Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews

PSCF Reviews for September 1982

Table of Contents
VALUE/MORAL EDUCATION: SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS by Thomas C. Hennessy, S.J., ed., New York: Paulist Press, 1979, pp. 253.
COMMUNITY AND GROWTH by Jean Vanier, Paulist Press, New York, 1979, xii & 214 pages, $6.95 (paperback).
SOLZHENITSYN: THE MORAL VISION by Edward E. Ericson, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980. xv+239 pp. with foreword by Malcolm Muggeridge.
GOD HAS SPOKEN by James I. Packer, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1979, $3.95.
THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS: An Overview of the New Physics, by Gary Zukav, New York, William Morrow & Co., 1979, 352pp. (with index).
G0D DID IT, BUT HOW? by Robert B. Fischer, Cal Media, P.O. Box 156, La Mirada, California 90637 (1981). 113 pp. Paperback. $4.00.
THE CASE FOR LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY by Donald E. Miller, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981, 160 pg., $8.95.

VALUE/MORAL EDUCATION: SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS by Thomas C. Hennessy, S.J., ed., New York: Paulist Press, 1979, pp. 253.

With the publication of Kohlberg's work on moral development and, some would say, with the present societal realities, such as increase in public/legal crimes, dishonesty in high offices, and tendencies toward racism, there has been a revival of interest in understanding moral problems, moral judgments, and moral acts. Such an interest has resulted in a number of books published dealing with some aspects of morality/moral problems. ValuelMoral Education: Schools and Teachers is another book of such a kind. Kohlberg's work is presented and elaborated on and used as a basis on which to develop practical pieces of advice on, ". . . methods of imparting moral and value education at different levels of schooling . . ." (p. 4).

The entire collection of essays may be divided into three major sections: 1. Moral Education at the Elementary School Level, at the High School Level, and at the College Level; 11. Ideas of Kohlberg, Piaget, and Adler on Moral Development, and 111. The Inadequacies of Teacher Education in Matters of Moral Development and An Interview with Kohlberg. In the first section, "Moral Education at the College Level" describes the development of Fordham's interdisciplinary program on Values. Its Freshman Program is ". . . broadbased and sometimes indirect in its approach to value questions" (p. 87) while the Junior Program is direct and explicit. It " . . . discusses precise problems involved in decision-making in areas of ethical, moral and value choices and exemplifies these issues by consideration of one or several specific problems" (p. 88). This is an interesting attempt. The chapter dealing with moral problems in high school is an exhortative and testimonial type of writing. The author admits that his sociological and psychological interpretations of these problems may be limited. "They are," he said, "offered merely as food for thought to those who take a serious interest in the moral development of youth" (p. 69). Practical applications are offered to teachers and parents regarding moral development problems at the elementary school level.

The essays in Section 11 are primarily expositions of the ideas of Kohlberg, Piaget, and Adler, and contain nothing that has not already been said in other places. The chapter on Piaget is, however, interesting not because of what the author says about Piaget but because he takes Roger and his indirect approach to counselling to task: "It is attractive since the responsibility for the sessions and for all decisions was clearly that of the client (while the counsellor is absolved of responsibility for them)" (p. 145). In contrast, counselling orientation that flows from Kohlberg's theory encourages the counsellor to ". . . model a position but does not attempt to prescribe it . . ." (p. 149). In the author's view, this is right: "If counsellors refuse to be 'directive' in any sense, clients will go elsewhere and receive the direction they seek. Many of the clients will not go to the clergy for direction but will go to charlatans of various kinds" (p. 147).

The chapter on "Moral and Cognitive Development for Teachers: A Neglected Arena" presents summaries of results of researches on teaching and arrives at one conclusion: "(There is no) adequate conception of the goals of teacher education as well as a system of instruction to achieve these goals" (p. 122). The author quotes Dean J. Goodlad, UCLA: "Jeacher education programmes) must be revamped from top to bottom" (p. 122) and goes on to present his view on cognitive-moral development of teacher education. He claims that results of some experiments connected with this view of teacher education show promise and good results. I hope so.

