New Leadership for The BioLogos Foundation

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January 28, 2013 Tags:

Today's entry was written by the BioLogos Editorial Team and features Deborah Haarsma. You can read more about what we believe here.

New Leadership for The BioLogos Foundation

With great pleasure, the Board of Directors of The BioLogos Foundation announces the appointment of Deborah Haarsma to become our next President, and of Jeffrey Schloss to the role of Senior Scholar. Professor Haarsma assumes leadership from our outgoing President Darrel Falk, to whom we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude.

As a Board, our transition process has focused on selecting leaders who embrace Christ as Savior and science as the pursuit of understanding God’s work in His creation. Both Haarsma and Schloss have demonstrated their commitment to these two fundamental principals in their scholarship as well as in their lives.

President Deborah Haarsma, Ph.D.

Dr. Deborah Haarsma is Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In recent years she has become well known to the BioLogos community as a regular contributor and consultant to our blog and Questions section, as well as an active member of the Board of Advisors. Dr. Haarsma’s deep commitment to her faith and enthusiasm for science have made her a popular public speaker in churches as well as private Christian schools and universities.

A graduate of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Haarsma earned her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An experienced research scientist, her work on galaxy clusters and gravitational lenses has been published in The Astrophysical Journal and The Astronomical Journal.

Dr. Haarsma grew up in a Christian home and an evangelical church. Since her college days, she has felt God’s call to be an ambassador: to share Christ’s love in the academic world of science, and to share the wonders of God’s creation with the church. Her first book, Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design, was coauthored with husband, Dr. Loren Haarsma, a biophysicist. Origins respectfully explores the range of views held by Christians on creation, evolution, and human origins and is used in many Christian schools and colleges to navigate these complex issues. Haarsma’s latest book, Delight in Creation: Scientists Share Their Work with the Church, co-edited with Rev. Scott Hoezee, invites Christians to explore the discoveries of science through essays by Christian biologists, astronomers, mathematicians, and other scientists.

A gifted musician, Dr. Haarsma is active in her local church, playing piano for the choir and worship services. In a recent article, Dr. Haarsma shared how her own worship of God as creator has been intensified by her scholarship in science, saying “I have learned to praise God for the glory of the systems he has put in place. Rather than picturing God making each mountain individually, I praise him for carefully designing a whole system of continental plates that slowly but powerfully raised up the snowy heights of the Himalayas. Rather than picturing God creating each individual flower, I praise him for designing the system of evolution to create an extravagant variety of flowers of all shapes, colors, and scents. A scientific explanation does not replace God; rather, it is our best human description of the natural mechanisms God uses. This understanding can actually increase our awe and worship, giving us a glimpse into how God works.”

Dr. Haarsma is grateful for this opportunity to lead BioLogos in its work to draw pastors, teachers, scholars, and students into the expanding conversation about evolution and its compatibility with biblical faith.


Deb Haarsma is not only a scientist but an active participant in the church and a devoted follower of Christ. I could not be more excited about her leadership from my perspective as a pastor. She deeply cares for the faith community that she is trying to equip with the knowledge of God's creation, so that we will all be able to glorify Him more completely.

Joel Hunter
Senior Pastor
Northland Distributed Churches
Florida


Senior Scholar Jeffrey Schloss Ph.D.

Dr. Jeffrey Schloss is Distinguished Professor and T.B. Walker Chair of Biology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he directs the Center for Faith, Ethics and Life Sciences. He is well known to the BioLogos community through his writings on evolution and faith for our blog, as well as his informative presentations at numerous BioLogos events.

Dr. Schloss is well respected in the academic community for his extensive work on evolutionary theory, ethics, and the Christian faith. He is a frequently invited speaker at scholarly conferences, has co-edited several academic volumes, and publishes in venues such as Religion, Brain & Behavior, Behavioral & Brain Sciences, and Journal of Theology & Science. His many awards and honors include Oxford University’s Plumer Fellowship, the Crosson Fellowship in Philosophy of Religion at Notre Dame, and the Witherspoon Fellowship in Theology and Natural Sciences at Princeton’s Center of Theological Inquiry.

After a life-changing encounter with the gospel as a college drop-out, Schloss returned to school and graduated from Wheaton College. He went on to do post-baccalaureate fieldwork at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan biological stations, completing his Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Since meeting Christ, Dr. Schloss’s life passion has been seeking to understand – and engaging others in their quest to understand – life through the revelation of scripture, the counsel of the Spirit, and the wisdom of science. Dr. Schloss has worked with Young Life and local high school ministries for many years. He speaks widely on Christian college campuses and at secular universities at Veritas, Intervarsity, and CRU (Campus Crusade) events. And he is grateful for the opportunity to teach and preach at his own and other churches. A mainstay of his life in Christ is a small group of long term friends in the faith, who hold him accountable and with whom he prayerfully considered the call to work with BioLogos.

Dr. Schloss is excited by the opportunity to build bridges of dialogue on the relationship between science and faith, in light of the invitation to “worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.”

Dr. Schloss will hold a joint appointment with BioLogos and Westmont College.


The future of a great organization depends on the quality of its leaders, and the quality of its leaders is shaped by the courage to form a succession of leaders. BioLogos began with splendid leaders and it is time now to move to the next generation of leaders. I could not support more the appointment of Deborah Haarsma and Jeff Schloss, both able scientists, intelligent teachers, and exceptional communicators of the importance of science for the faith of ordinary Christians.”

