About Science for the Church
Our Mission is to strengthen the church by engaging science
“Learning about science was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew from church I couldn’t believe in both science and God, so that was it. I didn’t believe in God anymore.”
“As a scientist and a Christian, I know firsthand how lonely and marginalized scientists can be within Christian congregations…”
Science for the Church exists to change the posture of the church, pastors, and individuals Christians as they relate to science and scientists.
Our vision is of a day when churches embrace science as a means for spiritual growth. We admit that some today posit science against faith, but we actually want churches to read both the Book of Scripture and the book of nature as sources to understand God and creation.
Put another way, we imagine a day when no one finds it surprising that a church is engaging with science and welcoming of scientists. Just as it is normal today for churches to engage current events, cultural trends, and even the arts, we work toward a day when it is commonplace for a church to engage science. In fact, it may be surprising to find churches that don’t engage with science.
- When science is used to illuminate sermons, support the teaching of Scripture, and to supplement the wisdom of the church on a range of topics.
- When new understandings of God’s handiwork revealed by science inspire us to worship our Creator.
- When science improves our ministry praxis, such that we are better at feeding the hungry, caring for the sick or depressed or addicted, teaching Scripture effectively to all abilities and cultures, caring for creation, and cultivating practices like prayer and forgiveness as well as virtues like gratitude and hope.
- When people come to our churches because we wrestle with difficult questions, we engage with the science of the day, and we support the vocations of STEM professionals.
- When the proportion of Christians in the sciences mirrors that of the rest of the population.
- When science is no longer a barrier to faith – in fact, it is a means to enrich it.
We believe God is revealed in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit as revealed in Christian Scripture of the Old and New Testament. We believe in that Scripture as God’s Holy Word we also believe that God the Author of the book of nature, as a complementary source of revelation that speaks of both the Potter and the clay (Is. 64:8). We believe “the heavens declare the glory of God, the earth proclaims his handiwork,” and that “the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Ps. 19). We affirm our faith with Christians throughout the ages and across the globe using the words of the Apostles Creed.
We believe in the Christian faith, using the words of C.S. Lewis, like we “believe that the sun has risen: not only because [we] see it, but because by it [we] see everything else.” And we believe wherever two or three are gathered, Christ is there (Matt. 18:20). That is, in relationship with one another, we experience our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because of that experience with Christ, we feel called to be his disciples worshipping together and working to advance the mission and ministry of Christ’s body, the church, here on earth.
We believe that all truth is God’s truth and that the truth that arises from the scientific method comes ultimately from God. We believe that scientists experience God in nature and when they discover the laws and theories that undergird it and that the practice of science is both a Christian vocation and means for worship. Therefore, we believe the church should not be threatened by mainstream science, but should engage it faithfully, even when its conclusions seem to challenge our beliefs and values. Ultimately, we trust that “all things hold together” in Christ (Col. 1:17).
We are concerned about the proclamation of the Gospel when churches dismiss, or fail to engage seriously with, mainstream science because our public witness to an increasingly secular culture is greatly diminished.
We fear, even more, that Christ is troubled by all that divides his body. We feel called to be ministers of the Gospel in one particular area that can divide rather than unite us – the connection between the church and science. We believe the conflict between the two can be vastly overplayed and that it is a space that requires openness and humility. We believe that where conflict is felt, it is usually over secondary theological issues – like the process of creation – rather than primary theological issues – that we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27). We remain confident that, while we may not eliminate every perceived tension between them, engaging with science will ultimately strengthen the church.
Meet The Team
Drew is Project Co-director of Science for the Church and the lead editor of the weekly email. In addition to leading this project, he does freelance work on a range of projects including Science for Seminaries, Orbiter magazine, and programs at the Fuller Youth Institute and Biola University. Previously, he spent more than ten years with the John Templeton Foundation, most recently leading the Religious Engagement Department, where he developed programs helping religious leaders and media engage scientific content. Drew studied literature and physics at Northwestern University before attending Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Drew’s vocational passion is to help the church navigate the faith and science interface. Drew lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, a Presbyterian pastor, and their three daughters. He still proudly dons purple and cheers on his Northwestern Wildcats.
About Upper House
Upper House, an initiative of the Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation, hosts Science for the Church. Upper House serves the University of Wisconsin and Madison communities by curating experiences of Christian thinking, being, and doing for personal transformation and for the life of the world.
Based in University Square in the heart of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) campus, Upper House provides multi-experiential space and programming expertise, where people, faith, values, ideas, and the arts come together in a dynamic environment that fosters vocational, intellectual, and cultural formation.
“Greg and Drew are eminently qualified to lead this effort. They each know the church well from a pastoral perspective, but they also are exceptionally attuned to the world of science.”
– Darrel Falk, Point Loma Nazarene University;
Former President, BioLogos
“Through this work we have seen a … breakdown of the stereotype and narrative that faith and science are infinitely opposed to one another. We have entered into the pastoral work of helping disciples of all ages wrestle with and navigate the big questions we all ask in the journey of life and faith. Our partnership with Science for the Church, has equipped us with the tools we need in this ongoing process.”
– Will Rose, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
David C. Wang
“With religious communities growing more and more sectarian and isolationist in recent years, there is great need for thought leaders such as [Science for the Church] to help cultivate networks that stimulate greater cross-pollination between the faith leaders and scientists.”
– David C. Wang, Rosemead School of Psychology
“Science for the Church has its finger on the pulse in addressing various pressing issues in ministry that require scientific insight and expertise.”
– Paul Metzger, Multnomah University
Science for the Church has the capability to make a difference in how the church views science as a discipline and in how the church relates to the scientific community.”
– Ken Keathley, Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture
“Science for the Church is a rare and valuable gift to churches. They provide academically credible and spiritually relevant content for churches. I have appreciated that they consistently lead with a refreshing balance of intellectual humility and a commitment to relationships.”
– Ashley Byrd, North America, The Veritas Forum
“It is not uncommon to see yard signs that read, “We believe Science is Real,” or signs that read “Jesus is Lord.” But we never see yard signs that say both. That’s tragic. Science for the Church presents a refreshing alternative. Not only do they believe that science is real; they also believe that Jesus is Lord. Science for the Church is committed to removing the wedge between science and religion by equipping congregations to think about how God’s world and God’s word go together in perfect harmony.”
– Chris Dolson, Blackhawk Church
“As a parent, leader, and researcher, I’m grateful for every resource I receive from Science for the Church. The questions that faith bring to science, and science brings to faith, deserve the savvy reflection and supportive relationships that Science for the Church offers us all.”
– Kara Powell, Fuller Youth Institute
“[Through our time with Science for the Church], our [congregation] is now a community that understands itself to be, as our website states, a church that takes God and science seriously.”
– Jeff Smith, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Elaine Howard Ecklund
“I have been so thoroughly impressed by the ability of Science For the Church to help leaders and churches from a wide variety of Christian theological perspectives understand and engage thoughtfully with the full spectrum of science issues facing churches today. I have used their resources in my own congregation.”
– Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University,
The Religion and Public Life Program
Rev. John Van Sloten
“Because of Science for the Church, I have preached over 30 science-based sermons… Over the past year I have saved every one of their Science for the Church newsletters in my “Future Science Sermons” file and have frequently passed this newsletter on to my peers.”
– Rev. John Van Sloten, Author & Pastor
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Should we baptize aliens? Does God act in the world? What makes humans unique? Is faith beneficial to health? Can science enhance sermons or be a tool for discipleship? What are the best practices for engaging science in ministry? We boil down complex topics and give you the resources you need to navigate modern science as means to improve your ministry. Every Tuesday, get our blog delivered to your inbox.