Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews


PSCF Book Reviews for September 1976

Table of Contents
COMPUTER POWER AND HUMAN REASON FROM JUDGMENT TO CALCULATION by Joseph Weizenbaum. W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, California (1975). 300 pages. $9.95.
PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN'S PHILOSOPHY OF EVOLUTION by H. James Birx, Spring Ill., Charles C. Thomas, 1972, 192 pp. $9.75.
THE CASE FOR CREATION: an Evaluation of Modern Evolutionary Thought from a Biblical Perspective, by Wayne Frair and P. William Davis, revised edition, Chicago: Moody Press,
1972, 93 pp., $1.25. (two reviews)
YOUR PLACE IN THE COUNSELING REVOLUTION by Jay E. Adams. Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1975, 44 pp.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT: A Guide to Fiaget and Kohlberg by Ronald Duska and Mariellen Whelan. Paulist Press, New York: 128 pp., n. p. (paper), 1975
MORAL LEARNING: Findings, Issues and Questions by Edmund V. Sullivan. Paulist Press, New York: 123 pp. $3.95, 1975. (paper)
ECOLOGY AND HUMAN NEED by Thomas Sieger Derr, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975, 174 pp., $3.45.
CHRISTIANS AND SOCIOLOGY by David Lyon, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1975). 93 pp. Paperback. 90 p.
PHILOSOPHY: A Christian Perspective by Arthur F. Holmes, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 
IL 60515. Rev. ed. (1975). Paperback. 54 pp.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHEISM by R. C. Sproul, Bethany Fellowship, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota (1974). Paperback. 166 pp. $2.95.
THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR by James W. Sire, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1976) Paperback. 236 pp. $4.25.

COMPUTER POWER AND HUMAN REASON FROM JUDGMENT TO CALCULATION by Joseph Weizenbaum. W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, California (1975). 300 pages. $9.95.

A policeman saw a drunk searching for something under a lamppost. "What have you lost, my friend?" the policeman asked. " My keys", said the drunk. The policeman then helped the drunk look and finally asked him: "Where exactly did you drop them?" "Over there", responded the drunk, pointing toward the dark street. The policeman then asked: "Why are you looking here?" The drunk immediately replied: "Because the light is so much brighter here."

It is in this manner that science proceeds too. For in science two things matter:

the size of the circle of light that is the universe of one's inquiry, and the spirit of one's inquiry. The latter must include an acute awareness that there is an outer darkness, and that there are sources of illumination of which one yet knows very little. . . Science can proceed only by simplifying reality. The first step in the process of simplification is abstraction. And abstraction means leaving out of account all those empirical data which do not fit the particular conceptual framework within which science at the moment happens to be working, which, in other words, are not illuminated by the light of the particular lamp under which science happens to be looking for keys. (p. 127).

It is from the perspective of this parable that Joseph Weizenbaum, noted computer scientist, examines the claims of many of his colleagues that computers will someday become "like men". As an example, Weizenbaum points to H. A. Simon's statement.

An ant, viewed as a behaving system is quite simple. The apparent complexity of its behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which it finds itself". . . . I should like to explore the hypothesis, but with the word 'man' substituted for 'ant'. A man, viewed as a behaving system is quite simple. The apparent complexity of his behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which he finds himself . . . I myself believe that the hypothesis holds even for the whole man (p. 128)

Weizenbaum succinctly responds pinpointing the weakness of this perspective.

The hypothesis to be tested here is, in part, that the inner environment of the whole man is irrelevant to his behavior. One might suppose that, in order to test it, evidence that might be able to falsify it would be sought. One might, for example, study man's behavior in the face of grief or of a profound religious experience. But these examples do not easily lend themselves to the methods for the study of human subjects developed in psychological laboratories. Nor are they likely to lead to the simple
things an experimenter's hypotheses lead him to expect. They lie in the darkness in which the theorist, in fact, has lost his keys; but the light is so much better under the lamppost he himself has erected. . . . The circle of light that determines and delimits his range of vision simply does not illuminate any areas in which questions of say, values of subjectivity can possibly arise (p. 130).

Weizenbaum is deeply concerned that both scientists and laymen develop a balanced perspective on the true nature of the human mind as compared to the modern computer, a symbol-manipulating machine that at tim 's appears to be an information-processing machine of universal scope and power. "Is the mind nothing more than a superbly complex machine or is life simply a program running on an enormous computer (front jacket)?" These are the questions that Weizenbaurn addresses himself to. Weizenbaum's central tbesis as highlighted by the parable of the drunk, lamppost, and key is that human beings, like all other organisms, are defined by the problems they confront. And, of necessity, men and women must confront problems that arise from their unique biological and emotional needs; no other organism, or computer, can confront human problems in human terms. If we attempt to solve genuinely human problems by computer techniques and analysis, we limit ourselves to the examination of a highly selected domain of reality, namely, that which is expressible in quantitative terms and capable of being manipulated in a strictly logical, mathematical way.

