Science in Christian Perspective

Book Reviews

PSCF Reviews for September 1986


REALITY AND SCIENTIFIC THEOLOGY by T. F. Torrance, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh (1985); in U.S., Longwood Publishing Group, 51 Washington Street, Dover, NH 03820. 212 pages. Cloth; $24. 00.
THE GALILEO CONNECTION: Resolving Conflicts between Science and the Bible
by Charles E. Hummel. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1986). 293 pages. Paper; $8.95.
THE FOURTH DAY: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation by Howard J. Van Till. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1986). 280 pages. Paperback.
CREATION REGAINED: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview by Albert M. Wolters. Eerdman's (1985). 98 pages. Paperback; $7.95.
GALILEO AND HIS SOURCES: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science
by William A. Wallace. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 08540 (1984). 371 pages.
THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST by Thomas F. Torrance. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1983). 108 pages. Paper; $6.95.
TRANSFORMATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE FRAME OF KNOWLEDGE by Thomas F. Torrance. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 355 pages. Cloth; $24.95.
EVERYMAN REVIVED: The Common Sense of Michael Polanyi by Drusilla Scott. The Book Guild of Lewes, 25 High Street, Lewes, Sussex, England (1985). ISBN #0-86322-077-5. L9.25 (UK).
METAPHOR AND RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE by Janet Martin Soskice. Oxford University Press (1985). 191 pages.
THE CHRISTIAN STORY by Gabriel Fackre, rev. ed. William B. Eerdmans (1984). 319 pages.
by Bob Goudzwaard. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515. 115 pages. Paper; $4.95.
THE STRESS MYTH: Why the Pressures of Life Don't Have to Get You Down by Richard E. Ecker. Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press (1985). 131 pages. $4.95.

REALITY AND SCIENTIFIC THEOLOGY by T. F. Torrance, Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh (1985); in U.S., Longwood Publishing Group, 51 Washington Street, Dover, NH 03820. 212 pages. Cloth; $24. 00.

Reality and Scientific Theology is the first volume in a series on Theology and Science at the Frontiers of Knowledge, edited by Professor Torrance. Later volumes in the series are planned, written by scientists and theologians, on the same general subject. The two major themes of this volume are stated in the title: reality, and scientific theology. This book gathers up the many aspects of theological and philosophical thought which Professor Torrance has devoted to these subjects and brings them together in a concerted statement of what we may call a "proper direction" for Christian theology, both in its temper and in its self-understanding.

There are six long chapters in the book, each dealing with one major aspect of the overall themes. Professor Torrance has given a good summary of the aim of each in the preface to the volume, and again in a more expanded statement at the beginning of each chapter itself. These opening statements are among the most helpful passages in the book.

This reviewer found that the chapters, though necessarily unitary, were generally too long to master in a single sitting; this book needs scholarly hard work to be really understood. I find I have formed a clearer impression of conclusions and main points on a second reading of some sections. Readers should pay attention to any enumerated points or statements in the chapters as these often demarcate most clearly the essential conclusions of what has gone before. This is not a book for the novice; only those who have struggled in a working context with the problems the author discusses, and who have read at least modestly in the topic areas, will appreciate what he is saying at all. Yet for those who will take the trouble, have a concern with and some understanding of the issues raised, this is a thought-provoking and stimulating work. I do not find Professor Torrance's style easy to follow; the stream of his thought is both broad and deep and there is a tendency to tell us more about the full complexity of an issue in a given sentence than we can possibly absorb. Yet (as another reviewer of an earlier Torrance work had said, using the same metaphor) there are pools of limpid clarity and profound depth to which one keeps coming. For me this makes the struggle with the less clear and stylistically turbulent sections of his work worthwhile.

This reviewer is not a professionally trained theologian but a working scientist, though as a Christian concerned with the same theme of reality, I have a very great concern with epistemology in both science and theology. It takes awhile for the scientist to appreciate the breadth of a serious theologian's concerns; we are so used to limiting ours.

What is Reality and Scientific Theology about? As readers of his earlier works will know, Professor Torrance believes deeply in the legitimacy and very great significance of modern science as the pursuit of truth, the knowledge of an intelligible reality whose creator is God. This realist epistemology and philosophy is especially significant at the present time when modern Western thought is fragmented and in crisis because of a radical dualism concerning truth, reality and our knowledge; when we find existentialism, operationalism, and a whole host of other subtle forms of egocentrism contesting the very existence of objective truth at all, not only in the dominant modern theologies but indeed in all of culture, including natural science. Professor Torrance believes, as this reviewer does, that 1) the problems in theology and in culture, including science, are one and the same problem, 2) there are important principles regarding the nature of reality and our relation to it, including the epistemological issues involved in human knowledge of the truth, which can and must be learned from the emergence of modern science as a way of discovering reality, and 3) it is Christian theology's proper direction to develop and apply these same principles to its own task as the "science of God." It is to the development and implications of such a "scientific theology" that this book is devoted. Professor Torrance stands to some extent quite alone in this working vision of the proper goal of theology-misunderstood alike by the essentially non-Christian movements of modern existentialist and liberal theology which deny the objective reality or intelligibility of divine revelation, and by many of the orthodox Christian theological traditionalists who cling to versions of Platonism, rationalism, scholasticism and other accretions to Christian thought acquired in the medieval period as though these rational and logical systems, rather than God in His self - revealing Word, were the basis of the truth.

What has motivated Professor Torrance's thinking about scientific" theology is the evident authority and truth in the whole way of knowing reality we have learned in the tradition of the physical sciences, a tradition which indeed springs from a fundamentally biblical impulse at the break up of the medieval period. (This has sometimes made him sound very unrealistic to those who can see the assertion of human autonomy and pride in the scientific tradition phrases like "man the priest of creation" tend to make some wonder if the author thought salvation were cultural. Yet one must understand that Torrance is speaking of things as they ought to be-as they could be if men were in the will of God.) But it is to us who believe, and not to mere novelty-seekers, that Torrance really speaks. We who are also in love with the beauty and truth of science as the knowledge of God's created reality are in a position to appreciate the point he is making; we should master the critical ideas emphasized as well. Among my Christian colleagues in science I find a growing awareness that the principles we have learned about knowing truth in nature do have a bearing on our attitude to the nature of truth and knowledge in Christian theology. To such people, Torrance's work, studied seriously, can be helpful, for we need to contribute to creative change in the attitudes to theological truth which mark the contemporary Church.

