Engaging Science in the Life of Your Congregation
With so many issues to discuss, Christians can easily get the feeling that science is always attacking the faith. It is essential to balance such conversations with positive responses to God’s creation. After all, the primary response to the natural world in the Bible is to praise the God who made it.
A Scientific Commentary on Genesis 7:11
Although committed to the principle of sola Scriptura, Calvin recognized that the Bible would have been written in terms its original recipients would have understood. Calvin inherited the medieval cosmology of his time, a way of viewing the world heavily influenced by Greek thought and one which was about to receive shocks from astronomers such as Copernicus and Galileo. But not just yet.
Psalm for the January Thaw
God shows himself not just in the orderliness of nature, but powerfully, joyously and always surprisingly in its beautiful "non-order" as well.
Series: Science and the Bible: Intelligent Design
In this series, Ted Davis identifies the history, core tenets and assumptions about the Intelligent Design view.
Surprised by Jack, Part 3: Mere Depravity
“Man is now a horror to God and to himself and a creature ill-adapted to the universe not because God made him so but because he has made himself so by the abuse of his free will. To my mind this is the sole function of the doctrine [of the Fall].”—C.S. Lewis
We tend to think of creativity in terms of flashes of insight and brilliance, of novelty, and especially of unexpected things bursting upon the scene. But creativity is no less creative and no less remarkable when it proceeds step by step, according to discipline, according to rule.
Series: From the Dust
In this series, Ryan Pettey offers several clips from his powerful documentary "From the Dust". This feature-length film is divided up into various sections, each of which wrestles with the difficult problems that arise when reconciling Scripture with the theory of evolution. A light of hope dawns on the science-faith conversation, however, as scientists and theologians engage in honest dialogue about tough issues such as the interpretation of Genesis, the nature of the Fall, and the idea of random design. Their profound insights are sure to enlighten all minds, raise deeper questions, and provoke new thought.
Shaping the Human Soul, Part 5
We need to have an account of Sin in terms of habit. A lot of Christians today think of “sins” and discreet choices, but historically Christians have thought of Sin as a habitual tendency and disordering.
Science and the Bible: Theistic Evolution, Part 4
Scientist-theologians who write about TE also think about creation and theodicy in terms of divine “kenosis” and eschatology. So today we’ll conclude our “implications” section by returning to creational theology, and then turn to the ways TEs re-think Adam and Eve in light of human evolution.
The song is built around the image of a river flowing through a canyon it has sculpted—an image that can easily be played out as a picture of the way that the Lord has been at work preparing a path for us in the material world, complete with signposts to his former and present activity.
Series: Asa Gray and Charles Darwin Discuss Evolution and Design
Many Christians believe that they face a painful choice-- either life was designed by God or it is an evolutionary product of natural selection. Charles Darwin himself believed in this dichotomy, and people ever since have felt the need to "choose sides". However, looking back at history, we find that one of Darwin's chief scientific colleagues, Asa Gray, did not share this perspective. In this three-part essay, part 1 charts the relationship of Asa Gray and Charles Darwin. Part 2 describes Darwin's struggle with the problem of natural evil and design in nature, and part 3 explores how Asa Gray was able to embrace evolution without rejecting the idea of design.
Series: Beauty, Science and Theology
It doesn't take a scientist to appreciate the beauty with which God has arrayed his creation. But scientists do have the opportunity (and training) to appreciate different kinds of beauty than do most non-scientists, whether they are ordinarily "hidden" in the extremes of scale, the elegant processes of an experiment, or in the abstraction of mathematics. Indeed the appreciation of various kinds of beauty has always played a critical role in motivating scientists to investigate the world, and in helping them decipher its workings. In the three-part essay, Ruth Bancewicz explores some of the ways beauty, science and theology intertwine.
Fine-tuning and the “Fruitful Universe”
I ask the question, “Why is the universe so special?” Now scientists don’t like things to be special; we like things to be general, and our natural anticipation would have been that the universe is just a common specimen of what a universe might be like.
The Heavenly Declaration
The universe that inspired the psalmist three thousand years ago grows grander as each new generation of astronomers adds yet another layer of understanding.
Understanding Evolution: The Evolutionary Origins of Irreducible Complexity, Part 1
I will take some time to clarify exactly how Michael Behe, the biochemist and Intelligent Design (ID) proponent who has most extensively developed the "irreducible complexity" argument, uses the term.
Wheat that Springeth Green
As we remember the narrative that takes us from Good Friday through Easter morning, the image of a buried grain of wheat invites us into the story rather than just describing what happens in it.
Jefferson’s Bible and the Tears of Christ
Predictably, "Jesus Wept" did not make into the Jefferson Bible. John 11 was cut out entirely, falling onto the floor of his Monticello home and discarded, along with Martha's confession.
Series: Science as an Instrument of Worship
In this brief series (taken from a 2009 paper), Jennifer Wiseman uses an excerpt from the famous hymn “How Great Thou Art,” to explain why the study of God’s creation can lead Christ’s followers into meaningful worship and overcome the obstacles which impede true praise. Creation as encountered through our senses is pondered by our minds, which flows into wonder-filled songs from the soul. She further explains how knowledge of creation will help Christians to address the moral dilemmas of science, and she encourages all to see the process of scientific inquiry as a means to discover God’s truth.
Knowing Your Context
The Psalmist affirms that the created world speaks of its creator, and that everywhere we look or listen there are words, speech pouring forth in abundance. But are we prepared to hear that speech?
In 1967, biologists Roger Payne and Scott McVay discovered that humpback whales “sing” and published recordings of the whales’ complex vocalizations, after which “whale song” quickly entered the popular consciousness and helped propel the “save the whales” environmental movement forward.