Science in Christian Perspective
Symposium on Education
Dr. Wilbur L. Bullock
University of New Hampshire
JASA 3 (June 1951): 1-11
The problem of education., particularly higher education, is a very diverse problem and one on which I think there are a variety of opinions in this group, We therefore may use this occasion as a time of expressing our opinions. I don't think we are particularly inhibited around here about expressing our opinions and that Is very good.
Education has a variety of definitions. One of my favorites is, "Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the ignorant by the Incompetent." or,, as one other writer has put it, "Those who can., do. Those who can't., teach." And then somebody else has added to the last one, "But then those who can't teach, teach teachers." So we have some very uncomplimentary remarks on the subject of education and I suspect that most of us here in the American Scientific Affiliation have had some very nasty remarks to make about modern education whether from a Christian point of view or just from a scientific point of view. The problems that we have in considering Christian higher education are very diverse and I would like to tentatively outline a few of them. First, let us consider the two groups and second, specific problems.
The general problems are problems of attitude. There is a profound difference in attitude or point of view between Christian and non-Christian teachers. We find that the non-Christian attitude is the attitude of naturalism. our attitude-although maybe some of our discussions here in these meetings have not indicated it too clearly--our attitude is to rely at least in certain fields upon supernaturalism. We do not believe that all things can be interpreted on the basis of naturalistic lave. Modern education is a materialistic education as compared to the general spiritual outlook of Christianity. And then, perhaps the most important difference of all is that modern education is man-centered, the humanistic type of approach, whereas the Christian education is or at least should be, a God-centered education. Those of you who are familiar with the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Catechisms know that the first question in one of them Is, "What is the chief end of man?" "The chief end of me4i is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever," Our modern educationalists have believed essentially the same thing except for a change of one word, "Man's chief end is to glorify man and to enjoy him forever." And so we have there a very basic) a very fundamental difference in approach,, which I think it is very fitting for this group to consider. We have the antagonism of a general worldly philosophy--and by worldly philosophy I'm sure we all understand that that is not a unified - philosophy at all. Any of us who have tried during our undergraduate days to coordinate what one English teacher has sold with what another English teacher has said with what a history teacher has said., have undoubtedly gotten into quite a mess.
Among the other general problems that we have besides the guiding principle of a Christian education as being a God-centered education, is the problem (this might not sound too general but it's one that applies to all phases) of textbooks. Dr. Voskuyl was going to give us a little discussion on that. Perhaps we can got him to write a paper for us on the subject. The subject of the selection of textbooks is a very Important subject In Christian education. This is true whether we consider Christian education from the point of view of a Christian teaching in a secular institution or the Christian teaching in a Christian institution. That brings us to another rather general problem In our symposium on education and that is the difference of the problems of a Christian individual teaching in a secular institution from a Christian point of view from those of a Christian teaching in a Christian institution.
I'd like to take just a rev minutes here to briefly outline perhaps some
of the problems that
we have in
teaching in secular institutions of higher
learning from a Christian point of view. In so doing it is necessary to distinguish between private institutions and state Institutions.
In the private
institutions sometimes we have a little more leeway than we have in others.
Sometimes we don't. Certainly all the Christian institutions are in the private category and certainly any of us that would possibly accept a teaching
position in a Roman Catholic institution would undoubtedly be limited by Roman
Catholic dogmas. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of many of our other
private institutions which were started by Christian men - founded on Christian
principles and yet have departed far from the truth. I think one of the most
outstanding pathetic examples
that we have is Harry Elmer Barnes teaching in Smith College where we have
just no correlation at all between what is
now being taught in these institutions and the purposes for which these institutions were originally founded. Wilbur Smith in his book
reviews that subject quite thoroughly. He indicates that many of our institutions which were originally founded on Christian principles
have now departed
from the truth. We all know the names of
of those institutions. And we
deeply regret that they
have passed into institutions of higher learning from a worldly philosophical point of view--from a point of view of materialism and
The problem of teaching in a state institution is, of course another type of problem in which supposedly you're supposed to be irreligious; you're not supposed to attack anyone's religion, And yet actually in most state institutions of the present day., providing you are not accused of being a communist, you get pretty good leeway in what you want to teach, Of course if anybody gets the impression that you are a communist or a communist sympathizer, then you really come under fire. But on the whole in most of our state institutions there is Usually a pretty good leeway In what is said. I happen to know from experience at the University of New Hampshire that you can say quite a bit. One has to be very careful in what is said about the Catholic Church at the University of New Hampshire because they have a very energetic chaplain who will show up In class the next day if you make any uncomplimentary remarks. But it's certainly not a question of suppression; he just wants to have his say. Maybe we as Protestants might benefit by that example a bit.