Throughout the book readers will identify the themes which motivate it: that both natural science and theology are disciplines which refer to an objective reality beyond ourselves; that these two realities are not unrelated to each other, but have correlatives and consistency arising from the fact that God is the Creator of all things; that as creatures we are necessarily involved in a knowledge which is creaturely and personal (Professor Torrance's sympathy for and understanding of Michael Polanyi's epistemology of personal knowledge is evident in the book); above all that in both science and theology the realities which have their foundation in God do have the capacity to shape our understanding and our formalizations if we practice a proper methodology, a biblically based methodology, for discovering and holding truth. This is what Dr. Torrance means by "scientific" theology.

Emphasis is placed by Professor Torrance upon a rigorous intellectual discipline of theology-a discipline like that marking the physical sciences. Leaving aside those for whom such a conception is unacceptable a priori (because their view of theology is existentialist), or those who identify that discipline purely in formal, scholastic terms, this emphasis is also difficult for those of us whose concern with theology is not "professional" but deeply personal. Christians who are scientists often tend to the feeling that the sacred is hardly the proper object of mental scrutiny, or at least that the primary emphasis should be placed on personal commitment in piety and practice as the ground of any intellectual formulations we acquire. This instinct at its root is sound, and careful attention to what Professor Torrance is saying will show that he also emphasizes this foundation in the personal for the theologian. However, I think what is back of the often repeated call for rigorous discipline is Professor Torrance's awareness, shared by some of us, that theology-especially conservative, orthodox theology-has had a tendency to remain within its own very isolated confines and to pay little or no attention to developments in thinking outside its own assumptions. This should and must change if we are to offer significant intellectual guidance to a world whose thought is in crisis. Too often the response to culture has been ignorant and philosophically superficial-containing more anathemas than analysis.

Professor Torrance I s appreciation, as a theologian, of advances in modern physics such as quantum theory or relativity is necessarily not always a highly technical one. I have found it best when reading his work to look through this appreciation toward a focus on the philosophical or epistemological issue which really concerns him, rather than allowing myself to be distracted by focally attending to occasional imprecisions of his non-technical language. I can only wish I had as good a general grasp of theological history and literature as he does of physics.

The concluding chapter of the book is a revision of an earlier published essay entitled "The Ground and Grammar of Theology." Now called quite appropriately "The Trinitarian Structure of Theology," it sets forth an attempt to understand the dimensions of the personal knowledge we can have of God through His self -revelation in the Persons of the Trinity. I have not read this chapter more than superfically, but it seems to me to be a fitting conclusion to the work, for in it Professor Torrance has given us not only a thoughtful appreciation of the reasons f or the intimately personal language of God's word concerning His own self-disclosure, but also a very good example of what is meant by "scientific theology." Christian readers will have no difficulty in recognizing sound Christian doctrine here, presented at a level fully cognizant of modern culture, its misconceptions and its needs.

I do not find Reality and Scientific Theology easy to read, but I expect to be reading it for a long time to come. Its benefits will come to those willing to give it the effort required.

Reviewed by Walter R. Thorson, Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

THE GALILEO CONNECTION: Resolving Conflicts between Science and the Bible by Charles E. Hummel. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL (1986). 293 pages. Paper; $8.95.

Over the last twenty years there have been a number of different books treating the topic of the interaction between science and the Christian faith, many with particular reference to the creation versus evolution debate. Some have done this from a primarily philosophical perspective, analyzing the nature of science and considering its interaction with theology. Others have done this from a biblical perspective, inquiring as to how the Bible should be interpreted in order to be consistent with its intrinsic nature and purpose. In this book, Hummel enriches the picture by essentially giving a historical overview of the developments in science and the interaction with theology from Aristotle to Einstein, with particular emphasis on the lives and testimonies of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo and Newton, with an epilogue on Pascal. Three-fifths of the book is devoted to this historical treatment, followed by equal portions of space devoted to the interpretation of the Bible, particularly the first chapters of Genesis, and to the interactions between science and theology that have given rise to the creation-science controversy of the past few years.

Hummel, who has advanced degrees in both science and biblical literature, has served as president of Barrington College, and is currently director of faculty ministries for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, is admirably prepared for the task he has chosen. Without enumerating all of the points, it is fair to say that Hummel stands squarely in the center of the informed evangelical position that seeks to do justice both to authentic science and to authentic biblical theology. It is a perhaps trivial but unfortunate anachronism that the publisher has chosen the subtitle with the phrase, "conflicts between science and the Bible," in spite of the fact that Hummel argues strongly for the position that both science and theology are human endeavors.

Hummel is consistently faithful in avoiding the semantic pitfalls that so often characterize discussions of this type. He recognizes that one must understand the nature of scientific description, hypothesis, law, and theory, and he avoids the historical mistakes in relating God's activities to the physical universe: "According to the Bible, God does not 'intervene' in a semi-independent order of nature; nor is he a God-ofthe-gaps working only in cracks and crevices of the universe." Similarly he recognizes the necessity to observe the intrinsic characteristics of the biblical revelation: "Once for all we need to get rid of the deep-seated feeling that figurative speech is inferior to literal language ... we must give up the false antithesis that prose is fact while poetry is fiction.... The historical-cultural approach avoids those problems by explaining the creation days in light of the author's purpose, the literary genre of his message and what it meant to Israel at Mount Sinai."

This book deserves to be read widely. For the nonChristian it will help clear up some of the conceptual and historical caricatures that often obscure this subject, and for the Christian it will provide a balanced view of the nature of scientific and theological inquiry.

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

THE FOURTH DAY: What the Bible and the Heavens Are Telling Us about the Creation by Howard J. Van Till. Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1986). 280 pages. Paperback.

In 1955, Bernard Ramm's The Christian View of Science and Scripture marked the beginning of a modern evaluation of the interaction between science and Christian theology. There were, of course, predecessors such as James Orr, who held with respect both the claims of authentic science and the claims of authentic biblical theolgy, but Ramm's book marks the time when a few evangelical Christians, educated in both modern science and biblical theology, began to formulate the guidelines for their interaction and interpretation in a way that does justice to the integrity and limitations of each. The number of contributors over those thirty years is large, extending alphabetically from Elving Anderson and Ian Barbour to Walter Thorson and Aldert Van der Ziel. In this book Howard Van Till, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College, gives us a succinct and clear presentation of this integrated perspective. It is therefore an important book to have available for the next generation of readers. It describes the principal alternative to the competing nonoptions of "creationism" with its rejection of authentic science, and "naturalism" with its rejection of authentic revelation and theology.

The book is separated into three parts that reflect this spirit of integration. The first five chapters describe the biblical view, the next four chapters the scientific view, and the final three chapters provide an integration of the two views. The author makes it clear that he is writing for "those who want to take both the Bible and the Creation seriously," and he sets forth his task as integrating "these two views (scriptural exegesis and scientific investigation) into a coherent, unified perspective on the cosmos."

Van Till's treatment of the Bible is motivated by the desire to take it seriously, to respect it for what it is, and to respond to it accordingly. Taking the Bible seriously means for him: -1) affirming its true status, 2) respecting its multifaceted character, 3) promoting its proper function, and 4) engaging in a disciplined study of what it has to say." A key to understanding the Scriptures, according to Van Till, is the recognition of its covenantal structure: not only does it have the status of covenant, it also has the form of covenant. In his exposition of sound hermeneutics, he makes clear the basic importance of the purpose of the biblical revelation. "The task of biblical interpretation is to extract the original meaning, God's message or teaching, from the specific event, account, or story as it has been conveyed to us by a particular literary genre."

Van Till recognizes that asking appropriate questions is one of the necessary steps toward taking the Bible seriously. To the question, "what do we learn about stars from the Bible," he answers that we learn about their status. In fact he argues that the status of the material world is the principle question about that material world addressed by the Bible. The answer to the question is that stars are a part of the created world, not gods to be worshipped.

Van Till considers at some length the form and content of biblical references to creation and concludes that "the Creator's work as Governor of his Creation is most frequently portrayed in the form of poetry in which God's actions are presented in highly figurative and anthropomorphic language." He concludes, "The Bible is ascientific; it expresses no interest in either ancient or modern science. It does not speak unscientifically ... nor does it speak antiscientifically ... Rather, it speaks nonscientifically, or ascientifically." The purpose of the Bible is to reveal God's activity in originating, preserving or sustaining, governing, and in providential care. It does not provide us with descriptions of physical properties of mechanisms of the created world, with technical information about its behavior, or with a universal history of cosmic chronology outside of human experience.

In the section of the book on the scientific view, Van Till provides a clear summary of the proper domain and limitations of the scientific method, including the restriction of so-called scientific "explanations" to the realm of correlations between properties and behavior. Then he gives considerable insight into the various types of scientific findings and information that have been accumulated in recent years about the behavior and history of stars-more completely, perhaps, than the average non-technical reader will appreciate. Here he discusses such topics as gravitational collapse, thermonuclear fusion, and stellar genesis, development and death. In the final chapter in this section, the author presents the case for stellar evolution, concluding, "Whether we investigate the properties, behavior, and history of stars, of galaxies, of planets, of radiation, of atomic nuclei, or of space itself, we arrive at the same conclusion: cosmic history is evolutionary in character."

In setting forth the framework for his proposed integration, Van Till sets forth four fundamental principles: 1) recognizing the different kinds of questions we ask about the material world; 2) recognizing that the answers to those questions come from two sources, the Bible and the Creation; 3) being careful to address to each source only those questions that are appropriate for it, and 4) respecting the answers provided by each source. His approach is clearly summarized as follows:

Scriptures present the answers to many important questions about the status, origin, governance, value, and purpose of the universe. Similarly, those of us who want to take the Creation seriously are already aware that honest and competent empirical investigation of the cosmos will provide answers to questions about its physical properties, material behavior, and temporal development. (p. 197)

The tendency for some scientists to obscure the boundaries of the scientific approach and to claim for their own philosophical or religious convictions the authority of authentic science, acts only to confuse the entire dialogue between science and theology.

To achieve his integration Van Till opts for a complementary approach to the insights provided by science and by theology, which he calls "categorical complementarity." When the proper categorical distinctions are observed between scientific and theological descriptions, no contradictions are found.

Van Till devotes a chapter to an analysis of the current forms of the creation/evolution debate, and clearly shows the shortcomings of naturalistic evolution on the one hand, and the pitfalls of special creationism on the other. He concludes that 1) "the concepts of 'creation' and 'evolution' constitute answers to entirely different questions," 2) 11 the contemporary creation/evolution debate is a tragic blunder," and 3)"the authentic debate is the wholly religious antithesis between atheistic naturalism and biblical theism. "

In a final chapter Van Till presents a third option for the interactions that have led to the creation/evolution debate, an option that he labels the "creationomic perspective," summarizing the approaches to integration described earlier, and applying them to several specific issues.

The book is an admirable treatment of all the major science/theology issues involved with the Christian attitude toward creation and evolution. Van Till essentially avoids every pitfall of definition or semantics, and provides for the reader a clear and readily understood summary of the informed evangelical position today: a position dedicated to the upholding of authentic biblical theology and authentic science. The book deserves wide dissemination and attention by both the Christian and the scientific community.

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

CREATION REGAINED: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview by Albert M. Wolters. Eerdman's (1985). 98 pages. Paperback; $7.95.

In the opening chapter Professor Wolters indicates that this book "is simply an appeal to the believer to take the Bible and its teaching seriously for the totality of our civilization right now and not to relegate it to some optional area called religion."' He develops his plea largely around two "orders": 1. structure," which is anchored in creation, and "direction," which designates both the distortion and perversion of creation on the one hand and its restoration and redemption in Christ on the other. His major chapters are, therefore, Creation, Fall, and Redemption. These are followed by a chapter in which, with specific examples, he illustrates how "everywhere the things of our experience begin to reveal themselves as creaturely, as under the curse of sin, and as longing for redemption. "

In his consideration of Creation, Wolters emphasizes that the Scriptures do not limit God's creative activity to his direct involvement in the laws of nature, the nonhuman realm, but they also include God's indirect creativity through His norms established for and through mankind. Thus the worlds of art, business, education, and commerce are part of God's creative norms and not merely secular activities. Creation reveals God's power and concern for all that He had made. (However, "as a message of salvation it is useless." Only "the Scriptures are the story of our sin in Adam and God's forgiving grace in Christ.") The earthly creation prior to Genesis 3 is "very good." Following the fall it should be compared to a healthy newborn child who experiences growth and maturation along with sickness (sin). "The ravages of sin do not annihilate the normative creational development of civilization. " "God does not make junk and he does not junk what he has made."

