A weekly dose of science for the church
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How might we find God speaking to us in 2020? In my view, after we’ve made our “No Year’s resolution,” we wait with hope for God to bring a new vision. Put another way, it is a new year, 2020, and a time to say Yes.
Before we breath in new insights, the place to start is in breathing out and making space. Read more to learn how neuroscience supports practices teach us how to be still.
There are many ways to come to know things, and while the analytic, scientific perspective may be the preferred method for many in our Western, educated culture, it is certainly not the only way.
What difference does it make that Jesus was a cultural being, born into a specific culture? “With the incarnation, to quote Karl Barth, ‘theology has become anthropology because God has become man.”
“This Christmas, think about how our wise, loving, patient God entered the ancient Middle East—“Taking the very nature of a servant”—and trusted himself to the developmental processes that had been created through him.”
“In this advent season we remember the messy world Jesus entered. Born amidst controversy to an unwed mother who was likely a teenager, and in a smelly barn where he spent the night in a feeding trough, Jesus entered fully into our complexity. Throughout his years of ministry, he was controversial and unconventional, cutting through religious pretenses to show the heart of God.” Join us for psychologist Mark McMinn’s reflections on growing in wisdom.
It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of baby Jesus – fully God and yet with all the limitations inherent to human infancy. Fuller Seminary professor Justin Barrett guest writes our newsletter today, drawing on knowledge from psychology, cognitive science, and evolution to point to the beauty of this dependence and vulnerability.
In our 2019 Advent series, we will feature scientists reflecting on the question “What does it mean to say that Jesus was fully human?” We introduce the topic this week.
Gratitude is probably the most scientifically studied virtue. We could do a Thanksgiving edition every year and focus entirely on new research each time. We know the benefits of being grateful, and we know steps each of us can take to become more grateful. We even know how gratitude correlates with, and often cultivates, other virtues like optimism, humility, and forgiveness.
How might science work alongside Scripture as a tool for discipleship? Or how can it illustrate sermons, support the biblical teachings, and supplement the wisdom of the church? Can it be a catalyst for worship? May it even draw folks into our ministries, perhaps attracting the “nones” and “dones” to come back?
Let’s take a look at some of the scientific work on hope and optimism. Very little of it takes a theological perspective, but as you teach and preach true Christian hope, the science can surely be a good conversation partner.
Can we find any use for suffering? What does suffering do for us as followers of Christ and for our compassion for others?