Science in Christian Perspective



On Unity

Matthew S. Tiscareno, ASA Student Member
Lunar and Planetary LaboratoryUniversity of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

From: PSCF 51 (September 1999): 208.                                                       Response: Siemens

I am a scientist, an evangelical non-denominational Christian, and an old-Earth creationist. I recently decided to take up membership in the American Scientific Affiliation, thinking that I would find there a forum which would unify Christians with a serious scientific perspective, fostering enlightened dialogue on the many issues of science and faith which are relevant to our society. While I have in fact found some articles in PSCF interesting and thought-provoking, I am disappointed to find sharp lines of distinction being drawn over theological issues, destroying the unity with which we scientifically like-minded Christians should speak.

I was particularly disturbed to find, within the pages of PSCF, pejorative generalizations about premillennialists and literal inspiration of the Bible, such as the wholly false statement that "premillennialists ... are not concerned much with activities which would improve the world" (PSCF 50 [Dec. 1998]: 281). In like manner, while I do not mind reading a defense of the Presbyterian view of original sin, to label all opposing views as "subverting biblical teaching" is entirely inappropriate (PSCF 51 [June 1999]: 115).

It seems, from reading your publication, that the ASA is not in fact an organization for Christians of all traditions, in which we can put aside our denominational differences and work together to help Christians better understand science, and to help the world to better understand Christianity. Rather, it seems that the ASA is an organization for Christians of a particular tradition (namely, those with a strongly Reformed or Calvinist leaning), and that Christians of other stripes, such as myself, are not really welcome. I do not know if this statement reflects the makeup of the ASA membership, but it certainly reflects the tone of several articles in PSCF.

I would love to be part of an organization founded upon mutual respect that can freely discuss science and faith. I do not mind being told that others think my views are wrong, as that is an important part of free inquiry. However, if your organization were truly inter-denominational, I would not find your publication meanly disparaging views held by large segments of the Christian community, or saying that such views are not valid ones for a Christian to hold. I pray that God will bless the ministry of the ASA. But if, as it seems, "my kind of Christian" is not welcome in your organization, then perhaps I should discontinue my membership.