Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 137:545 (Jan 1980)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Whatever Happened to the Human Race? By Francis A. Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop. Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co. 1979. 256 pp. $11.95.

One warm Sunday morning in June 1941, C. S. Lewis preached a sermon in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford. The sermon was entitled “The Weight of Glory” and in it Lewis expressed these striking thoughts:

The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid daily on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.

Whatever Happened to the Human Race? is the story of how modern man has lost sight of this insight Lewis so well expressed. This book, authored by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, the latter a Christian physician of international reputation, is the companion text to a weekend seminar of the same title which was scheduled in American cities in the fall of 1979. But let it be noted that the text can and does stand solidly on its own quite apart from whether one is able to attend the seminar. This book deserves to be read by any who care at all about the welfare of present and future human generations.

It is that kind of book. It speaks broadly and prophetically about the most serious issues facing the human race, issues relating to man’s inadequate understanding of himself and its effects on society. Many will not agree with the book’s analysis of and solution to the problem, but

they will be forced at least to confront the questions.

The authors argue (as Schaeffer has done repeatedly elsewhere) that the alarming trend toward the devaluation of human life, as seen in the growing acceptance of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, is a product...

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