Science in Christian Perspective



Richard H. Bube and others


From: JASA 24 (December 1972): 155-158

"When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, 'Ask what I shall do for you, before 1 am taken from you.' And Elisha said, 'I pray you, let me inherit a double share of your spirit."' ii Kings 2:9

Once in a rare while the spirit of an entire organization is so captured by one individual, that he becomes the very incarnation of that organization. The ASA has been blessed to have such a leader in the person of H. Harold Hartzler. For 28 years a member of the ASA, he has been in positions of responsibility and leadership for the past 21 years. His own overview of 30 years of ASA history was published in the journal ASA 24, 23, March (1972). It is only appropriate that a few of the many of us who have known him and valued our friendship as Christian colleagues in science should take this opportunity to bear him tribute. This fall Harold passes on the responsibility of Executive Secretary of the ASA to William D. Sisterson, the ASA's first full time Executive Secretary. We look forward to our association in the future and know that Harold's experience and counsel will be a continuing source of inspiration
and guidance.


Born in 1908, Harold majored in physics and mathematics at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and received his Ph.D. in physics with a minor in mathematics from Rutgers University in 1934. He has served as Professor of Mathematics and/or Physics at five different colleges between 1935 and the present, including 16 years in three different periods at Goshcn College and 13 years at Mankato State College, his present position. He is a member of scientific societies concerned with mathematics, physics or astronomy, and has served as President of the Sigma Xi Club and of the AAUP at Mankato State, as well as Secretary and President of the local Christian Business Men's Committee,he holds the unique record of having attended every one of the 27 annual meetings of the ASA. He is the author of a number of articles published in the Journal ASA, including a paper on "The Meaning of Mathematics" published in the very first issue of the Journal ASA in January 1949, and of chapters on science and Christian faith in several hooks. Harold is an active member of the Gideons and serves as faculty advisor to the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Mankato State College.

A Man of Vision

For many years the person who has held the American Scientific Affiliation together has been Harold Hartzlcr. He has served without any reservations in every position of the Affiliation. He has handled every assignment expertly. He has attended every annual meeting. For a number of years he has served with distinction as Executive Secretary. This has meant many hours of labor in addition to his regular teaching position.
He has always had a vision for ASA. He has worked with everyone whether he agreed completely with them or not. Time after time he has made a plea for unity of spirit and always wished to cooperate with each member of the organization.

He and his wife have done much of the physical labor of mailing the Journal and the News. They both gave unstintingly to see that things ran smoothly.

Harold has shown a great concern for evangelism on the college campus, sponsoring meetings of various Christian organizations to acquaint the college students on his own campus with the claims of Christ. I have been impressed time after time with his unselfish desire to serve the Lord.

Much of the success of the American Scientific Affiliation in the future will be because of the vision of this man.
Donald C. Boardman President 1971, 1972 Wheaton College Wheaton, Illinois 60187

An Elder Statesman

To write a tribute to Harold Hartzler in a few words is a challenging task indeed. His active involvement with the ASA goes back more than a quarter of a century to a time when some of our younger members were not even born. Over the years Harold has been a faithful, committed, enthusiastic, and longterm supporter of our affiliation; he is an elder statesman who more than any other single person has shaped ASA history.

In working with Harold during the past several years I have found him to be dedicated, cooperative, optimistic, humorous, and sometimes a little stubborn -in that order. He has consistently shown a great love for science along with a deep respect for people; a wise and mature caution but with an open-ness to new ideas and suggestions; an ability to express and defend his opinions, but an ever-present willingness to put his own ideas aside if the Executive Council or membership voted for another course of action.

As he has worked for the ASA, Harold has been assisted by his wife who has labored in the background, helping with the many mundane tasks that most of us know nothing about. Mrs. Hartzler deserves a share of the gratitude that we feel towards her husband.

Harold has been a competent ASA leader but more important, he has been and is a committed Christian. By his words and actions he has repeatedly reminded us that we are an organization of evangelicals whose beliefs must be based on the scriptures and whose prime allegiance is to Jesus Christ. The Christian faith, the dedication, and the stabilizing influence of Harold Hartzler will continue to serve as an example to all of us who are concerned with the purposes and future of the ASA.

Gary R. Collins Executive Council 1970-74 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois 60015

Twenty-one Years of Leadership

Dr. Hartzler's imminent retirement as Executive Secretary drives my thoughts back some twenty-eight years. In September of 1944 I received a letter from Dr. Hartzler inquiring about the ASA. He seemed obviously qualified, so in answering his letter I enclosed an application blank. In my letter I said:"You may be interested in knowing that our membership was 43 in August of this year. These are all Christian men of science with whom I am sure you would be pleased to be associated."

