The American Scientific Affiliation is a Christian organization established for the fellowship of Christian men and women of science. The organization offers “scientific counsel to Christian teachers, ministers, students and others” presenting the Christian position “to a generation characterized by materialism and skepticism.” A service is provided to aid Christian writers and publishers toward maintaining scientific accuracy in their works. Scientifically accurate and biblically sound publications are available, including a journal which will prove of worth to the seminary library, the pastor’s study and the Christian school teacher’s desk. A lending library is available to membership, furnishing works on the relation of science to the Bible. Aims include evangelism among scientists, spiritual growth and intellectual development of constituency. Membership includes students, ministers, housewives, teachers and others only little or not at all conversant with science. A doctrinal form of subscription consists of two points, (1) the belief in the inspiration of inerrant Scripture, and (2) the deity of Christ, the only atoning Mediator between God and men. Many organizations today have already more than two points of unity, to say nothing of three forms of unity. Yet it is certainly scientific to have as a Christian basis a more comprehensive statement of faith, such as that expressed in the Westminster Standards, or in the Reformed Confessions. These great symbols have always been at the heart of the theological sciences, and provide the bases for the right interpretation of all the other sciences. Theology proper, conceived of as the doctrine of God, is the ruling power, the queen of sciences.¹ There is “one all-comprehending unity, the acceptance of one principle by which everything is governed,” so that there “must be stability and regularity ruling over everything.” That principle and ruling power is not man’s capricious will, but “the unity and stability of God’s decree.”² The biblical (Calvinistic) doctrine of God forms the foundation of all creation and all history. Standing on the eternal counsel of God, this foundation provides the basis for the view that the universe is existing and developing according to God’s foreordained plan. That one principle of the sovereign will of God stands antithetically to the Arminian ideas of chance, deistic dualism, contingent thought and emergency plans. A Calvinistic epistemology requires a broad, all-embracing interpretation of God’s creation and of all reality, “refusing the scientific name to whatsoever investigator dare not unroll the colors of his own banner, and does not show emblazoned on his escutcheon in letters of gold the very principle for which he lives, and from which his conclusions derive their power.”³
Science, according to the Affiliation includes not only mathematics, engineering, medicine, physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology and geology, but also sociology and the so called “social sciences.” Here caution is needed. As the editor of the Affiliation warned, “There are as many caricatures of science in the Christian community as there are of Christianity in the scientific community. He [the Christian scientist, RCH] is responsible for building an understanding of the differences between pseudo-science, science and scientism.”4 This may also apply to the so called “social sciences,” which do not rank with the technical sciences. Nor do we believe they developed out of the academic world. The origin of the term “social science,” if checked, will lead through a most intriguing history.5 Over a hundred years ago the term was devised by self-styled “experts.” “In the International Encyclopedic Dictionary (1897) the observation is made that ‘Comte [August Comte . . . 1798-1857] may rightfully be claimed as having created Social Science.’ However, since Comte was secretary to Saint-Simon from 1818 to 1824 it can be reasonably deduced that he acquired the term ‘social science’ from his master. The gist of Saint-Simon’s socialist system included much . . . in the form of modern communism and fascism.”6 Among notables who initiated and spread socialist ideas by way of “social science” were Horace Greely, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.7
Another eye-catching term bombarding us on all sides is the one in the words “Judaeo-Christian.” “It is historically true that to a large extent the development of science in the Western world has close links with the perspective on the world derived from the Judaeo-Christian faith. It is the emphasis on the objective rational reality of the natural world that gave rise to the philosophical presuppositions that nurtured science. It is the Judaeo-Christian emphasis on the value of the individual and the value of work that fostered the industrial revolution and the development of scientific technology.”8 This term may simply refer to the fact that Christ and the first Christians were Jews, or to the word Jew in its best sense, praise to God, or to the truth that anyone is a Jew who knows circumcision of heart (Rom. 2:28f). The meaning then is that the only true Jew is the true Christian. There is then no more reason for speaking of Judaeo-Christian religion than to speak of Abrahamic-Christian or Davidic- Christian religion. The term “Judaeo-Christian heritage,” for example, is certainly not Pauline, since he had enough trouble with the Judaizers than to deliberately confuse the church world with such a semantic device. Not this term, nor any other that applies to Christ, has its source in rabbinical speculation. The teaching of Jesus, as He made plain, was always antithetical to Judaism. When He said, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy’ ” He referred to Judaism. But when He said, “I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies'” (Matt. 5:43f), He inculcated distinctively Christian principle. To John the Baptist multitudes went out from “all Judea . . . but when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, ‘O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?'” (Matt. 3:5, 7). John did not think that his religion had any connection with Judaism. There was nothing in common between John or Jesus and the Pharisees and Sadducees, on the ground of anything Judaeo-Christian, so that rapport or reconciliation might be attempted from either side. The antithetical teaching of Jesus denies that our religion is Judaeo-Christian. “Except your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). The term has a rather ecumenical and evolutionary ring to it. It is as though “Heathenism was humanity upon its face in despair. Judaism was humanity upon its knees, hoping, praying and prophesying. In Christ, for the first time in history, humanity stood upon its feet.”9 But humanity in Christ has always stood upon the promises of the covenant since the protevangelium.
Another interesting article in the journal relates to a joint project of World Vision and a school of Fuller Seminary known as MARC, Missions Advanced Research and Communication Center, in Monrovia, California. MARC is a data processing center which utilizes an IBM 360 computer, model 30. For more detail, see a former recent Standard Bearer article, “A Missionary Movement.” For the operation of a computer-systems socio-religious research center for Protestant Christian organizations the following are needed: sociologists, social anthropologists, systems engineers, computer analysts, information theorists, operational managers and, yes, theologians. Note where this staff list beings and where it ends. The terms “sociologist,” “social sciences,” “social anthropology,” “statistical sociology” are imposing titles which tend to so overawe the average person as to cause him to bow before “experts” at home in such a complicated field. They would lead us to believe that now all the arts and sciences, including history, geography, economics and law, are to be classified under “social sciences.” Sociology, a pseudo-science, the brain-child of Claude Hem-i Saint-Simon and his collaborator Auguste Comte, has forced its way into general acceptance everywhere including the universities, where it did not originate.10 Personal investigation of this field should reveal under the masquerade of harmless sounding labels, New Thought and other interesting specimens of poison. But what is the express purpose of MARC? It is the “giving of every man and woman in the world an opportunity to say ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ,” This is the Pelagian-Arminian idea that spiritually dead man, who ever since the Fall has said ‘no’ to God, has the innate power to say ‘yes’ to Him. It implies that man has the power of contrary choice. It implies that given the opportunity and refusing it, it had been better not to have been given it. It denies election and the fact that God will save a given chosen one, even though he may never have had such an opportunity (offer) or may have refused a hundred of them.
There is also in this issue of the journal a fine article on the biblical term firmament (Heb., raqia‘) under the title, “The Three-Storied Universe.” Using the critical faculty as a sanctified sieve, the journal is recommended.
¹ A. Kuyper, Calvinism, Eerdmans, 1947, p. 113.
² ibid., p. 114
³ ibid., p. 141
4 Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, March 1969, p. 6
5 This may be traced fully in the Veritas Foundation’s The Great Deceit—Social Pseudo-Sciences, (1964), West Sayville, New York.
6 ibid., p. 57
7 ibid., p. 58
8 Journal of the A.S.A., March 1969, p. 7
9 John B. Koehne, in “News & Notes,” quoted in Old Faith Contender, July 1969, p. 189.
10 The Great Deceit, pp. 3-6, 45