achieve unity to which the second part of the hook is devoted, there is a search for finding God in the universe. Even more, we try to ascertain how the scientist can use his work to nourish his spiritual and religious life. All speaks of God, around and within him. Even his anxiety tells him his heart was made for something other than mere earthly satisfactions.

Science and faith must not be regarded as two antagonists, facing each other. This polarized situation has resulted from man, who has become materialistic. It was not always this way. During the Middle Ages, religion permeated all social life and civilization because all revolved around God and man's relationship to Him. We should realize the dynamic role played by science and the repercussions of the present scientific revolution upon religious life.

Often it is believed that science is disproving religion. Some have forgotten that the Kingdom of God begins on earth and must be built up while on earth. It is the responsibility of scientists to he men of strong and mature faith. This is the message of the book.

Reviewed by Lorettia Koechel, Holly Catholic College for Women, Rockville Centre, N. Y.

THE CHURCH RELATED COLLEGE TODAY: ANACHRONISM OR OPPORTUNITY? by Richard N. Bender, Ed. The General Board of Education. The United Methodist Church. 1971. Paperback, 105 pages.

The title asks is question that a great many people are concerned with today. Unfortunately the book doesn't answer the question, or even deal meaningfully with the issue. This book is composed of seven essays written by members of the Council on the Church Related College of The General Board of EducationThe United Methodist Church. The essays make up the following chapters:

1. Reflection on higher education and the role of the church-rr'laterl college.
2. The church-related college: a Christian theological perspective.
3. Priorities of the church-related college.
4. The college and the church-related college.
5. What are appropriate expressions of the interest of the church in related colleges.
6. What may the church expect from its colleges.
7. The role of the church-related college in the '70's.

In general the essays contain platitudes that seem far removed from the basic issue of whether in fact the church-related college has something unique to offer. With the great volume of literature available in
the area of higher education today, one has to look hard for something that speaks to the specific concerns of the Christian college. When such a work is found it often contains truisms, or gives the impression that the author is unaware of the literature dealing with higher education. Much that finds expression in this work repeats what is known and has been read in many other publications, or is so implicit that its written expression accomplishes only the completing of another page in another hook, A prime example is found on page 25, "When the church-related college takes the curriculum with utmost seriousness as a plan to achieve the ends of literacy, sensitivity, and competence, it is meeting a tremendous need in American higher education."

The best that this hook has to say is probably found in the essay by Dr. Charles S. McCoy, professor of religion in higher education at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. In his stimulating essay he reviews some of the short-comings of the Christian college, [most of this section that is meaningful comes from Church Sponsored Higher Education) in the United States by Pattillo and Mackenzie (1966)], and advances the position that the Christian college is really not all that unique. "All of the activities that Christian educators usually claim as unique for the church college are done and often clone well at public institutions." (page 37) "In this perspective, it becomes clear that the quest for uniqueness, beyond being illusory, may actually subvert Christian purposes. The more the church-related college strives for an ephemeral distinctiveness, the more it will be tempted to deny the claims of Christian faith upon it, claims which require servanthood and action on behalf of social injustice." (page 38)

The Danforth Foundation funded study that re sulted in Patillo and Mackenzie's Church Sponsored
Higher Education in the United States, published by the American Council on Education (1966), is still the most definitive work available. Readers interested in the Christian college are referred to this hook, not the one under review.

Reviewed by Craig E. Seaton, Dean of Students, Biola College, La Mirada, Calif.

LISTEN TO ME by Gladys Hunt, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.

Listen to me! is a vocal cry from the disillusioned youth in the late sixties. Although much of the outward roar has quieted down this book still gives good insight into the sometimes unspoken questions which continue to plague the students in the early seventies.

It is only natural that we dislike to bear of our own hypocrisy-more so, possibly, when the claims ring true! Furthermore, such criticism is made more distasteful when it comes from the young. Nevertheless, if we are to be honest, effective evangelicals in this century, we need to listen to the cry of the youth for consistent Christian living.