He promptly filled out the blank and returned it. I forwarded it to Dr. Barnes with the comment:"I am completely satisfied that Dr. Hartzler is a worthy applicant for membership in ASA and I recommend him wholeheartedly to the Executive Council". How prophetic those words seem in retrospect!

He joined an organization of 43 members which has grown to 1800. Much of this growth has been due to his own efforts. His contribution to ASA has been unique in his unprecedented continuity in high office. His ten years on the Executive Council (including two years as Secretary-Treasurer and six years as President) followed immediately by eleven years as Executive Secretary adds up to twenty-one years at the highest level of policy making and administration. Harold has worked long, faithfully, and so effectively for the ASA. He has truly earned the right to retire honorably from the office of Executive Secretary.

Speaking of his retirement, I just can't visualize Harold in a rocking-chair on the porch.

Irving A. Cowperthwaite One of Founding Fathers of ASA Executive Council 1941-1943 10 Willoughby Road Milton, Massachusetts 02187

A Faithful Servant

Harold Hartzler's long and distinguished contribution to the ASA has been characterized chiefly by enthusiasm and faithfulness. Although in short supply in the world around us, Harold has demonstrated a seemingly boundless supply of these scarce commodities. Both of these, of course, are rooted in and flow from his deep Christian convictions. There was only one way for Harold to show his approval of the ASA and its program-that was to throw himself into its work, not just on convenient occasions but to give of himself unstintingly at great personal cost and over a period of some 25 years.

I cannot envision any organization growing and thriving without a liberal endowment of the traits of enthusiasm and faithfulness among its leaders. Fortunately for us, completing his long career as Executive Secretary does not mean that Harold's vitality will he lost to the ASA. But there is need for massive infusions of enthusiasm and faithfulness at every administrative level and in every individual member of the ASA. And Harold has set before us a vivid and wonderful example for just that!

F. Alton Everest One of Founding Fathers of ASA Executive Council 1941-1950; President 5-A LaSalle Rd., 2/F Kowloon, Hong Kong

An Indelible Imprint

The character and the accomplishments of many organizations and institutions can be traced quite directly to the few individuals who have provided the leadership in the years of formation and growth toward maturity. The American Scientific Affiliation is no exception, and Harold Hartzler is one whose imprint is indelibly upon it.

Ever since I first became a part of ASA, Harold Hartzler has been in places of leadership and responsibility in it, first as an officer then as its executive secretary. For years the two Harold Hartzler and the ASA-have been so closely inter-related that it seems difficult to think of one without the other. On a more personal level, I count it a privilege to know Harold not only as a colleague in the ASA but also as a personal friend. So I, for one, wish to express thanks to Harold Flartzler for his outstanding service in the American Scientific Affiliation and, at the same time, to express confidence that the foundations which have been laid will be built into even greater accomplishments in the years ahead.

Robert B. Fischer President, 1966, 1967 California State College Domingues Hills, California 90246

A Fine Example

None of our members over the years has so merited the title "Mr. ASA' as Harold. We accept with re luctance his stepping down from the position of Executive Secretary, and we hope he will have many more years among us as the very interested participant in the work of ASA he has always been. If ASA is the lengthened shadow of founding fathers, then Harold has helped make both umbra and penumbra. We shall always remember his ready smile (sometimes through a handsome beard), his friendly needling, his ardent opposition to war, his strong interest in all the work of ASA but especially his concern for science education as an aid to understanding the way God works through nature, his faithful attention to the necessary details of the execution of his office, his unflagging zeal for the goals of ASA, his vision for a greater opportunity for ASA in the hearts of scientists the country over, and the fine example of his own personal faith in Jesus Christ. We do him no more than his due when we thus honor him.

Charles Hatfield President, 1969, 1970 University of Missouri: -Rolla Rolla, Missouri 65401

Devoted Service

Harold Hartzler welcomed me into ASA when I was a graduate student, before we met at the 1951 annual meeting at Shelton College in New York City.