In making this claim, the author is not attempting to downplay true rationality, for a truly human rationality is not limited to logical analysis alone; for such rationality cannot be separated from the whole of man's experience which contains both intuition and emotional content. True human rationality is a synthesis of logic, intuition and feeling. It is especially significant that Weizenbaum envisions human rationality as having an ethical component as well. Much of valid human experience and insight is thereby ignored in the darkness which is beyond the lighted circle of the "computer lamppost".

As a final example of the author's approach, consider the chapter on Incomprehensible Programs where the danger to society of ignoring the meaning expressed in the parable of the "computer lamppost" is carefully spelled out in the context of removing the "human part" of human history.

Our society's growing reliance on computer systems that were initially intended to 'help' people make analyses and decisions, but which have long since both surpassed the understanding of their users and become indispensable to them, is a very serious development. It has two important consequences. First, decisions are made with the aid of, and sometimes entirely by, computers whose programs no one any longer knows explicity or understands. Hence no one can know the criteria or the rules on which such decisions are based. Second, the systems of rules and criteria that are embodied in such computer systems become immune to change, because, in the absence of a detailed understanding of the inner workings of a computer system, any substantial modification of it is very likely to render the whole system inoperative and possibly unrestorable. Such computer systems can therefore only grow (p. 236).

Weizenbaum indicates how such reliance on computer technology can result in the computer becoming an instrument for the destruction of history.

For when society legitimates only those 'data' that are 'in one standard format' and that 'can easily be told to the machine', then history, memory itself, is annihilated. The New York Times has already begun to build a 'data bank' of current events. Of course, only those data that are easily derivable as by-products of typesetting machines are admissable to the system. As the number of subscribers to this system grows, and as they learn more and more to rely on 'all the news that is (was once) fit to print', as The Times proudly identifies its editorial policy, how long will it be before what counts as fact is determined by the system, before all other knowledge, all memory, is simply declared illegitimate? Soon a supersystern will be built, based on The New York Times' data bank (or one very like it), from which 'historians' will make inferences about what 'really happened,' about who is connected to whom, and about the 'real' logic of events. There are many people now who see nothing wrong in this (italics mine- p. 238).

I have highlighted only a few key points in this stimulating and provocative book. Christians and nonChristians will be helped by this book to become more fully aware of the dangers inherent in our society overdepending on computer technology as a universal instrument for solving all uniquely human problems. Weizenbaurn makes two points, in conclusion, which are very much in the spirit of C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man.

1. Man in order to become whole, must be forever an explorer of both his inner and his outer realities. His life is full of risks, but risks he has courage to accept, because, like the explorer, he learns to trust his own capacities to endure, to overcome. What could it mean to speak of risk, courage, trust, endurance, and overcoming when one speaks of machines (p. 280)?

2. Science promised man power. But, as so often happens when people are seduced by promises of power . . . the price actually paid is servitude and impotence (rear jacket).

Reviewed by W. Jim Neidhardt, Department of Physics, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark N. J. 07102.

PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN'S PHILOSOPHY OF EVOLUTION by H. James Birx, Spring Ill., Charles C. Thomas, 1972, 192 pp. $9.75.

Perhaps the epistemological question of our century is: Can a synthetic worldview encompassing science, philosophy, and theology be attained? P. Teilhard de Chardin has argued:

Like the meridians as they approach the poles, -science, philosophy, and religion are bound to converge as they
draw nearer to the whole. (Phenomenon of Man, p. 30)

In the post-Teilhardian world the question takes on a new form: Can a philosophically sound, scientifically rigorous, and religiously orthodox synthesis be accomplished? H. James Birx holds that the synthesis is necessary but only possible if we eradicate the theological component. This expurgation is mandatory not because of any connotation of "orthodox" but because of the nature of the religious per se.

The book's inscription written by Ernst Haeckel reads:

The climax of the opposition to modern education and its foundation, advanced natural philosophy, is reached, of course, in the Church. . . . (p. vii)

Birx, following in this vein, mounts a systematic attack on the supposed synthesis of Teilhard. It is not the synthetic enterprise per se but the input from theology and religious motives that rightly deserves our immediate dismissal. Explicit is the conviction that the only possible synthesis is one under the auspices of a thorough-going materialistic naturalism. It is in this sense that the ". . . historical materialistic (Birx) can reinterpret Teilhard as Marx reinterpreted Hegel." (p. xvii)

After a brief introductory account of Teilhard's life and work, Birx focuses on what be takes to be Teilhard's four central claims: 1) Evolutionary Monism, 2) Complexity-Consciousness, 3) Critical Thresholds, and 4) Omega Point. Methodologically, in a chapter devoted to each, Birx summarises the relevant Teilhardian literature, pointing especially to the religious import and motivation. This is followed by a survey of the evolutionary literature characteristically divided into two camps: 1) the naturalists or others that Birx agrees with and 2) the non-naturalists, non-mechanists, and others who are wrong-headed. The concluding analysis roughly takes the form: Whatever is clearly evidenced by science in Teilhard's claim can be totally and unambiguously accounted for within a total naturalism and the rest should be discarded. The reader must be impressed by two things: 1) Birx's erudition in the evolutionary literature, and 2) his disdain for the theological and "mystical" in Teilhard's system.