Perhaps the major puzzle regarding teacher education is the refusal of those responsible for its development to admit the complexities of teaching activities. Having to do necessarily with transmission of knowledge which is by nature critical, teaching is one of the most complex, if not taxing, activities that a human being can engage in, as he entices another human being to enter along with him into the world of human knowledge/activities. Instead what teacher education, more correctly, teacher training, does is torender the teaching acts into discrete competencies, providing teachers with modules, survival kits for the classroom, and teaching skills (strictly speaking, there are none). No wonder researches (mentioned in the chapter) show that these skills are not sufficient to handle teaching tasks in the classroom. What teachers need is a broad educational scholarship that enables them to grasp the social, historical, and philosophical dimensions of their tasks and not merely the continuous refinement of limited classroom procedural operations.

To those of us who admit with a bit of grief that knowledge of the good does not automatically lead to the doing of the good, Kohlberg, in the interview, expresses a ray of optimism:

 The moral and value conflicts of our current history are producing Iwo widely different results. Some people are so confused by the inIricacies of the problems that they are perhaps refusing the challenge and not thinking through the issues; they remain at the Preconventional level of moral thinking. But on the other hand, the same moral and value conflicts resonate profitably in many others, helping them to move beyond Conventional moral levels to Principled thinking (p. 242)

For the Christian, however, nothing short of one's necessary dependency upon God, the Holy Spirit, enables him to do the good.

Reviewed by Evelina Orteza y Miranda, Department of Educational Policy and Administrative Studies, The University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

COMMUNITY AND GROWTH by Jean Vanier, Paulist Press, New York, 1979, xii & 214 pages, $6.95 (paperback).

The community Vanier writes so eloquently about is a reality growing numbers of Americans appear to be fleeing. In the United States, more people five with a gun they trust than with a spouse. Many are afraid to be on the street after dark; instead they hunker down behind locked doors and pulled shades with televised company.

This reviewer's only criticism of the book is that it reads like a stream of consciousness. I could imagine Vanier in the chair across from me discoursing on the various dimensions of community. The potential for boredom and repetition is great and occasionally the author actualizes one or the other. But my overall evaluation is that Community and Growth is a superb book well worth reading.

The community of which Vanier writes is not the married one nor the purely civil one. He is the founder of L'Arche, a community open to the married and single, the handicapped as well as others. All who enter must be willing to share their lives and grow together into the fulness of their own personalities. L'Arche has no mission beyond being a place where people can be human together.

For that reason, Vanier's homely wisdom will strike different responsive chords, depending on the experience and background of the reader.

He warns of the dangers of wealthy communities where we throw up barriers; perhaps we even hire a watchdog to defend our property." Poor people, he points out, have nothing to defend and often share the little they have. That's somewhat idealistic and certainly not the experience of the poor in Calcutta or Rochester. But Vanier later balances this by pointing out that wealth generally means self-sufficiency, the absence of interdependence and its consequence, love. That does correspond to reality.

At a time when inflation and unemployment make more people than ever heard of Sartre agree with his cynical dictum "Hell is other people," it is good to read an author who is refreshed and fulfilled by others.

He reaffirms the value of the useless, either physically or mentally, because their sufferings give life to others. This is a Christian mystery confirmed in the cross but often denigrated in our throw-away culture. Vanier writes well of the quality of life but never sets it over the fact of life.

In the midst of a long list of gifts such as wonderment, diversity, animation, and availability, he includes the gift of grandmothers and the gift of the poor. He has not only read Paul's letter to the Corinthians but he has also lived and reflected upon it.

Vanier has written an illuminating commentary on the two greatest commandments. It is a book to read and enjoy.

Reviewed by William J. Sullivan, S. T.D., St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York 14618.

SOLZHENITSYN: THE MORAL VISION by Edward E. Ericson, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1980. xv+239 pp. with foreword by Malcolm Muggeridge.

Edward Ericson has rendered a valuable service both to Solzhenitsyn aficionados and the general reading public in this excellent volume.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn burst on to the literary and world scene in the late '60's and early '70's, first with his brief novel on prison camp life, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and, subsequently, with his massive exposeof the Soviet terror/torture/ prison network, Gulag Archipelago. His reception among Western readers and critics was, at first, uniformly positive. However, lately, and especially since his open identification with orthodox Christianity and application to the degenerate aspects of Western culture of those same moral principles with which he has scorched the Soviet system, he has become something of an enigma. He has been labelled a prophet, an angry man, and a political subversive by elements from all sides of that spectrum. Malcolm Muggeridge, however, may have come closest to the truth when, in an interview with William F. Buckley, he called Solzhenitsyn "the greatest man of the twentieth century."