In his chapter on the fall the author stresses that Adam and Eve's disobedience was not an isolated act but "an event of catastrophic significance for creation as a whole." A major manifestation of this catastrophic event is in the corruption of all human institutions. Although in his discussion of Romans 8:19-22 he states "that the creation in its entirety is ensnared in the throes of antinormativity and distortion," he bypasses any reference to the views of some Christian scholars that all death and sickness - even in plants and animals - is a result of Adam's sin and, therefore, did not exist before the fall. I wish Wolters would have commented on that viewpoint, although I would assume that with his emphasis on the goodness of God's creation from God's perspective that he would not espouse that view.

In the chapter on Redemption, Wolters vividly describes the ongoing work of Christ and the part that should be played by His people in restoring creation. This is not to be a return to the garden of Eden but all human developments should be reformed toward the kingdom of God. He gives a brief but helpful comparison of this "reformational worldview" with other kingdom views: pietism, the institutional church, dispensationalism, liberal Protestantism, and liberation theology.

Chapter 5 is a guide to "discerning structure and direction" and its practical application in sanctification and progressive renewal-the latter in distinct contrast to revolution. He discusses these processes in regard to societal renewal (government, business, education) and personal renewal (agression, spiritual gifts, sexuality, dance).

This book is a challenging discussion of an important series of issues. Some of the ideas were new to me and I found them to be thought-provoking and helpful. I especially appreciated the thoughts relative to the problem of the apparent coexistence of progress and degeneration in human history:

Maturation and deterioration can be so intimately intertwined in reality that only scripturally directed sensitivity to the creational norm ... can hope to discern the difference. Yet it is an absolutely fundamental distinction, and one neglects it only at the peril of failing into either cultural pessimism (which sees only the debilitating effects of sin) or cultural optimism (which sees only the normative development of creational possibilities). (p. 40)

Also noteworthy as a summary of structure and direction are Wolter's statements:

Everywhere creation calls for the honoring of God's standards.
Everywhere humanity's sinfulness disrupts and deforms.
Everywhere Christ's victory is pregnant with the defeat of sin and the recovery of creation." (p. 60)

I recommend this book to even-one who is seriously concerned with the most important interrelationships outlined in the word of God: Creation, Fall, and Redemption and the implications of those interrelationships for the society in which we live today.

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

GALILEO AND HIS SOURCES: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's Science by William A. Wallace. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 08540 (1984). 371 pages.

This is an extraordinarily important and seminal, if demanding, book for understanding in depth the complex relationship of science, philosophy and religion as embodied in Galileo, "the Father of Modern Science" (p. 339). How did Galileo become so? The answer, culled from the evidence assembled in this book, is that he did so by assimilating the scholastic view of scientia taught by the contemporary Jesuit professors of philosophy at the Collegio Romano and creatively adapting it to the mathematical-experimental study of local motion.

Part I details the genesis of Galileo's philosophy of knowledge and of nature through textual analysis and comparison. It analyzes and dates two youthful sets of manuscript Latin notes by Galileo on Logical and Physical Questions (the first composed approximately in 1589 and the second in 1590). It proves that the first was derived from "[Paolo] Valla's course in logic given at the Collegio in 1587-88" (p. 44), while the second was "a cross-section of a body of knowledge that was generally accepted and taught at the Collegio in the last decades of the cinquecento." (p. 95).

Part 11 studies first the ideas about scientia, "that is, knowledge that is certain through causes" (p. 99), and the demonstrative methods contained in Galileo's Logical Questions and compares them with those of the Jesuit professors. Then it systematically explores the main "teachings on motion that were being advanced by the [same] Jesuit professors preparatory to evaluating ... their possible influences on Galileo" (p. 150).

Part III examines all the major writings of Galileo "to document the use he makes of the logical and physical terminology already sketched" (p. 219). Among his youthful works it gives particular attention to a third set of Latin notes by him (dates approximately 1590) where he attempts for the first time to develop a science of motion. By so doing, it proves that "Galileo's earlier treatises on motion were written in continuity with his logical and physical questions" (p. 230). Turning to Galileo's mature writings (i.e., from 1610 on), it examines the development of his philosophical views when he was working to "establish with apodictic certitude the true system of the world" (p. 282) and to "bring his science of motion to its final form" (p. 312).

To exemplify the importance of this book, it sheds impressive light on the existential foundations of science and also clarifies the theological presuppositions and causal character of science itself. To begin with the existential foundations, Galileo repeatedly makes the same unambiguous ontological point in his Logical Questions: science must ultimately rest on effectively existing things known as such (my own translation from the Latin text given in the book):

At the beginning of the acquisition of a science, the actual existence of a thing was necessary, the reason being that every new cognition originates from the senses which deal only with existence ... (p. 37)

Since human sciences concern existing things, one must therefore know about their object whether it is [there], lest they be fictional. (p. 38)

The question whether [something) is [there] is the first among all, requires the actual existence of a thing; therefore, before [examining) the question of bow something is, it is necessary to know whether it is [there]. (p. 38)

Granted that the sciences manifest only that (some] properties may belong to [some] subjects; nevertheless, since they manifest that they [properties] may belong to real subjects, it is therefore necessary to know in advance about the latter whether they really exist. (p. 39)

Mathematics prescinds from any [consideration of] existence when it demonstrates properties [of bodies]; nevertheless, it must know in advance the existence of its subjects because, being a human science, it deals with existing things. (p. 40)

Addressing the theological presuppositions of science, Galileo's position is equally unambiguous: science exists because of the hypothesis of God's fidelity to his creation. In Wallace's synthetical formulation:

Natural science owes the very possibility of its existence to the supposition that God will not miraculously alter the natural order, so that the laws of nature will be continuously operative. (p. 112)

Concerning the causal character of science according to Galileo-versus the empiric-positivistic interpretation-the evidence can be gathered from the long entry on "cause" in the Index. In summary, Wallace puts it well when, contradicting Stillman Drake, be states, "had Galileo rejected causal inquiries, he would have no claim to being the Father of Modern Science" (p. 326, n. 68).

The seminal nature of this book is particularly clear from its last section where Wallace gives "a provisional reconstruction" of what he rightly calls "the novelty of Galileo's contribution" (pp. 338-347). This contribution, which made Galileo the scientist par excellence, was "the reduction of complex natural phenomena to obvious or certifiable principles through the use of quantitative techniques" (p. 339). The greatness of this achievement stands out when one recalls the contemporary philosophical consensus that judged the human study of nature to be inherently limited to "saving the appearances" of phenomena (p. 340) without ever knowing whether the explanation one gave of such phenomena was objectively real or not-thereby making the very notion of natural science a logical impossibility. How did Galileo overcome this obstacle? Excerpting from Wallace's rather involved presentation, we can say that his starting point was the "causal maxims" he bad derived from his Jesuit philosophical mentors, namely.

