Rich McGee is Director of International Expansion for Christian Leadership Ministries. His responsibility is to help mobilize Christian professors on the CLM network for world evangelism, connecting them with a variety of international ministry opportunities. He directed CLM's ministry at Southern Methodist University from 1982 until 1989. Rich earned a Th.M. in Old Testament from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1981. He is a member of the American Scientific Affiliation. Rich and his wife have three children, and live in Garland, TX.
Since the founding of Christian Leadership Ministries in 1980, we as a ministry have been concerned with what Dr. Charles Malik called "the two tasks" of Christians. The first and primary task is the ministry of evangelism and discipleship; the second is changing the thinking and climate of the university and culture. Both tasks are included in Christ's great commission to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20), because in teaching people to observe everything Christ commanded, we must teach them to love God with all their mind as well as their heart.
The Mere Creation Conference on Design and Origins last month was a part of the second task. Our goal was to conduct an academic conference on the origins issue for leading scientists and scholars who reject naturalism as an adequate framework for doing science. We wanted to challenge the paradigm which reigns in the university and culture today- the scientific naturalism which proclaims that nature is and has always been an absolutely closed system of material cause and effects-and explore the possibilities in the concept of intelligent design. Only time (and ultimately eternity) will tell whether we were successful in our efforts, but we were encouraged by the enthusiasm at the conference.
Christian Leadership will never surrender its primary task of evangelism and discipleship with university professors. Malik (1906-1987), who was the Lebanese ambassador to the U.S. and three times president of the United Nations Security Council, stated it best: "For proud and rebellious and self-sufficient man . . . to be brought to his knees and tears before the actual majesty and grace and power of Jesus Christ-this is the greatest event that can happen to any man."
But we will continue to also give attention to the second task. Malik pleads in The Two Tasks that we must save the mind as well as the soul: "No civilization can endure with its mind as confused and disordered as ours is today. All our ills stem proximately from the false philosophies that have been let loose in the world and that are now being taught in the universities." Naturalism truly has become the established religion in science and academia.
My thanks go to the steering committee and 19 speakers who made the Mere Creation Conference so informative and attractive. Particular thanks goes to Bill Dembski and Paul Nelson who served on the Executive Committee with me; we were in almost daily contact for months before the conference. Bill is also the Academic Editor for the conference and is now preparing the papers for publication. Finally, thanks go to Stan Oakes and Phil Johnson for wise counsel along the way, and to Stan for initially sensing the need for such a conference. The 192 conferees certainly agreed that such a conference was greatly needed.
If you want a closer look at the Mere Creation conference speakers and their backgrounds, please visit the Mere Creation web site.