Notes from the Field
The BioLogos Evolution & Christian Faith grants program began only a few short months ago, but many grantees have already produced noteworthy results. Scholars are tackling complex issues related to evolutionary creation while educators and church leaders are drawing more people into the dialogue. Many are doing so in ways that will have a strong impact on the church for years to come. Below are just a few snapshots of what our grantees have been up to.
Under the leadership of Michael Cromartie, the Ethics & Public Policy Center hosted a Faith Angle Forum (FAF) November 3-5, 2013, in Miami, Florida. The Forum invites top journalists from national media outlets such as ABS News, The Economist, Slate.com, and The Washington Post to interact with faith leaders on various topics, including science. This fall Jennifer Wiseman, BioLogos Board member, NASA astronomer, and head of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, led one of the discussions. With the support of BioLogos, top journalists were able to interact with a leading astronomer about the complex intersection of science and faith.
Geologists Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth of Solid Rock Lectures presented the case for an old earth before 200 people at the “Noah’s Flood and The Age of the Earth” conference hosted by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) on October 25, 2013. Ronald Marks and Eugene Chaffin presented their reasons for believing the earth is young. SEBTS professor Ken Keathley (who incidentally convened the BioLogos Forum’s Southern Baptist Voices series), served as moderator. You can read Keathley’s remarks from the meeting on his blog, or read more about the event in this SEBTS article.
The group from Fundación Federico Fliedner in Madrid, Spain, led by Pablo de Felipe and Pedro Zamora, is making significant progress in translating quality materials to Spanish. Their project page provides resources to those who have a desire to advance their knowledge of science and faith. They also host a number of events, including the IV Annual Fliedner Lecture on Science and Faith, which took place at the Ateneo Científico, Literario y Artístico in Madrid. The lecture, given by Professor Karla Pollmann of the University of Kent, UK, centered on cosmology and the interpretation of Genesis in ancient Christianity, including Augustine. At the end of the lecture the team unveiled a newly published Spanish-language collection of Pollmann’s essays.
Biology teacher Diane Sweeney and Chaplain Josh Hayashi of the Punahou School in Honolulu have launched their project website to promote their new multimedia curriculum for high school students. Sweeney and Hayashi presented their work in multiple sessions at the National Youth Workers Convention, held this year in San Diego. You can read their lessons learned in their BioLogos blog post about this event. They also hosted a luncheon in late October for local pastors in Hawaii to introduce the curriculum and identify people to pilot their materials.
ForumC, the leading science/faith organization in the Netherlands, has been quite active over the past few months. Project leader Cors Visser was invited for a talk show on an Evangelical channel and wrote an op-ed in a national Christian newspaper in which he appealed to the Christian community not to run away from difficult questions concerning creation and evolution. In May and June, ForumC hosted two debates for more than 300 students (most of whom are Young Earth Creationists) at an evangelical college. In October, they hosted a conference for about 40 scientists, pastors, teachers and opinion leaders. The ForumC website is becoming a leading platform in the Netherlands for discussion of evolutionary creation.
The Nazarenes Exploring Evolution project, led by theologian Thomas Jay Oord, has produced a web collection of nearly 40 essays by individuals within the Nazarene denomination, several of which have also appeared on the BioLogos Forum (here, here, and here). The project includes a conference to be held at Point Loma Nazarene University January 23-25, 2014. Scholars, pastors, leaders, and others are invited. Experts on the relationship between science and theology, including Darrel Falk, Karl Giberson, Michael Lodahl, Mark Mann, and Thomas Jay Oord, will serve as keynote speakers.
Wheaton Old Testament scholar John Walton has been on a whirlwind world tour, giving his lecture entitled, Origins Today: Genesis Through Ancient Eyes. The tour so far included 64 public lectures on Genesis 1–3 in 9 states and 13 countries, as well as 5 panel discussions, 8 workshops or conferences, 27 meetings with faculty/student groups, 7 sermons, 10 meetings with church groups, 27 classes taught at schools, and 5 media interviews. (Aren’t you tired just reading about it?) More than 8,000 people around the world have attended the events. If you haven’t seen Walton’s lecture, scroll to the bottom of Walton’s project page to stream or download it. Be sure to also read Walton’s reflections on the tour, posted on the BioLogos Forum.
There are many more exciting developments from these and other grantees, which you can read about as we feature their work on the BioLogos Forum. Also check out their individual project pages to learn more about their activities.