That every effect has one, true, primary and necessary cause ... that there must be a fixed and constant connection between cause and effect, with the result that any alteration in the one will be traceable to a fixed and constant alteration in the other ... recognition that similar effects have similar causes. (p. 344)

On this basis, Galileo's originality as the founder of science can be essentially reduced to two chief activities:

The first ... a modeling technique to isolate the primary and intrinsic cause of a particular phenomenon. The second ... sup plies a quantitative surrogate for extrinsic causes when these prove refractory to experimental direction. (pp. 343-44)

In other words, by keeping in mind the entire evidence of this book, we can say that Galileo single-handedly originated the approach of scientific discovery by doing two things. in the first place, he boldly thought away from moving bodies all nonessential factors (such as size, resistance of the air, etc.) and thus, by representing them as geometrical entities, he tentatively described their motion by means of precise mathematical formulas. In the second place, he ingeniously devised and performed experiments where he effectively eliminated the influence of such nonessential factors so that, by proving the validity of his formulas, he also by implication proved the objectivity of the explanation he had given of the phenomena themselves.

In brief, this book is seminal because, by providing dramatically new and deep data, it compels the reflective reader to rethink in depth the whole relationship of science, philosophy and religion: Wallace himself closes with some "residual problems" (pp. 347-49). The appended select bibliography will help to that end.

From the above, this book is a clear must for academic libraries and also-despite its relatively high price ($42.50) is to be strongly recommended to serious individual scholars.

Reviewed by Enrico Cantore, Director of World Institute for Scientific Humanism, Fordham University, New York, New York 10023.

THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST by Thomas F. Torrance. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1983). 108 pages. Paper; $6.95.

With this concise book, the distinguished interpreter of Karl Barth to the English-speaking peoples of the world, the Edinburgh theologian and professor Thomas F. Torrance, now retired, presents us with an understanding of a scientific character that plagues Western Civilization. The opening sentence of the book is worth quoting:

From time to time there have arisen in the course of human culture ways of thinking in which aspects of reality that are naturally integrated have been torn apart from each other, with damaging effect indifferent areas of knowledge.

The author then proceeds to explicate those fundamentals with which he thinks we must come to grips if we are going to create that kind of foundation for our thought capable of ordering and structuring the Church's obedience to God so that the wholeness of life in the world is respected. He insists this cannot be achieved by preconceived notions about God or the world. We must have that kind of theology which is capable of questioning all of our suppositions about the nature of the creation and the Creator. Just as Einstein led the scientific culture out of its dualist prejudices about space and time, matter and energy, the Church must witness a reformation truly able to transcend the analytical modes of thought in which she has become trapped and to create a transformation of mind able to express the profound healing and restoration of being for which the world cries out.

This means a deeply integrated way of thinking and being needs to be developed which ref uses to cut off the living Christ from the Church, and the Scriptures and their God from the creation and its creatures. Towards this goal, Torrance has attempted to give to everyone concerned with the Word of God in this world a broad outline entailing those orders by which the mediation of revelation and reconciliation in the Person of Jesus Christ may be apprehended today. To supply this, claims the author, a deeper understanding of the relation between the Church and the history of the Jews must be grasped and its impact upon human thought and culture appreciated appropriately. He writes as follows:

I believe that the inextricable interrelation between God's self-revelation in Jesus and his self-revelation through Israel, and thus the permanent authoritative patterns of understanding which God has forged for us in Israel, require to be reassessed and appreciated by us today in a much deeper way than ever before. (p. 28)

This kind of relational depth to our thinking is a necessity if we are to work out in our modern situations the imperatives of the Redeemer and the Creator of our world. This means we must apprehend anew the meaning of the work and person of Jesus Christ and we must be able as never before to stand under the real significance of His grace and truth, the way He has chosen to bring the light and the life of God to us. Old habits of mind, like those which have conceived of the universe in analytical modes of logically closed systems, must concede the way for new abilities to conceive in depth the realities of our being alive in the world. This newness is a unique necessity if we are to bear and to follow the Word of God in the Creation of God. Torrance understands this as shaking the very foundations of human thought and knowledge. We are experiencing today an earthquake which is necessary to free us from outmoded methodological efforts to know for what we have been made and to give us a fresh outlook upon the kind of future we shall surely see. This means not only painful changes, but deep and profound healing for us all.

For all of us who have experienced, on one level of being or another, the kind of needs that arise in the midst of such quakes, this book will be welcome, not only for its survival techniques, but for its touch with that kind of beauty that is able to move us where we have been most ignored. This little book affirms at last, in the faith of Christ, that there is a response to God by one who has known and overcome the ultimate disaster and evil, a passion by which we have been called to participate in the unspeakable love and joy God has for all those things that He has made.

Reviewed by John McKenna, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California.

TRANSFORMATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE FRAME OF KNOWLEDGE by Thomas F. Torrance. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI (1984). 355 pages. Cloth; $24.95.

The distinguished interpreter of Karl Barth and Edinburgh theologian can be and has been accused of a convolution of style which makes unnecessarily difficult an understanding of the substance of his arguments. Even the title of this collection might put off some people. But we should be reminded that it is with a will that we come to grasp the depths of reality, as Einstein learned when he thought together the compelling nature of light in the world with its matter and energy; and it is with a will that we should attempt to apprehend the content of essays such as these. We live with the orderly structures of a free universe as creatures capable of penetrating into the true nature of the way we have been made to be and unless we will to freely believe that we can overcome our ignorance in order to meaningfully serve the purpose of our existence upon the planet, we will not to understand. These assertions are fundamental to Torrance's arguments; the difficulties they imply, as he shows over and over again throughout these essays, have not enjoyed an easy time of it in the history of the development of thought. No matter how convoluted they might appear, regardless of how difficult they might seem, I have found my efforts to understand them deeply rewarding. Being put off by appearances is not the scientific method and certainly we will not explore the relations between science and theology except with a will that has been humbled by the complexities of our world and the mysterious wonder by which we actually grasp its simplicity.

It is not possible, in a review such as this, to touch upon each of the essays in this collection. Torrance has in his preface given the main thrust of their contents. They are, be says, essays devoted to helping us overcome the dualist assumptions and presuppositions and conceptions which are intrinsic in so much of Western thought about God and the world. We are in the midst of experiencing the shaking of such foundations, where a transformation of epistemological theory has occurred, and we find true knowledge of the actual relations in the way the world is pointing us beyond ourselves to the light and the love of God Himself. I would simply like to concentrate my attention upon one of the essays which has been especially helpful to me.