This book is a refreshing change from the often emotional diatribe. Eight young adults express their disenchantment with evangelicalism as it is practiced in many of our own churches. Their comments are certainly thought-provoking and should not he passed over lightly.

In particular,

Listen to: Theodore, a black raised in :s Protestant background, pointing out the hopelessness lie faces and seeing the future only in "genuine love" for mankind. He describes the "love" that Paul describes, vet black Theodore cannot find thus in the evangelical church.

Listen to: Laura, raised in typical middle class Protestantism, wanting to do something to heal the many injustices in society'. She has rejected the church and Scripture because of the hypocritical living site has seen. Although now claiming to be agnostic, she feels that Christianity might have the answer. She wishes to see someone who lives a consistent Christian witness.

Listen to: Six other young people as they discuss the impact that Christianity and the evangelical community has made on their lives.

Reviewed by Richard A. Jacobson, Department of Mathemiatics, Houghton College, Houghton NY.

CONFLICT AND CONSCIENCE by Mark 0. Hatfield, Word Rooks, Waco, Texas, 1971. 172 pp. $4.95

Hopefully even those Christians who might disagree with Senator Hatfield's political position will be thankful for thus presentation of a committed evangelical perspective on a Christian's opportunities and responsibilities in government service. The book consists of thirteen reprinted talks or short pieces previously written by the Senator. This origin of the writing causes the book's major weakness: a tendency' to generalizations without much attention to particulars as the reader might have desired.

The opening essay' is Senator Hatfield's commencement address at Fuller Seminary in 1970. He speaks out against inappropriate perspectives of evangelicals in three examples: (1) the alignment of conservative theology with conservative social and political interests, (2) an excessive faith in the office of the presidency, and (3) the lack of a sensitivity' to and a repentance for collective guilt as well as individual guilt. Likewise he identifies three issues which particularly call for the reconciling grace of the Christian Gospel: (1) war in Indochina, and war in general as a matter of public policy, (2) division among the races and the question of the church's failure to resolve this to date, and (3) the inequitable distribution of wealth, both in the United States and throughout the world.

Senator Hatfield says that as he entered Fuller auditorium he was filled with some trepidation until he saw students in the balcony unfurling a banner, "We're with you, Mark," As for me, I agree with Rev. Richard C. Halverson, who wrote the Preface, when he says, "Senator Mark Hatfield is one of the finest examples of this supreme strategy of Christ."

THE CHURCH BEFORE THE WATCHING WORLD, by Francis A. Schaeffer, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois. Paperback. 105 pp.

In this tiny book (only 81 pages of text with a 24 page Appendix) Schaeffer tackles the problem of the principle of the practice of the purity of the visible church in regard to doctrine and life. His solution lies in the simultaneous practice of holiness with discipline and Christian love, in what has  become the classical  Schaeffer tradition, he traces the route of theological liberalism through rationalism to despair and mysticism, and the cycle of church history from living orthodoxy to dead orthodoxy to heterodoxy.He draws a detailed parallel, based on the Bible, of the correlations between sexual adultery and spiritual apostasy.He emphasizes the need for simultaneous discipline and love, and attributes the loss of the hattle in the Presbyterian Church in the '20's and '30's to a lack of love. If the battle for purity is lost, Schaeffer indicates that separation 1iia' be the only recourse, but separation with tears not with trumpets. In the ease of separation he pinpoints the dangers: (a) for those who come out, the tendency to become hardened and loveless, and (b) for those who stay in, the tendency to become less discriminating and more careless.

Recently Marvin Mayers (Journal ASA 23, 89 (1971)) cited Sehaeffer as a classic example of a dicotomist. There is certainly much in this little book to accentuate that identification, in discussing theological liberalism, Schaeffer at times comes close to identifying dicotomistie theology (either-or) with orthodox, and condemning wholistic (both-and) theol ogv as apostasy. With this apparently complete neglect of the paradoxical elements in Scripture and orthodox theology, Schaeffer seems to he straining too hard to counteract an admitted trend toward vagueness in modern theological confessions. His system leads him repeatedly to assert that only the profession of a literal historical Fall in a literal historical Garden of Eden can he tolerated.

