A weekly dose of science for the church

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2020: An Easter in Exile and in Denial?

I know this week is about the science of Easter and resurrection, but it seemed to me that we need to be honest about our life in a COVID-19 world. Because only then can we truly feel the miracle of God’s redemption.

The Rhythms of Holy Week

This pandemic threatens to overwhelm our preparation for the day when the church must always proclaim, The Lord has risen! He has risen indeed! So as we try here at Science for the Church to help the church to engage science, facing a Holy Week unlike any in my lifetime, I want to offer three apparent realities coming from the scientific community.

When the Body Cannot Gather

Humans are relational beings. Biologists often refer to us as a social species, one of the most social of all species. Isolation is not in our nature. In fact, most of what nurtures us is interpersonal connections. So what do we do when, for the greater good, we are forced to stay away from one another, to not to leave our homes unless it is absolutely necessary?

The Problem of Pain

The Problem of Pain

Can we find any use for suffering? What does suffering do for us as followers of Christ and for our compassion for others?

Everything’s Not Right with the World

Everything’s Not Right with the World

Is there any way to respond to the fact that everything’s not right with the world? Let me suggest this as a different image for a theodicy: God and the world play together in a cosmic jazz improvisation.

Why Does Creation Suffer?

Why Does Creation Suffer?

We have gotten so used to mechanical images of God as architect or engineer that we sometimes forget that this is not the primary imagery Scripture uses. God is the shepherd and the parent. Even God as King does not imply total control, but leadership. When God created the world, risk was involved in the same way as when parents choose to have a child. You are making another person, and they will make their own choices.

Cancer and Tornadoes

Cancer and Tornadoes

The problem of evil and suffering faces us in many forms. Truth be told, it is probably the single best argument against belief in a good God. Especially in those cases where evil and suffering are rooted in nature and cannot be excused by human sin. As we begin a series on natural evil and theodicy, we focus this week on some of those faith-rattling natural occurrences.

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?