Chapter two is entitled "The integration of Form in Natural and in Theological Science." In it, Torrance shows how categories of thought introduced into Christian theology through the use of Aristotelian science developed in such a manner as to create a profound dichotomy between empirical experience and sensible knowledge, and intelligible and theoretical experience and knowledge. In this split, at the heart of the way we conceive ourselves to be in this world, and the way we know things outside of ourselves, we discover the source of the abstract ways of thinking and the subjectivities which can conceive unreal relations between human consciousness and what actually is. Along with the development of such unreal relations came both the inertial views inherent in Newtonian mechanics and the split between natural theology and revealed theology in Catholic and Protestant dogma. However, since the work of James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein, this split has been overcome and we have had demonstrated to us the epistemological unity intrinsic to a proper relation between theory and experience. This has meant the affirmation of the wholeness of being and the value of the free use of imagination and intuition under the discipline of the compelling nature of reality as we seek to understand what we believe-that the rationality of the world is real. Torrance argues that this split has been indicated by the dichotomies which have tormented the isolation of the arts and humanities from the scientific culture of our society. The transformations and the convergences into a unitary outlook to which Torrance would point us mean the healing and the restoring of relations which have escaped our attention and suffered in the dichotomies which have paralyzed our ability to integrate the diversities of our civilization.

Fundamental to this development is the way the classical Greek Fathers of the Church sought to overcome the epistemological dualisms of the pagan cultures and to root the Gospel in the realities of the Creation. In their belief in the one triune God revealed by the Creator and Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ, the Fathers posited for confession the hypostatic union of the Word of God and the flesh of man. They committed themselves to unifying through thought the doctrines of creation and incarnation. This meant that Greek views of space and time and matter and energy were attacked, as the cosmos was revealed to be a contingent and uniquely free created reality whose rationality was profoundly dependent upon the rationality of God Himself. That is to say, the nature of God and the nature of the world were ultimately bound up with the nature of Christ. It was in the Word of God come as man into the world that one was to find the rational source of the cosmos. In this way, the Fathers struggled to establish an integrative mode of thinking, capable at once of apprehending both the form and substance of the world and the nature of God, that was truly appropriate to what actually was the case. We should see in this, claims Torrance, how the Judeo-Christian tradition is in fact the real basis from which a true scientific culture can be nourished. It is therefore in the relationship between theology and science that we can expect to find our deliverance from the disintegration in modern culture and the restoration of our experience from the alienated passions which mark our tormented society.

Is this too convoluted for our attention? Is it too difficult? Or is it essential for our development and our grasp of the future? For those of us who have suffered in the fragmented character of our torn society, it is essential that we try. Personal life and the march of civilization, if they remain at odds with one another, will cause such violent confrontations between peoples and archaic ways of thinking that all of us will feel the effects. We who have been lifted up out of our alienation from God must insist that the personal level of reality be respected anew, and that its integration and commitment be shaped by the real love of Almighty God. Is this not possible? Then, it seems, the world itself is not possible.

Torrance ends this collection of essays with a discussion of immortality and the light of God, in which the light of the world is employed to ref lect on a created level the faithfulness and the constancy of the passion of God f or the Creation. Beyond his immutability and his impassibility is his wonderful ability to care for us in such a way that we are made to understand that our nature is bound up with His passion. Under the compelling truth of the Word of God, we can learn what is truly human and we can become what we ought to become and we can reflect the reality that God is light. Forever will come in this way to us, and in no other. This constitutes good reason, I think, to accept the challenge and to attempt to understand. I do not believe the one who does so will be disappointed.

Reviewed by John McKenna, 455 Ford Place #3, Pasadena, CA 91101.

EVERYMAN REVIVED: The Common Sense of Michael Polanyi by Drusilla Scott. The Book Guild of Lewes, 25 High Street, Lewes, Sussex, England (1985). ISBN #0-86322-077-5. L9.25 (UK).

The ideas of Michael Polanyi about a "philosophy of personal knowledge" are not just another option in the vast array of inadequate philosophies of science; they are a radical critique of those philosophies, aimed at restoring a sane and balanced understanding of our knowledge as person. More important, Polanyi's critique is not a denial of objectivity as is often superficially stated. On the contrary it is a constructive achievement: Polanyi shows us that knowledge which is personal can indeed be objective, because it involves responsible commitment to a reality which exists independent of our knowledge of it-in which alone that objectivity can be properly grounded. Anyone who thinks about it will realize that this conclusion reopens in its widest terms the question of religious meaning in human life, and that in particular it is compatible with the affirmations of biblical religion concerning faith and a true knowledge of God. Scientific knowledge then can take its proper place as a valid but limited way of knowing reality within a many levelled structure of knowledge held by persons in a free society. Such a healing of the philosophical schizophrenia of the modern Western mind was Polanyi's concern from the outset.

As a Christian and a physical scientist concerned with making whole sense of my knowledge both of scientific truth and of the God revealed in Jesus Christ, I have striven for some years to show students in seminars on philosophy of science and religion why Polanyi's thought is so very critical to our time. For myself and others who are able to read Polanyi's work Personal Knowledge because we share as scientists his experience of how science really works, this has not usually been a difficult task. As Drusilla Scott has so aptly described it in the Preface to Everyman Revived, we were able to "walk joyously into Polanyi's philosophy as into a long-lost home." But for those who did not belong to the scientific subculture, there has always been a difficulty, arising partly from commitments to rigid frameworks of presupposition about philosophy or theology, and partly from lack of experience with scientific truth in any significant way; this made it very difficult for them to believe that Polanyi's thinking could possibly have the radical and essential importance which in fact it does have for our time.

Drusilla Scott's brilliantly written book has changed all this. I expect that from now on it will be possible for me to make very clear indeed just why Polanyi's thinking is important, and to do so for that very important majority of people who are not scientists or philosophy students, but "everyman" and .. everywoman" in the sense of her book's title. Lady Scott brings to her work not the experience of the scientist proper, but a full appreciation of Polanyi's thought and its relation to almost all the major idols of contemporary philosophy and culture-imposing figures such as Russell, Popper, Quine, Ayer, Kuhn in the philosophy of science-and an exceptional gift for making clear how and why Polanyi's work shows their whole approach is lacking or distorted or wrong in relation to the truth about persons and knowing. In the Preface, she modestly says that her immediate lack of technical knowledge as a scientist "may be an advantage of a sort, if I can show that without much science it is possible to get an idea of what Polanyi is after and how it could change our outlook." In my opinion she has succeeded splendidly in this task.