That there was a Fall . . . is a historic, space-time, brute fact, propositional statement. ..As a result of this historic, space-time Fall, the world is no longer the was it was when God made it, and the change
came as a result of the historic Fall . There was a time before the Fall when the world was not abnormal
not normal... There is no compromise at this point: Either these things are space-time brute facts or they aren't.

Like Van Ti!, upon whose position Schaeffer's is primarily based, Schaeffer feels that nothing of merit has occurred in theological understanding in the last 50 years.

Unless we see the new liberalism as a whole and reject it as a whole, we will, to the extent that we are tolerant of it, he confused in our thinking, involved in the general intellectual irrationalism of our day and com promising in our actions.

Schaeffer's tendency to dichotomism is relaxed somewhat by the Appendix which deals with guidelines to "Some Absolute Limits," On some eight basic issues of theology, he argues that there is not some sharp boundary between orthodoxy and heterodox), (i.e., a sharp dichotomy), but rather a "circle of freedom" on a plateau between two cliffs of heterodoxy, which falls away from orthodoxy in two extreme directions. For example, although he repeats that one cliff on the Fall is to fail to profess it as a historic, space-time brute fact (Van Til's term), he hastens to indicate that it must not be considered as only a bore fact, an abstract proposition, but that it must have meaning in our present life; to regard the Fall only as bare proposition to he given intellectual assent is to fall off the other cliff to heterodoxy.

CHRISTIANITY AND COMPARATIVE RELIGION by J.N.D. Anderson, Tyndale, London, 1970. Paperback. 126 pp.
MODERN ART AND THE DEATH OF A CULTURE by HR. Rookmaaker, Inter-Varsity Press. 1970. Paperback. 256 pp.
HISTORY AND CHRISTIANITY by John Warwick Montgomery, Inter-Varsity Press. 1964-65. Paperback. 110 pp.

All three books ore available from Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515.

These are three recent additions to the Inter-Varsity paperback apologetic library. As usual they represent valuable contributions.

The pen of J.N.D. Anderson, Professor of Oriental Laws and Director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in the University of London, is happily about as prolific as that of Francis Sehaeffer. In Christianity and Comparative Religion, Dr. Anderson treats the claims of Christianity for uniqueness: a unique proclamation, is unique salvation, a unique disclosure, and a unique Savior. Hee emphasizes again the significance of the historical basis for Christianity, insisting that the truths which Jesus exemplified and taught cannot be separated from historical facts. He recognizes the offense which naturally comes to adherents of other religions because of the claims for the uniqueness of the Christian position, but argues that these claims cannot he dispensed with without removing the heart of the Gospel message.

In Modern Art. and the Death of a Culture, H. R. Rookmaaker, Professor of the History of Art at the Free University of Amsterdam, continues the interpretation of modern art as manifesting the despair of Godless man after the pattern of Francis Schaeffer, with whom he is associated in the work of L'Abri Fellowship. Over 50 black-and-white prints of paintings illustrate the points lie makes as lie discusses art forms from 1300 to the present. Christian critics of art are often criticized in turn for failing to define just what truly "Christian art" would he hike. In a final chapter on "Faith and Art," Dr. Rookmaaker attempts to meet this challenge and to discuss the ingredients which in his opinion constitute a Christian approach to art. (I was struck by how much similarity there is between this question and the often-asked related question about what constitutes "Christian science.") In his reply Dr. Rookmoaker takes Philippians 4:8 and indicates his understanding of the meaning of each term when applied to art.

So truth, horror, righteousness, loveliness, excellence and praise are as much norms for art as they are for life. And in all of them we feel that to bypass them is to do wrong tothe beholder, to tall short of being truly loving.

The little hook on History and Christianity by John Warwick Montgomery reprints in one place a series of four articles published by HIS magazine in December 1964 to March 1965, and adds as an appendix a panel discussion originally published in Christianity Today in March 26, 1965.

THE GOD WHO CARES: A Christian Interpretation of Time, Life and Man. A Narrative by Harold F. Roellig, Branch Press, Bayside, New York (1971) 176 pp. $4.50,

A graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, a teacher of invertebrate paleontology and of sociology, Lutheran campus chaplain for Long Island colleges, Ph.D. in geology from Columbia University and Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, Dr. Roellig has invested 17 years of experience and thought into this book. The result is an interesting, if sometimes uneven, account of man and the universe from 12 billion B.C. to the present.

There are really four principal subjects in this bonk, (The author recognizes three: the way of God
with creation, the way of God with man, and finally The Way of God to be lived by man.") In Chapters 2 through 4, the author takes its from 12 billion B.C. to 1,100 B.C. with a fairly traditional summary of an evolutionary development of the world and of man. He sees the "very nature of the evolutionary universe" as expressing the will of the Creator, and finds no need or indication of an intervening divine force in this evolutionary process. He sees any distinction between man and animal as purely arbitrary, and considers the concept of immortal soul to t he Greek and non-Biblical. He sees religious consciousness starting at least 50 thousand years ago and developing slowly until slowly came to see that he was responsible to God for his actions, and he came to feel a sense of guilt and anxiety before his god."

In Chapters 5 and 6, Dr. Roellig takes us from Abraham through the resurrection of Jesus its is survey of Biblical history. Any link with the previous chapters is almost totally absent. With the aid of more than 50 Biblical passages, most quoted at considerable length, the author sketches the principal features of the Old and New Covenants and their place in the context of history.

Dr. Roellig continues his survey of history, taking its in Chapters 7 and 8 from 33 AD. to the present, with an overlook at church history. He likes to refer to Christianity as The Way, "as early' Christians were called because of the distinctive way of life they led." One of his main emphases is the manner in which Christian churches have left Jesus' ethic of love and have fallen back in one form or another into a kind of legalism and externalism. It is evident that Dr. Roellig's experience with churches has been a disillusioning one, not excluding his own church, "The mainly negative injunctions of the The Commandments with a little admixture of the Golden Rule has become the ethic of that largest of Protestant communions, the Lutheran Church." Or again, "every church has distorted the way of life taught by Jesus by adding some aspects of Old Testament legalism." At points Dr. Roellig's emphasis becomes a little extreme, and he does not give sufficient notice to the fact that although love cannot he replaced by law, love cannot be effective unless guided by law. Antinomianism might he too strong a term to apply to his position, but at times it seems to lean heavily in that direction. He is optimistic about the future, however, and sees encouraging signs for a new day in the ecumenical movement, increasing Biblical study, delivery of Biblical interpretation from fundamentalist obscurantists, a well-educated laity, and the ongoing secularization of society.

In a final chapter of only some 17 pages, Dr. Roellig produces a magnificent assessment of The Way in today's world, he relates the powerful ethic of Christian love in Christ to war, malnutrition, discrimination,  environmental problems, extinction of species, exploitation of resources, Christian vocation, marriage, meaningful living, mechanistic or deterministic views of life, and concludes with an evangelical call, "Come, accept the forgiveness and reconciliation that your God offers you. Enter into The Kingdom of God. Be baptized into his glorious realm."

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

THE MEANING OF THE CITY (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eeerdmans Publishing Company), 1970, both by Jacques Ellul.

Jacques Ellul has been described as the Marcuse of the '70's, European leftists hail him as their darling. In fact, he is a member of the Reformed Church of France, a professor of law and government and a profound lily theologian who speaks with a ringing Christian declaration on contemporary social issues.

