A weekly dose of science for the church
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No one likes to feel stupid. We’ve heard from pastors that feeling foolish is one reason they avoid science. Science is complicated, especially for non-specialists, and they don’t want to get it wrong. Particularly from the pulpit. I appreciate the sentiment. It is a risk any non-specialist takes engaging content outside their expertise. And it just happened to me.
“Where natural theology tries to understand God in scientific context, theology of nature tries to understand nature in theological context.” Beginning with Christian belief, a theology of nature asks what we can infer about nature from the God we know in Jesus Christ and integrates that with science.
When Drew began the series What Kind of God? we decided that, at least for this week, I’d take the role of the Devil’s Advocate (DA). Drew disavowed natural theology, but I still sense its presence lurking around the edges of the question, What Kind of God?
As I digest the latest science—be it science journalism, documentaries, popular science books, or presentations from scientists themselves—I often find myself asking, What kind of God would create a world like the one described by this or that particular aspect of nature?
It strikes me as noteworthy that our culture is taking recourse in the grandeur and scope of words that only theological language can supply. Responding to climate change is at the place where our Christian tradition meets science meets Christian spirituality. We need to recover the biblical language of “stewardship” for this beautiful creation.
We often link brain power to intelligence or some innate talent. Things like memory, creativity, mathematical ability certainly are amazing capacities of the human brain. But I think the most amazing thing the brain does is change. It’s the power of those synapses and neurons and axons to recreate the pathways necessary for change.
Many churches already support caregivers—with prayer and visits, welcoming them when they can participate in the life of the church and trying to bring church to them when they cannot. This week I want to look at some of the research around caregiving—an expansive field looking at numerous dimensions of delivering and receiving care—and challenge you and your church to think about ways this research can strengthen your ministry to those giving and receiving care.
Collins is the voice par excellence of faith and science integration. How to summarize his work? I can’t adequately. Instead, I turn to two of his most memorable quotations (which, admittedly, I often use in science and faith talks when I’m searching for something wise to say)…
This week (and next) I’m focusing on a pair of your highest rated thinkers from our summer audience survey: N.T. Wright and Rachel Held Evans. Their thoughts on science and religion have shaped our imaginations and clearly some of yours as well.
This week I want to unpack how negative stereotypes, caused in part by the church, undermine efforts for Christians in the sciences to bridge faith and science. If the church is to aide Christians to pursue STEM vocations, as I suggested last week, we need to understand this threat and address it.
Helping the next generation see faith and science as a both/and instead of an either/or is one of the primary motivations for Science for the Church. One way to pursue this goal is to ensure that the church identifies science as a legitimate Christian calling.
I began by suggesting that the notion of infinity was simple—God is infinite and we are not. But is it simple? What do we mean when we refer to God as infinite?