Turning now to some of the specific problems of teaching in a state or secular educational institution, we find that these problems will depend purely, of course, upon the nature of the course being taught and certainly we're going a bit afield from science because many of the courses that we have had to take as undergraduates, and many of our Christian young people are taking them as undergraduates, are not science courses and yet these courses have a far greater bearing upon a person's religious beliefs than many of our science courses. I can remember back to my own undergraduate days. I had very little difficulty with the problem of evolution in my biology course because I went to college prepared to ignore it, as much as one could ignore it. But where I had my greatest difficulty was in courses in English literature and In history in which
higher criticism was introduced into the courses in which the very foundations
of the Christian faith were attacked and denied. In the science courses we
might say., "Well we don't know enough about the Bible, other people don't know
enough about science, so we can sort of reserve our decisions But in courses
in which higher criticism is introduced there can be no such compromise,, no such
temporary putting off any decisions. We're faced with the problem of here these
men are saying that the Bible which we believe to be the Inspired and infallible word of God is nothing but a collection of Hebrew mythology. This is a serious problem and, of course, while we don't have anybody here qualified perhaps in outlining what a Christian approach to it should be at least as far as the details of organizing a course in English literature or ancient history, I think we certainly have some ideas or what we would expect in such a course from Christians.
In the problem of teaching the sciences we are faced with the problem of exactly how we are going to present it. Now, of course, there are "science" courses and science courses, I think most of your chemists and physicists could probably get along quite well without ever considering evolution and you probably wouldn't have much controversy in presenting your courses in a secular institution, In the teaching of the biological sciences# however,, we might run Into some difficulties, Even here we have many courses which are completely apart from evolution. We are considering simply how things are; what makes them tick In the present world. But many of the courses., I think particularly of that course that all premeds are forced to go through. "Comparative Anatomy," we find that is the course in which evolution is shoved down everybody's throat and the worst part of it is that it in pre-digested pill form; nobody gets much chance of examining it; nobody's very qualified.. usually including the instructor$ and so we find that evolution is a very serious problem there. And I think that one of the Problems we might consider this afternoon is how we can handle the course in Comparative Anatomy in a secular institution. I've asked Dr. Bender if he might introduce some of the general problems of education in a Christian school.
Dr. Bender: The problem of teaching or of education from a Christian viewpoint is not confined, of course, to the college level on which most of us are active. It is a common problem through the entire educational system from the kindergarten on UP. And I think those of us who have concerned ourselves at all with an interest in educational affairs will recognize that this is merely a reflection of the current philosophical trends of materialism and humanism as has been mentioned. It is a reflection of the intellectual flavor of our times and this of course Occurs not only in schools. It occurs In all our intellectual contacts. Children and young people as they grow up meet these influences through practically all their contacts--newspapers,, radio, periodicals, conversation, and in school. But our discussion here today, of course, is to be limited to education and I take it by implication that It to limited also pretty largely to higher education although we need not let our thinking stop there. Our making effective our Christian philosophy in the face of the counter-philosophies that are current. Those of have to face this problem not only because the materialistic and philosophies are those that are most common1y met in textbooks and in other sources but also because the young people who come to us even from our best Christian situations have been pretty largely exposed to the current materialistic and humanistic philosophies and in many cases have pretty largely absorbed these philosophies even from the best situations. My experience, of course,, has been in a Christian school and has been pretty largely with young people who have come from Christian homes, but eventually the problem is a very real one, We might look a little more specifically at what the problem is. I don't know whether we're going to get as far as to suggestion very concretely any solutions but we might point out a bit at least the types of solutions that we have been trying to follow.
One very obvious problem always is the selection of textbooks and in the science area there are almost no textbooks that will exhibit directly, positively, a Christian philosophy. There is a wide variety., of course, of viewpoints In the various textbooks. I have found myself in making selections of textbooks frequently choosing the one that to least objectionable insofar as its philosophy is concerned. There are certain books that make it the primary thesis of the book to put forward a philosophy which is, anti *Christian, and that is frequently found in biology textbooks; perhaps much more so than in others where it becomes the primary thesis of the book to promote a viewpoint. There are other textbooks which simply take the viewpoint by implication and those are much more easily handled and I've often found myself choosing between two textbooks on that basis. I would certainly much have preferred to choose a textbook that bas a Christian philosophy but generally that has been impossible. After we have such a textbook in the class, it then becomes the task of the teacher to interpret It still further. That is sometimes not so easily done, to alter the flavor of the teaching in the classroom as compared to what exists in the textbook. But surprisingly it can frequently be done and I think fairly effectively. I have to wonder sometimes, however, how much we are unconsciously following that we ourselves have absorbed even though it
is our express purpose and our conscious purpose to follow a Christian Philosophy.,
Yet our own background, our own training, and our own reading is almost exclusively
in literature that does not have a Christian philosophy, I wonder sometimes how
much we are able to really integrate our own thinking and thus pass it on to our
students. I think we must always be on the alert to check ourselves and do the
best we cam. I find that it, is often possible to help the students to see a
Christian philosophy even though the textbook doesn't specifically show it., although
that is difficult. We have more to say about this a little later.
The second problem., of course, is the student himself--which is the primary problem. The student comes to us from his grade school and his high school experience having had books, as I say, beginning clear down in the kindergarten that have a non-Christian. philosophy, and he comes to us frequently himself a Christian from his strong Christian or church background in which he wants to believe and yet he is disturbed. Also we have the student who comes to us who has openly accepted the philosophy that is current. In approaching these students of both classes I have found it most effective to teach science (which is my field,, of course, and I might just point out that the things I've said hold perhaps equally well In most other fields) from as rigidly a scientific viewpoint as possible. That's a1ways a problem of scientists, of course.. to be strictly scientific, or objective, I might say. But if one approaches the problems of science from the purely objective viewpoint and leans entirely upon a logical objective interpretation he gets farther along than if the teacher starts out at once by saying that that is wrong and that is right. Because ultimately what one needs to do is to lead the student's own thinking and that cannot be accomplished by starting out dogmatically by saying that this viewpoint is right and this viewpoint is wrong. You don't accomplish anything. Usually if a student actually wants to think,*you must lead his thinking. I've had some very interesting experiences with freshman science courses in this respect.
Some years back I had a class in which there were quite a number of students who were rather skeptical and they were free in asking questions and I found it necessary to refrain at the early part of the course from making much comment about a Christian interpretation but by the time we got through the course I think I was able to lead the students' thinking by presentation of facts to a position in which they were ready to accept some of the Biblical interpretations that one would place on science, And I think that is a good approach. Now that doesn't solve all our problems by any means, of course. I would like very much to see qualified scientists write good scientific textbooks--good from the viewpoint of science with a Christian philosophy. It can be done. I don't know if anybody is working on that job or not. I wish they were. Maybe some of us should attempt it. But it can be done, and incidentally If that job is done right, It can have an influence considerably wider than the circles in which we move for instance, Christian schools or Christian teachers in other schools. If the job is done properly it can reach much farther.
