For the past 50 years, the Canadian Scientific and Christian Affiliation has facilitated discussions about science and Christian faith in Canada. As part of our 50th-anniversary celebrations, we asked 50 CSCA members to comment on their personal connections to science, scripture, and Canadian scenery. We will share these contributions throughout 2023 in the hope that you will find them engaging and encouraging.
CSCA member of the week: Mr. Herman Proper.
1. Why did you choose your scientific discipline?
I chose to study Chemistry in University because of my Chemistry and Physics teacher, Mr. Morrison. Although I enjoyed all my subjects and did well in them, Mr. Morrison was not only an excellent teacher but also a gracious and caring person who took some interest in me as a student and as a young person. He inspired me to become a high-school teacher. I took a B. Sc. at the University of Guelph with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Physics and quite a bit of Biology as well. Inspired by a Christian study group to which I was introduced by my pastor, whose son studied at the U of G’s veterinary college, I decided I needed a Christian philosophy as well (and I still needed a Christian woman as my wife). To those two ends, I went to Calvin University for one year and learned more of the Reformational philosophy and worldview from Dr. H. Evan Runner. After that, I became a teacher, principal, and program director in a variety of independent Christian schools in Ontario and British Columbia.
2. What is one of your favourite Bible verses and why?
The Bible verse that speaks the most to me is Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I will get anything that I truly desire? Yeah! BUT! It is a trick verse! If you truly delight yourself in the LORD, what will the desire of your heart be? To know him better and walk with him. Then it turns out that it says basically the same as Matthew 6:33. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” This verse actually sums up the whole of the Bible’s message.
3. Which Canadian city or landscape do you love exploring and why?
I have been in every part of Canada except Nunavut, and my wife and I truly like to see every part with its own beauty and character. Perhaps our favourite part was the Yukon Territory. We spent a month there from mid-August to mid-September so we got to see Yukon and a part of North-West Territories at its red and golden best. From Whitehorse to Skagway to Dawson City to Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, it was wonderful to dip our toes in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. With our five children, we have visited every province and territory (except Nunavut) and lived in two provinces. Nature is a most beautiful part of God’s creation, showing his love for beauty and diversity.