Elder To Oxford

Michael E. Phillips

The University of Oxford, composed of many colleges in Oxford, England, has stood as an historic symbol of higher education for over 800 years. Advancements of thought relating to government, business, and religion have been achieved through the efforts of the educational processes at Oxford. It was at Oxford in 1860 that Bishop Samuel Wilberforce was challenged by T. H. Huxley regarding his critique of Charles Darwin's then recently published book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Since that time, the debate between the theory of evolution and specific creation has been waged with heated passions. At the present time, the issue continues to boil in the United States and in the United Kingdom as representatives decide whether to teach Intelligent Design, Evolution, or both.

In August 1989, the Oxford Round Table convened for the first time to consider major issues in contemporary educational policy in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other selected countries. During the latter half of the decade of the 1990s, the Round Table was expanded to consider important public policy matters bearing on human rights, law, economics, public finance, and politics. The Oxford Round Table serves as an opportunity for select leaders in the public and private sectors and scholars to discuss government policy over a five-day period in a collegial, "think-tank" atmosphere in the ancient city of Oxford. The purpose of the Oxford Round Table is to promote human advancement and understanding through the improvement of education, providing a forum for the study and consideration of current issues facing state and national systems of education. The foundation of the success of the Round Table is the assurance that this learning community will be composed of outstanding educational leaders. The results of certain of the deliberations have been published and distributed to individuals, governments, and academic institutions around the world.

During the upcoming year, the Oxford Round Table will devote a summer session, July 23 through July 28, 2006, at Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford, England, with a discussion on the theme Science and Faith: The Great Matter. This gathering will include some forty scholars who have particular expertise and interest in this topic. After meeting the criteria of a special screening process, the scholars are selected and given personal invitations. This year, brother David P. Everson, an elder of the church of Christ in Belington, WV, has been invited to serve as a member of the Oxford Round Table. David holds a BA degree in Biology and General Science Secondary Education (Shepherd University) and a Masters of Science degree (Mississippi State University, MA degree in Geosciences). David is a teacher at the Philip Barbour High School in Philippi, WV, where he has taught for 29 years in the disciplines of Biology, Advanced Placement Biology, Integrated Science, Human Anatomy, Geology, and Oceanography. David is an experienced speaker on the subject of Creation Evidences and holds weekend workshops for various congregations in the brotherhood. He has delivered lessons with the West Virginia School of Preaching Victory Lectures (2005) and on the Bible Questions Answered television show (a work of the Goff Street church of Christ in Elkins, WV.). David is a regular contributor to West Virginia Christian as he continues the theme, "And God Created ..." Many of his articles can also be found at www.gospelgazette.com, and many are available in paperback booklet form from the publisher, Louis Rushmore. Our prayers are with David in his efforts at Oxford, as he shares the truths of science and faith, proclaiming, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

Sources: online at www.oxfordroundtable.co.uk; personal invitation letter from Andy Boyle, D. Phil., Facilitator of the Oxford Round Table, Somerville College in the University of Oxford; tract entitled The Oxford Round Table. -P. O. Box 176, Belington, WV. 26250.


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