What Ericson has done in this concise work is to summarize the literary career of Solzhenitsyn by reviewing the large majority of his corpus and emphasizing those themes which recur in each work. His argument is that Solzhenitsyn is primarily a literary, rather than political, figure with a vision that is overarchingly moral and not political.

The book begins with Ericson's statement of this theme:

Solzhenitsyn writes, of course, of man in action in the cauldron of the twentieth-century world, a world on which politics impinges in an especially vital way, but always of moral man in action, always of man created in the image of God and thus endowed with moral responsibility toward others and for himself (p. 3).

The second chapter is an exegesis of Solzhenitsyn's 1970 Nobel lecture in which this theme is elaborated. The term itself is ambiguous in that it seems to imply some entelechy. The author is addicted to its use; he includes it in the book's subtitle, "The Creation and Evolution of the Universe." It encourages him to treat the origin of life, even of "intelligent life," as casual incidents-even though significant scientific gaps still remain between the inanimate and the animate. He is impelled even to conclude, "One is tempted to speculate that life does not seem to be unique to the terrestrial environment."

The use of the term "Creation" in the subtitle is even more misleading; for the initial state is taken as given and agnosticism is admitted as to its source. What is more, man's spiritual life is completely ignored. The author early boasts, "The scientific approach to cosmology is readily distinguished from the mystical or religious viewpointscience seeks to explain the universe in terms of observable and measurable phenomena." (Not all scientists would agree on the necessity of measurement in science.) Obviously there is no place for any god in his scheme of things. He delights that "we are children of the stars;" he sees no need for any pater noster.

Regardless of the validity of any evolutionary process, which would still be possible in a spiritual universe, I find myself happier with the thought, "In the beginning God."

Reviewed by Raymond S. Seeger, National Science Foundation (ret.), Washington, D.C.

GOD HAS SPOKEN by James I. Packer, Inter-Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 1979, $3.95.

When God begins to deal with us on a personal level it can be a staggering experience. For God has spoken and we can hear His words addressed to us in verbal messages in the Scriptures. If this shakes us up, the realization that God has taken the initiative to reveal Himself in this way in order to make friends with us is even more staggering. We will, if we are honest, confess to being uncomfortable with these concepts until we allow ourselves the privilege of being found by Him. This is possible since we bear His image and can respond to the Holy Spirit who bears witness to us of the truth of God's written words as it reveals His offer of salvation and friendship through Jesus Christ and His work on our behalf.

The author makes no apology for calling us back to the Scriptures for he contends with cogent reasoning that God opened the lines of communication. This was accomplished without reliance upon subjective impressions but rather with definite, overt divine activity which was verbal in form and cumulative in content.

Packer finds very adequate support for his position that God took the initiative in opening and maintaining communication with us, citing Hebrews 1:1f. This statement establishes in straight forward language that God finds us, shares His secrets with us, shows Himself to us, speaks to us so personally that we must listen and respond with a firm purpose to obey. We join with Abraham, Moses, Joseph, Samuel, David, the later prophets, John, Peter, Paul and a host of others in a joint tutorial, learning by observing His dealings with them and applying to ourselves the careful criticism, the direction and the encouragement He gave to them. Only in this way can we become godly persons, responding to God's offer of friendship in repentance, faith and discipleship. Jesus said it very simply, "You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do," (John 15:14) not laying down the basis of sterile reconciliation but of a vibrant friendship which God always desires to bring to full flower.

Unfortunately, God's call to friendship can be muted to an inaudible whisper unless we come to the place of recognizing that the truth in any matter can be discerned only by our careful attention to revelation in Scripture. Jesus illustrated the force of this spiritual principle when he conversed with Cleopas and his unnamed friend on the road to Emmaus, reiterating all that Moses and the later prophets had said concerning him, explaining to them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. He did this, we might add, after gently chiding them for being foolish and slow to believe "all that the prophets had spoken." Their response was, I'm sure, more than a case of distressing spiritual heart-burn but one which included intense joy at witnessing the culmination of many prophetic revelations in Christ's testimony to them. It has always been this way. Time spent in hearing God's word to us, exercising our spirit and conscience, is always productive if we concede Scripture's prior authority.

