Science in Christian Perspective
Increased Dues for Fellows
From JASA 8 (December 1956): 2
A recent action of the Executive Council has been of some concern to the Fellows of the organization, namely, that of increasing annual dues. Naturally, an explanation is in order for such a substantial change.
This was no impulsive move. The Council has discussed this problem at its meetings over a period of several years, and at the last annual meeting the issue was brought before those present. Several reasons have promoted this action.
Foremost has been the increasing need for a permanent secretary. So far, all of the administrative work has been done on a volunteer basis, on personal hours after full time employment in other fields. This has naturally limited both the time and vigor to carry out some of the requirements of each office. In particular, the Secretary-Treasurer's task has become virtually a half-time employment and in recent years it has been difficult to find someone willing to take on so formidable a task. The President's burden has become quite large also, a great deal of which could be handled by a permanent secretary. Further progress in the journal depends largely on having such a person to handle routine details of solicitation, proofreading, and contacting the printer.
More important is that a proper kind of permanent full-time officer could provide a tremendous impetus to the progress of the A.S.A., not only in numbers but in developing the unique fields of service in Christianity and science for which the Affiliation was intended, That this step would mean real progress is borne out by the experience of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship as well as by numerous other organizations.
At present the journal constitutes the major expense item and it is obvious that an expansion of it would involve additional expense. Other publication ventures are possible only if they are self-liquidating or supported by outside groups. As an organization, we are in no different position than that of many of the large scientific groups with much higher dues than ours. Publication costs have forced either higher dues, additional subscription fees, or outside subsidization.
It was realized that such a step would be a burden to some and the Council has been very deliberate in passing such a motion and we hope that we have been led by the will of God in so doing.
The AS.A. is an organization of Christians, with
a unique Christian ministry. As such it is assumed
that those interested in its purposes contribute with
much the same attitude that they do toward other
Christian ministries. There, of course, is no pretense
of trying to provide a tangible service to the individual equal to his dues.
Apparently there is some misunderstanding regard ing the content of papers published in this journal review of the purpose of the A.S.A. and the review of the policy of publication is therefore in order.
Since a part of the objective is to examine fields of science relating to Scripture, it is emphasized that there is not a uniform or official A.S.A. interpretation. The only bounds we have are the inerrancy of the original Scriptures. To publish only articles particular theological system would defeat the very pose for which the Affiliation was founded.
It is not intended to "protect" readers from v that may seem unorthodox to some. It is doubtful that a clear-thinking individual is produced by avoiding thorny topics.
Articles and columns are presented over the author's names and are to be considered their presentations and should not be construed as A.S.A. policy. It is not uncommon for the Editor to strongly disagree some points in the papers he selects for publication. Some papers that might appear to engender contr versy are sent to referees versed in that particular field.
A few criticisms have seemed to demand an a impossible degree of scholarly level and progress in every paper-a level not attained by professional journals in scientific or engineering fields. Of course improvement is a continuous effort, but in the that, frankly, is up to each of you in providing material to be published, It is probably safe to that all the better papers are published.
Along that line it might be well to point out a reasons why papers are rejected, as a guide for pre paring them. (1) Scientific inaccuracy would rapidly destroy confidence in our work. (2) Some subjects have been overworked or pretty well exhausted in light of present knowledge. New information of course is welcome. (3) Weaknesses in grammar and compo sition would lead to questioning our competence in other fields.
Again, we emphasize that the quality of publica tion is only as A.S.A. members supply material. Occasionally, an article by a nonmember is published but the basic supply is from within the organization.
Some plans for the future of the journal involve distribution of duties with an assistant in charge of each department. In particular we hope to bolster th e member news with a reporter from each major area, book reviews, and reviews of articles published else where that may be of interest. The Editor would be very glad to hear from any who would volunteer to carry on any of these activities.