Putting Things Into Perspective
John W. Haas, Jr.
The relationship between mind and brain-body and soul-are enduring questions. Today's discussion is weighted by efforts to use computer methodology to explain intelligence, efforts predicated on the assumption that `matter is all.' William Dembski's article takes modern cognitive science to task for mixing science and philosophy. In contrasting current positions on intelligence with the `historic Judeo-Christian' view, he warns of an emerging evangelical "`semi-materialist' position which ...acknowledges the God of Scripture . [but] ... denies that man's soul and spirit have an ontology distinct from the body."
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David Moberg, no stranger to these pages, then brings the eye of the sociologist to the problem of hypocrisy in Christian communities. Moberg finds the root sources of hypocrisy to be founded in the expectations of society as well as in personal flaws which are "almost invariably not fully understood by even the acting person." He argues that a clearer understanding of hypocrisy will enhance - the total well-being or shalom of a genuine wholistic Christianity."
Not all biological thinking begins and ends with matter. David Cottingham finds that theoretical biologist Robert Rosen and theologian Jurgen Moltmann have independently developed the notion of `anticipatory systems' in nature-an approach which smacks of teleology. The author folds these ideas together and suggests potential implications for our understanding of scripture and the most basic themes of Christianity.
The Dialogue heats up with differing views on the supplementary high school text Of Pandas and People and Richard Bube's earlier "Word Maze" piece on Reason and Faith. This issue offers the final column of Dick's series of trenchent and often provocative analyses of thorny words. Readers' letters and a goodly set of book reviews fill out this issue.
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As the ASA enters its 50th year, we reaffirm our commitment to vigorously discuss the complex issues that confront the Christian in sciences. Some earlier questions have gone out of fashion, while others, especially in the human sciences, have come to the fore. We have a continuing mandate to act as a resource for the church and speak to society from an informed Christian world-view.
Wenham MA 01984