Volume 42 Number 3
ASAer Profile: Michael Newton Keas
||With over 2,000 ASAers, it is hard to know
so many members personally. One way to meet and make new Christian
friends in science is to attend ASA 2000 in Massachusetts this year.
Even if you don't like lobster, New England in summer is the place
for a family vacation.
Another way to become familiar with ASAers is through an occasional ASAN column that gives a brief background on a somewhat randomly selected ASAer. Leading off is science historian Mike Keas.
Mike has developed extensive curricula for liberal arts science courses that draw from his direct experience with international science and from his science studies in cultural context. Since 1993 he has served at Oklahoma Baptist U. (OBU) as Assistant Professor of Natural Science and co-designer of OBU's unique student-managed Planetarium.
Mike's independent and collaborative academic projects have attracted national attention and funding through agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Templeton Foundation. He has contributed articles to several scholarly anthologies and journals, including the American Chemical Society's Nobel Laureates in Chemistry (1901-1992).
In 1992, Mike earned a Ph.D. in History of Science from the U. of Oklahoma after extensive undergraduate work in science and European history. As a 1988-1989 Fulbright resident in East Germany, he experienced some of the last historic moments behind the Berlin wall.
He is currently investigating the pre-suppositional and rhetorical dimensions of science since antiquity (including work at Oxford U. during three summers in a program funded by John Templeton). Mike has been awarded half-time release from teaching in the spring of 2000 for curricular development. The Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture is supporting his work on biology curricula, and the American Council of Learned Societies is funding his co-directorship of OBU's "Cosmology and Cultures" project, which will develop planetarium shows for children through adults).
Mike has put recent Templeton Foundation funding into a project to study argumentation in science, titled "Negotiating Science: The Rhetoric of Reason and Belief in Scientific Controversies." The abstract states:
This project will survey and compare selected episodes of rival scientific rhetoric that are approximately categorized under two charges: "that's not science" and "that's not good science."
The Negotiating Science project will be restricted to episodes of rival scientific rhetoric that involve mainstream scientists who were at other (perhaps earlier, but not always) times or in other endeavors accepted and approved by their peers.
Mike elaborates further on the project:
The Negotiating Science project will pay particular attention to how appeals to both reason and belief (Christian and otherwise) have figured into the hidden assumptions and explicit components of multiple sides of scientific controversies. This rhetorical and cognitive analysis of the interplay of faith and reason will help further dismantle the tiresome modern myth that science and religion are fundamentally at war with each other.
Mike's project can be found on the Web at:
More on the John Templeton Seminars on Science and Christianity at Oxford U. (1999-2001) can be found at: http://www.gospelcom.net/cccu/fac-admi/templeton/
Mike has long been a enthusiast of the Augustinian Christian perspective (particularly as developed in modern times by Dutch Reformed thinkers) that Roy Clouser represents. Mike says:
I think this approach to the philosophy of science and epistemology in general offers rich resources for dealing with current origins issues. In fact, I have a work-in-progress website called the Science & Religion Exploratorium (online curricular module for courses in science, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion) that succinctly summarizes what Clouser does for the ID movement. If anyone cares to surf this site and email me comments, I will incorporate your ideas into the next addition of the site. You are welcome to point your students to this site as a course requirement.
The site is under development, but still useful in its present form, at:
Can A Christian Believe In Evolution? A Yes Response
Paul Rothrock and Ray Grizzle
Dept. of Environmental Science
Upland, IN 46989-1001
During one week this summer, severe thunderstorms boomed through our county every evening. Weather bulletins reported 3/4" hail. The local papers pictured property damage - fallen limbs and broken glass - and called the damage an "act of God." These crashing storms were followed by mornings bright and benign. These too were an act of God along with the ensuing flush of new growth in our pastures and fields of corn. Psalm 104 unequivocally says that all of these and more are the works of God's hand. He brings forth food from the earth, gives breath to each living creature, and, when he takes his breath away, returns them to dust.
In these observations is an important point. Some acts of God have yielded much of their mystery to human investigation. By studying the atmosphere, we can predict rain. We can compute the movements of the earth and sun. We have discovered the chemical pathways that cause corn to grow and that maintain the life of animal cells. As Christians, we realize that naturalistic explanations do not negate the fact that God is at work in his creation. Instead, scientific explanations potentially complement those derived by revelation. Each kind of explanation has its own purpose and focus. Each is arrived at through different avenues. Each is a necessary part of fully understanding the world in which we presently live.
Science generally seeks to understand how things work and under what conditions an activity will take place. Religion, on the other hand, seeks to answer even more difficult, ultimate questions related to our place and purpose as humans. Why are we here? Who made us? And how should we live? So, as an initial response to the question, "Can a Christian believe in evolution?" we suggest that evolutionary explanations answer specific questions from a naturalistic perspective. These answers should be viewed as complementing, not competing with, those derived from the Bible.
Of course, a debate over creation versus evolution cannot be solely answered on the basis of the different roles played by scientific investigation and religious revelation. We need to ask at least two additional questions: (1) "Is there adequate scientific evidence for evolution?" and (2) "What limitations does God's inerrant verbal revelation, the Bible, place on science?"
Regarding scientific evidence, our experiences in plant taxonomy and invertebrate zoology have led us to broadly agree with the vast majority of scientists. They see descent with modification as a clear pattern in the diversity of living things. Populations and species are remarkably dynamic in their behavior and genetic program. Many families of organisms are bewilderingly rich in species and, at times, the individual species seem less different than two popular cola drinks.
Conversely, we sense a profound misunderstanding of the natural world in much Christian writing. Popular publications expend an inordinate amount of time inadequately characterizing the fossil record. They fail, e.g., to carefully evaluate the fascinating transitional forms between reptiles and mammals. They disregard how incremental changes within the horse family, seen in a well-preserved fossil record, ultimately result in a very large difference between early and late equid species.
Even without a fossil record, a powerful case for descent with modification can be made by examining the pattern of characters exhibited by the many millions of presently living forms. Careful comparisons of structure allow taxonomists to classify organisms into genera, families, and other categories based on their degree of structural and genetic similarity. To use a familiar but remarkable example, we classify whales as mammals, not fish. Why? Whales have lungs instead of gills. They also possess complex mammalian structures such as hair, mammary glands, a four-chambered heart, a placenta, and a sophisticated brain. Even the bone structure of the flukes and skull as well as the protein chemistry and DNA are mammal-like. Connections with land mammals are confirmed by remnant hind-limb bones and pelvis.
In short, we believe that data from the study of nature indicate that successive episodes of speciation have led, over time, to very great changes in the forms of organisms. This conclusion harmonizes with the overall scientific picture of the natural world from astronomy, geology, and physics.
But what does the Bible teach about evolution? What limitations does the Bible demand from Christians in our interaction with science? To answer this we offer four observations derived from Genesis 1.
In interpreting Genesis, people often focus on how long it took God to create and whether he performed miracles or used natural processes to complete his creation. However, these questions divert attention from the central message of this portion of God's Word. The question people across the ages have needed to be answered is: "Who is God?" We learn that God is eternally existing. Unlike the pagan gods, he is neither a heavenly object, an animal, nor a human. This one, true God made all these things.
Within these points lie the limitations for the Christian in interpreting evolutionary science. There must be a Creator, and something does not come from nothing. Because there is a Creator, the processes of nature - the regularities observed by scientists - reflect nature's obedience to God's commands and are not accidental. For the Christian, nature exhibits God's wisdom and is fulfilling his divine purposes. And finally, humans, as God's image-bearers, potentially can know their Creator. In part we can know him through studying the mysteries of nature, whether thunderstorms or biological processes.
But for scientists and non-scientists alike, this earthly wisdom is never enough. Our sinful nature gets in the way. The greater part of knowing God is by faith in a most unfathomable mystery - God's gift to us of his only Son.
Suggested reading: R. T. Wright, Biology Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1989), 298 pages.
For more information, request a copy of ASA's booklet, Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy, for teachers and others, on how to deal with the creation-evolution controversy.
American Scientific Affiliation
P.O. Box 668
Ipswich, MA 01938-0668
Christian Engineering Education Conference
The Proceedings of the 1999 Christian Engineering Education Conference are now available. Charles Adams and Nolan Van Gaalen of Dordt C. put them together. The on-line proceedings is linked off the CEEC web page: http://engr.calvin.edu/ces/ ceec. Look under "Past Conferences" and follow the link.
You can also order a paper copy of the proceedings. Send your name and mailing address, along with a $5 check made out to Dordt College to: CEEC Proceedings, c/o Charles Adams, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA 51250.