On the other hand the temptation to stand above the Scriptures always results in a lack of certainty regarding the great issues of Christian faith and conduct. Packer makes a strong case in support of his premise that where uncertainty flourishes we can assume it is due to standing under divine judgement. He cites the prophecy found in Amos 8:11 f. as giving broad support to this contention. It surely appears that in spite of unprecedented study and reading of the Bible by both scholars and lay people in recent years, we can no longer find any consensus as to what to make of what we have studied and read. We are "abandoned to spiritual barrenness, hunger and discontent as the result of losing the conviction that what Scripture says, God says." This position of abandonment is forced on us when we accept the loss of identity between Scripture and God's revelation to us.

While devoting considerable space to dealing with the reasons for the "strange silence of the Bible in the Church today," Packer never loses sight of his stated aim: to prepare the minds of thinking, Christian people to get into
serious rcadrmg wd study of the Bible, not so much for enjoyment but for the "joy of finding God's way, God's grace and God's fellowship through the Bible-a joy which only His cm-n true disciples know."

It is the conviction of this reviewer, a scientist rather than a theologian, that I test the reality of my Christianity at the personal and practical level.

The systematic development of the subject of Dr. Packers book has given me a solid assist in this endeavour. I appreciate very much this latest evidence of his ability to write convincingly to readers who come from a variety of disciplines.

Reviewed by DeVere Gallup, Houghton, New York.

THE DANCING WU LI MASTERS: An Overview of the New Physics, by Gary Zukav, New York, William Morrow & Co., 1979, 352pp. (with index).

Despite its somewhat unlikely title, The Dancing Wu Li Masters is must reading for the non-physicist who is interested in the current state of affairs in physics and for the physicist who is interested in the philosophical implications of that physics. The book resembles Robert March's Physics for Poets (McGraw Hill, 1970) particularly in its lack of mathematics and in its chatty sometimes humorous style. Zukav is, however, more sophisticated both because he focuses on contemporary physics and because he emphasizes the philosophical implications of this physics. While Zukav is not himself a physicist, an advantage perhaps in this book, his very close collaboration with five physicists makes the physics credible.

The book consists of twelve chapters which are independent of one another except that they are divided into five groups: (1) an introduction which previews differences between classical and contemporary physics, (2) an excellent introduction to Quantum Mechanics, (3) a survey of both Special and General Relativity, (4) a discussion of the subatomic "zoo", and (5) an attempt to draw out some of the more interesting philosophical implications of Quantum Mechanics for an emerging new view of reality, including the breakdown of the distribution principle in application to quantum transitions and the apparent need to deny local causality.

Among the book's many strengths are its humor, effective use of diagrams and illustrations (e.g., Schr6dinger's cat (108), Terrell's illustration of contraction (164), the elevator gedanken (185)), extensive reference to relevant experiments and experimenters, and the fact that Zukav addresses the most complex current issues in physics without hesitation or circumvention of the thorny problems they create. Among these issues are the problem of wave function collapse, virtual particle exchange accounts of electromagnetic and strong force interactions, and the currently very significant issue of how to interpret the results of distant correlation experiments in the light of conflicting predictions by quantum mechanics and the Bell inequality.

If the book has weaknesses, they are at least interesting and controversial. First, Zukav pushes the aaalogy between the new physics and Eastern mysticism too far. This affects not only the format (all chapters are confusingly numbered, "chapter one"), but, more importantly, the content. The connection to Eastern religion is often forced and gives the impression of being tacked on. These comparisons are often either unintelligible or just irrelevant.

Secondly, there are a few places where Zukav's attempt to provide clear and simple explanations backfires. This occurs when he uses lattice theory to explain quantum mechanical transitions (p. 228). More seriously, it occurs in his attempt to explain the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect and the Clauser-Freedman experiment which provide the keys to his discussion of Bell's theorem in the important last chapter.

Thirdly, Zukav could be both more clear and more careful in making what seems to be the most mportant point of the book; that the world is not the way it appears. In the important final chapter he discusses the conflict between the predictions of Quantum Mechanics and those of Bell's Inequality in the light of distant correlation experiments (e.g., Clauser-Freedman, and Aspect). But, he does not adequately explain the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen gedanken or tie it to Bell's theorem, and he does not spell out the five options to the conflict of predictions until the diagram (p. 320) which comes only as a summary.

Furthermore, he could be more cautious in discussing the options available. Four of the options interpret theories realistically and one instrumentally.