A few years later, Harold became the answer to my desperate prayer by becoming ASA's first paid officer. In 1958 I was elected to the Executive Council and eventually succeeded Hendrik Oorthuys as Secretary-Treasurer. I was on the faculty of Iowa State University by then. For at least a year after Hendrik moved from Purdue to Oregon State, his former secretary, Joan Pubols, maintained the ASA office in Lafayette. But the Affiliation grew faster than correspondence between Ames and Lafayette could keep up. I was teaching, doing research, and beginning to raise a family, plus speaking around the country for IVCF and AIBS. My evenings and weekends overflowed with ASA business. I was at the end of my spare-time volunteer rope.

Just in time to rescue me from personal crisis, Harold stepped in. He agreed to move the ASA files from Lafayette to Mankato and work part-time as Executive Secretary for something like $100 a month. If I could have afforded it, I would gladly have contributed that monthly $100. But I did begin to give a significant part of my tithe to ASA, because I saw that Harold Hartzler was leading us into new growth and accomplishment. Much of our present momentum is due to his devoted service, one of the great bargains of all time.

Thank you, Harold.

Walter R. Hearn Editor, ASA News Executive Council 1957-1961 762 Arlington Ave. Berkeley, California 94707

A Kind Heart Slow to Blame

It has been my pleasure to know Dr. Harold Hartz ler for 18 years and to have close association with him during the time that I was an Executive Council member and the Book Review Editor for the Journal ASA.
I was always impressed by his steadfast dedication to what he believed to be a good cause-the ASA giving up much of his free time day after day for little or no remuneration. By so doing he has given continually to this loosely organized group. He has probably prevented many conflicts from developing between members through his kind heart and slowness to blame others. It has also been a pleasure to work with him because of his flexibility and willingness to accept new ideas.

By his jovial personality coupled with his delightful wit he has interjected a refreshing lightness into many weighty discussions and has helped people to feel at ease.

The recent addition of a beard adds a note of distinction but does not hide the twinkle in his eye. Although relieved of his heavy responsibilities, I am hoping to see Harold at many annual meetings to come and to feel his influence and hear his historical perspective.

Marlin B. Kreider Executive Council 1970-1971 Worcester State College Worcester, Massachusetts

An Enthusiastic Conscience

As I recall the years during which I have known and worked with Harold Hartzler a clear picture of him comes to my mind. One thinks first of all of his enthusiasm for the ASA. It is always present, not only at conventions and Executive Council meetings but, more important, between meetings when it is so easy to become completely occupied with other matters. Harold has been the conscience of the Executive Council in keeping it effective throughout the year.

Of similar significance is the role that Harold has played as a unifying force in the ASA. Although his beliefs are probably with the more conservative members of the ASA, his view for the ASA has included all Christians in agreement with the ASA statement of faith. Harold's example in this respect has had a great influence in maintaining the broad spectrum of opinion in the ASA. This diversity among our members is our greatest strength and few organizations are successful in achieving and maintaining such a condition.
Of course, Harold has served effectively in his many duties as Executive Secretary: mailing Journals, collecting dues, supervising conventions, etc. However, his unique and lasting contributions to the ASA have been his enthusiasm which has kept the organization in good health and his vision of an inclusive ASA. We thank you, Harold, for your effective and faithful service through the years.

John A. McIntyre Executive Council 1969-1973 Texas A & M University College Station, Texas 77840

A Christian Gentleman
To me, Harold exemplifies the Christian gentleman of science. I have been especially impressed with his ability to separate a point of view from the person who holds it. Unfortunately many of us often fail to accomplish this, and therefore take a negative view toward people with whom we disagree on some scientific or theological issue.

Since I am a newcomer to the Executive Council, I have had less personal contact with Harold than others have. However, as a past president of a local ASA section, I always found him willing (and able) to give important advice and encouragement. We owe an incalculable dept to Harold for his contributions to the ASA and to us as individuals.

Claude E. Stipe Executive Council 972-I976 Marquette University Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233

Mr. (ASA)3

Dedication seems to me to be the word that best describes H. Harold Hartzler and his work with the ASA. I have had the privilege of working with him as a teaching colleague and in the operation of ASA. He has always shown the virtues of a Christian combined with the thoroughness of a scholar. Beyond these attributes however has been his dedication to the task of relating Science and the Christian Faith.

Certainly no one has been a more consistent proponent of the work of the ASA nor a more faithful evangelist for members in the association.

When he taught at Goshen College his students often referred to him as H3 or Cubey, based on his name. Somehow it seems that we ought to vote him a triple honor, Executive Secretary cum laude Emeritus, or perhaps Mr. (ASA)3.

Henry Weaver, Jr. President 1962  215 Carter Ave. Goshen, Indiana 46526