Monday, November 11, 2013

Support the American Scientific Affiliation

A Letter from Executive Director Hal Poe

As a theologian, I found out about the ASA through the back door. My previous experiences in church and Sunday school never suggested any connection between science and faith. However, at seminary I landed in a course on science and religion taught by a crusty old former Oxford physics professor who had entered the Baptist ministry during World War II. Eric Rust did not suffer fools gladly, and he opened my mind to the wondrous world of creation. He suggested the implications of the quantum world for the activity of God in the universe as well as the implications of the relativity of time and space for the knowledge of God. He explored the way our presuppositions and philosophical commitments affect our interpretations of the Bible and scientific data. I was hooked!

As a pastor, and later as a professor, my layman’s knowledge of science has informed my preaching and teaching. Once I began teaching, however, I began to realize the extent to which most mainline and evangelical theologians still live in Newton’s universe. My colleague Jimmy Davis, from the chemistry department, became my dialog partner on the intersection of science and faith. This relationship led to four co-authored books written to help Christians deal with science and the Bible seriously. When we won a Templeton course prize, I discovered the ASA.

The ASA has provided me with a forum to explore a wide range of issues with committed Christians. The ASA is a fellowship that focuses on the quality of relationships among its members. Many of us gather together every summer at an annual meeting or meet in local chapters. Exchanging ideas around a meal, we model the Christians in Acts 2. We are not simply a polemical organization, but one in which we minister to each other, encourage each other, and challenge each other in the fellowship of Christ. The ASA is rare in that it has a spiritual dimension that few academic organizations possess.

Like most not-for-profit organizations, the ASA relies upon the annual contributions of our members and friends to support our important mission. Our mission is to have a significant and continuing impact on churches and the body of Christ. We seek to impact how the average pastor and church member think about science and religion. In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to enlist the assistance of those who share our mission and interests.

Future development efforts will depend upon utilizing our members to take a more active role in the organization beyond mere attendance at the annual meeting. As you prayerfully plan your year-end charitable giving, I ask that you consider a donation to ASA. Your tax-deductible gift will support our vital mission in a time of great spiritual and intellectual upheaval. Your personal invitation to colleagues, friends or relatives to become a member or attend an ASA meeting would be most effective.

All the best for a blessed Christmas,

Hal Poe
President, ASA Executive Council

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