He is misunderstood largely because of the ease with which one can read him as a revolutionary. He is much more that: this. As a social critic, be denounces, in devastating fashion, the technical, organizational, and political domination of society'. As a theologian, he probes for the place to be assumed by the Christiain in society and finds that that "he is to be is sign", one who stands fast in the world and assumes his responsibility its spite of the overwhelming obstacles. It is in these two capacities of social critic and theologian that lie has importance for the Christian.

One should probably read all of the seven or so of Ellul's hooks which have been translated into English
to gait) an appreciation for the scope of his work. These range from his seminal The Technological Society to the delightful and provocative A Critique of the New Commplaces The two books reviewed here fall somewhere in the middle in the sense that both employ his general theory in the study of social issues. For the Christian, they are profound models of how to use Biblical exegesis in the analysis of social questions.

One could read in Violence nothing more than a rejection of all forms of violence as a means of solving social problems. It is this, to be sure. Ellul denounces violence as a sign of weakness, a manifestation of frustration over the inability to solve fundamental social questions. For the Christian to justify some form of violence is merely to accept that stamp of weakness. Further, its use suggests the extent to which the pervading ideology of society' has been accepted.

Here we get closer to the root of the problem, for Ellul asserts that violence is inherent in society. It is the result of means dominating ends and "Christian violence is nothing more than the justification of any means to attain religious ends. It is another form of "technique" which is the dominant force in contemporary society.

It is this problem of "technique" which is Ellul's major theme. Man always loses sight of his ultimate values and becomes obsessed with techniques whereby he breaks his relations with others and the total world. He can do no other, for his violence is s manifestation of his separation from God and his attempt to usurp God's power. Violence is the natural condition in society because it is the natural condition of man.

Violence entered with the rejection of God's plan by man. It is, therefore, necessary and unavoidable for, apart from Christ, violence is the form that human relations always take. Because lie does not wish to appear violent, man always masks his violence with illusions. The Christian is to reject all such illusions and their claims. More than that, lie is to use "the violence of love". With the application of spiritual principles, he upsets society and returns some of its order far more effectively than with the use of violence.

For the non-Christian, Ellul presents a picture of pessimism, even futility and despair. In Christian eyes, however, lie shines through as one who paints reality with the Christian standing, always in the foreground, bearing his responsibility-even his cross-in a dying world.

Nowhere is this picture more graphically portrayed than in The Meaning of the City. For Ellul, there" is meaning if it is not understood in the light of Scripture. lie finds the city to be an expression of man's desire for might which is in open revolt against God. The city dweller has always wanted to he separated from God so that be could declare himself master of his world. Thus, the city is the product of man's corrupted will and becomes a place of struggle and conflict.

How did this condition come to be? Ellul takes us on a tour of the major Biblical cities and with penetrating analysis leads us to this conclusion. As the first city builder, it was Cain, representing mall's separated and insecure condition, who sought refuge from God's curse in the material security' of the city. At Babel, we bid man confused by his own efforts to seek truth and expelled by God from the city. Even when cities are built for good purposes, they entrap man and bring about his corruption.

This claim underscores a major contention of Ellul's; it is the city which is cursed by God and not its inhabitants. The ease of Nineveh illustrates this point, for the corporate sin of the city was so great that the individual could not avoid its sinfulness. It is the responsibility of the Christian, then, to live in the city and pray for it but not to contribute to its building. He is to work in the city' but not leave it until ft is destroyed.
What is the future of the city'? It can only be understood in terms of the New Jerusalem which is to replace the city of man's creation. For this reason, urbanists are under false illusions in their optimism concerning the future of the city. Instead of understanding the city as a structure in the world they merely perceive it as an event in history. It is only revelation which can enlighten for the Christian what the reason and experience of any other can discover.

Ellul is not just another social critic. As with others, he argues for a social theory which is cognizant of the created order of the world. As these two books suggest, however, he may well be the first to have developed the kind of theory of social problems which transcends the contemporary scene. Such analysis is not only descriptive of the past but leads to a prophecy of the future. There is little more that a social scientist can do.

Reviewed by Russell Heddendorf, Genera College, Beaver Falls, Pa.