We’re taking a break from our usual newsletter format to interview a Christian leader in the sciences. Ben McFarland is Professor of Biochemistry at Seattle Pacific University, where he studies structural aspects of protein biochemistry and design. Dr. McFarland wrote A World from Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life (Oxford, 2016). I caught up with Ben and posed few questions about his role as a scientist in the church, as well as the coronavirus outbreak.
What difference does it make that Jesus was a cultural being, born into a specific culture? “With the incarnation, to quote Karl Barth, ‘theology has become anthropology because God has become man.”
“This Christmas, think about how our wise, loving, patient God entered the ancient Middle East—“Taking the very nature of a servant”—and trusted himself to the developmental processes that had been created through him.”
“In this advent season we remember the messy world Jesus entered. Born amidst controversy to an unwed mother who was likely a teenager, and in a smelly barn where he spent the night in a feeding trough, Jesus entered fully into our complexity. Throughout his years of ministry, he was controversial and unconventional, cutting through religious pretenses to show the heart of God.” Join us for psychologist Mark McMinn’s reflections on growing in wisdom.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of baby Jesus – fully God and yet with all the limitations inherent to human infancy. Fuller Seminary professor Justin Barrett guest writes our newsletter today, drawing on knowledge from psychology, cognitive science, and evolution to point to the beauty of this dependence and vulnerability.