letter from the editor
by Sy Garte, Editor-in-Chief
Welcome to the Fall 2018 issue of God and Nature. I am still feeling the thrill and excitement of the annual ASA conference at Gordon College this past summer, my first ASA meeting as Editor-in-Chief of God and Nature. In addition to moderating and speaking, I had the opportunity to meet with many friends, including several authors of articles in the magazine. Of course, one of the highlights of the conference was the evening presentation by Francis Collins, and I will never forget the joy of hearing him lead an informal sing-along, accompanied by no other than God and Nature’s managing editor, Ciara Reyes.
For this issue of God and Nature, Ciara scored a major coup by landing an interview with popular (and highly articulate) singer Audrey Assad. Ciara’s insightful questions and the illuminating answers reveal the depth and beauty of Audrey’s Christian path. If you are unfamiliar with the enchanting music of Audrey Assad, there are links to some of her songs following the interview.
The focus topic for this issue is Education and Outreach. It has proven to be a very popular topic, so this is Part 1, and the next (Winter 2019) issue will feature Part 2. In this issue we have stellar essays by Amanda Glaze, Greg Cootsona, Jay Johnson, Paul Kindstedt, and Effat Zeidan.
Dr. Glaze, a renowned speaker and educator, writes about her work reaching out to communities that have traditionally rejected evolution as anti-biblical. Jay Johnson writes about the problems with trying to enforce the “teaching the controversy” plan first promoted by the Discovery Institute, and about some of the unexpected lessons he learned as a teacher in Texas. In an essay focusing on emerging adults, Greg Cootsona probes into the realities of how to reach this vital demographic group for Christian outreach.
Paul Kindstedt was inspired by an earlier article in God and Nature by John Pohl, and his essay is a passionate plea for bringing to fruition the “Third Culture” envisaged in Pohl’s essay. Finally, Effat Zeidan tackles the enormously important subject of teaching and outreach from a distance using modern technology.
In addition to the focus topic essays, this issue presents a fascinating new approach to causality by Perry Marshall, author of the breakthrough book Evolution 2.0. In his essay, Marshall discusses the differences between chemicals, codes, and consciousness. Matt McClure delivers a passionate defense of grace as a key component in understanding the Bible, including thoughts on the role of grace in the light of scientific discovery. Robert Frank makes a compelling argument for the importance of teamwork, reflected in so many biblical passages and in modern scientific research.
After a column on outreach by our regular columnist Mike Clifford, we present a mixed-media artistic piece by Clarence Menninga featuring poetry, photographs, and paintings on geological themes by two of his friends in the art world.
Once again, I would like to remind readers that we are always seeking material for future issues on any topic. In addition to Education and Outreach Part 2, future focus topics will include Creation Care and the Environment; Spiritual and Physical Health; and Evolutionary Ideas. New focus topics are also generated by clusters of related submissions, so don’t be shy – submit your essays, artwork, poetry or stories through the Submit page in the About/Contribute tab. Please note that from now on, all submissions must come through this page.
You can also help spread the word about God and Nature by following our Facebook page and Twitter account, and by linking to the magazine in your own social media activities.
Sy Garte Ph.D. Biochemistry has been a Professor of Public Health and Environmental Health Sciences at New York University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pittsburgh. He was also Associate Director at the Center for Scientific Review at the NIH.
Sy is the author of four books, over 200 scientific publications, and articles in PSCF, God and Nature and The BioLogos Forum.
Sy is Vice President of the Washington DC Chapter of the ASA. His blog is www.thebookofworks.com.