Scot McKnight
Author of Jesus Creed
Professor of New Testament
Northern Seminary


The Evolution of BioLogos

It’s been a little more than four years since this project was launched by Dr. Francis Collins and a group of energetic graduate students. At the time, Dr. Collins’ book, The Language of God had resulted in a deluge of emails and letters from Christian students across the globe, inspired by Dr. Collins’ ability to combine his award-winning science with his deeply-experienced Christian faith. Those thought provoking questions combined with Dr. Collins’ desire to offer meaningful answers, provided the inspiration for our website.

Since that time, BioLogos has experienced tremendous growth in the numbers of fully committed followers of Christ who resonate with our efforts and have joined the conversation. Our website now includes over 1200 blog entries and receives nearly 2 thousand “hits” a day. Nearly a million people have visited our website since it’s launch and many of them have returned, for a total of over 2 million visits.

Our annual pastors conference continues to attract some of the most noted authors and leaders of our time. Our summer workshop for Christian teachers is considered a professional high point in the lives of many participants, and we recently awarded 37 grants to scholars and church leaders to advance the dialogue between evolution and Christian faith. We are humbled and grateful as we’ve seen God’s hand at work in all of these blessings.

Throughout this growth, we remain committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith. As always, we are guided by the knowledge that all things are held together in Christ our Savior.


Many have called the 21st century the 'Century of Biology'. A key challenge for the Church in this century is not merely to integrate, but to celebrate, the intricacies and beauty of nature as part of robust Christian faith. The work of the BioLogos Foundation is and will continue to be crucially important in helping the Church to meet this challenge. The addition of Deb Haarsma and Jeff Schloss to an already impressive team is an exciting next step in BioLogos' continuing mission."

Jeff Hardin Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Zoology
Director, Biology Core Curriculum
University of Wisconsin

 

 

 


Deborah Haarsma serves as President of The BioLogos Foundation, a position she has held since January 2013. Previously, she served as professor and chair in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gifted in interpreting complex scientific topics for lay audiences, Dr. Haarsma often speaks to churches, colleges, and schools about the relationships between science and Christian faith. She is author (along with her husband Loren Haarsma) of Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (2011, 2007), a book presenting the agreements and disagreements of Christians regarding the history of life and the universe. Haarsma is an experienced research scientist, with several publications in the Astrophysical Journal and the Astronomical Journal on extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.


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beaglelady - #76222

January 28th 2013

Welcome aboard to both of you!


Merv - #76243

January 29th 2013

I wish you both blessings and God’s guidance, Dr. Haarsma and Dr. Schloss, with this new challenge.  Given Jeff’s comments/challenges above I was going to add that you’re hitting the ground running here.  But as you’ve both already been involved publishing here and other places, you’ll no doubt continue full-steam ahead.  I hope to read more of your work.

-Merv Bitikofer


Karl A - #76245

January 30th 2013

God’s blessings on both Dr. Haarsma and Dr. Schloss.  May the Lord give you strength, encouragement and wisdom as you lead BioLogos and engage with the church in these difficult and important issues.


sy - #76260

January 31st 2013

I would like to add my welcome to two outstanding scholars and voices for the Biologos mission to lead Biologos through the stormy seas ahead. I would also like to commend the Board for their choices, as well as the magnificent staff, who have done so well during this period of transition to keep all of Biologos activities running smoothly.

My the Lord continue to smile on this important attempt to bring truth and reason to a world which often seems lost in confusion and misunderstanding. The task is difficult but vital. We know that Christ is the Lord and He is our salvation, and we stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in this knowledge of our faith. We also know the power of science to bring us a true understanding of the world we live in, and with our fellow scientists we embrace reason and the search for truth, wherever it leads.

The Biologos idea is a bridge between our friends and colleagues on both sides of a great divide, a chasm that is itself a construct of faulty thinking and misinterpretations. Those of us standing on this bridge need to look in both directions, address those on both sides of the raging debate, without losing our own balance, with determination and courage. I think Drs. Haarsma and Schloss will prove to be exactly the leaders who can accomplish that.

Blessings to you both, and to all here.  


Mike Beidler - #76299

February 2nd 2013

A hearty welcome to Drs. Haarsma and Schloss!  Ever since I began my own journey away from young-earth creationism to evolutionary creationism, I had hoped that a solid, evangelical organization would form to present to the evangelical world a more intellectually satisfying approach to both faith and science, all the while respecting the ancient voices of sacred Scripture without rejecting them. Dr. Collins did just that, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.

I enjoyed immensely working with various BioLogos staff (some who have moved on to other things) in putting together my “Confronting Our Fears” series, but I also look foward to the new paths BioLogos will blaze with Dr. Haarsma at the helm!  God bless!


beaglelady - #76303

February 2nd 2013

I do hope you’ll continue to be involved here, Mike. I really enjoyed your previous series.


Mike Beidler - #76307

February 2nd 2013

That’s *my* plan, beaglelady!  Greatly appreciate your compliment, too.  Warms my heart.


Will - #76828

February 20th 2013

Welcome to the both of you! I pray God uses you two to advance BioLogos into a better known organization and worldview. Blessings to both of you!


lancelot10 - #77223

March 7th 2013

Deborah and Jeffrey a warm welcome to the site.

A difficulty with theistic evolution is that it took 13 billion years.   If I was a TE and trying to share my faith in Christ’s return and the first and second resurrections - the defeat of satan etc and all that is in Revelations - how will the babe in Christ reconcile the instantaneous miracles that these events require with the slow process of evolution that God supposedly needed to learn  notwithstanding that Jesus created cooked loaves and fishes , raised Lazarus from dust (like Adam) and Himself from death - and countless other creative acts. 

Once the door is open to believe miracles are symbolic and did not really happen literaly then we  end up with a Thomas Jefferson bible or a Sadducean bible since they did not believe in the resurrection


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