Re: [asa] Archives on the web

From: Jack Haas <>
Date: Wed Mar 28 2007 - 17:29:33 EDT

To extend the discussion a bit further.

We are all too aware that teachers, pastors, missionaries, and other
members of certain Christian communities
are being observed by people with a critical eye who feel the need to
preserve some kind of orthodoxy or
preserve the favor of a donor with deep pockets. The ASA has lost
significant donors over the years because it refused
to control discussion of particular topics.

I admire those who stand up to a controlling establishment. Sometimes
they win, in other cases they pay a severe
price. If you are involved in such a community you must be careful to
pick your spots. Placing your views before the
public in /any/ medium should be considered carefully.

We have missionary friends whose emails read like pigeon English because
they know that big brother is watching.
In another case, a tent making missionary physician was turned down for
a position in a Muslim country because
an administrator found him on a church site which described his ministry.

In short, it may be better to stay out of the public eye of this list.


Jack Haas

Ted Davis wrote:
> Just to clarify:
> All ASA posts are public, the only exceptions being truly exceptions and I
> won't develop that further here.
> No one, flat no one, should assume that any opinion expressed here
> represents something like an "official" ASA position. The exceptions, rare,
> are when Randy points to our published statement of faith. That speaks for
> us as an organization, nothing else here does.
> Many posters are not members at all. And a large majority of our members
> don't speak up on this list. Even "unofficial" conclusions about the views
> of our members, collectively, cannot be drawn from what is said here. I
> myself think that a lot of the comments here are off base, and some of them
> are simply inappropriate and I wish they could be expunged. But that is not
> the nature of this particular medium.
> As for the journal, that's a bit more official, but really the same
> cautions would apply if perhaps with less force. Many contributors to the
> journal are members, and many members resonate with some of the views
> expressed there. But many members don't resonate with certain views,
> either. We have been, remain, and will continue to be a forum for
> discussing Christianity and science. The journal is more careful about
> focusing the conversation than the list is, obviously, but one thing they
> have in common is that we are a forum--not a policy institute or a think
> tank or a lobbying organization. It's unusual for us to make official
> statements or to take official public steps, though sometimes in rare cases
> we do when the elected leadership believes that circumstances call for it.
> We usually don't.
> I just wanted to place this on the public record, since almost all posts
> already are.
> Ted
> To unsubscribe, send a message to with
> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.

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Received on Wed Mar 28 17:30:23 2007

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