I am currently reading Drusilla Scott's book for the third time and enjoying her clarifying insights into the significance of Polanyi's thought for topic areas about which I as a physical scientist have known very little. I had reached certain conclusions on my own account about certain problems in philosophy, politics and culture; it has been very good to see them even more clearly set out by Lady Scott's beautifully lucid writing. Moreover, Everyman Revived is enjoyable just for its superb style, in some ways as much poetry as prose. I have seldom enjoyed anything so much as her wickedly effective satire of the analytic philosophers through telling epigrams and illustrative stories. The best of it is that her satire is truthful and accurate.

For readers of this journal, Everyman Revived will have two additional merits:

1) Though we are scientists, not many of us have thought or read widely about serious philosophy; many either are afraid of the philosophers or ignore them as irrelevant. Unfortunately neither attitude is justified. Drusilla Scott's book will bring those readers who find themselves in such states of mind to a sensible and useful appraisal of the importance of philosophy as well as its errors.

2) The author is keenly interested in the relevance of these matters to Christian belief, which she shares with us. She believes as I do that a consistent understanding of knowledge as personal brings us back to biblical faith in its fullest sense, faith in a God who is the source of all reality.

This book will stand high on my assigned reading list for all future study programs on epistemology and philosophy.

Reviewed by Walter R. Thorson, Professor of Chemistry, University of Alberta; Adjunct Professor, Philosophy of Science, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

METAPHOR AND RELIGIOUS LANGUAGE by Janet Martin Soskice. Oxford University Press (1985). 191 pages.

One may wonder why a review of a book on this subject should be submitted to the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. Beyond the book's being helpful to Christians in their apologetic to sceptics is the fact that Dr. Soskice enters the territory of religious language by comparing the use of model and metaphor in science with their use in the Christian religion.

After several chapters dealing with classical and modern philosophic accounts of metaphor and its relation to other tropes, such as simile and parable, the author gives a penetrating analysis of metaphor and model in science, leading to a devastating critique of philosophic emotivism and the logical positivism that stands behind it. She makes a strong case for a type of realism that considers talk about God to be reality depicting.

We may justly claim to speak of God without claiming to define him, and to do so by means of metaphor. Realism accomodates figurative speech which is reality depicting without claiming to be directly descriptive. (p148)

This is possible only when there is 1) experience (the Christian, just as the scientist, does experience something), 2) a community of peers that provides a context for the experience, and 3) an interpretive tradition. Each of these is indispensibly present in both science and religion. Both of these traditions thus grow in knowledge because, while getting at conceptualizations that convey truth, they both admit the possibility of error. For example, mystics may be in whole or part mistaken about their encounter with God ' as may scientists about their convictions about black holes. In this way the author links the epistemic destiny of scientific talk (which positivists idolize) and god-talk (which they dismiss as nonsense).

"Christianity is indeed a religion of the book ... whose sacred texts are chronicles of experience, armouries of metaphor, and purveyors of an interpretive tradition" (p 160). Dr. Soskice adds provocatively to our understanding of the relation of language to our search for insight into two of God's 11 texts": the physical universe and the biblical corpus. Thus she helps us to know more about Him who is truth itself.

We who follow science while holding to the faith will glean much from this book, which is not only thorough in scholarship but crisply elegant in style.

Dr. Soskice is tutor in philosophy at Ripon College, Oxford University, located in Cuddesdon, England.

Reviewed by Dr. James Walter Gustafson, Professor of Philosophy, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, MA 01830

THE CHRISTIAN STORY by Gabriel Fackre, rev. ed. William B. Eerdmans (1984). 319 pages.

Gabriel Fackre, Professor of Theology at Andover Newton Theological Seminary, has revised and updated his 1978 book of the same title. He presents an introduction to systematic theology in narrative form as a biography of God. He adopts the narrative form in order to show the drama and dynamism of what God is doing in the world. The Christian Story has a plot, with beginning and end. It deals with concrete history in which real struggles take place, and in which the final victory will be achieved by active and painful involvement.

The Introduction, fifty-five pages in length, lays a foundation for the rest of the book. In it narrative theology is defined and described, The story line which Fackre adopts is set forth in outline form, which will later give the chapter headings for the rest of the book-Creation, Fall, Covenant, Jesus Christ, Church, Salvation and Consummation. To these he adds a Prologue and an Epilogue, both of which deal with God.

Also in the Introduction, he deals with questions of truth and authority, and establishes a motif/metaphor for his presentation of the Christian story in our generation. He regards the Bible as authoritative, insisting that the story told therein must be empirically true in order to be valid as a statement of faith. "The Christian Story is not just a statement of who we are, but an af f irmation about the way things really are. It makes truth claims" (p. 40). He does not, however, see the Bible as inerrant, and cites the stoning of blasphemers, and the reference to sheol as our destiny after death, as examples of "earthiness" in the Bible, elements which "cannot be accepted" (p. 46). On the whole, however, he seems to take the Scriptures at face value, as truthful and authoritative.

The motif /metaphor utilized is of vision. This is done in part because it is a way of "translating" the ancient story in our context, where visual images are very important, So Creation is an expression of God's vision, Jesus Christ is the true visionary, and eschatology is the fulfillment of God's vision. The content of this vision, in the world marred by sin and evil, is liberation and reconciliation, a restoration and consummation of God's vision in every area of life.

There is a satisfying unity and balance in Fackre's work. In the Introduction and Prologue be establishes certain themes, which are played out in subsequent chapters in such a way that there is a sense of new discovery while building on points previously established. Since he is drawing on the Christian community to tell the "Story," Fackre often quotes other writers from various periods of church history. He maintains a popular style, with limited documentation. Though his treatment of the issues raised is serious, he avoids technical and complicated argumentation.

In addition to the balance in the design of his book, and in his style of writing, Fackre achieves a balanced position theologically. He steers a middle course between extremes in almost all the questions be discusses. So the main value of this book does not lie in discovering new truth, but in its restatement, in current idiom, of the truth recognized by Christians in successive generations. It can serve as a helpful model for those interested in relating the Gospel cross-culturally, as well as for those seeking fresh ways to present the Gospel within their own culture.

Fackre considers this as an introductory volume, which he intends to follow up with a series related to the chapter titles. Since this book reveals his skill in telling the Christian Story in a clear and gripping way, I look forward to the further volumes.

