that as Theonomists or Reconstructionistsrnthey tried to offer “practical proposalsrnfor public life” by “insisting on carefullyrnformulated theological foundationsrnfor political action” pushing “toward arnmore self-conscious political reflectionrnthan is customary in the evangelicalrntradition.” But this is an inexcusablernunderstatement. Much more needs tornbe said of these men and their influence.rnBoth Rushdoony (whom I havernknown personally for over 10 years) andrnVan Til (most of whose works I havernread) are giants among the pygmyrnChristian thinkers of today. Their worksrnare truly seminal because thev are solidlyrnBiblical.rnProfessor Noll asks: “Can a Christianrnmind develop out of American evangelicalism?”rnHis answer: “Based solely onrn20th century historical precedent, itrndoes not seem likely.” Why not? Becausern”what is essential to Christianity isrna profound trust in the Bible as pointingrnus to the Savior and for orienting ourrnentire existence to the service of God.rn. . . The effort to think like a Christianrnis rather an effort to take seriously thernsovereignty of God over the world Herncreated, the lordship of Christ over thernworld He died to redeem, and the powerrnof the Holy Spirit over the worldrnHe sustains each and every moment.”rnWell, amen! But the leaders of the mostrnprominent evangelical organizations—rnsuch as Ralph Reed, head of the ChristianrnCoalition—seem not to have thernslightest inkling that this is indeed thernessence of the Christian mind. Reedrnhas repeatedly stated, as he did on Todayrnand Good Morning America, that hisrnChristian faith is “personal and private”rnand that his group wants only to changern”public policy,” that his Coalition is “inrneffect, a League of Women Voters forrnpeople of faith.” Yet as Scripture tells us,rn”faith which produces no Christianrnworks is a dead faith” (James 2:26), arnmindless faith, a scandalous faith, a sin.rnOur Lord Himself calls dead faith a “savorlessrnsalt,” so useless it is not fit evenrnfor “the dunghill” (Luke 14:34-35).rnJohn Lofton is editor and publisher ofrnThe Lofton Letter.rnTo order these books, (24hrs, 365 days)rnplease call (800) 962-6651 (Ext. 5200)rnLucky HimrnbyJ.O. TaternThe Anti-Egotist: Kingsley Amis,rnMan of Lettersrnby Paul FussellrnNew York and Oxford: Oxford UniversityrnPress; 224 pp., $23.00rnThe Russian Girlrnby Kingsley AmisrnNew York: Viking Press;rn296 pp., $22.95rnAwit and a fussbudget as well as arnscholar, Paul Fussell is one of thernbest essayists and observers around. Forrnpersonal as well as literary reasons, therernis no one better qualified to undertake arnstudy of the writings of Sir KingsleyrnAmis. They make a natural pair. Indeed,rnthey have been friends for somernyears, though that very relationship mayrnhave something to do with the flaws inrnFussell’s study of Amis’s books andrnmind.rnFussell has pointedly excluded Amis’srnbest known productions, his novels.rnHe wants to show us Amis as a man ofrnletters, a poet, a critic, an essayist, anrnacademic, an anthologist, a traveler, anrnexplorer of the good life—and on thernwhole, this strategy is effective. Afterrnall, there is something to be said for arnman who wrote On Drink, Every DayrnDrinking and How’s Your Glass?, andrnFussell says it. There is something to bernsaid, too, for the editor of The GoldenrnAge of Science F/ciion, The New OxfordrnBook of Light Verse, The Faber PopularrnReciter, and the author of books on sciencernfiction, James Bond, and RudyardrnKipling. Fussell sees Amis as a moralist,rnan upholder of standards, an accessiblerncraftsman, and a civic writer. He alsornsees him as a good poet, faithful to hisrncalling, whose verses fill some of the vacuumrnleft by the inroads of modernismrnand the collapse of culture in the sensernin which it was known not so long ago.rnAnd in making these points, Fussell isrnquite successful.rnWhat is neither successful nor sound,rnhowever, is Paul Fussell’s critical acumen.rnPerhaps he became so caught uprnin the celebration that the celebrationrngot scanted, which is odd for him. Sincernhe does not say so, perhaps this is thernplace to say that not every thought thatrnhas emerged from the Amis font hasrnbeen a worthy one. The sins of youth,rnsuch as Amis’s sneering at Beowulf, SirrnGawain and the Green Knight, and JanernAusten, seem now more dim-wittedrnthan naughty, and the goofy repetitionrnof these embarrassments lends dignityrnto neither party. Furthermore, Fussellrnhas so collapsed the distinction betweenrnthe man and the writer that even as herninsists on Amis’s moral earnestness, hernrepeats passages in which Amis spitefullyrninsulted people about private matters.rnThe only mistake Fussell attributes tornAmis is his support of NATO during thernCold War. With a friend like this—whornrepeats bad jokes that only worked thernfirst time when the sun was over thernyard-arm, and who thinks that likingrnTchaikovsky is a moral accomplishmentrn—Amis does not need any enemies.rnEven so, Fussell’s remains a usefulrnand insightful book about an indispensablernman of letters.rnAn even better demonstration ofrnAmis’s abilities has been undertaken byrnSir Kingsley himself, in the form of hisrnlatest novel. Most of Amis’s novels arernmoral dramas cloaked in entertainingrnwit, satire, splenetic asides, and unfoldingrncomedy. In that sense, they are traditionalrnEnglish novels evoking obviousrncomparisons. This latest one made mernthink of Jane Austen and Henry James.rnThe drama or the melodrama is a test ofrnperception, the story of what RichardrnVaisey thinks, how he knows what hernknows, and how his thinking is challengedrnand changed. Yet it is also thernstory of how on certain points of principlernhe refuses to change his mind.rnThe title. The Russian Girl, remindsrnus of earlier Amis titles, such as Take arnGirl Like You; Girl, 20; and Difficultiesrnwith Girls. Why so many girls? The answerrnis that a gid can be an object of romancernor of desire and, even more, a trialrnof epistemology and valorization,rnperhaps even a test of faith. This Russianrngirl, a poetaster named AnnarnDanilova, is a bit of a manipulator asrnwell as a mysterious, possibly dangerousrnvagabond. Does one kind of fraud implyrnanother? How do you know? Therndrama of the novel is how Vaisey makesrnup his mind.rnHe also has to decide a few thingsrnabout his job, professing Russian in arnbrain-dead academy that has shot itselfrnin the head, and about his wife,rnCordelia, who is without doubt one ofrn36/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn