Putting Things Into Perspective

J. W. Haas, Jr.
Gordon College
Wenham MA 01984

From: PSCF 42 (June 1990): 73.

Theologian Bernard Ramm has served the Christian community in full measure through a lifetime of teaching and scholarship. His first, of eleven, papers in the ASA Journal, "The Scientific-Logical Structure of the Theory of Evolution," appeared in the June 1949 issue.  The Christian View of Science and Scripture  (1954) helped many evangelicals develop a deeper understanding of scripture-science themes. Readers may wish to refer to "A Bernard Ramm Festschrift" in the December 1979 issue of this journal for a retrospective view of his enduring work. As Bernie leaves the Editorial Board, we wish him many happy retirement years, and acknowledge his faithful two decades of service.

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The Swearengens, father and son, offer a model for discussing divisive issues. Their recognition and respect for the presuppositions of the contending parties and the social dynamics of debate provide a means for more fruitful dialogue and (perhaps) agreement. Their topic, "The Nuclear Weapons Debate," remains relevant in spite of the fast pace toward peace in Eastern Europe.

The legitimacy of psychological testing is the subject of Harold Faw's paper. In bringing a "Christian" perspective to this question, Faw reviews the use of such tests in scripture, and offers a working approach which recognizes the benefits and limits of these evaluative tools.

Physicist-theologian George Murphy offers us a view of treating biomedical ethics, which begins with Luther's theology of the cross. He sees this approach as foundational to the traditional use of "code ethics" and "situational ethics" in such problem areas as abortion, life-support systems, and genetic engineering.

The mark of an "Ugly American" still stamps those who are unwilling to understand and be sensitive to those in different cultures. George Jennings brings a lifetime of experience to an article offering advice to a group of ASA members who will visit the Near East this summer. His counsel is valuable for all of us who would seek to build bridges whether at home or abroad.

In the first Communications paper, Bob Newman opens up another round in the discussion of the application of Langton's self-reproducing automaton to the origin of life question. It seems clear that this will not be the last attempt to bridge the gap between estimates of 5 x 10-45 sec and 3 x 10139 years for the synthesis of this automaton in a universe the size and age of ours.

ASA's Committee for Integrity in Science Education reviews "Science and Creation: A View from the National Academy of Sciences." The NAS polemic is found wanting along a number of scientific, biblical, and philosophical lines. It remains to be seen whether "Goliath" will listen to "David."

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Each of these papers challenges us to consider ideas and issues which may provoke dissent. We seek your response in a Letter to the Editor, or through an article.