Several themes dominate the book. For one, Birx wants us to appreciate the fact that Teilhard was honestly attempting a comprehensive synthesis. "The uniqueness of the Teilbardian synthesis is that it is so successful in incorporating these distinct levels of knowledge, . . . (i.e., science, theology, philosophy, and mysticism)," (p. 139) he says. Further the author emphasizes that really there is in Teilhard nothing radically new except this synthesis. To this end he offers the somewhat detailed account of other evolutionary writers demonstrating Teilhard's actual or possible sources. But most significantly we are to learn from our reading of Birx that after all, the synthesis of Teilhard must be judged a failure.

Teilhard failed precisely because be tried to syntbesize science and religion. Teilbard, as is typical with religious thinkers, Birx claims, ". , . uses faith to understand." (p. 14 1) In accord with Freuerbacb, faith "is the idea that that which man wishes actually is." (p. 143) Therefore, in the final analysis, ". . . Teilhard's synthesis has not resolved the real dichotomies between religion and science." (p. 155) For Birx the dichotomies are unresolvable because science and religion are alien, the one dealing with empirical truth, the other with historically conditioned "faiths." But there is a value which justifies the study of Teilhard.

His sincere and bold attempt to reconcile evolution and theism will rather tend to increase the acceptance of the scientific conception of evolution over orthodox Christianity and mysticism. Hopefully, the natural descent or ascent of man from Miocene hominoids will be recognized as scientifically true. (pp. 155-156)

Thus we see that Teilhard's significance lies in the accommodation of Christianity to evolution, facilitating the future abandonment of the religious altogether in affirmation of evolutionary naturalism.

The intent of the book is explicitly to point out the failure of Teilbard, but in the end, the failure of the author is the more astonishing. Birx time after time points to the historically and personally conditioned (by this be means limited) religious input in Teilhard's system. In its place he offers a naturalism which it appears has escaped unscratched by historical conditioning!

Human inquiry is not free from value judgments, for scientists, philosophers, and theologians have vested interests. As such no philosopher's system springs forth outside of his historico-social conditions. (p. 3)

But if we take this claim seriously it cuts across not only Teilhard's but Birx's account as well. Birx implicitly recognizes this in the entire construction of the book. For if one looks closely be will see that Birx nowhere presents a systematic argument for accepting his naturalism vis a vis Teilhard's synthesis. Apparently we are to join the naturalists because of the ascendancy of naturalism in our historically conditioned culture, not because of the consideration of reasons or arguments! This reviewer sees little appeal in what turns out to be another form of mysticism, but much value in the attempt for a philosophically sound, scientifically rigorous, theologically orthodox synthetic worldview. Besides, there are satisfying reasons, in spite of contemporary prejudice, for believing in the possibility of such a worldview.

Reviewed by William J. Hawk, graduate student in philosophy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee.

THE CASE FOR CREATION: an Evaluation of Modern Evolutionary Thought from a Biblical Perspective, by Wayne Frair and P. William Davis, revised edition, Chicago: Moody Press, 1972, 93 pp., $1.25. (two reviews)

This slender book was not designed primarily for scientists. That being the case, its relative lack of polemics, and of making strong statements where the evidence doesn't warrant it, is especially commendable. As indicated by the title, Frair and Davis have a case to make. I agree with their case, and believe that on the whole they have presented it fairly and with scientific accuracy.

As an example, this paragraph from p. 64:

It appears that hurdles preventing synthesis of a self-reproducing bit of life are formidable, even in the light of our best procedures and most sophisticated equipment. Some of our best scientists are expending great efforts in this field in order to surmount the barriers which face them, but so far no life has been produced either intentionally or unintentionally. If we cannot produce life intentionally, then how unlikely it is that it could ever be done by accident. However, many scientists are of the opinion that life came into existence by chance. This cannot be proved, as we cannot prove that life came into existence by the hand of the Creator. But we accept the latter of the two explanations, which is in accord with God's revelation in Scripture, as more logical and satisfying.

