Review Essays from

Books and Culture

by Professor Phillip E. Johnson

Books and Culture is a bi-monthly intellectual journal published under the auspices of Christianity Today, Inc., the publisher of Christianity Today and other periodicals. Books and Culture is well into its second year of publication and has been a resounding success. Many of the most distinguished Christian scholars in America and Europe are among its editors and regular contributors.

Professor Phillip E. Johnson has written review essays for most of the issues of Books and Culture, and plans to write many more. We will publish his essays as they appear.

Subscriptions are available for one year (6 issues) for $24.95, 3 years for $49.95. To subscribe, call 1-800-523-7964.

1. "Engaging the Third Culture" Sept/Oct 1995

A review of The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution, by John Brockman. John Brockman is a literary agent who represents many of the most famous scientist/authors of today. The "third culture" of his title consists of scientists who for the general public; Brockman thinks they have replaced humanists as the most important intellectuals of modern culture.

2. "The Law and Politics of Religious Freedom: A revolution in the making" Nov/Dec. 1995

A joint review of two books: Foreordained Failure: The Quest for a Constitutional Principle of Religious Freedom, By Steven D. Smith Oxford University Press 1995); and Mere Creatures of the State? Education, Religion, and the Court, by William Bentley Ball (Crisis Books 1995). Steven D. Smith is a professor of constitutional law; William Bentley Ball is a practicing lawyer who has represented religious groups in famous Supreme Court cases.

3. "The Belief that Works Best" (published as "William James and the Sirens of Rationalism"). Jan/Feb 1996

A review of Paul Jerome Croce, Science and Religion in the Era of William James: The Eclipse of Certainty, 1820-1880, (vol. 1: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). Croce is a professor of history; his book is about the beginnings of pragmatism in American philosophy in the wake of the Darwinian revolution.

4. "Paul Feyerabend's Choice for Freedom" (published as "Wundergadfly"). March/April 1996

A review of Paul Feyerabend's autobiography, Killing Time. Paul Feyerabend was a philosopher of science and a famous critic of the scientific imperialism promoted by the authors interviewed in the John Brockman collection (see #1, above).

5. "Starting a Conversation about Evolution" (published as "Third Party Science"). May/June 1996.

A review of The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate, by Del Ratzsch. Ratzsch is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College.

6. "Left Behind" Sept/Oct 1996

A review of The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars, by Todd Gitlin. Gitlin, a Berkeley sociologist who recently moved to New York University, was a founding member of what used to be called the "New Left."

7. "Pomo Science" Nov/Dec 1996

A review of "Science Wars": a special issue of Social Text (Vol. 14, Nos. 1-2, 1996); and John Horgan, The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age (Helix Books/Addison-Wesley, 308 pages, $24). This review contrasts the rationalist and relativist approaches to science -- and to Biblical studies.

8. "Harter's Precept" March/April 1997 (published as "The Emperor's New Theories")

Critical Thinking applied to some prominent fallacies in social science.

9. "Genius and Plod" May/June 1997

A joint review of Martin Gilbert's book about how he investigated all the fascinating details of Winston Churchill's life, and of Drusilla Scott's popular account of Michael Polanyi's thought.

10. "The Law Written on the Heart" July/August1997 (Published as "Coercion and Conscience")

A review of J. Budziszewski's book about natural law.