Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JETS 12:2 (Spring 1969) p. 123
Faith and the Physical World. By David L. Dye. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1966. Pp. 214 including bibliography and index. $2.95. Reviewed by George L. Bate, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California.
In Dr. Dye’s comprehensive book a whole-person relationship with God, fellow persons and with His creation is the goal of a Christian world view. In addition to a sound understanding of Scripture, the task of writing such a book calls for relevant insights from theology, philosophy and science.
As a professional physicist the author demonstrates a working understanding of the scientific method and its limitations. He draws knowledgeably (with helpful annotations) not only from theology and philosophy but also from such fields as cosmogony, paleontology, anthropology and psychology. His essentially non-technical treatment will be found quite readable by the serious student and the intelligent layman.
The Christian world view outlined by Dr. Dye discerns a physical reality and a spiritual reality. In their respective spheres science gives a valid description of physical reality and biblical Christianity deals with the spiritual realm. Objections may be raised to the book’s compartmentalization of physical and spiritual reality on the basis that the biblical view comprehends the physical world along with the spiritual without evident fragmentation of perspective.
According to the author, science as a rational description of nature requires three presuppositions (easily overlooked by science practitioners): physical reality exists, logic applies and causality operates. Similarly, the Christian comprehension of spiritual reality rests on the presuppositions that God exists and that Christ reveals God. The statement of this latter presupposition is theologically different from the statement that the Bible is the record of God’s special revelation of Himself to men. Depending on neo-orthodox implications, the difference is not trivial. Actually, Dr. Dye states the presupposition in both forms after extrapolating from the former to the latter. A less subjective emphasis is preferable in the reviewer’s opinion, which would reverse the order, beginning with the Scriptures as God’s revelation of Himself. The author’s treatment is fair in that he recognizes the theological complexities and refers the reader to more technical sources.
The five presuppositions taken together then provide the foundation for the consistent Christian world view proposed by the author. These presuppositions are to imply particularly that general and special revelation are mutually consistent. In more personal terms the author states
JETS 12:2 (Spring 1969) p. 124
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