Needless to say, The Case for Creation is not perfect. There are examples of muddy thinking, such as 11 often organisms with striking similarities are clearly unrelated" (p. 21). Unrelated on what level, or by whose definition? An accompanying diagram (p. 22) demonstrates further that similarity and relationship need definition. Another lack of clear definition is that there are parts of the book which seem to unchristianize theistic evolutionists by implication.

How much Frair and Davis' book is like its own earlier edition (1967) 1 cannot say. I do find it enough unlike other "cases for creation" books to make it worthy of recommendation.

Among the features that are more or less unique are:

Not including the Genesis Flood in the bibliography. (The Twilight of Evolution, by Henry Morris, is included.)

An apparent understanding of how mutations can be bad for an individual, but bow the capacity for mutation can be good for a population, at times. (pp. 26-28)

Some comprehension of numerical taxonomy (p. 33). Frair and Davis' case could have been strengthened by the arguments presented by Hull in Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, vol. 1, 1970. pp. 19-54)

    Reference to protein sequence comparison data. (p. 46)
Dealing with the symbiotic theory of evolution.
(pp. 67-68)

    The argument that it is religion, not intelligence, that distinguishes man from animals (Chapter 5).

    Tolerance toward the possibility of adaptive radiation in the Australian marsupials.

    Recognition that comparative studies rest on the assumption that similarity implies common ancestry.

The Case for Creation is, a valuable book. Its price makes it a candidate for collateral reading in biology classes.

Reviewed by Martin LaBar, Division of Science, Central Wesleyan College, Central, South Carolina 29630

A second review of
The Case for Creation ...

The main thesis of this book sems to be that it is time for Christians to start an experimental attack on the problems of evolution. One of the primary tasks is taken to be the determination of the 'natural categories' or kinds. In the preface, we read that

. . speculation by Christians . . . have not been based upon experimental attacks upon the problem, and hence
have not grappled with the real issues . .

Christian attacks have

. . . transfixed straw men with the omnipotent pen, while the enemy has stalked them unawares . . .

The book proposes to present an alternative position to evolutionary doctrine and seems to assume that the word 'creation' is always synonymous with 'special creation'.

Following a brief introduction to Darwinism and the scientific method, the authors state that they believe that the modifications being made to evolutionary theory will eventually lead to its rejection. Like too many books on this topic, the authors display an embarrassing lack of familiarity with biology and paleontology, even though both are professors of Biology at Christian colleges. One incredible example is found in the section dealing with the reasons for similarity between organisms. The authors feel that similarities exist because of a common creative plan or design and attempt to discredit the concept of homology (although it is not obvious to me why the two are necessarily in opposition). One of the few figures in the book occurs here, with drawings of the skulls of the mammal-like reptile Bienotherium and a modern mammal, the beaver. The question is asked "How can an evolutionist be certain that supposedly common charactristics which he takes to be evidence of common ancestry are not in fact examples of convergence?" Although the book is written for the 'intelligent layman', it seems that the authors cannot see any deeper themselves. The normal I conservative' embryological features of the skull such as bone distribution, sutures, foramina etc., are regarded by Frair and Davis as ". , . certain differences arbitrarily regarded as being of paramount importance", as if the process of comparing the anatomy of organisms is arbitrarily at the whim of any and all "evolutionists". These skulls are said to resemble each other "in astonishing detail" in the teeth (but do they have the same kind of tooth structure?) and ". . . even a small hump in the posterior ventral border of the eye socket". If such a superficial view prevailed in comparative anatomy, it would be an incomprehensible field.

With regard to gaps in the fossil record, the authors admit that where some gaps exist in some views, others see links, for example Archaeopteryx. The possibility of filling such gaps is neatly removed by that idea that

, * . there is no reason why a form like Archaeopteryx could not have been created specially. . . .

The authors' treatment of behavior is simplistic and gratuitous, for example:

. . certain scientists are making commendable efforts to simplify studies of behavior.

The section dealing with the occurrence of organisms in the fossil record is very dated, with all preCambrian fossils regarded as being insignificant. To state that

. . . the abrupt change . . . at the Cambrian is a result of God's creative activity.

is, in the sense meant by the authors, to me a pathetic view of the creative activity of God. Can anything occur at any time, can anything continue to exist even, without the creative activity and cohering power of the living God? Let us beware of dishonoring Him by confining His activity to those periods of history where as yet we have no adequate explanation on the natural plane.

Although the book is for layman, a number of items are out of place, notably a long and unnecessary footnote on stochastic processes. The authors' attempt to present an alternative position is squeezed into the last few pages and says little. A fuller attempt was surely justified in view of the stated purpose of the book, and could have been accomplished by cutting the 10 page index (vs. 70 pages of text) at least in half.

Although the authors criticise others for not presenting a sound alternative, all they can muster is a weak statement that the

". . . data can be interpreted satisfactorily within a creationist framework"

and promise to attack the problem of the 'kinds' by

".. . certain laboratory analyses". Few books fail so spectacularly in their object.

