A weekly dose of science for the church
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We have given our youth space to ask their questions and even voice their doubts. If you follow the research on young persons and faith, that space is important. And that includes helping them engage science and faith. There are good reasons to believe the church’s failure to address such questions is one cause for the continued rising number of religious “nones.”
Jesus in the Passion gives us the ultimate example of what researchers often call grit or resilience—a suite of cognitive and character traits working together in combination to achieve a goal in the face of great adversity.
Can a scientist believe in resurrection? Can a thinking person really accept one of the most outrageous claims in Christianity? We think so. So how do scientists who are Christians understand the resurrection?
You largely trust your own mind, right? It is a source of reliable knowledge, except, maybe for those moments you can’t remember where you left your keys. Well, psychology tells a very different story. There are dozens of biases that impact how reasonably, or accurately, or unselfishly our minds function.
Research shows our gut instinct is that we want God and science. And this leads to a question: Are there places that talk about both science and God?
What if science—indeed, the very physics we’ve been slogging through—is actually the locus of God’s action?
Is the world fundamentally determined or undetermined?… All of these possible interpretations point to the enigma of the way the world really is. Does God play dice? Is there a reality to things before we observe them? Are there many worlds? Are there hidden variables that still elude us nearly a century after Einstein postulated them?
Let’s face it: Physics is hard—both for me the guide and for you the reader. But it’s also fascinating, and this week we will consider some of its wackiest ideas.
Quantum mechanics is so weird, so counterintuitive, and so poorly understood at the most fundamental level—dozens of interpretations exist trying to make sense of it—that it is risky to draw theological conclusions. Does God play dice? Do duality, observer effects, and probabilities truly describe the world God created? Or do they point to a veil that hides the microscopic world from us?
Why don’t our theological voices trust the sciences to offer an accurate picture of the world when we trust the science of classical Greek studies to offer us the tools to study the most sacred texts, the words that bring us to the knowledge of Jesus Christ?
Humility is something all church leaders need—and by humility, I mean something more than just a humiliating experience. It should be a frame of mind, an approach to the world that opens us up to learn what the Spirit has to teach us.
Scientists do want to get the facts right and to accurately investigate the natural world, but even more so, the ones in your pews—especially those on who sit on your boards, teach Sunday school, or volunteer with your youth—really want to be recognized not just as scientists, but as equal partners in the body of Christ. They want to be of service to the church.