Another valuable step in the development of the course was the opportunity to teach it in the fall of 1990 at the Elmbrook Study Center, a part of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Being an American who is very poor at writing Chinese, I could not have produced the Chinese version of this material without modern computer equipment.† I thank the Physics Department, and particularly chairman Lin Jin-Jya, for providing a computer and printer for my use.† I also thank the department teaching assistants who patiently taught me how to use the Chinese word-processing system.
Several people have assisted directly with the development of my course material.† Miss Liu Yi-Ting, a student in the Chinese Literature Department and Graduate School, was my teaching assistant for several years, grading a large number of student reports.† Her greatest assistance was with the translation of the course material into Chinese.† I thank the students who patiently tried to understand my English materials the first few semesters, but I discovered that their comprehension was very incomplete and in many cases incorrect.† So I thank the students in the fall of 1992 whose homework was translating the course into Chinese section by section.† Their translation was often incorrect, but at least it was a good start.† Liu Yi-Ting then spent many hours by herself and with me going carefully through their translations, checking and correcting it, and typing it into the computer.† Much of the first-time computer input was also done by a friend of our friends Mr. and Mrs. Wang Jr-Jung.
Two other friends also spent many hours helping with the improvement of the translation, Mrs. Huang Wu Syi-Fen and Mrs. Wang Yan Syau-Lan.† Syi-Fen also did quite a bit of the computer inputting.† They read through many sections of the course, and made many careful corrections to improve the grammar and comprehensibility.† This was especially difficult in the sections which I have later added to the course myself, written in my American-style Chinese, which they translated into real Chinese.
Finally, in this past school year of 1994-5, Miss Chen Li-Ling team-taught the course with me, and contributed her expertise in the fields of biology, education, and theology.† She wrote some paragraphs on biology and medicine in ch. 1.
So I am grateful for all these friends who saw my need for help and did it as a part of their own service for the Lord.† This course and this book would not exist without them.† The mistakes that remain are of course all my own.
From a longer-range viewpoint, I have been preparing this course all my life, which has been 49 years so far, 1946 to 1995.† During that time a large number of people have contributed to my learning.† I cannot mention all of them; I cannot even remember all of them.
First of course were my parents.† They were Christians, and started taking me to church as soon as I was a few weeks old.† We read a Bible story every evening at bedtime.† I grew up listening to Bible stories in Sunday school class, and also listening to good Bible-teaching pastors in church.† That all has melted together in my mind, and now is part of what I know and what I am, though I have no idea what I learned from whom.† I am eternally grateful to my parents for such a privileged background, being taught Biblical truth from my earliest years, instead of having to find it later and sort out a lot of wrong ideas.
My parents encouraged my natural childhood curiosity, answering my questions when they could, and encouraging me to read books to learn more.† They also taught me that Christian faith has nothing to fear from facts; in fact, a faith that fears facts is not worth much.† My mother stated this most explicitly, but my father fully agreed.† They both enjoyed learning and doing things.† My mother went to Bible school after high school.† My father did not study formally beyond high school, but he read all my college textbooks, which is more than I read!
From the middle of sixth grade through the end of college, I was in Christian schools:† Peoria Christian School (Illinois), high school at Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta, Canada, and then Wheaton College in Illinois.† The teachers were all Christians, and there were Bible courses every year.† This all made a deep impression on me.
During high school, I began wondering how we can be sure that the Bible is true, and is the only truth.† There are so many other religions in the world; how can we know which one is true?† Or maybe all are true; or maybe none are.† I seriously thought this question over during my years in college and first few years in graduate school at Iowa State University, where I attended Campus Baptist Church.† I am thankful for encouragement from my parents, teachers, and pastors during those years, and for the excellent books that they helped me find to answer my questions.† Some of those books are listed in the bibliographies in this book.† I thank the Lord that such books were available.† In the end I was convinced that there is overwhelming evidence for the authenticity of the Bible as Godís Word.† If I had not found such evidence, I probably would not have continued believing.† How could I?
Since that time, I have discovered that some of the things I heard and read were wrong!† But even those were used by God to help me find satisfactory answers later on, and they were a good example of faith that intends to face all the facts and find answers, rather than hide from them.
From my youngest years I have been especially interested in science.† My major in college and graduate school was physics.† So my approach to the search for truth was basically a scientific approach, and the answers I looked for and found were mostly scientific answers.
Another thing happened during high school.† I met a girl there named Judy Bruce.† She then went to Westmont College in California while I went to Wheaton College in Illinois.† We wrote letters for 3 1/2 years, and got married during Christmas vacation in 1966, my first year in graduate school.† She has helped me learn that there is more to life than physics.† I often say, ďAll of life is simple physics - except Judy.† She is neither simple nor physics!Ē
She too is from a Christian family; her parents were missionaries in the Philippines at the time we met and married.† She is fully committed to serving the Lord with me, and I could not be where I am and do what I do without her loving help.† Actually, I feel that if I have been able to bring any contributions to Taiwan, my greatest contribution has been bringing her along!
I intended to get a PhD in physics at Iowa State, but it did not work out that way.† My research project encountered too many difficulties to overcome, and I had to settle for a non-thesis Masterís degree after spending four years and finishing practically all of the courses for a PhD.† This was my first failure in life, and was a very difficult experience at the time, but I see now that it was beneficial in many ways.† It was the first time I found myself being helped personally by the Bible, especially Psalms, and feeling Godís comfort in disappointment.† I began reading books about real-life problems and counseling, not just about science and the Bible.† It seemed as if God said, ďAll right, you have the basis of your faith solid enough now, so itís time you began learning how to use it for your personal life and others.Ē† At the same time a few other people began asking me for help with their personal problems, and I searched for how the Bible could help them too.
The next step that the Lord prepared for us was to go to the Department of Atmospheric Physics at the University of Arizona.† I spent five and a half years in graduate study there.† During our last two years, I taught the college-age Sunday school class at the First Evangelical Free Church.† I thank the church leaders for giving me that opportunity, and the students for their patience; as always happens, the teacher learned far more than the students did.
During graduate school we joined Overseas Missionary Fellowship, with the intention of becoming a university teacher overseas.† The Lord provided a number of churches and friends who support us financially and with prayer.† Many OMF leaders and fellow workers have cared for us to help make it possible for us to live and work in Taiwan since 1976, and teach at Tunghai University since 1981.† OMF provided two years of full-time language study, and encourages all its members to continue to develop their language ability as much as possible, and do it all for the glory of God.
This brings this acknowledgment back where it started, at Tunghai University.† The Christian teachers, administrators, pastors, and church have all been very patient and helpful with our many weaknesses as foreigners trying to be a help in Chinese society.† They have helped us far more than we have helped them.† May the Lord reward them; we cannot.