A weekly dose of science for the church

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Becoming Like Trees

Recent scientific discoveries about trees fascinate me because of what I learn about the intricate interdependence of ecosystems. But unlike so much of modern life, trees also populated the world of the Bible, and they populate the pages of Scripture. Learning about trees has helped me understand my backyard. It also has helped me to understand how to remain nourished and connected to God.

In Praise of John Polkinghorne

The Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne will undoubtedly remain a preeminent voice in faith and science. He died March 9th at age 90. I met John Polkinghorne only once, at a small science and religion conference. I interrupted his breakfast for our notably awkward encounter…

Signs of New Life

St. Augustine famously defined a sacrament as “an outward and visible sign of inward and invisible grace.” This definition could be applied to much more than baptism and communion—perhaps even to tulips and sea slugs.

A Slice of Humble Pie

A Slice of Humble Pie

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.

It’s Only Natural

It’s Only Natural

“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.

And Now a Word from the Devil’s Advocate

And Now a Word from the Devil’s Advocate

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?

What Kind of God?

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?

Where There’s Smoke…

Where There’s Smoke…

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.

Brain Power

Brain Power

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.

The Wonderful Burden of Caregiving

The Wonderful Burden of Caregiving

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.

Francis Collins and the DNA of Faithfulness

Francis Collins and the DNA of Faithfulness

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)…

Is the Church Undermining Itself?

Is the Church Undermining Itself?

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.

For Our Grandkids

For Our Grandkids

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.

To Infinity… and Beyond!

To Infinity… and Beyond!

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?