THE PRESIDENT SPEAKS
From: JASA 20 (March 1968): 1-2
Among all the organizations that exist in today's institutionalized world, the ASA holds a unique position. Christian men of science have a membership in two communities. They alone belong both to the community of the faithful, who have committed themselves and their lives to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God, as Savior and Lord, and at the same time to the scientific community, who have committed themselves to the understanding, control, and utilization of the natural world through the scientific disciplines. It is the very uniqueness of this position that presents to the ASA the greatest challenge for its future purposes and activity.
Today the ASA may be said to stand at the cross roads of destiny. We have existed long enough to have entered into the second generation of members. We have grown from a handful to over 1600. We have contributed both nationally and locally, through writings and speaking, to an understanding of the relationships of science and Christianity. All of these good things must not be left unsaid. And yet the ASA has remained a cloistered group, often separated from the real world of Christian faith and scientific achievement, and in many ways ingrown in upon itself. It is in the spirit of positive criticism that the following paper was presented at the annual convention of the ASA at Stanford University in 1967. Its negativism must not be interpreted so much as pessimism as it should be seen spoken in the hope that the ASA may grow to realize the full potentialities of service to God that its unique character makes possible.
The goals that are set forth in that paper will, I hope, be the subject of discussion and exploration by all the members of the ASA this year, I will do my best to see that opportunities for consideration and elaboration are carried out at all levels of the ASA. Growth into greater service will require the active and concerned participation of every member, every Fellow, every Council Member, every Commissioner, and every Board member. A broadening program will require speakers, writers, editorial workers, and the time and patience of many. It will require that the ASA be seen as a worthwhile channel of Christian service for those uniquely equipped. It will require that the ASA live up to such a challenge, so that in every way its members may walk worthy of their vocation.
The choice is fairly clear. Is the ASA to be restricted to the activity of a small religio-scientific sect, forever fighting anew the battles of yesteryear, and speaking aloud to a constantly diminishing audience? Or is the ASA to be a fellowship of men dedicated to Christ and aware of the meaning of scientific investigation, who will pursue these relationships into the heart of the many problems that afflict the world today? Will the ASA break clear of the dry bones of arguments about creation, evolution, Adam, and the flood, and combine scientific insight with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to speak to the problems that concern today's world? It is my personal conviction that the fullness of service to Christ, faithfulness to His Word, and response to the responsibility He has given to us, requires such a new vision and a new dedication of purpose.
What is written in this editorial and in the following paper is a personal opinion. I hope that it is and will be shared and implemented by many others, but at the moment no one is responsible for them except myself. I invite your response and reactions, through your local sections, through the annual convention of 1968 at Calvin College, through letters to the journal, and by all means by letters to me. I thank you for your concern and cooperation.
Richard H. Bube President