Another problem is to have good teachers, teachers with a Christian viewpoint. It seems to me we have perhaps done more in that direction than in the textbook direction. Many of our colleges are preparing teachers and sending them out with a Christian viewpoint and thus their influence is rather wide. Of course we always have the problem of what one might call academic freedom, Dr, Bullock referred to that. I think most of us are not much hampered-by that and yet it is me that we need to be conscious of--that we are actually free to present a Christian viewpoint. These are mostly problems. I haven't attempted to resent much of a solution and I have done,, of course, my presentation pretty much from my own viewpoint my own rather limited circumstances in a Christian college. Many of you have had different experiences and have had wide experiences. I would appreciate very much a good discussion.
Dr. Bullock: I see our other speaker has not arrived as yet. Dr. Wiebe is going t o consider particularly the teaching of sciences in Christian schools. This is a much more specific subject than was brought up so far. But I think at this time we would like to throw the meeting open for discussion. We've got representatives from secular Institutions., from Christian Institutions; we have representatives from a good many fields of science and even a few so-called non-scientific fields. So I think we ought to be able to got into a good discussion and have these subjects that have been mentioned.. the problem of textbooks, the problem of the preparation of teachers with a Christian attitude, the problem of instilling into the students that Christian attitude. Who would like to start the discussion? Dr. Hartzler
H. Harold Hartzler: With reference to the point of the lack of a Christian philosophy -both in our textbooks and in our teaching, I would like to report this incident which comes to me rather strikingly. I am always slightly alarmed or disconcerted when I hear in a group like this the Roman Catholic church spoken of as thought. it were not Christian or almost sub-Christian. I had a Roman Catholic student in my course in physics this last year, At the end of that course the following examination question,, the final question was something like this: 'how did this course help you in enlarging your views Of God and His creation?" Wow this was a tough one to this boy. He told me afterwards how he felt about this question. He couldn't say anything about that. I guess that shows the lack of teaching on my Part. But the interesting thing that comes to light out of this question is the following., which I think throws a little light on our whole lack here. Some days after school he brought his mother (this boy was from Mexico., by the way). She traveled from Mexico to Chicago to see another son and came down to Goshen to see this professor who would ask a question concerning God in a science examination. She had never heard of it. It was entirely a new thing to her. Now it appears to me ladies and gentlemen, that we all these years have been afraid of saying very much about this. This mother came from Chicago to Goshen, Indiana, just to see a person who would do that. Unfortunately I wasn't at home so she didn't get to see me. But I appreciated the interest of this family, a Roman Catholic family, in this question in which we are vitally interested. I give that for your consideration.
With reference to textbooks.. I think it's high time that something gets really done. We've seen this need in the affiliation for years. It's a big job. We as members In the affiliation I think all feel rather modest about this therefore we have done nothing. Isn't it high time that this affiliation start a movement which will be positive so that Christian textbooks will be coming off the press which can be used In our schools and colleges in this country?
Bullock: With reference to your comment on the Roman Catholic church, I think that we'll have to admit that the Roman Catholic church has done a lot more in this problem then the Protestant churches have in trying to establish a purely and consistently Roman Catholic philosophy of teaching. It is something that we should spend more time on. Are there any other comments?
Buswell: I'd like to just offer a suggestion on two-different points--one on textbooks and one on the conduct of a scientific course in a Christian college or a Christian school. Regarding the latter point it is a danger, I think., which most of us admit, that we must be careful not to offer too sheltered an atmosphere In a Christian school in scientific classrooms. By that I mean we must not seek only for the presentation of the scientific subjects from the Christian p6int of view. It is well known that many students get out of a Christian institution and in their first encounter with the world, be they graduates in graduate school or in professional life they meet problems that are unexplainable to them in terms of the education that they have received and consequently the result has been either a lose of faith or a retreating Into a position where the testimony is definitely harmed. Now this can be circumvented by, first of all, presenting the most accurate aspect of the evolutionary of the anti-Christian position in every classroom of science,
In choice of textbooks in several different classes that I've been in., not in graduate school, but in Wheaton,, and also is this done at Shelton College too, to my knowledge.. the textbook is not chosen exactly for the most non-belligerent attitude but in some cases is chosen, other things being equal., (that it is a scholarly textbook) chosen for its very presentation of the opposite extreme which then is used to educate the class into the position of the world and then the Christian attitude toward this is taken up by classroom discussion or by alternate assignments in Christian books. In other words., what I'm trying to say is that the presentation of the extreme anti-Biblical position no matter what the classroom subject may be is a necessary accompaniment to the presentation of a true Christian scholarship. If I might give an illustration in the school which I represent.
