In July 2006, my wife and I traveled to Oxford England where I was invited to engage in discussions with other educators on the topic of Intelligent Design and Evolution at an Oxford Round Table held at the Oxford University. The week-long experience was a time of sharing, listening to presentations, and doing a presentation. I shared information with the educators that students who have Biblical teachings and who believe in the Intelligent Designer are just as successful as others and should not be ridiculed or punished for their beliefs. The full manuscript was one of thirteen that were peer reviewed and subsequently published in the Journal of Public Policy Volume 2, Number 4, 2007. The response by many of the other participants at the Round Table was overwhelmingly negative as we discussed my presentation for more than 40 minutes. Much of the time the questions and comments were pointed and many times personal with the moderator stepping in several times to divert the questioner. Several of the questioners apologized the next day for the negative sounding questions saying they had not meant a personal attack, and we were able to talk and discuss other points throughout the week.
Since our time at Oxford, many in the group have attempted to publish a common belief statement that acknowledges different views on origins and the values involved in each position and encouraging tolerance for these different world views. The effort to get this statement accepted by the group was stopped by one very vocal professor of biology and outspoken supporter of the evolutionary theory. Many of the professors were more than willing to accept the value of students who hold creationists viewpoints, but, again, just a limited few (one) were able to shut down this effort and belittled other evolutionists who were willing to show tolerance toward creationists' ideas.
While in England, I was also able to do creation presentations for two congregations of the Lord's church. Unlike the church in much of America, the church in England is very weak, with the city of Oxford having only about eight New Testament Christians. The church at Wembley Park, north of London, has about 60 in attendance with about 45 present at the Wednesday night Bible class. I taught the Bible class on science's support of creation, and we continued discussions after dismissal for more than an hour. We then went to Bristol in western England where we held a Friday, Saturday, Sunday workshop on creation/evolution. The church there, being about 75 in number, was very supportive and interested in the topic, and we enjoyed our time with them greatly. In follow up discussions with Jason Sneathen, one of the ministers, the congregation has requested additional studies in Christian evidences. I feel our time with the brethren in England has encouraged them and certainly strengthened my determination to help the church there.
From the time of that first trip, it was my intention to make additional missionary trips to England in the future to teach Christian evidences. Little did I know that the Lord would give me the opportunity so soon. Late in November, I received a second invitation to attend another Oxford Round Table. This Oxford Round Table will focus on "Religion and Science: Consideration of the Public Good." I believe that, as a member of the Lord's church and a scientist, there could be many beneficial ways this experience would help in service to the Lord.
I have decided to accept this opportunity and to set up as many preaching opportunities for the Lord's church as possible during this visit. I covet the prayers of interested congregations and individual Christians. I will be raising support for my expenses for this missionary effort. Any congregation or individual interested in supporting this effort financially can send contributions earmarked for the Oxford Round Table to the Belington Church of Christ, PO Box 444, Belington, WV 26250. These funds will be under the oversight of the eldership here. If there are any other questions, you can call 823-1459 or 823-2776.
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