Staying Connected 2006 February
* Due to copyrights, original graphics and tables do not appear in these articles
Jackie knew as a young child that she wanted to be a scientist someday. She enjoyed dissecting creatures (fish, frogs, and the like) and especially delighted in her chemistry sets.
As she grew older, Jackie worked hard to make her dream a reality. She majored in chemistry and earned a teaching credential. Through the course of her studies, however, a problem arose--a difficulty in reconciling her Christian faith with what she learned in some of her classes, particularly those about the origin and history of life. Frustrated, she devised a makeshift way to get things to mesh: she figured that God must have been the cause behind evolution.
After college, Jackie focused on raising her two children, working only occasionally as a substitute teacher. When the kids grew older, she embraced her career goals and became a chemistry teacher. For the next 13 years she taught high schoolers and worked toward a master's degree in chemistry. Once she completed it, she accepted a full-time teaching position at a community college. She loved teaching, yet all the while there was this nagging feeling that she was a divided person…split between science and her Christian faith.
In 2003, Jackie heard about a Reasons To Believe national conference to be held in Southern California. She attended, and for the first time she saw that she could integrate the truth of the Bible with the facts of nature detected by science. She felt as though she could finally become a whole person!
Excited to learn more, Jackie took home three books: The Genesis Question, The Creator and the Cosmos, and Darwin's Black Box. She read them, as well as some apologetics papers, and attended more RTB lectures and seminars. In 2004 the opportunity for a sabbatical came her way. She contacted Fuz Rana at RTB and asked for the chance to pursue some special studies at Reasons To Believe.
Today Jackie is midway through her one-year sabbatical with us. She and Dr. Rana are coauthoring a paper on the thermodynamics of cell membrane formation, which they plan to submit to a scientific journal. Please pray that it will be approved for publication and that it will succeed in nudging scientists to reconsider their evolutionary presuppositions. Jackie's desire--and RTB's mission--is to show fellow scientists (and others) that a viable, testable, creation model exists and that through Jesus Christ they can know the Creator Himself.
This year marks Reasons To Believe's 20th year of ministry. Throughout 2006, we'll share more about what the Lord has done in the 20 years since RTB launched. But for now, here's how it all began…with a little boy who almost flunked first grade.
Hugh Ross was born in Montreal, Canada. His father, co-owner of a successful engineering firm, was suddenly left impoverished when, just after World War II, his business partner made off with virtually all the company's funds and vanished. Struggling to regain their footing, Hugh's family moved to Vancouver to start fresh. They managed to purchase a severely run-down home and worked for years to make it livable. Hugh remembers that having any vegetable other than turnips was a real treat.
When Hugh was in first grade, he spoke only a few words. At the end of the year, he would have flunked were it not for the watchful eye of an astute teacher who noticed this little boy poring over books at the back of the classroom. She asked the principal for permission to give this boy a special test-in which he could simply nod for "yes" or shake his head for "no"--to see if he was comprehending what he read. Hugh passed with flying colors and was promoted to second grade. By the end of the year (and speaking now) he ranked first in his class and never looked back.
During that same year he asked his parents, "Are the stars hot?" They said, "Yes." When he asked, "Why?" they wisely replied, "Go to the library." Thus began Hugh's physics and astronomy research that continues even to this day. He began studying toward his Ph.D. while still in his teens. Meanwhile, he had no interest in church or religion. His friends were mostly atheists, agnostics, and Buddhists. But then there was the cosmos--so vast and so amazing--and the latest science proved it had a beginning. Hmmm. A beginning. What could this mean?
An intense search ensued. Hugh realized that a beginning implied a Beginner. But who or what? And, could that Beginner be known?
He studied the holy books of all the world's major religions. To his surprise, he found that one holy book, and only one, harmonized perfectly with the record of nature, including the emerging facts about cosmic and human history. This holy book described the beginning and the Beginner in a way that was consistent with all he knew about science. That holy book was the Bible. That Beginner was Jesus Christ.
The evidence was too compelling to ignore. A decision confronted Hugh--to follow the evidence and yield to the Creator or not. After months of wrestling with this decision, Hugh finally embraced Jesus Christ as his Savior at 1:06 A.M. on August 6, 1964. From that day forward he experienced new peace and joy, and he discovered new meaning and purpose, even in his studies of astronomy. As he shared his findings with people around him-at the university and beyond--he saw their lives change too. Many of those people eventually urged him to launch Reasons To Believe (RTB).
Since 1986 RTB has been devoted to discovering and disseminating the latest evidences--especially from cutting-edge science research--that faith in the God of the Bible is rooted in testable truth. We thank God for these 20 years of ministry and for that caring teacher (a Christian, as Hugh found out several decades later) who paid attention to a little boy who could barely talk.
