Re: Phil Johnson on Focus on the Family

Loren Haarsma (
Tue, 27 Apr 1999 15:31:36 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 27 Apr 1999, Moorad Alexanian wrote:

> I should like to relate my interaction with the biology department in our
> university. I wrote a letter to the editor disagreeing with an op-ed article
> on evolution. Per chance I spoke to a Christian professor in the biology
> department and while in the conversation asked him if he had read my letter.
> He said he had not read the letter in the newspaper but that my letter was
> posted on the bulletin board of the biology department and that they were
> getting ready to answer my letter. The reply to my letter came in the
> newspaper and was signed by 13 faculty members of the biology
> department---it seems that the other half of the department did not wish to
> sign the letter and my Christian friend did not sign the letter either. I
> suppose numbers count! There seems to be a division in biology departments
> on this issue but I do not see any Christian professors writing letters to
> the editor expounding their views. Is this brought about by scientific
> pressure? I do believe that tenure and promotions in most universities are
> based on certain intangibles as, for instance, your faith and how strongly
> you show it. I think Johnson is right! Let us face it university faculties
> are composed mostly of liberals and radicals. Where does a Christian fit in
> such a system?

It saddens me that you, Johnson, and others have such a low opinion of the
motives and integrity of your Christian brothers and sisters. Over the
past years, I have participated in a great many Bible
study/prayer/discussion groups with Christian graduate students and
faculty. Issues of tenure and promotions were often discussed. Usually
those discussions were about how our love for and obedience to God
conflicts with the workaholism which the scientific meritocracy rewards
and expects for advancement. Sometimes, we also discussed issues of
vocally expounding Christian values, opposing philosophical naturalism,
etc. Based upon all of those discussions with hundred of young and
old scientist Christians at several different universities and
conferences -- Christians who freely shared with each other their
deepest convictions and struggles to live out their faith -- I can say
with great confidence that Johnson's assessment of their motives,
integrity, and courage is utterly wrong.

Loren Haarsma