Reviewed by Geoffrey A. Manley, Associate Professor of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

YOUR PLACE IN THE COUNSELING REVOLUTION by Jay E. Adams. Nutley, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1975, 44 pp.

The contents of this book resulted from the Staley lectures given at Cedarville College in January 1975. The four lectures were directed at those considering a ministry of Christian counseling as well as the average church member. Jay E. Adams is associated with Westminster Theological Seminary and is the author of many other books, his most famous being Competent to Counsel.

For those familiar with Adams' views this book will provide no surprises. The Bible should be viewed as a textbook for counseling. The fundamental failure in modem counseling is the omission of God and His revealed Word. The proper graduate training for those preparing themselves for a ministry of Christian counseling is a theological seminary. Keith Miller's relational theology is suspect because it comes from experience and not Scripture. Many Christians know the views of Mowrer, Glasser, Harris, Skinner, etc., better than the views of Paul, Psychiatry and psychology have failed to help men with their problems. All counseling based on the theories of men is pagan, and Christians who seek to use such theories fall into the sin of accommodationism. Adams writes,

"Therefore, to baptize counseling systems like Freudian Psychoanalysis, Skinnerian Behaviorism, the Rogerian Human Potential Movement, or the Berne/ Harris/ Steiner views of Transactional Analysis into the Christian fold unconverted, by adding on God's holy Name and sprinkling in a few assorted scriptural proof texts, ultimately amounts to taking His Name in vain" (pp. 15, 16).

Another error Christian counselors fall into is what Adams calls the Eureka view. The advocates of the Eureka view "instead of attempting to bring God in from the outside in order to tack Him on as an adjunct to a godless system, they purport to discover that He was in the picture all the time (p. 20)." Christian counselors who are guilty of accommodationism or the Eureka view include Quentin Hyder, John Drakeford, Gary Collins, and L. 1. Granberg,

It seems to this reviewer that Adams' entire view hinges on assumptions which are highly suspect. He assumes that the kind of counseling be is arguing for is both more biblical and effective than either "pagan" secular counseling or Christian "eclectic" counseling. He also gives no evidence for these positions. His basic approach is to argue for support for his view from face validity. His position would be more tenable if there were some empirical validity. All Christians agree that secular counseling systems lack complete congruity with the Bible. However, if a client's symptoms are removed or relieved by applying principles of behavior, then how can Adams claim "pagan" or "eclectic" therapy doesn't work or that it is based on error? "All truth is God's truth." Adams seems to adopt an adhominern stance, viz., if the theory is proposed by a non-Christian it is pagan and therefore ineffective. Psychology books abound with case studies of people who have been helped by various therapeutic techniques. Is it not possible that non-Christian theorists could discover some behavioral principle which would be effective if used by Christian or non-Christian therapists? Adams seems to answer no. Of course, if the only outcome Adams expects from the counseling relationship is conversion for the counselee, then obviously a Christian counselor is essential. On the other hand, if a counselee has a symptom amenable to behavior therapy, there is no evidence that such a case would prosper more by counseling of the type Adams describes.

In sum, what Adams labels as "pagan" or "eclectic" counseling may have some validity from a pragmatic view. If that is true, then an additive approach whereby scriptural tenets are supplemental may be valid. For instance, according to client-centered therapy, the therapist should be candid, confrontational, empathetic, non-possessive and warm. just because the word Christian is not tagged on to this description does not invalidate the other characteristics.

If Adams believes that the gospel is the cure for all ills, then why are there so many Christians in need of counseling? If it is because they have not appropriated all they have in Christ, then this seems to be an acknowledgement that they need to be shown how. It is this "showing how" that opens the door to the need for counseling principles and techniques, many of which may originate with "pagans."

Reviewed by Richard Lee Ruble, Professor of Psychology, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761

MORAL DEVELOPMENT: A Guide to Fiaget and Kohlberg by Ronald Duska and Mariellen Whelan. Paulist Press, New York: 128 pp., n. p. (paper), 1975

MORAL LEARNING: Findings, Issues and Questions by Edmund V. Sullivan. Paulist Press, New York: 123 pp. $3.95, 1975. (paper)

Here are two useful little paper back books that are much more valuable than their m9dest size and simple format indicate. Together they give a neat summary of current research on the development of moral capacity, which is a field of newly regained academic respectability.,

Psychologists at the beginning of the twentieth century gave serious concern to moral development as a central issue of psychological development. Education was seen as a moral enterprise. John Dewey lamented the separation of intellectual and moral training, for to him moral education was part of character development. Morality was more than indoctrination, but a studied development of a faculty for critical moral deliberation. (Democracy and Education, 1916)