1. in the first half of the final chapter (p. 305) as well as in chapters 2 and 4 Zukav seems inclined toward instrumentalism and even says that most physicists take this view (note p. 321). But perhaps because the realistic alternatives are both more interesting and more open to the connection with Eastern thought, Zukav seems to favor these alternatives too much and at times even suggests that physics requires them (p. 309). He should recognize the viability of instrumentalism and the compatibility of it with belief that there is a physical world independent of observers; something overlooked here (p. 305).

2. Among the four realistic options, one is Einstein's denial of the completeness of Quantum Mechanics. Zukav dismisses this option, citing only one experiment and concludes that this "proves" (306, 309, 314) that commonsense is mistaken about the world, that local causality fails, and that the world does not consist of events which are space-like disconnected. This is perhaps a bit too eager or sensationalistic. Some mention of those experiments which provide opposite conclusions would have been appropriate (Holt et. al. [Harvard 1973] and Faraci et. al. [Catania 19741).

3. Finally, among the remaining three options, all of which imply radical world views (faster-than-light communications, superdeterminism, or a branching into many alternative real worlds at every observation or wave function collapse), Zukav spends more time on the "superluminal transfer of negentropy," as he calls it, than on the others. One suspects that his desire to draw connections with Eastern thought are again the basis for this imbalance of attention. However, the implications of this option for telepathy or an organic metaphysics like that of Whitehead are certainly tantalizing. In short the book is readable, sophisticated, and stimulating.

Reviewed by James Mannoia, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.

G0D DID IT, BUT HOW? by Robert B. Fischer, Cal Media, P.O. Box 156, La Mirada, California 90637 (1981). 113 pp. Paperback. $4.00.

Robert Fischer has had a distinguished career as Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and mathematics and Professor of Chemistry at California State University, Dominguez Hills, California, and is currently Vice President for Academic Affairs at Biola College, Inc. He has an excellent grasp of both science and the Christian faith, and in these pages shares them in a manner understandable to the average reader. The book is particularly timely in treating many of the issues now of public concern in the interaction of scientific discoveries and the Christian position, particularly those involving creation and evolution.

The book consists of five chapters. Starting with a differentiation between "Who?" "What?" "How?" and "Why?" questions, Fischer goes on to emphasize the freedom of God in acting through human and natural means as well as in ways that are properly classified as supernatural, discusses problems and misunderstandings related to questions of origins and miracles, and finally summarizes the whole issue. Throughout Fischer emphasizes that the biblical God must be conceived of as being "big enough" not only to be able to work supernaturally in cases where natural mechanisms are absent, but also to be able to work in ways normally described as natural and even ordinary to achieve His sovereign purpose. He recognizes and points out that the common creation/evolution debate is often obscured by a confusion of categories between topics on the level of philosophy and topics on the level of science.

The only major shortcoming of the book is a total absence of references or acknowledged quotations. The remark in the "Purpose and General Thrust" introductory section to the effect that the material "is not now presented in any clear written form for consideration by average people," unnecessarily slights the considerable number of books written in the same vein as this one and with about the same level of difficulty, which are and have been available for the last 20 years if not longer.

A discussion leader capable of supplementing this book with a suitable reference list for additional reading can make excellent use of this book as a springboard for the discussion of the interaction between science and Christian faith.

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

When someone else writes a book you've been planning to write for years, it gets your attention. When that someone is Bob Fischer, a longtime friend and respected scientific colleague, your feelings are mixed-happiness that what has been percolating in your mind has finally been put to words. Envy, in a way, but also pride that he got it done before you did.

The title not only articulates the question, but also sets the background for the answer. One of the weaknesses of many discussions in the field of cosmogony is that presuppositions are not recognized or stated. Another is that discussants are seldom sure whether they are Deists or Theists. Fischer happily makes these distinctions clear, and ably defends Theistic presuppositions, showing how they apply in the study of the natural universe and in the study of the Bible. He uses pertinent examples from both science and human history to illustrate that from our Holy, Creating, Sustaining and Loving God comes the operating universe and the answer to the human dilemma within it.

I was somewhat distracted by loose editing-typos, the archaic use of the editorial third person, the involved and largely irrelevant introduction of ideas, the use of indefinities, and of too many misplaced "howevers." But these can all be easily revised in future printings.

Though limited in scope, this book is a provocative contribution to the Bible-Science field in the Ramm tradition. It deserves the attention of serious students for years to come.

Reviewed by J. Frank Cassel, Zoology Department, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58105.

