A weekly dose of science for the church
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My first-grade daughter came home all excited recently: “Daddy, they took a picture of a black hole at the center of the universe. Do you want to see it?” Her enthusiasm proclaimed wisdom
I cannot help but believe that God preordained that this motley crew would gather to help the church understand and embrace science as a tool for growth and inclusion.
One-in-five adults suffered from mental illness (52.9 million Americans) in 2021. For 14.2 million American adults the diagnosis is severe. Of those suffering, fewer than half received treatment and the young (18–25 years-old) are more susceptible to illness and receive the least care. These numbers tell us that wherever five or more gather, not only is Christ among them, but one likely suffers some type of mental illness. This is one place science can help the church.
there are some in our pews who are particularly called to serve God with their minds. I sense that God celebrates the way truly brilliant people fulfill their calling… I imagine that God says to them, “See, I’ve poured some of my intelligence into you. Isn’t it cool?” And I believe we can learn from them about loving God with our minds.
“All vocations are intended by God to manifest His love in the world.”… The purpose to our vocations, to how we use our God-given abilities and passions, is love. So when we talk about science as a Christian vocation, we are talking about how Christians in the sciences labor in order to help others experience God’s love.
As a person of faith, I know that small actions (mustard seeds) can add up to mountains. No one person, church, corporation, action, or green choice is sufficient to reduce the effects of climate change, but we can make a difference by acting together.
The church has not yet fully grappled with the potential for technology to change human nature, and I believe we need to. Mercer and Trothen agree and notch up the urgency, claiming that “the religions of the world will come to an end, or thrive, depending on how they respond to the topic.”
Hope is like magic, in that it rearranges our epistemological perception of what is real and what is possible. It makes the impossible appear possible. But Dr. Nagib posits that hope is more than magic. Hope is the inner voice that whispers (or shouts) that anything is possible, even in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation.
Our brains develop and continually change immersed in specific cultures and, as a result, culture literally embeds in our neuroanatomy. We acquire motor and social skills from our culture that impact how we move and think and function.
This is why the nature vs. nurture distinction is problematic: through culture, nurture becomes part of our nature.
I’m definitely always curious about what scientists are thinking and what they’re doing. I want to learn from them and grow by listening. As a result, scientists seem to be interested in what I’m doing as a pastor, like teaching theological ideas—that’s just my normal thing. But it’s interesting because there’s a mutual curiosity there.
Love is, however, the language of God, even God’s very own essence. It should be the language (and work) of the church. This week I want to consider the intersection of human evolution, the Bible, and love to see what the Book of Nature has to offer the church.
On February 18, 2022, my beloved mentor Dr. J. Wentzel van Huyssteen joined the Church Triumphant. With Christ as our cornerstone, Science for the Church is also perched on the shoulders of giants like Wentzel.