BIO: Terry M. Gray

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Fri Aug 09 2002 - 01:09:02 EDT

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    Name: Terry M. Gray

    Age: 44 (b. 7/31/58)

    Vocation: Computer Support Scientist in the Chemistry Department at
    Colorado State University (since June 1997)

    Educational Background:
       B.S. 1980 Purdue University in Molecular Biology
       Ph.D. 1985 University of Oregon in Molecular Biology (Dissertation:
    Crystallographic Studies of Temperature Sensitive Mutants of the
    Lysozyme from Bacteriophage T4)

    Vocational Background:
       1986-1997 Assistant/Associate Professor of Chemistry and
    Biochemistry at Calvin College
       1993-1994 Visiting Research Scientist in the Department of Medical
    Biochemistry at the Texas A&M Medical School

    Church Background:
       Grew up in the mainline Presbyterian Church in rural Indiana
       1986-1997 Orthodox Presbyterian Church (Eugene, Oregon and Grand
    Rapids, Michigan)
       1997-2001 Presbyterian Church in America (Fort Collins, Colorado)
       2001-present Evangelical Presbyterian Church (Fort Collins, Colorado)

       Theologically, I'm in the conservative Reformed camp represented by
    Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, J.G. Machen and in the contemporary
    scene by Westminster Theological Seminary. I'd probably put myself at
    the "liberal" end of the OPC and PCA.

       I grew up in a Christian home and became a Christian at a young age.
    (I can't ever remember not trusting Christ for my salvation.) The
    Lord spared me from a rebellious youth -- I was active in my church
    youth group while in Jr/Sr High and in InterVarsity while at Purdue.
    While in high school I got involved Sunday evening and midweek
    services in an "independent, fundamentalist, dispensational,
    pre-millenial, Baptist" church, then in a Four Square Gospel
    charismatic church. I explored Seventh Day Adventism a bit while in
    college. I "settled" on conservative Reformed and Presbyterian
    convictions while in graduate school.

    Faith/Science story:
       When I was in 7th grade I wrote a brief one page "brochure" on
    reconciling Genesis on the creation of Adam and evolution. It's not
    far from what I believe now! So my interest in this stuff goes way
    back. I majored in science rather than "going into the ministry" in
    part to prove that you can take Christianity seriously and not become
    a pastor. I think I ran into the ASA via some brochures ("We Believe
    in Creation" and "The Second Law of Thermodynamics") while an
    undergraduate at Purdue. I had no problem reconciling evolution and
    Christian while an undergraduate Biology major at Purdue and I didn't
    feel that my faith was threatened at all by the "secular" education
    at Purdue. I seriously considered young-earth creationism while a
    junior at Purdue under the influence of the Reformed Presbyterian
    pastor of the church I attended. Perhaps I was a YEC for a few
    months. I gave it up after my undergraduate research exposed me in
    depth to the molecular data for evolution and convinced me that the
    arguments for evolution were persuasive. In graduate school while
    attending the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, I was exposed to the
    writings of Davis Young (of Calvin College) and decided that I was
    interested in teaching at Calvin. That door opened in 1986 and I
    joined the faculty at Calvin and started thinking "professionally"
    about some of these issues.
       My involvement in the evolution/creation debate began in earnest in
    1992 when I wrote a review of Phil Johnson's *Darwin on Trial*
    <> for The
    Banner (the denominational magazine of the Christian Reformed
    Church). That review resulted in two major additional directions.
    Contact with Phil Johnson led me to the evolution listserv and
    dialogue with Mike Behe which resulted in an invitation to "debate"
    Mike at the 1994 ASA annual meeting at Bethel College
    <>. Those were the days
    when the WWW were just taking off and I was busy learning about the
    web. At that meeting Jack Haas pulled together a group of us to
    discuss how the ASA could take advantage of this new technology. I
    came back from the meeting and threw together a handful of web pages
    for the ASA and put them on Calvin's server. The ASA web site and I
    have been together ever since. This ASA listserv started soon after.
       The other direction was the heresy trial that I went through in the
    Orthodox Presbyterian Church from 1994-1996. This experience forced
    me to articulate and defend my ideas in a very public and mostly
    antagonistic context. You can read all about it at
       It is still my conviction that you can be in the fairly conservative
    Reformed/Presbyterian camp and not be a young-earth creationist. In
    general I find little problem reconciling old earth/universe
    cosmology and evolutionary biology with a mostly conservative
    Christian faith. I hold to the "framework view" on Genesis 1
    < > and
    < >. I still
    struggle with what to do about Adam since as a good conservative
    Presbyterian I think of him as not only the covenantal representative
    of the human race but the biological ancestor of all humans. I hope
    everyone won't think of this as a cop out, but I'm content to let
    science speak its piece and the Bible its piece and if I can't figure
    out how to put all the pieces together, well, that may be a sign of
    my/our limitations. But there's no value in distorting either message
    in the interest of an uneasy peace. Davis Young's closing chapter in
    *Christianity and the Age of the Earth* helped me to see that there
    IS integrity in that view.

    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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