My father has made it a point at Shelton College, which is a new name for the National Bible Institute., ever since he came there about nine or ten years ago that a graduation requirement of the Bible Institute, then called so) was that a course in laboratory science be taken from one of the major universities in the city--Columbia., New York University., or City College. That is, a basic laboratory course in geology, biology, or chemistry which my father terms the "in-battle training among the heathen." And this is then accompanied by a weekly seminar or weekly round-table discussion by those students who are members of these classes with one o f the faculty members, discussing, airing, and explaining problems that come up In relation to the Biblical views which are encountered. This has bean very valuable and at the same time has served to give the students themselves a high level of technical training.
The other subject which I just want to mention briefly is that of writing of textbooks. And this has to do with the level of education in the grade school as well as in higher education. There are two ways of accomplishing this Christian textbook lack, One is the assigning or the advocating that Christian textbooks be written here and now, say by individuals or by committees which are chosen and delegated to meet particular textbook needs. Another is the advising of Christian young people to go into the sciences at the college level in preparation for a professional life which will bring into being textbooks after a mature period of growth in the author's mind. The latter,, to my thinking,, is a healthier position even if It takes longer.
Now at this point the scientific and political and diplomatic world looks to the Catholics., for instance who have been training their personnel In the Catholic University in Washington., D.C., for instance If a man wants to get a personal secretary who is a man, a man secretary, for any kind of business that needs a male secretary--he has to go to the university In Washington., the Catholic University., where they have about the only professional level training course for male secretaries in the country. Furthermore., they have the only diplomatic courses in the country that are training diplomats so that when we assign foreign representatives of our country in a large percentage of cases these are Catholics with the logical implications as you can see resulting.
Nov the writing of textbooks is another, that is the lack of Christian textbooks is I think another indication of the lack of Christian,. Protestant Christians., engaging as their life activity in the scientific field. Now If it is our emphasis as an association to urge young people to choose scientific fields as a life work for the Lord, this will invariably result in a production of textbooks as a result of a mature and developed scholarship along those particular lines for which these people are trained and not necessarily the result of an assigned and more or less hiurrry-up production of textbooks by a committee or by an author who is assigned this particular tusk.
One more last point regarding textbooks in the 1ower grades. And I throw this out more or- less not by way of advocating anything in particular but by way of throwing put an example of the deplorable situation of the out-of-date textbooks that are authorized by our schools. In New York City, our Christian grammar school
of course when it started, asked the New York Board of Schools to recommend the
textbooks which they should use so that they would not be criticized for having any
lower level scholarship than the New York Board of Schools has. After they had
gone for about a semester, I was asked to take a look at the history book to see if
there was anything in the first chapter which had to do with the origins of man's
civilization and which I felt was contrary to the Biblical point of view. I had
never been aware of the problem before but I was amazed at what I discovered. The
textbook which vas authorized was written in 1931 by two individuals neither of
which had a doctor's degree, which may or may not be significant, but was written
in 1931 and had advanced theories which at that time were out of date and were
unscientific speculations regarding (1) the development of language; (2) the de velopment of social organization; (3) the development of mankind and his physical
body; (4) the history of the Bible, for instance. And furthermore, for recommended
reading for the teachers at the end of the first chapter--for the teachers., that is.,
to augment their knowledge of the subject--the most up-to-date thing they had for the
teachers to read on the origin of man's civilization was Tyler's Primitive Culture
which was written in 1871. Now this I think could be perhaps corrected by more of
us considering as a serious need the education of our children and not taking for
granted that they will catch up to date when they get to college.