A marvelous little book. If carefully read it will enable a sincere layman to ask truly meaningful questions about the relationship between science and the Christian faith without getting hopelessly tangled due to innappropriate mixing of concepts that belong to quite different levels of conceptual understanding (i.e., comparing science to the Bible rather than to theology or asking a who question when the context is more appropriate for a how question).

Indeed the author's central thesis is that a major cause of conflict between scientific and religious communities is due to concepts appropriate to one level of 
understanding (i.e., philosophy or theology) being wrongly applied to questions that properly belong in the conceptual framework of another level of understanding (i.e., science).

The book has many excellent features. Particularly useful are the careful definitions given to key words that occur in dialogue between science and Judaic-Christian religion; the definitions carefully take into account the relevant biblical and/or scientific contexts where the words are actually used. Words defined in this way include God, science, scientism, natural, supernatural, inspiration, hypothesis, theory, lay, incarnation, day, create, make, form, miracle, presupposition, paradigm, world-view, and faith. Using these definitions the author nicely develops the basic tenets of Christian theism, pointing out that God is both creator and sustainer of the entire universe including His unique creation, man. He is transcendent to- the realm of nature and he is also immanent within it; therefore events that, on the one hand, can be described as natural and/or human activity can equally well be described as originating and continually being sustained by the sovereign will of God.

In the concluding chapter of the book the author states some basic presuppositions that members of the scientific community tacitly indwell (Polanyi's terminology) as they pursue their scientific work. He also lists some basic presuppositions tacitly held by members of the theological community and then points out that these sets of presuppositions from the two different fields are analogous to one another. The author's discussion would be strengthened if he had pointed out that the basic presuppositions of science listed: nature is real, orderly or rational, and understandable (in part) are all derivable consequences of the character of the biblical God. The God of the Bible, the creator and sustainer of the universe, is fully rational and therefore is completely trustworthy and dependable.

Science was born in a culture that first believed in God's dependability in the moral realm and then felt it natural to look for God's dependability in the physical realm. Science, from this viewpoint, can be looked upon as the successful exploitation by man, made in the creator-God's image, of God's rational faithfulness in creating and continually sustaining the physical universe. Also it would be helpful if a fourth basic presupposition were added to both lists, scientific and theological. Scientists tacitly act as if the universe is contingent, that is, nature must be experimented with in order to discover its laws for they could be otherwise; i.e., physical laws cannot be derived from a prioir necessitarian reasoning. This presupposition is a natural consequence of the analogous theological presupposition that the creator-God is free in all that He does.

The book has one serious fault, Each chapter should have a list of references so that a serious layman (say a high school teacher) could find detailed documentation for the material presented in the book. This is particularly important if the book is to be used in a school setting. As an example, the book very nicely (and correctly in my opinoin) summarized the strengths and weaknesses of the theory of biological evolution, but the interested reader has no documentation to refer to if he or she wants to check the validity of the author's statements or wants to pursue one strength or weakness in more detail.

If chapter references are provided (either by a supplementary bibliography or in a second edition of the book) I would consider the book very useful for college courses concerned with the integration of science and the JudaeoChristian faith. The book would also be quite suitable for use in adult public school courses on the science/religion interface as well as church school classes (Sunday School).

Hoping that a second edition includes chapter references I highly recommend this book particularly to laypeople attempting to reconcile their Christian faith with science. The author's approach will help them avoid many mistaken notions that currently are causing much unnecessary and fruitless controversy between advocates of scientific and religious perspectives, i.e., the teaching of both evolution and fiat creation as scientific theories in the public schools. The book would also be valuable to scientists who are open to the possiblity that the Judaeo-Christian religion is not an enemy of science but rather provides a complementary way of understanding human experience with respect to this complex yet magnificently ordered universe.

I noticed recently that a college bookstore at a major institute of science and technology was selling magazines on astrology; science seen as a rational endeavor appears to be losing its appeal even to possible future scientists and engineers. Scientists concerned about this trend should be encouraged to find, as this books points, out, that the Judaeo-Christian religion is an ally of all rational activity. Indeed the book gently reminds the scientist that he, as a man, is made in the creator-God's image and is therefore called upon to the best of his ability to seek truth by rational exploration of nature, God's creation, and as a good steward to provide leadership in seeing that this hardearned knowledge is used responsibly for the benefit of all God's creation.

