A weekly dose of science for the church

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Science Says: Take a Chill Pill

Vacations are good medicine. Science proves it, as we’re about to show you. So be sure to take that vacation before the summer ends. And even during the busy school year, be sure to find some Sabbath time each and every week.

One Church’s Goal to Go Carbon Neutral

Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church (MAPC) in Cincinnati, Ohio is one of many churches in the Presbyterian denomination that takes part in the...

On Debates, Differences, and Dismissals

Unlike my reaction to the previous debate, I was pleasantly surprised by Dawkins v. Collins. There was mutual respect. Dawkins expressed his gratitude for all Collins did to care for their mutual friend, Christopher Hitchens. He also deferred to Collins’s expertise and leadership around Covid-19. It was clear they generally share the same understanding of evolution and science. They also share a common pursuit of truth, especially around the biggest question, Is there a God?.

The Urgency of Science and Race

The Urgency of Science and Race

One of my convictions, learned over decades of working in this niche, is that both Christian faith and modern science have much to contribute to most pressing issues of our day, including race.

Virtual Relationality and Our Human-Shaped Hole

Virtual Relationality and Our Human-Shaped Hole

Scripture and science agree: It is not good for us to be alone. Researchers have certainly pursued the connection between technology and well-being. But now our COVID-19 world is involved in a literally global experiment: because of social distancing, our relationships are not primarily direct and in-person… How is that experiment going? What are we learning about our inherent drive to be with others and what this drive means when it’s channeled through technology?

Youth Ministry Part 2: Why Science Matters

Youth Ministry Part 2: Why Science Matters

When church becomes the one place that’s either silent or hostile about science, young people learn the implicit lesson that it’s not just the church that can’t handle their tough questions. God can’t either. The way we interact with science provides young people with a template for how God views science. So we have an opportunity. In our engagement with science, will we lean in and lead or lose out and be led?

The Spirit’s Pentecost Strategy

The Spirit’s Pentecost Strategy

At Pentecost, the Spirit gave the church two fluencies. The first is in the fundamentals of the Good News about God’s work in Jesus Christ… the Spirit’s strategy is also for the church to speak to various people in their own “mother tongues.” The focus of this newsletter is on that second fluency with a particular accent: speaking the languages of technology and science.

A World From Dust: Q & A with Biochemist Ben McFarland

A World From Dust: Q & A with Biochemist Ben McFarland

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. 

Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face

Like habit formation, self-control is another evergreen topic for the church. It can inform how we resist temptation and live more Christ-like lives. It also is accompanied by a great deal of relevant scientific research.  But it’s a difficult topic because that science continues to change.

Easter Habits

Easter Habits

COVID-19 has forced ongoing Lenten-like discipline on us all even as we enter Eastertide… So what should we do? After exhausting all umpteen seasons of our favorite Netflix series, how do we make good on our remaining days under quarantine?

2020: An Easter in Exile and in Denial?

2020: An Easter in Exile and in Denial?

I know this week is about the science of Easter and resurrection, but it seemed to me that we need to be honest about our life in a COVID-19 world. Because only then can we truly feel the miracle of God’s redemption.

The Rhythms of Holy Week

The Rhythms of Holy Week

This pandemic threatens to overwhelm our preparation for the day when the church must always proclaim, The Lord has risen! He has risen indeed! So as we try here at Science for the Church to help the church to engage science, facing a Holy Week unlike any in my lifetime, I want to offer three apparent realities coming from the scientific community.

When the Body Cannot Gather

When the Body Cannot Gather

Humans are relational beings. Biologists often refer to us as a social species, one of the most social of all species. Isolation is not in our nature. In fact, most of what nurtures us is interpersonal connections. So what do we do when, for the greater good, we are forced to stay away from one another, to not to leave our homes unless it is absolutely necessary?