Humility is something all church leaders need—and by humility, I mean something more than just a humiliating experience. It should be a frame of mind, an approach to the world that opens us up to learn what the Spirit has to teach us.
Scientists do want to get the facts right and to accurately investigate the natural world, but even more so, the ones in your pews—especially those on who sit on your boards, teach Sunday school, or volunteer with your youth—really want to be recognized not just as scientists, but as equal partners in the body of Christ. They want to be of service to the church.
Science is not the center of the church, and never should be. But let me get back to that courtyard renovation at my church—a half block from North Carolina State University, which trains more STEM professionals than any other school in the state. If we are not taking the science they are teaching seriously, they will not take us seriously.
There’s been a longstanding warfare thesis about the alleged rivalry between faith and science. But in the words of historian Ron Numbers, it’s “more propaganda than history.”
In recent decades, many interesting studies have examined how religion and faith help us deal with stress, loss, and trauma. Events as different as 9/11, near-death experiences, and caring for someone with cancer have been studied.