by Charissa Veal
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) –Dr. Kurt P. Wise, a professor of natural science at Truett-McConnell and the Director of the school’s Creation Research Center, is a young earth creationist who developed a love for God and science from an early age. Although his profession has proven difficult in light of his beliefs, he still holds firmly to the work God has done in his life and all of creation.
From death to life
As an eight-year-old child, Wise questioned how he could know that something was absolutely true: “Step by step, I rejected the certainty that other things existed, then that I existed, then that something associated with me existed,” Wise reasoned. “After all, something could be making ‘me’ believe that these things existed, when they really didn’t.”
After a year of contemplating the reality of life, Wise concluded, “The only thing I really knew to exist was evil.” At that point, he decided he should end his life in order to destroy the evil within him; however, God presented Wise with the truth before he put action to his words. It later became clear that God had His hand in this as Wise stayed after Sunday School one week to talk with his teacher who shared the Gospel and led him to Christ using the book of Romans.
“I agreed with Romans 3:23, which stated I was evil incarnate,” Wise said. “I concurred with Romans 6:23, that I deserved death, which was a problem I was planning to solve [with suicide]; and I was shaken by Romans 5:8, for I realized upon contemplating the verse, that it was exactly what something good would do, that good would become evil, so that evil could become good. It was at that point that I accepted the good God did for me in taking my sins upon Himself and taking my punishment in my place.” And so, at nine years old, Wise placed his faith in Christ.
A love for science
As he grew older, Wise developed a love for science. “I would say that was ultimately a passion God placed within me,” he said, “but the passion was fanned by growing up on a wooded piece of property, spending a vast percentage of my childhood playing in God’s creation, and by a father who determined to give one gift to me each Christmas and birthday that introduced me to something new…such as a microscope, a postage stamp album, a telescope, etc.”
When it came time to choose a graduate school for his Ph.D, Wise sought God’s will despite his personal dream of graduating from Harvard and studying under Stephen Jay Gould. He applied to five different schools, including Harvard, but waited for God’s direction before proceeding: “I hoped God would help me choose among the five schools by having the schools reject me that I wasn’t supposed to attend,” Wise said. “That didn’t work, as they all accepted me,” he continued; “but God clarified the choice in another way; I prayed to God that if Harvard was the right place, that He would make three things happen that I considered impossible (something like Gideon’s fleece prayers). When all three things happened, I had little choice but to choose Harvard.”
The Christian Scientist
As a young earth Creationist operating in a field heavily influenced by Evolutionists, Wise found the working environment difficult yet rewarding. He described fearing for his life on several occasions, dealing with frustration at rejection, loneliness, and humiliation. “Many rejections come, not from the quality of work, but from what others think you believe,” Wise said. “What scientists seem to desire most is respect from other scientist, and that is something a Creationist will never have.”
Despite those things, there are positives to being a Creationist in the field, Wise shared: There are freeing effects of “not having to worry about others getting answers before you do,” as well as the inspirational aspect that “whatever is discovered seems to expand my understanding of the awesomeness of God.”
Ultimately, Wise is exhilarated by the opportunities which science provides to share the goodness of the Creator: “Discoveries often surprise believers and unbelievers alike, permitting a Christian testimony in the very dark world of scientific academia.”
Science as a ministry
Wise’s arrival at Truett-McConnell was another example of God’s guidance in his life. Economic downsizing at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary had left Wise looking for a job, but his searching turned up empty. “I had no job options,” he admitted. “Then through an odd set of circumstances, I found myself speaking with Dr. Caner at an SBC convention, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Reflecting back on the circumstances, Wise knows it was not a coincidence: “On the face of it, it would seem that I came here because it was the only place that would give me a job. However, even at the time, it was clear that God was behind it all. I am here because this is where God wants me to be.”
His claimed his favorite aspect of teaching science at Truett-McConnell to be “the freedom to create and develop courses that not only meet the needs of the College’s degree programs, but also to challenge students to strive for excellence in their walk with God.” Wise noted that, in doing so, students will “simultaneously develop the creation science and biblical worldview on a global scale.”
Throughout all of his time in ministry and teaching, Wise says the most valuable lesson he’s learned is that, “I have nothing to give God except that which He has given to me, and when I have given Him everything I have, everything He gives me should be given to others.”
Adding to this statement, Wise explained the primary factor motivating his life has been “to understand how things came to be, and thereby to better know the One Who brought them to be.”
Wise’s life story is a testimony to the power of God and how the hand of the Divine Creator intervened in a young boy’s life, causing him to seek the One who created him.
Charissa is a senior English major and a student writer for Truett-McConnell.