Japanese Biologist ASAer Testifies of Faith in Japan
by Makoto Shimada
[Makoto Shimada is a researcher of evolutionary biology at Kyoto U. in Japan, and an ASA member. In submitting a job posting, he told of his spiritual history. (See Shimada's job posting below, if you are looking for a biologist.)]
Presently, I am studying gene flow within a wild primate population as an approach to understanding the process of population subdivision and speciation. Accordingly, my essential discipline is that of performing studies on primate populations and publishing these results.
In the context of Christian higher education, understanding evolutionary biology properly is essential for education. Moreover, because evolutionary biology education depends on the instructor's way of thinking, it should be done by an instructor who considers the relationship between the doctrine of creation and evolutionary biology.
When I became a Christian in my high school days, the question of the existence of a Creator was a major topic. I have been considering the relationship between creation and evolutionary biology since the very beginning of my Christian life. As an undergraduate, my motivation to study evolutionary biology was to solve this problem and to share the Gospel with neighboring non-Christians who grew up in the spiritual background of Japanese atheism. Since I often reconstruct evolutionary history from my data, I am considering this problem even now.
I understand that creation is a miracle and is supernatural, whereas evolutionary biology is a system built according to the confines of natural science without any assumption of God's existence. Actually most evolutionary biologists accept as a fact that humans and chimpanzees diverged about forty million years ago, and they do not appreciate any value of human beings above that. When I am in discussion with them, I too am apt to be occupied by this thinking pattern without assuming God.
Though I am interested in academic discussions concerning evolutionary biology as it relates to hominoid evolution, I have found that this makes me concentrate only on visible things and distances me from my sense of an invisible God. As a researcher and a Christian, I am confronting this problem in my daily life. I would like to learn more about how to balance the demands of being a researcher and a Christian.
I hope my experience will help anyone who cannot believe in God because of the perceived problem concerning the relationship between the doctrine of creation and evolutionary biology. Throughout my academic life, I have had a chance to talk about my faith with non-Christian science students and researchers. Some of these people later found the church and became Christians. I believe that my prime mission in life is to encourage those whom science prevents coming to Christ.
Fire Destroys a Lifetime of Research Data for ASAer
The date: Feb. 6, 2000. The place: the third floor of the administration building at Bryan C., Dayton, TN - the town of the famous Scopes Trial. The disaster: a fire that for four hours swept through the floor, destroying the office of paleontologist Kurt Wise. He estimates that the dollar value of the loss is around $100,000 of personal items of which his homeowner's insurance covers only $6,000.
He lost his collection of 5,000 35mm slides, 2,000 books, numerous journals, his computer equipment, and all his research materials. Most of the slides are irreplaceable. His library was considered one of the most valuable and irreplaceable creationist libraries in the world. A number of people in the creationist community have offered to replace the lost books and journals. The apparent cause: faulty wiring.
Access Research Network ID Discussion Forum
The Access Research Network (ARN) has started an Intelligent Design discussion forum, intended for the general public, at: www.arn.org/cgi-bin/ ubb/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro or from ARN's home page, at www.arn.org. Forum developer, Dennis Wagner, of ARN comments:
Announcements of lectures and conferences, new articles and books, and respectful interchanges on various aspects of design theory are all encouraged. Bill Kvasnikoff (who is sharing an office with Paul Nelson) will serve as the forum moderator.
New Books & Tapes
Darwin Cartoon Book Out
Robert Newman and John Wiester have been working on a cartoon book for youth, to ask the question of the title: What's Darwin Got to Do With It? A Friendly Conversation About Evolution. The new book is superbly illustrated by Janet and Jonathan Moneymaker, and is published by IVP: tel. (800) 843-9487; web: www.gospelcom.net/ivpress/order/ order.html
It can also be found at Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ ASIN/0830822496/qid%3D949152601/ 002-0590510-3676260
The book explains in simple terms the philosophical and scientific issues involving Darwinism and ID. Similar in style to Hugh Ross's Reasons to Believe cartoon book, Destination: Creation, the 146-page paperback covers a variety of issues and arguments, and ends by pointing readers to ASA's website and the booklet, Teaching Science in a Climate of Controversy.
Wiester's motivation in writing the book is partly expressed in reflection upon his past: "God is letting me redeem the years the locusts have eaten through being a godly grandparent and writing books so that young people will not be deluded and indoctrinated into the false ideologies of Darwinism and naturalism."
