Response to a rejection to a request to engage in neighborhood dialogue in Dallas

I was recently rejected.

I have researched the neighborhood impact of the Discovery Institute’s activism in Waco during the controversy over the Polanyi Institute and in the neighborhood of Dover, PA.

There is an apologetics ministry here in Dallas that is the go-to for campus ministers not trained in science and faith issues. Which seems to be, all campus ministers I have met.

I asked this apologetics ministry leader for a neighborhood sit-down to talk about my dissertation on the culture wars surrounding Darwin and evangelism etc.

His response was to say I should address the Discovery Institute directly.

So here is my response to his response. A final response given that it seems no meeting will ever happen.

Let me just say a few things here as it looks like we are not going to interact given your response.

The matter of Darwinism is a profound issue that the church has dealt with for the last 150 years.

But the Scopes trial was local affair, a state affair.

ICR and DI have a national impact.

What DI has done is this according to the decades I have spent following them and their opponents since ID’s inception as a movement in the early 1990s.

Locals in a neighborhood want to insert ID theory into a public school classroom, a church meeting, or a university.

They call Discovery, which is already armed with an attorney to fight court battles and savvy at getting Fox News and other media entities to rally to their cause in the public school case.

DI comes to the local community. There is a very public fight during which Christians are alienated from each other and non-Christians alienated from Christians.

DI leaves, with the neighborhood dynamic in shambles.

That is the effect of what DI is doing. They are teaching young Christians to distrust and mock the ideas taught in science class and treat the professor as an anti-God enemy. They are also hostile to theistic evolutionists who are their fellow believers.

The Polanyi Institute incident in Waco at Baylor and the Dover case were two illustrations of this outsider institute coming in, amplifying alienation, and then leaving.

The records are in Lauri Lebo’s book, her personal testimony to me, and in the Baylor archive.

Finally, neighborhood damage has to healed through neighborhood leadership. Then perhaps a time will come to show DI was it has done.

I won’t contact you again. You have my number 304-894-6045.

Think about your legacy at UTD when everything is over and you’re retired. I know the staff of the UTD campus ministries lean upon Reasonable Faith for apologetics help because they are not trained in the matter of science and faith.

I sat watching the James Tour presentation thinking about Lakepointe and the work of Reasonable Faith, the Baylor science departments that fought the Polanyi Institute, and my research.

I had this dissertation committee member named Betty Smocovitis. A historian of the evolutionary biology community. She was my neighbor.

People like her were why I traveled from Yale Campus Crusade to her class. Cru taught me a lot of apologetics. But they were poor in the area of science and faith because they didn’t train us to engage with historical context, which I had to learn at the University of Florida.

Going to seminary taught me all the apologetics knowledge in the world is crap if one isn’t a good neighbor as stated in the Great Commandment.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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