What sounds of leaves rustling in the wind have I missed when I take a walk with my iPhone and air pods stuck in my ears? Has my vision for the crow or the owl been diminished by the hours I stare into a computer screen? Underneath the electric lamps (both indoors and out), have I lost what the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard called “the view of the stars”?
Connecting real, messy Christianity with science can be gloriously liberating. (Science is messy too, but that’s a topic for another day.) This interaction can never be this neat. But to admit it is liberation.
That’s why I bring science to church today: studying God’s glorious Creation is good for my soul, and it’s good for the church. In fact, as I heard at a science and religion conference a few years ago, “Every scientist I know began with a profound experience with nature.”
The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne will undoubtedly remain a preeminent voice in faith and science. He died March 9th at age 90. I met John Polkinghorne only once, at a small science and religion conference. I interrupted his breakfast for our notably awkward encounter…
When the effects of the pandemic subside—and when we can safely do so—should we go back to church? What do science and Scripture say?