Science in Christian Perspective
Letter to the Editor
Commitment to Care Review Criticized
857 13th Avenue
Greeley, Colorado 80631
From: JASA 32 (September 1980): 190-91.
One of the responsibilities of a book reviewer is to avoid misrepresenting the contents of a book. A good reviewer avoids attributing to an author positions and remarks that do not actually exist in his book. In his review of my book Commitment To Care (Journal ASA, March 1980), Rev. T. M. Moore attributes to me the statement that "there is something beyond God which gives meaning to all that there is." He declares that this is one of my "most glaring theses." He makes it appear that I have argued in my book that "Care is beyond God." He presents me as saying "Care gives meaning to God as it does to all things in the universe and, therefore, must be greater than God."
Commitment in Care does indeed argue that God's care is ultimately what gives meaning to things in the universe. However, nothing is said in the book which remotely suggests that "Care is beyond God," or that "there is something beyond God which gives meaning to all that there is." Precisely the opposite is the truth. The book disallows that there is anything whatever "beyond" God. The main thesis of the book is that God Cares, that His love is always absolutely rational, creative, and altruistic, It is the absolutely righteous nature of God's love (His care in action) that makes Him always worthy of worship. I could find no real significance in the idea of God, certainly no reason for worshipping Him, if I did not believe that He cares for all of His creatures. The God of Jesus is a personal God of loving care. Christ exemplified this care in the most momentous imaginable way, which it what gave Him his unique power to inspire belief and love. My hook clearly and unmistakably assigns perfect love (divine care) to God as something that is internal to His nature, not as something that is "beyond" Him. In no way in this book do I suggest that "there is something that is greater than God." Rev. Moore seems to be put off by the idea that God is Perfect Care, which is the thesis of the book. God is not just the abstract absolute Being, the static Entity of the Greek philosophers: He it the Supreme Person Who Lives, Who Loves all of us with creative righteousness and absolute beauty.
Rev. Moore states that I talk about "pure care," but then fail to define it. But in fact. Pure Care is one essentially Christian definition of God. There could be no essences in God's nature meaningful to us if He did not act carefully in make them meaningful to us. It is my vision of God as He Who Perfectly Cares that makes it possible for me to feel that I have a meaningful personal relationship with Him and His Son. No care is beyond God. But neither is God beyond care. The Father of Christ Jesus is not just the Aristotelian being which cannot fail to be; He is our Eternal Father Who cannot fail to love.
I state repeatedly in the book, and even no the jacket, that "The essence of God is Responsible Care." that "the perfect rationality of God is manifest in His Cosmic Scheme of Care," (p. 5). The chapter no "Care in Jesus of Nazareth" ends with the triumphant statement that "Out of His Care, the Lord gave to us freely and totally the value of Himself that we should not perish but have everlasting life." Throughout the book, I define God as the epitome, the ultimate archtype, of the perfect care that we, His children, should seek to let into our lives and be nourished by.
I fail in see how this understanding of God "openly contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture."
Albeit, I would like to thank Rev. Moore for the time and trouble he took in reviewing the book.