Johnson-Lamoureux Debate Book
Denis Lamoureux and Phillip Johnson,
both visiting lecturers at Regent C. in Vancouver, BC, have debated the
merits of Darwinism. The debate is published by Regent C. in a book titled,
Darwinism Defeated: The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins.
www.gospelcom.net/regent-bookstore/ store/regent_publishing_details.php3/ 1573831336. The website description of the book states:
In this provocative book, evolutionist Denis O. Lamoureux - a charismatic evangelical Christian who holds Ph.D. degrees in both theology (evangelical responses to evolution) and biology (dental development and evolution) - challenges some of Johnson's ideas about how Christians ought to respond to theories of biological evolution. Johnson, in turn, responds to his criticisms. The Johnson-Lamoureux debate is then assessed by several scientists, including well-known contributors to the origins debate- Michael Behe, Michael Denton, and Howard Van Till. Rikki E. Watts and Loren Wilkinson conclude the book by offering biblical and theological insights to the discussion.
Sci/Rel Book by ASAer
A book Craig Hazen wrote on the interaction of religion and science in nineteenth century America just came out entitled: The Village Enlightenment in America: Popular Religion and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Univ. of Illinois Press). Craig is an assoc. prof. of comparative religion at Biola U. in La Mirada, CA (email@example.com). He thinks that "my fellow ASAers will be very interested in knowing about it." And why is that?
The book looks at how early Mormons, spiritualists, and mind-cure groups used the science of their day to attempt to gain an authoritative foothold in the culture. He examines how key people in each of these movements reconceptualized the cosmos based on Enlightenment scientific materialism derived from their new religious views. Scientists (professional and amateur) such as Orson Pratt (Mormon apostle), Phineas Quimby (mental healer), and Robert Hare (spiritualist) believed that they had solved conundrums that traditional Christians could not in areas such as Newtonian mechanics, action at a distance, and the mind-body problem because of their more "enlightened" views of the world. Hazen calls this approach the "Village Enlightenment" and claims that it describes another significant nineteenth century counterexample to "warfare" approaches to relationship of religion and science.
Editor Calls for Reports
Have you recently given a talk, taught a course, written a paper (other than in PSCF), published a website, or attended sci/Xny events or activities? In an effort to widen ASAN news sources, the Editor requests that readers send information on sci/Xny events in which you are involved, via e-mail or postal mail, for publication in the newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dennis Feucht, 14554 Maplewood Road, Townville, PA 16360. Thank you!
Conference to Critique ID
Concordia U. in Mequon, WI is holding a conference June 22-24, 2000 with the following thesis: As a popular movement, what is coming to be known as "intelligent design" is growing rapidly. Nonetheless, its status as a scientific and intellectual program is increasingly coming under scrutiny, and there are many misgivings, especially in the academy. This conference seeks to articulate the best criticisms of Intelligent Design theory and to allow its proponents to address these concerns. Confirmed speakers include Michael Behe, William Dembski, Paul Nelson and many others, both supportive and critical of Intelligent Design.
In its call for papers, the conference intends to evaluate the credentials of Intelligent Design from the perspectives of the natural sciences, philosophy, theology and education. Papers may be either critical or supportive of Intelligent Design from any of these perspectives. The deadline for papers is June 1, 2000. To submit papers, contact: Dr. Angus Menuge, Dept. of Philosophy, Concordia U., 12800 N. Lake Shore Dr., Mequon WI 53097; tel: (262) 243-4249; fax: (262) 243-4459; email: Angus.Menuge@cuw.edu. For registration info, visit www.cuw.edu or call (262) 243-4580.
Dembski Barely at U. of WA
Bill Dembski spoke at the Univ. of Washington on Feb. 11, 2000, to an audience of about 300 to 400- but not without some arrangements difficulty. The sponsoring organization, the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, had a problem getting a sign-off on the talk from a UW department chairman after the room had been scheduled. One department boycotted the meeting. In the end, the speech department signed in the name of free speech.
Discovery Institute president Bruce Chapman introduced Dembski, encouraged a critique of ID, and noted the faculty opposition to the talk.
Opponents of the talk, however, unwittingly gave it a publicity boost. One history-of-ideas faculty member protested the lecture by urging students to boycott it. But this rattled one of the deans, who alerted administration that faculty was attempting to limit campus speech. Also in the heat of opposition, the biology dept. chairwoman sent an apology to biology majors for having previously accidentally forwarded an announcement of the lecture without having approved it. In the apology, however, she retained the original announcement, reminding them of the talk.