Another aspect of the problem to brought out by the serious out-of-date demonstrations in the museums. You see the high school boys and girls with their notebooks taking notes on the evolution of the horse as it was presented this morning which is taken from displays that were put up there as much as thirty years ago and which even according to evolutionary scientific point of view, are out of date,
Nov I think that if either as an organization or as a Christian body of teachers and of scientists we would raise a protest regarding this thing with documented evidence about these out-of-date displays, out-of-date textbooks and out-of-date methods of teaching, that something of an advance in bringing things things up-to date could be accomplished for the betterment of our children in grade school, resulting In the betterment of the high school level of preparedness for entering college and then the college standards could in turn be raised.
Bullock: Thank you, Mr. Buswell. Any comments on what Mr. Buswell has aid or any further comments? Mr. Monsma.
Monsma: First of all I have a question which perhaps Dr. Saarnivaara could answer, I'm just wondering how much the Lutherans have done in this matter of textbooks for their elementary schools. I'm not talking about higher education now. My remarks are with reference to the elementary Christian schools,. As far as our Reformed people are concerned mot, of you know that we have parental schools--societies which conduct schools for Christian instruction--and although we have had these schools for a number of years in our country we are still faced with this textbook problem. It was only a few years ago--two or three years ago perhaps--that some men among us took an Interest in this matter and I just want to pass this on for information this afternoon.
They organized a foundation thich has the specific purpose of supplying Christian textbooks for the elementary schools. Our schools are not organized into any definite organization but there is what we call the Union of Christian Schools which unifies the work of the schools. The foundation was formed by just a few men., I think five or seven men,, who stuck together and Incorporated as a foundation for the purpose of collecting money to help the Union particularly in producing Christian textbooks. They succeeded in the first campaign of collecting more than $100,000 and they spent or gave to the Union something between $40,000 or $50,000 of that money to build themselves a modest building and now they have a nice little building in which they have started to work particularly on the textbook problem and also on other things. The rest of the money that they have., and they are still trying to increase the fund, they expect to spend on producing Christian textbooks for elementary schools. Their greatest problem I think, is to find the writers for the textbooks. They must have, if they went to get good textbooks, man that are qualified in their field. They must not only have knowledge of their subject but they must be experts in the field of education. I believe they have started on,, or they have in print now.. a book on history. The foundation gave the Union money to employ a man for a year or so. I think, to devote all his time to the project of writing a book in history for students in the Christian schools. I think that book is now completed and in the process of being printed, They expect to undertake-only such ventures as the Union suggests to them in the line of textbooks with the money they have. I believe this is accurate information, Not much has come of it yet because they are just starting out but anyway there's a little hope of getting some kind of textbooks for our elementary schools. I don't know if there is any further information on that but they are active in that line.
Bullock: Dr. Saarnivaara., did you care to make comment on the situation In the Lutheran church?
Saarnivaara: I have not bean much in touch with the work of our church relating to the question raised and cannot therefore answer it.
Bullock: Any other comments? I'm sure this larger problem that has been brought in is something also with which most of us are very such concerned particularly those of us that have children that are in school or are about to start school. I was made acquainted with a textbook just recently being used up in Portland, Maine, (a pastor showed it to me) vh1ch was discussing ancient history and clearly portrayed the children of Israel as a wandering tribe of trouble-makers,, that was essentially the description that they gave and did not put them into a Biblical context at all. And that I think is certainly a very serious problem, Are there any other comments? Mr. Brenneman.
