Science in Christian Perspective



Exemplary Books

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

From: PSCF 51 (September 1999): 141.

The recent surge of interest in science and religion has yielded a rich harvest of books. The reviews in this issue attest to the quality and diversity of these offerings. Here are some examples. John Brooke and Geoffrey Cantorís Reconstructing Nature: The Engagement of Science and Religion (1998, The 1995ñ96 Gifford Lectures) uses engagement to show how new ways of understanding the science of the past can suggest fresh approaches to the current situation. Eschewing any master narrative the authors offer a wide-ranging set of historical characters to illustrate the "interesting, unpredictable and extraordinarily diverse ways" that engagement occurs.

K. E. Greene-McCreightís Ad Litteram: How Augustine, Calvin and Barth Read the Plain Sense of Genesis 1ñ3 (1999) illustrates the differences in which the ways these theological giants handled exegetical and hermeneutical issues undergirding scriptural passages critical to understanding science-scripture relations. Plain sense is not always plain except (perhaps) to the beholder.

Darwinism Comes to America (1998) is Ronald L. Numbersí latest work on evolution in North America. The focus is mainly on the period between the 1860s and the 1920s although some attention is given to the creation science and intelligent design movement. Numbers opens new ground in addressing the attitudes of the Seventh-day Adventist and Holiness Movements and in exposing some of the myths of the past.

Edward J. Larson and Darrell W. Amundsenís A Different Death: Euthanasia & The Christian Tradition (1998) provides a sobering historical analysis of opinions and practices related to suicide as a prelude to considering various options open to terminally ill individuals. Today the issues are complicated by life-extending technology and associated medical costs. There is much of value here for the Christian.

With this issue, the role of editor passes to Roman Miller. I am sure that he will gain the same spirit of co-operation and encouragement from reviewers, authors, and ASA staff that I have been privileged to receive in this decade. Special thanks go to Lyn Berg for her cheerful support in the day-to-day production of PSCF and for seeing God Did it, But How? to press.