Christ’s unique saviorship, MartinnLuther would surely have vigorouslynopposed it, and no livingnChristian can be happy to see itngaining adherents among youngnAmericans. So long, however, asnthose who claim authority fromnthe Christian Messiah are so ineffectualnand superficial in exercisingnit, the new messiahs from thenFar East will find their fields wtiitenalready to harvest. (BC) DnFaltering Christian SoldiersnEerdtnans’ Handbook tonChristianity in America;nEdited by Mark A. Noll et al.;nWilliam B. Eerdmans; Grand Rapids, MI.nA Documentary History ofnReligion in America; Editednby Edwin S. Gaustad; wmiam B.nEerdmans; Grand Rapids.nEerdmans justly enjoys a reputationnas one of America’s leadingnChristian publishers; however,nas modem Christianity itselfnbecomes increasingly fragmentednand secularized, publishingnbooks that try to representnthe whole of it, as these two volumesndo, becomes increasinglynproblematic. Though the UnitednStates has never been united by ansingle communion or creed, untilnquite recendy it did enjoynnear unanimity on such fundamentalndoctrines as the Fatherhoodnof God and on the universalnapplicability of the Golden Rulenand the Ten Commandments.n”We are a Christian people,” affirmednthe Supreme Court inn1931. As these two works show,nthat spiritual consensus is cnmibling.nNow mention of God thenFather brings anathemas fromnfeminist theologians, while leadingnministers refiise to “impose”nany values—even those from thentop of Sinai—on anyone.nA few of the contributors tonEerdmans’ Handbook to Christianitynin America are disturbednby the spfritual disintegration ofnthe nation: one writer lamentsnthat in the 60’s the churches “tooknup the chorus of selfism”; anothernperceives that modem “rights”nactivists have typically had “nontheology at all.” But many of themnlaud the new “liberation” movements,n”the new pluralism” withnits “moving away from an emphasisnon the differences betweennChristianity and the alternativenfaiths,” and the leftist polemics ofnthe National and World Councilsnof Churches. They thus evince asnmuch concern about the declinenof Christianity as Nero showednfor the burning of Rome.nIn the second volume of AnDocumentary History of Religionnin America, Edwin S. Gaustadnseeks “to offer enough balance…nfor virtually every taste.” He does,nfortunately, include fhe bracinglynconservative theological protestnagainst “captivity to the prevailingnthought structures” formulatednih 1975 at Hartford undernthe leadership of the Rev. RichardnNeuhaus and sociologist PeternBerger. He also anthologizes thisnperceptive obserration by GeorgenSantayana:nAs to modernism, it is suicide.nIt is the last of thenconcessions to the spirit ofnthe worid wiiich half-believersnand double-minded prophetsnhave always been found making;nbut it is a mortal concession.nIt concedes everything;nfor it concedes that everythir^nin Christianity, as Christiansnhold it, is an illusion.nAlthough he can quote Santayana,nGaustad does not seemnable to learn from him; in hisnoverall selection of documentsnand in his commentary on thenMoral Majority, on feminism,nand on the no-nukes movement,nhe reveals a decidedly modemnliberal bias. The introduction tona pastoral letter from a Catholicnbishop “withholding 50 percentnof my income tax as a means ofnprotesting our nation’s continuingninvolvement in the race fornnuclear arms supremacy” (thenlast document in the collection)nis almost adulatory. Half-believersnof the sort Eerdmans now seemsnwilling to let edit and write theirnbooks may share the feiShionablenillusion that denying Caesar halfnof his due is a valid act of contemporarynworship. Tme Christiansnwho know that this concedesnto Soviet atheists the rightnto abolish every Western congregationnwill recognize that,nlike other forms of modernism, itnis suicide. (BC). DnAt the AbyssnSidney D. Drell: Facing tfoenThreat of Nuclear Weapons;nUniversity of Washington Press; Seatde.nAlthough a world safe fromnnuclear destruction is an idealnthat all civilized people shouldnpray for, as a practical matter, it isnan impossibility. Nuclear weaponsnexist and will continue to donso until the time that (a) theynhave been used and so only rubblenremains or (b) they have beennreplaced by more potent forces.nThis is not the City of God—^atnleast, yet. Of late, there has beenna great deal of attention focusednupon the proliferation of thesennnweapons. This attention, as it inevitablynh^jpens, has consolidatednitself into a movement: thennuclear-ireeze movement Whethernthe participants in that campaignnare well-meaning individualsnor dupes is essentially ofnlittle concern. There is a morenfundamental consideration: thenquestion of freedom. Freedom isna fundamental of civilized existence.nIn the U.S. people are ablento organize themselves, march,nshout, publish articles, etc. That’snobvious; everyone in the U.S.ntakes it for granted. But the othernpower doesn’t believe in valuesnlike freedom. It concerns itselfnwith coercion, brutality, violence,nand other topics that even thenanimal kingdom has evolved beyond.nEvery day, it seems, therenare reports that severe prisonnovercrowding exists in the U.S.nNo such reports come from thenSoviet Union: the gulag knowsnno bounds.nSidney D. Drell is a theoreticalnphysicist and he has been an advisernto the U.S. government onnmatters of national security andnarms control for more than twondecades. He is clearly a knowledgeablenman. In Facing thenThreat of Nuclear War he setsnforth a number of proposals thatnhe believes and thinks will reducenthe possibility of a nuclearnwar. The items are sensible—ornwould be if all things were equal.nBut they are not. Can thugs benreasoned with? Can free peoplenopenly trust those beings whichnviciously annihilated the lives ofn269 persons who happened tonbe aboard an imarmed, lumberingnpassenger plane that erredninto the wrong geography? Metaphorsnof inhumane being Ml beforenthe reality of the foe.nThe value of the text comesnfrom an appended open letternwritten by Andrei Sakharov,nwherein he states that his andnDrell’s points of view coincide innbelieving that a large nuclearnwar is nothing more than “collectivensuicide.” The difference be-n.39nDecember 1983n