But as psychology became enmeshed in logical positivism, interest in such subjective issues as personal morals vanished. Pari passu the school system became a center for the acquisition of objectified knowledge. But concern for the amoral nature of child development has been resurrected through the increased attention to character development of children. As a result the psychology of moral development is a current hot topic. An old pioneer and a youngish researcher are the fore. figures of this movement. The pioneer is the Swiss developmental psychologist jean Piaget, who had published his empirical observations on the process of moral development in 1932 in The Moral Judgment of the Child. His work lay virtually unnoticed for thirty years. Then in the early 1960's a young experimental psychologist, Lawrence Kohlberg, developed a series of development stages of moral development, which he proceeded to use in studying not only development, but the level of moral capacity of various adult populations. The results were dismaying-most American adults show only about Stage 3 moral development, whereas the highest level of Stage 6 morality is uncommon in the common populace. What has gone wrong? Why is there a general moral immaturity? I should point out that I am not talking of acting in conventional moral manner, but rather the lack of critical capacity for profound moral inquiry.

At issue is the fact that morality is not an inborn trait of mankind, but is an acquired ability, based on specific learning processes. The Duskan-Whelan book does a nice job summarizing the basic observational data of both Piaget and Kohlberg in non-technical language. They also give a brief look at the relationship between moral development theory and Christian morality. The Sullivan book is more challenging. He reports in relatively simple format a series of educational experiments in teaching moral process to students, and to their teachers. The results are telling. The students showed marked improvement in moral capacity when taught effectively. The booker was that the morally immature teachers produced no moral change in their students, although using the same texts and methods.

My only caveat to these two fine books is that they focus only on the cognitive-intellectual components of moral development. Both Piaget and Kohlberg are cognitive theorists. Thus neither book includes data or even references to the emotional and psychodynamic dimensions of moral growth. There are two excellent readers just published that give a more complete picture of moral development. They should be consulted to compensate for the lack in the two books under review.

I highly recommend these books to any thinking person. For the Christian educator I would make this package top priority reading. If you want a challenge to your view of moral education-read these books!

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

ECOLOGY AND HUMAN NEED by Thomas Sieger Derr, Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1975, 174 pp., $3.45.

One would never infer from the title of this volume that the author regarded a Christian approach to ecology as very desirable and that over two-thirds of the book was devoted to developing one. In fact, this effort is the most valuable part of the monograph. The plan is to outline the shape of a Christian ecology and then use that understanding as a tool to tackle the almost overwhelming number and variety of ecological problems. The construction of an ecology based on Christian principles is very good. But, although the first part is done well and is helpful, the applications do not seem to follow very directly from it and solutions given are few though the problem is mentioned many times.

The major part, Derr's building a Christian view of ecology, is somewhat methodical, but thorough. Some of the topics of chapter one are the biological and nonbiological aspects of humans, the relations of God to material objects, and the interaction of technology and Christianity.

Chapter two is devoted to summarizing alternative Christian perspectives, those of "biblical" theology, process theology, and the undefined group that wants to remystify nature. In chapter three he offers criticism of each and gives an extra plug for the type of historicization and desacralization that he favors. (Although Derr is not an evangelical, few of his thoughts will be found by evangelicals to be objectionable for theological reasons.)

Chapter four, about the dominion of man, is very good. Many Christians, especially in discussions about ecology, are perplexed and embarrassed by the biblical emphasis of the dominion of people over the rest of nature. Although the biblical statements about the dominion are very few, many individuals have asserted both that that concept has been central to the thought of the majority of Christians and that it has been greatly abused by nominally Christian groups. While not defending ecological devastation, Derr argues at some length that there is considerable biblical backing for humans to exercise intelligent control of their environment and, in that respect, of their destinies. The message of this chapter ought to be frequently expressed but seldom is.

In chapter five Derr begins to touch on the titular topic of the book, a subject he directly confronts only in the last chapter. Again, many of his insights about obligations to future people are good, have definite scriptural support, and will be novel to most Christians. But the applications and suggestions he makes do not seem to really meet the hard issues. It is relatively unproblematic to decry doing things actually harmful to coming generations or to conserve natural resources which they will need. The most intransigent problems concern obligations to feed the hungry and clothe the naked now. It is quite possible at a time not too far off that this will be more than can be done. Derr often criticizes emphases on future obligations eclipsing focus on present ones, calling such "brutal", but the precise opposite, letting present obligations swamp the future ones, is at least as thorny. Derr does not talk about that possibility, nor does he bring up causes of events or discuss their relationship to ethics, He should. If the causes of a particular famine are political and economic malfeasance rather than natural catastrophe, does that not make an ethical difference?

