A weekly dose of science for the church

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Science and Spirit: An Interview with Fred Ware

Relationships are central to our work at Science for the Church. We include interviews in this newsletter to introduce you to scientists, theologians, and Christian leaders who have taught us much. Fred Ware, professor of theology and associate dean for academic affairs at Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD), is one such individual. Ordained in the Church of God in Christ, his teaching and research focus on the connection between Pentecostalism and race, culture, healthcare, and religion-and-science.

Spirituality, Meet Science

Here’s what I’d like to hear when I tell friends and others that I bring science to church—“Wow! That’s amazing.”

And yet—to be honest—here is what I often hear—“What? Hmm… I’m not sure what that means.”

How God Works

I get a little annoyed each time a science and faith conversation gets railroaded by the question of origins, climate change, or some other contentious issue. Sure, these are issues that our churches must wrestle with, but by putting all our attention on areas of felt conflict, we might entirely miss the ways science reveals how God works.

Created to… Cooperate?

Created to… Cooperate?

How do we reconcile a good God with the gruesome competition we see all around in the natural world? We will attend to this question over the next few weeks. But today, before we take on natural evil and theodicy, an important reminder: We are created not only to compete and survive and pass on our genes. Biologists also tell us we are created to cooperate.

Much More Than Skin Deep

Much More Than Skin Deep

I wish we could time travel about 300 years in the past and meet the brilliant 17th century Christian thought leader Jonathan Edwards. There’s any number of things we can learn from him, but one stands out—how beauty brings together science and faith … because it leads us to wonder and to worship.

Traveling Side-by-side

Traveling Side-by-side

Neither would assent to a belief that denied what they found via science to be true about the world. Faith became plausible only when they were given the intellectual tools to see science as a means of studying God’s creation, and when they discovered faith did not require them to give up any science.

Let Us Worship God

Let Us Worship God

Francis Collins famously said, “The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God’s majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.”

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things

But it is important to take a break from operating solely in the “truth sphere.” Goodness and beauty are two other realms that are essential to humans (think ethics and aesthetics), and both tell us something important about God (the very essence of goodness and beauty). And in the case of beauty, I think we have a powerful point of connection between faith and science.

WOW

WOW

Conceptual studies of awe note that it has its roots in “fear and dread, particularly toward a divine being.” But the common understanding of awe today is no longer fear of God but most often that feeling we get in an encounter with nature. The feeling can be both positive (sunsets) or negative (tornadoes)—or it can even be tinged with fear (standing at the edge of Niagara Falls)… So what does the experience of awe do to us (or for us)?

Science Says: Take A Chill Pill

Science Says: Take A Chill Pill

We all work too hard, some of us more than others. Pastors do it; I’m married to one, and she rarely stops pastoring. Scientists do it. White-collar and blue-collar workers do it. So what does science have to say about Sabbath?

The Enduring Wisdom of St. Clive

The Enduring Wisdom of St. Clive

Why Lewis? Why does he have this enduring impact on Christian thought leaders? And especially, since St. Clive wasn’t particularly gifted in science (he was terrible at math), how has he affected leading Christians in the sciences?

Understanding Unbelief

Understanding Unbelief

To do missions today, we need to understand unbelief. Sure, it is good to track the demographic trends, but it is far more important to understand the mindset of the unaffiliated, the agnostic, and the atheist.

A Simple Suggestion

A Simple Suggestion

Our appreciation of creation and the Creator come less from understanding the Galileo affair or responding to Richard Dawkins’ anti-religious screeds, and more from looking at what science can tell us about the glory being told by the heavens and how fearfully and wonderfully life has been knit together. 

Created Co-Creators

Created Co-Creators

What is the imago dei? How are humans unique from the rest of life and made special by God? This is an important—and highly contested—topic in the history of theology. And today, it’s best approached in dialogue with science.