Dembski made a case for reintroducing design into science, and dealt with the objections to it. As one front-row attendee, who was clearly impressed by the talk, described it:
It was like standing in the middle of a freeway and seeing six Mack trucks heading straight for you filled with clear logic, statistical rigor, intellectual honesty, philosophical prowess, appropriate humility, and wry humor.
After the talk, Bill's new book, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology was selling briskly. * Jay Richards
Faculty for Life Conference
The University Faculty For Life (UFL) will hold its tenth annual conference at Georgetown U., Washington, DC, June 2-4, 2000. The UFL was founded in 1989 as an interdisciplinary association to promote research, dialogue, and publication among faculty members who respect the value of human life from its inception to natural death and to provide academic support for the pro-life position. It aims to counteract cultural forces that seek to legitimize such practices as abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide.
With chapters on several college and university campuses, the UFL gives attention to the scholarly discussion and scientific investigation of related legal, political, social, religious, medical, psychological, and ethical issues, especially those related to bioethics, legal and constitutional provisions, and other matters related to the pro-life movement. It publishes a newsletter, UFL Pro Vita, and an annual Life And Learning book of proceedings.
Keynote speakers at the June meeting include Nat
Hentoff, a syndicated columnist; Dianne Irving, a medical-moralist; and
Richard Duncan, a law professor. Proposals for presentations should be sent
to: Prof. Teresa Collett, South Texas School of Law, 1303 San Jacinto St.,
Houston, TX 77002-7000, on or before May 5. Registration and membership
information are available from University Faculty for Life, 120 New North,
Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057.
* David O. Moberg
What ASAers Do
Steve also has an article in the1999 edition of the J. of Interdisciplinary Studies (JIS), devoted to the theme, "The Restoration of Philosophy." Steve's article is titled "The Return of the God Hypothesis." The theme of the impending edition of JIS is "Ethics & Faith: the Reality of Absolutes." This issue will address the necessity of moral absolutes and the question of whether religious faith is necessary to justify morality itself. JIS is edited by Oskar Gruenwald (tel:  351-0419). Steve, by the way, is a prof. of philosophy of science.
With the Lord
Burkholder was born July 21, 1943 in Tacoma, WA. He earned an A.B. degree in biology from Northwest Nazarene C. (1966), an M.S. from the U. of Arkansas (1969), and a Ph.D. from Brigham Young U. (1973). He was a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Mount Vernon. He served as elder, board member, head trustee, board secretary, and Sunday school teacher. In Dec. 1998, he helped to plant a new CMA congregation in Fredericktown. Gary attended the 1993 annual meeting in Seattle. * Joe Lechner
Philosopher Moves Toward New World View
There are many extra-philosophical factors that have some relevance here, as one would expect, but I'll skip over all that. Suffice it to say that until the last four years or so, I was a very contented atheist, with no serious intellectual qualms about Darwinism, abiogenesis, naturalism, materialism, etc.
Although my dissertation (1983) was in meta-philosophy and the nature of philosophical progress, I soon became interested in the philosophy of mind in general, and the issues related to the artificial intelligence debate in particular. I even wrote an introductory text on the subject. As a consequence of that work, I became more acutely aware of the problem of giving a materialistic account of consciousness, and I published a few articles on this problem.
I was very interested in David Chalmers' 1995 book, The Conscious Mind (Oxford) and found it to resonate strongly with my own thinking at that time. Chalmers uses the device of distinguishing the "A-facts" about the world - the physical facts - from the "B-facts" - the facts about consciousness. The following passage struck me:
As we saw before, once God fixed all the A-facts, in order to fix the B-facts he had more work to do. The B-facts are something over and above the A-facts, and their satisfaction implied that there is something new in the world (p. 41).
Chalmers, an atheist, was using the "God's work" talk as an explanatory device. Nevertheless, this rhetorical flourish struck me forcefully. Consciousness defies naturalistic explanation. It makes no sense as a hypothetical evolutionary adaptation, and yet it is central to what we understand ourselves to be. It would be hard to accept that this "something new" exists for no reason. This opened the door, just a crack.