The book concludes with the interesting and very helpful suggestion that many controversies between science and religion come about because human beings tend to limit God unduly in their thinking. If heeded, this viewpoint can do much to restore a truly meaningful dialogue between the scientific and religious communities.

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

THE CASE FOR LIBERAL CHRISTIANITY by Donald E. Miller, San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1981, 160 pg., $8.95.

This is the first major volume by a well known sociologist of religion at the University of Southern California. It is his attempt to make a literate statement relating his own religious pilgrimage to his sociological understanding. For those who know him, it is a stirring witness to the strong integrity of his faith and his commitment to the social sciences. He states that the volume is directed toward three audiences: those who have dropped out of the Christian church thinking the Christian faith intellectually indefensible; those seeking meaning and purpose but who have not yet found an adequate path to trod; and those religious educators seeking a context within which to nurture Christian identity among their students. I think he speaks to those of us who have maintained our Christian identities through the exigencies of religious experiences, life enigmas, and graduate education. To us he speaks in terms that lucidly clarify what we have always believed but only haltingly affirmed, namely, that there is mystery we cannot comprehend, a community that claims us, and a truth that is real in spite of its cultural embodiment. I, for one, could not put this book down. It spoke to my own struggle and said for me what I have not been able to say for myself.

Miller's prime contention is that action in community is the way to reclaim faith. Rationality did not, and will not, lead him, or others, back to the faith. Experience will. But it is a certain type of experience that Miller affirms. It is not contentless mysticism or conventional conversion that provides the missing conviction. It is ritual and participation. Miller writes poignantly of his decision to become a part of a local Christian community (in this case a nearby Episcopal Church) during the time that he was seeking to recapture the vitality of the Christian faith in which he had been reared. More interestingly, he decided that he would participate regularly in that act which was least defensible from a rational point of view, namely the Holy Communion. Further, he decided to repeat the creeds even when he did not fully comprehend their meaning and in spite of having no sure way to prove them. All of this behavior began to make sense to him in social scientific terms. He believed strongly in the social construction of reality and in the importance of world view for identity formation. He experienced his sociology come alive in his own life. He reports that now he worships regularly and sincerely without any need to question the creeds or to explain the Eucharist or to prove the truth of the Christ event. He accepts and participates - with an informed sociological understanding of his behavior.

The book is divided into three sections which evolve from the basic confessional statement noted above. The first section is entitled 'Commitment beyond Belief" and includes discussions of the issue of truth embodied in human forms such as creeds and communities, the nature of faith as "troubled" (meaning unproven but necessary) commitment, and a statement of what concerns such a "liberal" Christian should have. The second section is entitled "Constructing Identity" and includes discussions of Christian life style, the moral importance of worship, countering contemporary culture through spiritual discipline, how community functions, the nature of Christian education and going beyond moral impotence. The last section is entitled "Christian Identity in Contemporary Society" and includes discussions of therapeutic morality, secularization, and theology.

The second section might be understood as practical while the third section is theoretical. Those educated Christians (Kierkegaard's cultured despisers) who have abandoned the church and who prefer to make social comment will find little to cheer about in the practical discussion of what it means to have "faith" in Miller's second section. Here he reaffirms his confidence that truth is grounded in social reality and that the social reality in which Christian truth is true is that of the Christian church. He further asserts that worship implies ethics. Life style and commitment are important issues for him and bystander investment will not suffice.

The third section is a comment on individualism, tribalism, secularization, noninvolvement, and theological imperialism. Humanistic psychologists who too easily equate individual fulfillment with Christian salvation will not be happy with his critique. Secular Christians, be they blandly accepting or sophisticatedly critical, will not find solace in his call for keen insight into how culture obviates values. Finally, his not so gentle critique of theological obscurantism will not be welcomed by those who separate religion from faith. He notes that this is an artificial and arbitrary distinction which simply isolates theologians and calls for mutual dialogue between the social sciences and theology.

All in all, this is a valuable volume, As I stated before, I found myself identifying with the author's pilgrimage. Perhaps the book would have been stronger had he retained a personal stance throughout-even in the last section. At times the verve of the early confessional material was missing. Nevertheless, the comment is invaluable and the volume is commended to all those who would care to read a committed comment from a faithing intellectual that is slightly different from that of the more orthodox tomes so current today.

Reviewed by H. Newton Malony, Professor of Psychology, Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California