June 2008Dear Friends,
"Where there is no vision, the people perish." So lamented the writer of Proverbs 29:18. And while we are reminded of this truth everywhere we look today, the students and leaders of a small Christian classical school in Franklin, Tennessee, have proven what can be done when people possess vision for being salt and light in the surrounding culture.
You see, when Franklin Classical School Board member Aaron Anderson finished reading our book, The Design of Life (which he "loved") he shared with the Junior class the idea of selling the book to raise funds for their Senior year events. The students seized on the idea, and, energized by previews of EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed, asked, "Why not organize a community event in conjunction with the opening of EXPELLED and sell copies of The Design of Life? We could bring together credentialed scientists, theologians, and educators to participate in a panel on the science of intelligent design and the implications of Darwinism. And why not go beyond the school community and invite the whole town of Franklin?" Well, that's exactly what they did!
With Aaron Anderson (pictured here) and science teacher Sherri Clark leading the way, the school's board, administration, and faculty all got behind the student effort. On May 1, an impressive panel of experts in chemistry, molecular biology, medicine, theology, physics, history, apologetics, and university administration drew a larger-than-expected crowd and engaged with the audience on the topics of Darwinism, intelligent design, origins, evolution, academic freedom, and the social and moral implications of Darwinism. "Expelled in Franklin" was a smashing success!
Did the Junior Class meet their fundraising goal? The story gets even better. When the school ordered 100 copies of The Design of Life to sell at the community event, we assured them they could return any unsold copies. But, having had time to look over the book carefully, the science faculty and dean decided to adopt the book as a required supplemental text in all science classes. Not a single book needed to be returned! School is now out, but next year, and for the foreseeable future, students will be studying The Design of Life in multiple courses and ultimately they will live out their worldview in the surrounding culture in their roles as citizens and homemakers, and as church, business, and community leaders.
With vision, coupled with faith, the people thrive. How grateful we are for the vision that produced EXPELLED. We believe the success of this documentary, which was still playing in many theaters in the sixth week after its release, and which will be available in DVD format (probably in October) will greatly increase the understanding of intelligent design while exposing the scientific and philosophical inadequacies of Darwinism and secular materialism. If this amazing movie is still playing in your area and you have not yet seen it, I urge you not to miss it. Perhaps you have been put off by the vitriol directed against it by left-leaning film critics and blogging Darwinists. Ironically, such hostility demonstrates one of he movie's themes: that the academy and the media are gatekeepers, "protecting" the public against any ideas that counter their own philosophical biases and values. And the most protected value of those groups is the insistence that all of creation is the product of mindless, random, undirected chance and natural selection.
The Box Office Chart published in the Dallas Morning News every week of the Top 20 box office totals illustrates the disconnect between the critics and the moviegoers. For the five weeks that EXPELLED was in the Top 20, the column labeled "Dallas Morning News Critics" gave the movie an F. The column labeled "Dallas Morning News Readers" gave the movie an A-. Very telling, isn't it?!
We are extremely proud of this documentary and of the producers and Ben Stein for their vision and courage in making it and in risking their reputations to produce it. I know that many of you are looking forward to the release of the DVD. Expect to be able to purchase it at the movie's E-Store next fall. And here's some good news about the E-Store. The producers will be including in the offerings of their E-Store five (and only five) books, one of which is The Design of Life! Among these excellent books, The Design of Life is the only one that provides a definitive exploration of the science of intelligent design in biological systems (The Privileged Planet is also among the books, but its focus is astronomy).
Thank you, dear friends of FTE for so faithfully joining us in this great work of resisting the spirit of our age and in fighting for the truth. The incredible hostility directed against intelligent design as a movement, the personal attacks leveled against the men and women in the academy and other fields who even hint at support for it, and the smear campaign that was conducted against EXPELLED and its producers-all attest to the enormity of the battle we are waging.
Truly, we need your support more than ever. We are scheduled to exhibit The Design of Life at BookExpo America in Los Angeles, May 29-June 1, at the National Faculty Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C, June 27-29, and the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando, July 13-17. This has required paying major expenses well in advance. Very soon, however, our normal operating expenses and salaries will exceed our present means, so would you consider as significant a contribution as possible this month? The Design of Life epitomizes the extraordinary arguments and insights of intelligent design, and has the potential to powerfully and positively impact the national conversation about the origin and meaning of life. Your gift is an investment in redeeming our culture.
Because He lives,
|ACLU Over Dover | Of Pandas and People | Media & Commentary | Symposium | ID Publications & Video | About FTE|