Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 131:522 (Apr 1974)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“The Case for Global Catastrophism,” Loren C. Steinhauer, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, XXV (December, 1973), 129–34.

This is the first article in an issue of this periodical focused on the subject of catastrophism with special attention to the views of Immanuel Velikovsky. In recent years some of Velikovsky’s ideas have been confirmed by space explorations and interest in his views has revived almost to the proportion of a fad. Coincidentally, biblical catastrophism has gained increasing adherence.

Steinhauer opens his presentation of evidence to support global catastrophism by insisting that “the teaching of substantive uniformitarianisms is as much on trial today as catastrophism because the two positions are “in total contradiction.”

Three lines of evidence are presented to support global catastrophism—scriptural witness, human records, and physical records (in that order). Six specific catastrophies of Scripture are discussed, to which are added numerous general references and predictions of end-time catastrophies. Peter’s warning against the error of uniformitarianism (2 Peter 3:3–6) is also included.

The author warns concerning the distortions and mythological accretions of the human records, but he also points out the factual bases of these records, especially when they confirm one another as happens many times. Numerous forms of physical evidence of “disturbance and discontinuity” in the earth are presented, which lead to the conclusion that planet earth has experienced “a few violent global catastrophies which left indelible marks on the face of the earth and in human and divine records.”

Another of the articles in this issue which deserves mention is that of Edwin M. Yamauchi entitled “Immanuel Velikovsky’s Catastrophic History.” Yamauchi takes exception to practically all of the dating

Velikovsky uses to support his ideas. His conclusion is that “Velikovsky’s reconstruction is a catastrophic history in a double sense. It is a history based upon catastrophes, and it is a disastrous catastrophe of history.”

In the renewed flurry of debate over Velikovsky’s views and their validity it is important to keep in mind that he is not a Christian and does not accept the Bible as God’s Word. As a result, although he deals with scriptural incidents and passages. he makes no effort to correlate his ideas and conclusions to Scripture as authoritative. The final vindication or rejection of Velikovsky’s views, consequently, will not alter hiblical catastrophism .

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