Daniel Harrell on Embracing Science
In this video, Pastor Daniel Harrell encourages the Christian community to embrace science as an element which can harmonize and strengthen, rather than attack and undermine their understanding of theology.
Science, Harrell says, helps us daily to understand our identity as biological beings. We are reminded frequently of our dependence on science: for example, when we have to visit the doctor or when we begin the aging process. Most of us, however, are sorely unaware of how the philosophical side of science affects our lives as believers. Many Christians are even afraid of science.
Harrell explains that he stopped fearing science when he began to study it. He realized that, while science is persuasive as an explanation for life, it cannot describe things like theological reality, psychological behavior, and other variables. It is a separate entity which can converge with the theological narrative that we already have and begin to strengthen our faith. In fact, since we believe as Christians that God created and redeemed the material world, we already have a convenient interface between scientific and theological camps.
Harrell wraps up this brief narrative by encouraging Christians to investigate science on their own. While there are, he admits, problems with this unconventional marriage of science and faith, there are also problems with theology in the absence of science. Understanding how the two different camps work together and strengthen each other is an important part of our faith journey.
Commentary written by the BioLogos editorial team.
Daniel Harrell is the Senior Minister of Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota. Before stepping into this role, Harrell served as associate minister at Park Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts for over twenty years. He is the author of the book Nature’s Witness: How Evolution Can Inspire Faith, and is author of the forthcoming book How To Be Perfect: One Church’s Experiment with Living the Book of Leviticus.