Re: petition to amend ASA Constitutional Objectives?

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Wed Nov 30 2005 - 21:53:41 EST

My, my! It's apparent that you have a problem with ASA, but this
hot-under-the-collar approach isn't likely to elicit any positive
response to your proposal.
It seems to me that ASA is what it is, and does what it sets out to do.
What is the basis for concluding then that its objectives and actions
are NOT expressions of God's will?
The responses you are critical about are only part of the landscape of
Christian life and stewardship.
What you seem to be asking is that the organization redefine itself into
tunnel vision in a particular direction, different from the role it has
defined for itself.
Why should that be necessary? It occupies a niche role for discourse and
exploration of ideas and understanding. ASA is not the only organization
of Christians with a specialized agenda that is not explicitely
evangelistic, or benevolent, or whatever, but nonetheless enriches and
livens Christian community and its engagement of the world around us.
It is a horizontal networking and conversation tool, not a vertical
power center. It may not push salt and light precisely as you wish, but
it does permit its participants to be more informed and have stronger
resources as they individually or in smaller groups go about BEING light
and salt in their communities.
It seems to me that you are asking the whole landscape of Christianity
and its stewardship to become narrowed (more sterile if you will) by
abandoning this discourse.
I personally think it important to discuss and understand certain
contemporary dynamics in churches and schools which are alienating many
young people from a life of faith, just at that crucial time when they
are about to enter the workplace and begin the journey to positions of
future leadership that will set directions for the churches, companies,
and even nations of the future.
It's not the only conversation, or activity of merit, but it is an
important one... or so it seemeth to me. JimA

Joe Carson wrote:

> Hello? Paul, are we on the same planet?
> The Pope and Catholic bishops have no authority to tell their
> congregants what they must do to be Catholics?
> ASA has no right to require its members agree to a statement of faith?
> ASA has no right to have objectives in its Constitution?
> No profession has no right to adopt and enforce a code of ethics?
> No religious leader has no right to dictate to anyone in their faith
> community what God wants them to do?
> Let's go forward with the change in the ASA objectives, because maybe
> the results of the effort will be exactly what you say, then there
> will not be as much question about it.
> Engineering is secular as it ought to be, but does that mean God is
> indifferent to it and indifferent to whatever Christians do within it?
> We are called to advance God's glory, in our stewardship of planet
> earth - with our minds, our bodies, and our mouths - that is much more
> relevant to our vocational identities, than "witnessing to the lost."
> Salvation is meaningless absent Creation - what did Christ come to
> save? So we have been restored to our original mission - advance
> God's glory by advancing His creation on earth, by employing our
> "image of God" powers of conscious thought, imagination,
> communication, abstraction, etc, while enjoying fellowship with Him.
> As we go about this, we are also to witness, not vice versa.
> That takes, I suggest, intentional and collective action by Christians
> in their spheres of influence (i.e. salt and light) - both individual
> and collective. But that can take putting oneself at risk in a most
> vulnerable way in a market economy - his/her career. That is
> something , that ASA members do not want to do, so we make
> rationalization after rationalization about it, we talk past one
> another, or claim God is too inscrutable to even collectively pose and
> respond to the question "what is God's will for the
> science/engineering profession and its Christian members."
> ASA is, now as ever, sterile by definition. No one can point to
> anything different in the engineering and science professions because
> ASA exists. Not one thing, because ASA has never intentionally done
> anything to be a salt and light influence in them. Not once in 60
> years, not in a world awash with weapons of mass destruction, a world
> in which religious persecution is widespread, a world in which 2
> billion people live on $2/day or less, etc. Nothing - what a witness.
> ASA will not even state that Christian faith is a valid reason for a
> Christian scientist or engineer to intentionally and collectively work
> with others in their profession to uplift and advance their profession
> and its service to humanity and the created order.
> ASA will turn itself into a pretzel to evade any rigorous effort to
> ascertain and advance God's will for it and its members, because it
> knows it may well get an answer it doesn't want to hear.
> Joe
> At 06:25 PM 11/30/2005, Paul Greaves wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I think you may be missing the point... I think the issue is that no
>> one has
>> the right to dictate to someone else what God wants them to do. The
>> best we
>> can do is to try to ascertain what God's will is for ourselves, and
>> discuss
>> it amongst fellow believers. Your suggested wording implies a more
>> subversive approach to engineering, trying to impose a "Christian"
>> set of
>> goals onto the science and engineering professions.
>> I think that is the wrong approach... I think we are called to be
>> witnesses
>> for Christ, reaching out to others in hopes of sharing our faith with
>> them.
>> (Isn't here a Bible verse or two along those lines?) It is only through
>> reaching their hearts that we have any real hope in changing their
>> actions.
>> I see the ASA as a venue for us Christians to discuss amongst
>> ourselves what
>> God's will is for our lives and our professions, not as a vehicle for
>> political change. (So I like the old wording better...)
>> -Paul Greaves
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: <>
>> > I appreciate the response, but disagree that God is so unscrupable,
>> random, and capricious that any effort to collectively and intentionally
>> ascertain His will is presumptuous...
Received on Wed Nov 30 21:57:41 2005

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