Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 124:494 (Apr 67) p. 164
“What Modern Science Offers The Church,” Emmanuel G. Mesthene, Saturday Review, November 19, 1966, pp. 29-31, 77.
The substance of this article is that man through modern technology stands on the threshold of complete mastery of his physical environment. Only a few minor wrinkles remain to be ironed out—the final conquest of space and the secret of life, for example. When these incidentals have been realized, man’s full partnership in Cosmos Control Corporation will be a fait accompli. The conclusion is that the church had better jump on the bandwagon now and provide a social ethic of brotherhood and goodwill and an aura of religiosity to the deification of man. We ecclesiastics had better switch, not fight.
The author spends considerable time describing the struggle with “the tyranny of physical nature that has plagued man since his beginning” (p. 29). In that struggle man tended to become discouraged and to develop an inbred sense of failure. But bit by bit, almost in spite of himself, man made progress. In more recent years, this progress has increasingly accelerated until now man is riding the crest of the wave that will insure “Man’s confident mastery of Nature” (p. 31). The author asks the question, “Is this confidence a sin?” (p. 31), and assures us that in reality lack of confidence is sin.
One dark note enters the bright picture the author paints. It is the fact that “technology might be deemed an evil, because there is unquestionably evil potential in it” (p. 30). This brings us face to face with the basic problem—man himself. Man can misuse technology as well as use it rightly. And this is what man seems to be doing. He is increasingly mastering the world around him, but he continues to fail to master himself. The author himself says: “The malaise of our age, as many have noted, is that our power increases faster than our ability to understand it and to use it well” (p. 31). He continues, however, “But that, sure, is a challenge to be wise, not an invitation to despair” (p. 31).
The author and all of us must be reminded that the heart of man “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it” (Jer 17:9). What the church needs to do is not to
BSac 124:494 (Apr 67) p. 165
endorse man’s deification of himself, as the author suggests, but to confront man with his sinful state of separation from God and with God’s gracious provision of redemption and regeneration through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Man’s hope of becoming a child of God lies not in evolutionary achievement as the author suggests, but only through divine metamorphosis by f...
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