The sixth chapter explores the relationship of property and stewardship. As before, his discussion of the theology involved is excellent. The implications for ecology are quite direct. But when distributive justice and developmental economics are involved, the presentation is much poorer and seems second-hand. The seventh and last chapter finally confronts directly the problem expressed in the title-the possible conjunction of ecology and human need. The problem, mentioned often in the preceding chapters, is that if ecological imperatives entail curtailing economic growth and development, this will surely have an adverse effect on places just starting to develop. At the outset one ought to examine the adequacy of that contention.

Initially Derr says it is with "faultless realism" that it is concluded "that a freeze on growth in the name of environmental solution would be a confirmation of the status quo." But later on one realizes that there is a possible resolution of this impasse, that the denial of growth depends on a bad sense of "growth". Growth that means pure increase of material possessions, growth of quantity, might have to be curtailed among rich and poor alike. Quantitative growth may have to stop. But another sort of growth does not, the growth of quality. After all, the reason a Rolls-Royce is better than a Chevy is not that it contains many times as much material. The quality of life, not the amassing of material objects, is what all humans ought to emphasize. Derr has an especially good point here, because not only is this being done to a certain extent, but it is not overwhelmingly difficult to persuade people that in the final analysis this is the way to 90.

In contrast to this suggestion, his others tend to be visionary and utopian, such as his expressing the need for international laws governing ecological matters. Despite weaknesses, and all books have them, the volume is definitely worth reading.

Reviewed by Allen J. Harder, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Iowa State University, Antes, Iowa.

CHRISTIANS AND SOCIOLOGY by David Lyon, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1975). 93 pp. Paperback. 90 p.

The author is lecturer in socioloev at Bingley College of Education in England. His b~k is aimed at defining the nature of sociology and its interaction with the Christian position, and "to help anyone who, for the first time, is facing the challenge of sociology.' Pinpointing the principal cause of conflict between science and Christianity as the tendency for sociology to relativize all values, Lyon argues that an understanding of sociology must take into account the fact that it "is a direct product of 19th century humanism and scepticism," with major inputs from positivism and empiricism. While rejecting absolutes, the sociologist absolutizes society; while rejecting authority, he proclaims its message authoritatively.

"In spite of such historical and methodological drawbacks, however, Lyon does not argue against sociology per se, but in favor of setting it into a Christian context where it can serve the Christian's calling. For example, Social, or structural, sin is a phenomenon that has been sadly neglected by most Christians in recent years, and sociology does expose the crying need for a radical biblical understanding here. Although the sociological definition of religion contains implications as to the truth or falsity of religion, it may in other respects be an accurate assessment of the situation. We should never dismiss any sociological 'finding' without thought. What matters is that we be honest and consistent as we use our assumptions to deal with the same problems."

For the author, a "Christian sociology" is one based on distinctively biblical presuppositions, which is used to criticize or modify sociologies based on other presuppositions.

To talk merely of Christians in sociology . . . denies . . . that Christ is Lord of our sociological imagination; and denies, on the other, that our Christian presuppositions have any relevance to our lives as sociologists.

PHILOSOPHY: A Christian Perspective by Arthur F. Holmes, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove,
IL 60515. Rev. ed. (1975). Paperback. 54 pp.

This is a revised edition of Christianity and Philosophy (1963) by the Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois. It is sub-titled "An Introductory Essay" and intends to be just that, giving some general principles in a few pages. In a chapter on "What Is Philosophy?" the author sees two general functions of philosophy: an intellectual conscience for society, and the development of a guiding world view. After a chapter on "What Is Christianity?" the author argues in "Christianity and Philosophy" against extremes of making philosophy subservient to theology, or theology subservient to philosophy, and for an attempt "to relate faith to reason and Christianity to philosophy without compromising the values of either." He sees the Christian philosopher as serving theology, apologetics and his culture. In a final chapter on "Christians in Philosophy" he discusses several different kinds of philosophical models that Christians have used in the past and present. The most crucial areas of current interest are proposed to be the nature of man, eth
ics and social philosophy.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHEISM by R. C. Sproul, Bethany Fellowship, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota (1974). Paperback. 166 pp. $2.95.

In this book the Staff Theologian for Ligonier Valley Study Center, and Visiting Professor of Apologetics at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, tackles the charge that Christian convictions "are motivated not by reasonable evidence but by psychological needs." He counters by arguing that

Though man may desire and create for himself a deity who meets his needs and provides him with innumerable benefits, he will not desire a God who is holy, omniscient, and sovereign.

The book starts with a definition of terms like "theist" and "atheist" in historical perspective. I especially appreciated the definition of "Practical Atheism: . . . the phenomenon of people who profess belief in some kind of deity, but who, for all practical purposes, live as if there were no god." The author rejects the option of seeing the question as utimately a subjective rather than an objective question.

In the final analysis there either is a God or Gods or there are none. There either is something or someone ultimate apart from me or there is not.