Brenneman; I would like to make a few remarks about Propaganda in education. By propaganda I define it, for me use at least, this way: "A biased selection of truth to foster someone's prejudice or economic interest." I think one of the purposes of education courses is respect for truth wherever you find it and I don't think that the welfare of the human race can be served by biased selection of truth which will lead one to false conclusions. I know of a college that has in its charter the provision that this school among other things is to teach the sciences which-do not conflict with the beliefs and practices of the church. That's rather frankly saying we're in favor of teaching Truth unless the Truth conflicts with our theology and then we'll suppress the Truth. I think it actually in facto works that way., leaving the student when he comes out of the school to find the Truth--the other half of the truth. He; is led to a suspicion of the honesty of the school as a whole. Now outside of theology, which Is of course one very fertile region for prejudice, we have economic prejudice., prejudice associated with patriotism. To be specific, I talked a little bit with Professor Mc Cgnbs, who is superintendent of schools at Des Moines,Iowa. He had a relative In Georgia who was educated in Georgia and he visited him a few years back and looked over the American history as taught in the Georgia schools. He said he could hardly recognize the Civil War from what he read in the history of Iowa. Now did both histories tell lies, or did both histories select partial truths to foster their local conception of patriotism, Now, if that can exist in the United States in two parts of the country that are supposed to be united, what can you expect between an American reading a history of the Revolutionary War in the United States and an 'Englishman reading the history of the Revolutionary Wa r. In fact I could, if I wanted to take the time, recite a history of the Revolutionary War that you would be surprised and that you had never heard in American history. It gives an entirely different picture of what the Revolutionary War was about. Now about the situation between Germans and French. Do you suppose the French student can read the same history of the Franco-Prussian War that the German student would read? And how can these peoples understand each other? And how can there by any hope of international harmony if the students that grow up in these countries and become the patriotic citizens of these countries can't read the thing that is a fact upon which to base a decision? Nov that applies to the United States of America just as well as it does to other countries. W have our prejudices. Our textbooks on history are not always I'm afraid too often not written to give us truth but written to flatter our conception of patriotism which is one of the foundat ions of wars,
Bullock: I think this problem of Propaganda is one that is well taken--one that we Christians have to avoid. I had a direct experience with that over in Europe. I read a history of World War I one night in a German history textbook. It certainly wasn't the same history of World War I that I had gotten here in the United States. But we do have that Problem and I think it to a problem that has come to the fore even in the field of science with the discussion pf the Russian geneticist Lysenko, And we have there the question of man who was subverting the Truth to a dogma., I suspect if we look over some of Our so-called Christian apologetics we find that many, of those have sort of gotten into that same category, subverting a truth to a dogma. and I think we have to be very careful along those lines, of carefully analyzing what is the real truth and what is just a reflection of the philosophy of our times. Dr. Tinkle.
Tinkle: I'm glad for what has been said about selection and writing of textbooks. I hesitate to say anything on this subject, being the author of a textbook myself. But understand I'm not talking about my textbook this afternoon. So just for the time being forget about that. But I still feel that we should have textbooks written from the Christian point of view. Now especially the first edition may not be quite so large as the textbooks that are most generally used., But some of our textbooks are too large. They cost too much and they suit the teachers much better than they suit the students. The teachers select them, but the students, while they do not say much about it are not very enthusiastic about them because there is too much material there and they know that the teacher doesn't expect them to memorize all that material and they hardly know just what he does expect them to learn. So while it's quite a task to write a textbook,, I still feel that it should be done. The student is likely to feel like this. This teacher is continually disagreeing with our textbook yet he is the very one who told me to buy that textbook and pay four or five dollars for it!
Bullock: Of course, one might question the advisability of using student judgment for a textbook, Just this past year I noticed a new textbook in histology appeared and at the end of the semester I asked for a student evaluation of the textbook. And I told exactly why I wanted it and I think they were agreed that it would not affect their grade in any way and most of them seemed to find fault with the illustrations in the textbook. The only trouble is that about fifty per cent of them thought there were too many illustrations and the other fifty per cent thought there were too few. So., I don't know about simply using student evaluation to judge the textbook. But we do need some means of evaluation of our textbooks, ways of which they are getting the material over to the students. Are there any other questions Perhaps we might try to limit our questions now to the question of textbooks. If any of you have any other ideas about other subjects we can go on to that. Are there any other considerations now on this problem of textbooks?
