Joseph Carson (
13 Jul 96 11:10:52 EDT

In someways I like what you are thinking. It is ridiculous that most
folks in this country claim to be Christian, yet academia makes such a
dualistic separation between science and Christianity that it has
essentially become secular. In the process of trying to be neutral it
has committed itself to a secular faith. George Marsden is really
right on this. The
problem is evangelicals buy into the dualism and like to keep the two
worlds different too - so it may be a hard sell. Unfortunately I think
Bill is right, it may not go. But rather than form our own group, my
gut feeling is we should say that the secular group, just like the
secular University is just as much ours as yours.

I don't want to make my proposal seem bigger than the modest perception I
have of it. An ASA SIG (or Christian Engineer SIG, with some connection to
a ASA Commission) could be a second or third tier sub-group within the
National Organization. I don't see a role for such a SIG in the governance
of the society, I just want to be able to connect with like-minded engineers
in my professional society, in the open, not in the "catacombs" so to speak.
I hope to avoid "ghettoization" and promote "salt
and leaven" with the concept.

The half dozen or so large
Engineering Technical Societies don't draw well - about 20% of eligible
engineers join and of those who join, about 20% actively participate in
Society programs. A modest "Christian Engineer SIG" could be a real "added
value" to them in enhancing the value of membership. If an "Christian
Engineer SIG" with some ties to ASA existed, then the value of being a
member of ASA would also increase - there would be a definite synergy.

The pastor of my church regularly decries the lack of statistical
differences between Christians and the surrounding secular society - well
which way do we want it?