In future Staying Connected newsletters we'll share more memories from Reasons To Believe's 20 years.
Prayer is vital to Reasons To Believe and the prayers offered up by many of you on behalf of this ministry are a cherished gift! We especially enjoyed the way two RTB friends remembered to pray for Hugh as he prepared recently for a difficult debate:
"Amelia and I have been driving around doing errands and praying at every stoplight (it makes an easy reminder!)." Melinda - Texas
"I will be praying every chance I get (I am skiing in Whistler, and on each chair ride, our family will pray)." Dane - Florida
Whatever reminds you to pray for RTB, be assured we are deeply grateful that you pray!
I have found Dr. Hugh Ross to be remarkably humble, and in my dealings with him I have been impressed by his gentlemanly response to disparaging comments. My impression is that he handles Scripture with great respect and in line with standard hermeneutical practice. Dr. Ross and the Reasons To Believe staff are providing a much-needed voice showing that science does not have to deny God. In fact, when science is approached without a naturalistic bias, it provides strong evidence for the existence of the biblical God.
John Ankerberg, D. Min.
Host, The John Ankerberg Show
If you haven't signed up for this year's Message of the Month series--Answers to Life's Big Questions--it's not too late. This 20th anniversary series will be packed with valuable information. Our entire scholar team will participate, and we're sure you'll come away with a better grasp (even if you aren't a scientist) of the amazing findings from biology, astronomy, physics, and more that help answer some of life's biggest questions. Designed to be practical, each month's message with include an outline with "key points to remember" to assist you in retaining and using the information.
Message of the Month members are vital to the ongoing ministry of Reasons To Believe. Through monthly donations of $30 (or $360/year) this core support team enables RTB to plan and implement its outreach endeavors. Members in turn receive a special message on CD, or MP3 link, prepared just for them. It contains insights from science and the Bible to strengthen their faith and equip them for ministry.
If you want to make an eternal difference in someone's life, please consider a Message of the Month membership. For less than the cost of a daily cup of coffee, you can help change the world- your own life included!
To sign up visit www.reasons.org/mom or call 1-800-482-7836.
I first saw Hugh Ross as a guest speaker on the Hour of Power Christian TV show several years ago. I was an unbeliever at the time. He used the palm of his hand and turned it sideways, demonstrating how the view of our sight of God becomes invisible. Hugh opened a skeptic's mind. It took a few more stubborn years until God humbled me. I asked Him to come into my life and He has truly created a new person. That has been the strongest proof to me of His undeniable existence. I now have a "reason to believe!" Keep up the work [you're] doing. God has certainly [given you a] purpose: TO OPEN THE STUBBORN MIND! God bless you. Julie - via e-mail
Why I Am a Christian is a collection of personal essays that make a compelling case for faith in Christ. In relating their response to the questions and doubts they faced, the contributors help clear away obstacles to faith for both believers and unbelievers. They tackle moral relativism, truth's knowability, the existence of God, the reliability of the Bible, and Jesus' identity as the Messiah, the Son of God. The book concludes with three chapters on what it means to follow Christ. Hugh Ross, Norman Geisler, Walter Bradley, Gary Habermas, J. P. Moreland, Ravi Zacharias, and Josh McDowell are among the authors. It's available at www.reasons.org or by calling our toll-free order line, (800) 482-7836.
First, we are pleased to announce that an article by RTB's Krista Bontrager, "The History of the Universe in a Nutshell: Reflections on 2 Peter 3," was published in the December 2005 issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. Congratulations, Krista!
Second, we just learned that our DVD Journey Toward Creation (the new Questar version) appears in the latest PBS catalog and is also available via the PBS online store. Thus, God has opened a way for RTB to impact a much wider audience!
Apologetics Hotline (626) 335-5282
Discuss your science-faith questions with a trained apologist. Available daily from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. (PT).
To find an RTB chapter in your area or to get information about starting one, contact Ken Hultgren at firstname.lastname@example.org. .
Creation Update Webcast
Listen live through our Web site. Tuesdays, 11:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. (PT). "Special Edition" Web interviews to be announced.
Prayer on behalf of Reasons To Believe is a precious gift. A hearty thank you to all who pray for us! If you'd like to join the RTB prayer team, please contact us at email@example.com.
Science and Evangelism Training
Anyone longing for an in-depth study of science-and-faith issues will want to register for our new online training program, Reasons Institute. Classes may be taken for college credit. Please call Bob Stuart at our toll-free number for more information.