Bender: I am very sorry Dr. Vookuyl is not here. In the last day or so in speaking about this symposium I have heard a few remarks around the corners about his having had this problem In hand someway or other. I wonder whether anybody has any information about his activities which would be of value to us.
Mixter: Dr. Voskuyl is on a committee of the National Association of Evangelicals which is discussing this problem. He has sent questionnaires to various people asking what textbooks are needed,, what textbooks are now in the process of being written and has collected that information. I don't know anything about the results but that is the sort of thing he's doing,
Regarding the problem of teaching in non-Christian schools., it is my impression that the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship is making a noble attempt to supplement the type of materials in the classroom by inviting specialists in various fields to discuss those topics. For instance, they'll have a theologian on the campus or a sociologist or biologist from Christian schools who will attempt to evaluate the whole program. Monograph No. 2, which you members received, grew up as comments on one or the books we used In the combined evolution course at our school and it's in print. It has what I think about the book and then or course the students read the book) and they can make up their own*opinions from the two. I wonder if more of you wouldn't like to do that sort of thing. you., of course, are welcome to buy mine and use it in your course but a lot of you don't agree with it. Why don't you write your own opinion or evolution, your own opinion of various things that are thrown at you from the biological side. What do you think about materialism? What's your answer to it? Got it down in print so the rest of us may have it. Even if you just write comments on a portion or a textbook; that's very useable. I'd very much agree with Jim Buswell's idea that we ought to use the non-Christian books in the Christian schools so we can tell what the other fellow is thinking about.
Bullock: I think, certainly, as far as the non-Christian schools am concerned the value of organizations such as Inter-Varsity is unquestioned and I think many of us perhaps even those of us who have had our education in non-Christian schools--can think back on some very blessed times of fellowship that we had with Christians. I can think back of the organization of a group., it wasn't an InterVarsity group, at my undergraduate college., and it certainly was a joy and a pleasure to meet fellow Christians on a college campus . I was talking to somebody here this morning about the problem of the Christian college student in a non-Christian - college. its is in a very unique situation) because as a Christian on the college campus he is marked because he has a Christian attitude., maybe all Christian attitude at the present time are not the same, but he definitely has a non-materialistic, non-humanistic attitude toward all of his courses. So he is immediately set off on the campus as somebody that--well., they might be a little charitable and not call them queer but at least he would be strange and different. on the other hand.. that same individual in his home church very often is In a class by himself and I think maybe some of us can remember the times in our home church what we had very serious difficulties as a college student and we were referred maybe to certain books that just didn't solve the situation at all or we were told that we didn't have enough faith and we'd better get straightened out on it and so on. And so the Christian college student in a non-Christian school Is one that is in a very difficult situation. I think that the American Scientific Affiliation could certainly give such groups as the Inter-Varsity our loyal support and perhaps we might be able to get some information from the Inter-Varsity on their reaction to some of these problems. Are there any other discussions now? Mr. Buswell.
James Buswell: I think it might be appropriate to make one more comment in regard to the A.S.A. Symposium~ MODERN SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH the second edition of which Is about to be published. It will provide a great service for all of us who are teaching courses in an department of science which this book covers in so far as we can choose the chapters relative to the material considered in the scientific textbooks which are written from the non-Christian point of view. This., of course,, is going to provide a great service for most Christian schools in the country If we are able to publicize this textbook enough. I have found particularly in the lecture course in anthropology that the best thing to do is to have a typed reading list for a course where no one particular textbook is required to be purchased by the student, This is tot possible in some courses but In a lecture course on a scientific subject of a more theoretical nature it is, and this is one place where the A.S.A. Symposium can come in very handy and very beneficially in schooling segment by segment in the course what the Christian attitude towards this particular thing is and this is through the teacher's own presentation of that view of the students.
Bullock: Any further discussion? Does anybody have any other remarks they would like to make at this tim? Discussion closed. Thank you.