Putting Things Into Perspective


From: PSCF 44 (March 1992): 1.

Our first three papers in this issue complete the 50th Anniversary series focusing on the early history of the American Scientific Affiliation. Joseph Spradley first examines the thought of theologian Bernard Ramm, a major contributor on science-Christianity themes for three decades. Ramm's The Christian View of Science and Scripture (1954) offered a new direction for evangelicals seeking to relate science and Christianity. Dorothy Chappell next reviews the life of Russell Mixter, renowned biologist and educator at Wheaton College who provided early leadership to the ASA, including a stint as Editor of this journal. Chappell and Spradley then collaborate to discuss the contributions of three Wheaton faculty women to the ASA in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The under-representation of women in the work of the ASA and a typical evangelical college is forcefully illustrated.

The breakup of the Soviet Union, resignation of President Gorbachev and assumption of the leadership of the new commonwealth of republics by Boris Yeltsin has placed a new cast on world politics. Jack Swearengen discusses the place of arms control in the "new world order." In offering a foreign policy of "reconciliation" he seeks to overcome the extremes of "apocalyptic escatology" and "dominion theology."

Biologist Wilbur Bullock uses an historical analysis of the germ theory of disease to illustrate the problems which arise from too wide an application of a scientific concept. He then extends this analysis to the use of natural selection as "a theory of everything." Richard Bube aptly draws our attention to the insidious problem of self-serving group loyalty in his "The Many Faces of `Tribalism.'"

Physicist Donald MacKay provided Christian leadership for three decades as a distinguished scientist and leader in faith-science discussion. His final work, Behind the Eye, is the substance of his Gifford Lectures, which were delivered shortly before his death in 1987. Walter Thorson offers an essay review of Behind the Eye, noting that MacKay broke new ground at a time when most writers would have been content with a rehash of old ideas. J. W. Haas, Jr. provides an accompanying biographical sketch of this influential evangelical.

The regular section of this issue concludes with a selection of book reviews and a letter. We welcome your comments! The final section of this issue is the ASA's Annual Report, which is being included in Perspectives for the first time.

J. W. Haas, Jr.
Gordon College, Wenham MA 0194