Putting Things Into Perspective

From: Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith  44 (September 1992): 149.

The Fall 1991 issue of the Christian Scholars' Review featured a call by Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga for a new "theistic science" to handle evolution. Responses by Ernen McMullin, Pattle Pun and Howard Van Till and additional remarks by Plantinga extended discussion of the proposal. William Hasker's "Evolution and Albert Plantinga" offers an overview and critique of Plantinga's position. Natural scientists become testy when philosophers, theologians or sociologists invade their space. However, when scientific ideas such atomism or evolution are extended beyond their bounds they deservably become fair game for those who deal with broader questions.

Paul H. Liben's "Science Within the Limits of Truth" speaks to the threat posed for the continued health of science by "naturalistic philosophical beliefs" and the tendency of Christian scientists and their secular counterparts to "impose their worldviews on their discipline." For Liben, "how scientists ultimately handle the evolution controversy...may provide a clue as to whether they are authentically concerned about scientific integrity or whether they merely wish to advance their respective philosophical agendas, be they naturalistic or theistic."

Recent polls have shown that many American evangelicals hold views on scientific phenomena which have long been shown to be untenable. In the first paper of a two-part series, David F. Siemens, Jr. deals with the notion that "almost all geological phenomena" derive from the Noahic Flood. His paper offers a popularly written rebuttle which should be placed in the hands of the lay public.Raymond E. Grizzle's Communication observes that, with the exception of evolution, most Christians accept the notion that theories of the natural sciences should not include God in their explanations. He argues that approaches such as "origin-science" unintentionally may lead to deism and suggests that a complementarian approach to the interaction of science and theology is more productive.

Howard J. Van Till's Essay Review of Christopher Kaiser's Creation and the History of Science highlights our Book Review section.

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