Science in Christian Perspective

Letter to the editor


Bube, Homer and Berkhout

William F. Campbell, M.D. 
Tulloch Memorial Hospital (Hospital Anglais) 
S. Marshan, Tanger

From: JASA 20 (December 1968): 122-123.
During the last three days, I have found myself in bed with a temperature and a little flu, but enough energy to read some of the latest issues of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. Among these were President Bube's articles in the March, 1968, journal and the two articles on evolution in the December 1967 Journal by Horner and Berkhout. In addition, various remarks in the American Scientific Affiliation News of March 1968 gave me further food for thought.

First of all, 1 would like to mention agreement with much of what Professor Bube says in his articles and remarks concerning the fact that we are unknown as an organization and the Council's decision to hold our meetings on secular campuses certainly meets with my approval. Secondly, the suggestion that the Affiliation should sponsor more books again meets with my enthusiastic approval, although I do not think that we have solved the question of how to choose which books.

There is one point though, over which I disagree with Professor Bube. The implication of some of the remarks is that the battle about evolution is over, and Peter Berkhout gives the impression that every responsible person believes now in evolution. In answer to the first, I would like to say that the battle is not over. Each generation is presented with athiestic mechanism and it needs to have some books which give alternatives. My medical colleague here on the mission field asked me whether I had any information or books which I could give to his sons about the problem of evolution, just two years ago. Last year when I was home on furlough many young people at the churches in which I spoke about the North Africa Mission, would ask me what I thought about evolution. Obviously they asked me because I was a doctor, and therefore in their eyes a scientific man. Naturally we have to define evolution in our talk and I think that the article by George B. Homer was very good. He talked of speciation, phyletic and quantum evolution. Then he made clear that the first two kinds do happen, butso far the third kind has not been demonstrated.

Doctor Harold Hartzler, who is getting a copy of this letter, will remember that at the 1966 Annual Convention at North Park College, I made a motion that we should produce and publish a new book, which could fill the gap left by the "Modern Science and Christian Faith" which is now out of print. I cemented my motion with an infinitesimal gift of $25 but I would like to mention that the motion was approved with much enthusiasm by those present at that particular meeting. I know perfectly well that ten minute's enthusiasm does not get the honk written. But I still think that we must do it.

I would like to suggest, though, a new organization of the book, perhaps in the following sequence. The first chapter should contain a summary of the Gospel, presenting its meaning and then be filled out with some of the geological material agreeing with the New Testament, such as is found in the book-"Are the New Testament documents reliable"-and other books. The second chapter should he on archaeological proofs of the events of the Old Testament. The third chapter should be on the Prophecies and the statistical probabilities of those prophecies being fulfilled by luck. There was a book put out by the Moody Press in paperback which had much of this information. I gave it away to somebody and I have never been able to get another copy. Maybe one of you would know it and be able to tell me the name so that I could order some more. A fourth chapter might be by a sociologist, or a psychologist, about conversion experiences in religion and how they have really changed people, with some testimonies both from America and from the mission field. Then the next chapter should be a philosophical type of discussion perhaps, in which the point is clearly made that because of all these facts, we consider the Bible to be reliable data and any theory of the formation of the world, or the development of man must agree with the data in this book. While I do not agree with Peter Berkhout's seeming capitulation to the word "evolution" I think that his stress on the Bible of nature would have a very real place in such a chapter, and certainly the point would want to be heavily made that if a fact is found to be true in nature, it is just as true as a fact in the Bible, and that we must then see whether the Bible needs further interpretation. Then to have chapters on the formation of the Solar system, the age of man, etc. Homer's article seems to me to be quite acceptable as it stands, although he might wish to make it somewhat longer. I always thought that the chapter on "Mutations, Genetics, and Heredity" in the book "Modern Science and Christian Faith" was one of the best chapters in the book. As far as my information is concerned I would understand that most of this material is still valid, but in any case, a chapter of this nature. Perhaps one should have a chapter by a person, who believes in cataclysmic geology. One of the chapters must deal straightforwardly with the fact that these new ages for man can not be reconciled with the First chapter of Genesis as they stand. And the chapter should bring out the possibilities that have been presented in several of the articles in the journal. One was that Adam was the first man that could speak, then he went out and intermarried with the sons of men.

Obviously we should not print a book which claims that we have all the answers when we don't have them, but a book is urgently needed, which gives the great amount of evidence to support a Creator, Who loves us and has rules and a life for us. It may even be that there should be a chapter which discuses D.N.A., and the new experiments concerning life. The articles that are published are always written as though putting a little methane and other things together and running electricity through them, and then coming out with amino-acids proves how everything just happened by itself. But it always seems to me that it proves that the plan to make life and amino-acids must even be built right into the atomic structure. Again in evidence for the Creator. Obviously this is philosophizing but a little philosophizing on our side never hurt. I hope that we will yet get a book out of all this.