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

IDOLS OF OUR TIME by Bob Goudzwaard. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 60515. 115 pages. Paper; $4.95.

Not long ago I became convicted of the truth of the statement that ideology is always the enemy of truth. This little book by Bob Goudzwaard, former member of the Dutch parliament and Professor of Economics at the Free University in Amsterdam, has been translated from the original 1981 Dutch version; it is pure dynamite in exposing the skeletons of our popular ideologies, If the Christian Church understood what Goudzwaard has to say, took it seriously, and put it into practice, the consequence would be an explosion in the Christian community that would spill over and enrich all the rest of the world. It is remarkable that Goudzwaard has in so few words and pages given the subject a clarity that can have no authentic response except reformation and incarnation.

In eight brief chapters Goudzwaard exposes the illusions under which Western society, and in large measure Western Christianity, has been living. We have made gods, he argues, of economic growth, technological development, the advance of the applied sciences and the expansion of the state, only to find that these gods, have betrayed us. As a consequence we reap the results of idolatry, the inevitable correlate of ideology. And yet he does not suppose that somehow the enemy is identical with these tangible concerns; he is quick to point out that "The real enemy lies within ourselves."

He focusses on four main ideologies that serve as substitutes for biblical religion. These are the ideologies of revolution, nation, material prosperity and guaranteed security. Having erected these idols for our own worship, we find instead that we are the servants of these idols, with fear as the inevitable consequence. His dissection of the nature of an ideology is crisp and telling, focussed on the realization that an ideology takes root whenever the end becomes more important than the means, so that any means may be considered legitimate in the pursuit of the end. His fierce antagonism to such idolatries arises because he meets "an imitation Christianity in a genuine, full-fledged ideology."

Goudzwaard uses the communist ideology to illustrate the ideology of revolution (although he does not overlook other forms such as the Palestine Liberation Organization or any other groups that may arise in the presence of oppression and violence in our society). He uses the nationalist ideology of South Africa to illustrate the ideology of nation, but is equally sensitive to the possibility that even North America could fall victim to such an ideology in the defense of authority. He uses the shortcomings of the Welfare State to pinpoint his critique of the ideology of material prosperity; it is a situation where we face crisis ahead.

If we embrace all forms of technological and economic progress and at the same time curtail foreign aid, remove all environmental restrictions, submit to the blackmail of the oil-producing countries and accept weapons from wherever they come-all for the sake of maintaining and expanding our economic achievements-then the prosperity ideology will certainly become full-fledged and absolute. (p. 58, 59)

Finally he turns his attention to the ideology of guaranteed security in a world constantly building armaments in order to assure this security. The whole story of the waging of war has undergone such radical changes that today even Christians are likely to feel that "Biblical norms are very nice, but they must not hinder the progress toward prosperity and peace." The blind continuing arms race is unmistakable evidence of a complete security ideology. Goudzwaard's response is as simple as it is profound: "Either we give biblical norms priority and relativize our goals or we give our goals priority and relativize biblical norms."

Ideologies are all the more sinister since one or more often act in concert to accentuate and accelerate one another. Furthermore, Christians often express hesitation or reluctance about such ideologies, but in the practical matters of everyday life, we all too often give them our total support.

In spite of this bitterly realistic analysis of our situation, Goudzwaard disclaims the role of prophet of doom. Instead his final chapter is entitled, "Hope Awakens Life." Such hope is possible for the author and for us only because of Jesus Christ: "the only escape possible is in and through the cross of our suffering and prevailing Messiah." In order to provide a first step for the Christian out of this ideological morass, Goudzwaard offers the simple choice of enough rather than the continuing choice of "more and more": enough weapons; enough consumption; an end to our preoccupied dedication to our ideologies of nation, security and prosperity that so dominate the Western world.

Could any other future choice do more for the healing of the world than such choices advocated, acted out and demonstrated by Christians serving their risen and victorious Lord? "Defenseless and on display, the Messiah defeated them and triumphed over them publicly." Either this is the central message of the Christian Gospel and it provides the basis and the guide for our hope, or the Christian message is a fraud, a pious construction doomed to serve other ideologies.

Don't read this book unless you are prepared to take a new and radical look at your Christian life. Don't pass this book along to others unless you expect some startling reactions and changes. Don't dig into this book and begin to take its message seriously unless you want to stand your own Christian life on its head, inject new life and vitality into the life of your church, and come to understand what it means to serve the suffering but victorious Lord.

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

THE STRESS MYTH: Why the Pressures of Life Don't Have to Get You Down by Richard E. Ecker. Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press (1985). 131 pages. $4.95.

As a chemistry teacher, wife, and mother-of-four, I was eager to read this book, in order to learn how stress could be mythical. Essentially, Ecker's approach in this delightfully concise book is to consider stress not as an action from the world but as a reaction within one's own body, not as an external cause but as an internal, personalized effect.

By employing a physiological definition of stress, which includes such quantifiable criteria as increased arterial pressure and increased muscle glycolysis, Ecker maintains that a stress myth exists because the true, physiological definition of stress has been lost in an abundance of alternative definitions. With the underlying premise of stress internalization, Ecker leads the reader from a stress profile (I scored as an "active," moderately-high-stress personality) to a consideration of stress as a modifiable response, one in which self-image as the image of God plays a prominent role in establishing a "stability structure" for each individual. Ecker recommends a lifelong process of stress-prevention, using his twelve " Ecker's Laws" and six consecutive stress-prevention steps, with the entire process being considered not primarily a matter of behavior, but a matter of faith. As examples of his theory put into practice, Ecker offers chapters on handling stress in marriage, parenting, and the workplace.

Rejecting the conclusions of the eminent stress researcher, Hans Selye (because Selye's work was done with rats-"Just because people frequently behave like rats, doesn't mean they have no other options. "), Ecker insists on each individual's personal responsibility for his own stress. I am not totally convinced; I suspect that the full picture of human stress lies somewhere between the polar conclusions of Selye and Ecker. My other minor problem with the book was that the appendix on diet and stress needs to be reworked to include the recent, relevant glycemic-index research on carbohydrates.

However, Ecker's major contribution-to remind us of our own roles in personal stress-prevention-is an encouraging word for a tense, angry, hair-trigger society: to the extent that stress is self -perceived and self-promoted, to that extent it can also be self-controlled, even prevented.

Reviewed by Irmgard K. Howard, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Houghton College, Houghton, New York.