A weekly dose of science for the church
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“I often get the question: What’s the relationship between ministry and engineering? Well first, curiosity. And there’s always a people element. We have to communicate in both fields—oral and written. Communicating respect and dignity to other human beings is a leadership principle that transcends race or socio-economic status. It transcends the field of engineering. Those principles should be universal.”
How has science impacted my prayer life? I remain confident that God can still answer my prayers. But I no longer pray the same way today that I did in my early years as a Christian, in part because of what science is teaching us about prayer and meditation.
Since the Enlightenment, a commonplace assertion has been that no one (in light of the lawlike nature of the universe discovered by science) has reason to believe in a God who answers petitionary prayer. I suppose, if we’re not bothered by this apparent conflict, we haven’t really listened to modern science and felt its implications. C.S. Lewis… did listen to these voices and was bothered.
Several years ago, a pastor asked me if the scientific study of prayer is legit. I replied, “That’s complicated.” At the time, I did not fully understand how true this is. Learn more about why in this post.
“I started my studies in pre-med but found myself called to ministry as a pastor. Still, my interest in science never waned; it just kind of became a hobby. Seeing how theology and my faith connect enriched my understanding, and my vision of how God works in the world was amplified.”
If God wanted there to be an arrow of time—a real experience of past, present, and future—entropy appears to be a major part of how God did it.
It is easy to think of beautiful, hopeful instances of order. New life, new creation, new possibilities. So how can it be true that chaos, decay, and wastefulness always increase? What kind of God would create a universe in which entropy, or disorder, always increases? Let’s see if wrestling with the concept of entropy hinders or helps our faith.
Are you feeling like the summer’s coming to a close? I am. So I’d like to offer one last encouragement for you to find rest. My focus here will be on the ABCs of these “unforced rhythms of grace.” There’s some surprising science behind them.
If the church is going to get folks talking about creation care and motivate increasing numbers of us to take our roles as stewards of the earth more seriously, we need more than secular arguments with a Christian gloss. We need robust theological and biblical reasons to care for creation.
Our churches are often divided over climate change. A discussion of the topic will generate much heat–and whether it is a heat that illuminates or burns is unclear… Yet there are ways to talk productively about climate change.
“Talk about it.” Those three words are what Katharine Hayhoe tells the church and every other community to do if they want to learn how to support the long-term well-being of Earth and all its inhabitants.
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”?