Dr. Sproul examines the psychological analyses of religion put forward by Freud, Feuerbach, Marx and Nietzsche. He concludes that these writers already presuppose the nonexistence of God. They do not ask, "Is there a God?" Rather they ask, "Since there is no God, why is there religion?"

The issue of theism/atheism is not over the question, "Why does man believe in God?" The ultimate issue is not why do men fear the contingencies of their existence, but rather why are there contingent beings in a contingent universe worrying about the problems of contingency? . . . If the atheist can live intellectually with massive causeless effect such as the material universe, why is he constrained to provide a cause for such a small thing as religion?

Dr. Sproul takes the atheist's argument that God is just the creation of human desire and turns it inside out to argue that man's desire is not that the God of the Bible exists, but that He doesn't. Using extensive biblical sources, the author argues that "according to Paul, religion is not the fruit of a zealous pursuit of God, but the result of a passionate flight from God."

With convincing insight the author discusses the psychology of Romans 1 and then passes on to consider "the trauma of holiness."

The unholy personal may not threaten or be somewhat threatening. The non-holy impersonal threatens more. The Holy personal threatens most.

He follows with a consideration of "nakedness," its significance in human relationships and for relationships between man and God. Finally he considers the issue of "autonomy."

If ever there is a genuine paradox to be found in Holy Writ, it is at the point of freedom and bondage. The paradox is this: When one seeks to rebel from God, he gains only bondage. When he becomes a slave to God, he becomes free. Liberty is found in obedience.

This is a vital and provocative book. The author provides the reader with significant insights into his own commitment to God as well as with the means of turning aside attacks against the existence of God.

THE UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR by James W. Sire, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois (1976) Paperback. 236 pp. $4.25.

Dr. Sire, editor of InterVarsity Press and Associate Professor of English at Trinity College (Deerfield), performs a valuable service by gathering together the major presuppositions of some eight different worldviews that have affected and do affect people's perception of themselves and the world. The worldviews treated include: Christian theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, atheistic existentialism, Christian existentialism, pantheistic monism, and "the new consciousness." The book traces the disintegration from Christian theism down to nihilism, and then the abortive attempts to recover what had been lost.

On arguing for the inevitable production of nihilism as the result of a consistent acceptance of naturalism, the author would do well to define terms a little more carefully. When be speaks of chance as "absolutely irrational . . . causeless, purposeless, directionless," it would be good to make unquestionably clear that he is speaking of Chance as a total worldview, and not of chance as a mode of scientific description. Events and processes that are described scientifically as "chance occurrences" can in the larger picture still be elements in design and purpose, provided that God is active in all reality. To condemn a scientific description on the grounds that it was a "chance" description and hence violated basic theological principles, would be an unfortunate confusion of categories. Again when he says, "Naturalism holds that perception and knowledge are either identical with or a byproduct of the brain; they arise from the functioning of matter," it would be interesting to know what the alternatives are. As far as anything we know about living human beings is concerned, perception and knowledge do arise from the functioning of matter-that unique functioning which is itself responsible for the fact that we are human beings. In each case I feel fairly certain that Dr. Sire would make the appropriate distinction if questioned, but his readers may not do so without some specific aid.

Another place calling for caution is in the section on existentialism where Dr. Sire speaks of paradoxes as "sets of seemingly contradictory statements." Here it is important to be clear on the difference between a paradox and a logical contradiction. A contradictory statement, one that affirms that both A and not-A are true, cannot be tolerated, but theological paradoxes are not of this type. The intrinsic biblical teaching of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is a paradox, but hardly a contradiction.

There are, of course, certain traditional worldviews that are missing as separately described positions. Most striking among these is humanism, which does not strictly fit into any of the categories treated. It would also have been helpful if some inclusion of Islam had been possible, in view of the widespread influence of this derivative from the Judaeo-Christian position.

Lest these comments be thought primarily negative, let me indicate the very significant contribution that Dr. Sire makes in setting forth the still-forming dimensions of that worldview he calls "the new consciousness." Here is a dominant worldview among students, intellectuals and even formerly conventional scientists that is taking shape all around us today. Dr. Sire performs a valuable service indeed in analyzing the types and bases of this modern worldview. It is only a slight exaggeration to predict that one will not be able to understand major trends in modem thought without understanding the worldview that Dr. Sire dissects for us here. He properly sees it as "a Western version of Eastern mysticism in which the metaphysical emphasis of the East is replaced by an emphasis on epistemology. " It has roots in modem theories of physics as well as in the occult. Dr. Sire clarifies the situation by discussing in some detail the writings of Carlos Castaneda, one of the most colorful and articulate exponents of this view.

This is a valuable book for everyone who attempts to integrate the beliefs and actions of human beings. Everyone has a worldview, whether he knows it or not; Christians should be aware of the framework in which those to whom they witness live.

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