Around the same time, I read Behe's Darwin's Black Box, with great astonishment. I was astonished because back in college, where I minored in biology, I had the experience of reading Watson's Molecular Biology of the Gene and learning about all this complex machinery of protein synthesis, DNA replication, and the like. I wondered how this could get started, and even raised the question with a few professors. I was assured that the path from "complex organic molecules" to "primitive replicators" to "simple life forms" was understood, if not in physical detail, at least conceptually. I accepted that as the "right answer." Behe's book blew the doors off that acceptance, but this time I had more maturity and confidence in my ability to think the thing through for myself. The more I read about it, the more I became persuaded that Behe is right.
Thus, between the problem of consciousness and the problem of abiogenesis, I had to let go of a world view and fumble around for a different one. That brings me to the present. Today I am probably less contented and more confused, but I somehow think this is preferable to my previous dogmatic slumber.
Ten years ago I never would have dreamed that most of my work day would be spent sitting in front of a computer screen writing articles, answering and composing e-mail, searching the web, and more. However, that is the reality of the job of the ASA Executive Director in 2000. Now everyone is beginning to realize that they should be on line. Believe it or not, even Walter Hearn recently succumbed. Hopefully, the learning curve keeps increasing for all of us.
Jack Haas is continually working to improve the ASA web site. The latest ASA web site addition is an article for high school youth. Articles that appeal to young people is an area in which we sorely need good science/ faith materials. Are you looking for something worthwhile to do? I have rarely met anyone who did not claim to be busy. Could writing good ASA faith/science web material be something for which you want to be remembered?
Reservations for both the Gordon C. ASA 2000 meeting on Aug. 4-7 and for the Nova Scotia trip (Aug. 7-15) are beginning to pour in. If you have not received your registration materials in the mail, please let us know right away.
Richard Wright, Program Chair, has now mapped out the details. Sometimes there are three things going on at once. The host of intriguing titles make the choices difficult. In the past, people have said that there was not enough free time to network. My answer is that you do not have to attend all the meetings, but you do have to find other like-minded people with whom to network. I look forward to seeing many of you here. I use the word "here" because the ASA office is only 15-20 min. by car from the Gordon campus.
This academic year I taught biochemistry and modern genetics at Gordon C. I am constantly caught up in the incredible complexity of even a bacterium. That only includes what we think we already know. We are privileged to be living at a time in the history of the universe when we can observe so much from the cell to the heavens. Yet future generations may be amused at how little we knew. We may differ about whether creation was by fiat, intelligent design, a robust formational economy, or some other means, but as Richard Bube wrote in the ASA publication, Origins and Change (1978), the phrase "we believe in Creation" is one of the important things that holds ASAers together. The question that remains is expressed in the book title, God Did It, But How?
Our president, Jay Hollman, has a strong desire to tap the skills of our ASA Fellows. I share that desire. There is much collective wisdom in this group. Pray for Council as we discuss how God might direct our energies in such a project. As you probably know, Council holds one of its semi-annual meetings just before the Annual Meeting. Many hours of discussion take place. Our newly elected member, Kenell Touryan, will be meeting with Council for the first time. Besides Jay and Kenell, the other members are Dorothy Chappell, William Cobern, and Joseph Sheldon. This is a wonderful and diverse group of leaders.
One recent project is to recruit more natural and social scientists from the 95 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada that compose the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Presently only about 15% of ASA's membership is made up of CCCU faculty.
Last year's ASA Council had three members besides me, who together represent over 110 years of service in CCCU schools. We wrote a collective letter to encourage membership and included this with a newly updated brochure and return envelope. Where available, I contacted ASA members in the CCCU schools to conduct the distribution and give their colleagues a word of encouragement to join.
So far we have reached into 42 schools with more expected. Unfortunately, not all schools are receptive to ASA, and in some which might welcome us, we have no active members. Since I had such good experiences with ASA from graduate school days through college teaching, it is difficult for me to understand why so many Christian faculty resist ASA membership. The cost of ASA membership is minimal compared to professional organizations, and the latter groups speak little if any to the faith side of our lives. Some new memberships have already arrived, and I welcome them. Personal invitations from you to others is probably our best means of recruitment.
It is important to keep the two-for- one match for the endowment in front of the affiliation. The goal is to receive $10,000 from the membership which is earmarked for the endowment during 2000 so that we can add the full $30,000. It is a large task but I believe that we can do that and make our budget at the same time. It is all in God's hands.
The regular budget remains tight for 2000 so we would deeply appreciate anything that you can do. Our organization does not have the outside funding appeal that some nonprofit groups have, so we depend heavily on your gifts.