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.
Series: Excerpts from “Evolving: Evangelicals Reflect on Evolution”
We need to hear stories from others who have wrestled with evolution and Christian faith. What arguments made them change their views on science? How did they hold fast to their relationship with God? The essays in this series will eventually comprise a book, provisionally titled, “Evolving: Evangelicals Reflect on Evolution.”
Series: Understanding Randomness
In this series, Kathryn Applegate addresses the concern that randomness implies the absence of God's activity and involvement in the natural world. She begins by clearing up some common misconceptions about the concept of "randomness", and later focuses on the mechanisms of the immune system to demonstrate that God works through random processes to preserve life. Far from being an indication of a "godless" universe, one might conclude that randomness is one of God’s favorite mechanisms for creating and sustaining life!
Series: God and Creation
In this four part series, David Opderbeck explores the interesting relationship between God and his creation. He first looks at his transcendence over the material world. In one respect, God is completely distinct from all creation, yet he is also immanent, or present within all creation. Another aspect of God reflected in creation is his Triune nature. Just as love, fellowship, and delight exist within the Trinity, so these characteristics are present in the world, and experienced by humans. He completes his thoughts with a discussion about God’s interaction with humans.
Searching for Motivated Belief: Introducing John Polkinghorne
Several times in my series of columns about “Science and the Bible,” I briefly discussed a few ideas from John Polkinghorne, one of the leading Christian thinkers of our time. Although I presented him mainly as a representative of the “Theistic Evolution” (TE) view, much of his published work is about other topics, several of them largely or entirely unrelated to TE. It’s time we got better acquainted with him.
Series: A Faith Journey in a Medical Science Career
(Needs a summary)
Dissonance and Harmony
People hold clearly discordant points of view, and it would be dishonest to ignore the conflict. Yet some voices emphasize the dissonance without any note of harmony to put it in context. Too often, science and faith becomes a hostile battle of worldviews, sounding angry, dissonant chords even among fellow Christians. But civil, gracious dialogue is possible.
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: Confronting Our Fears
In this series, U.S. Navy Commander Mike Beidler shares his own personal journey from accepting young-earth creationism to embracing evolutionary creationism.
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.
Growing in Faith
As he endeavored to learn more, David was intrigued by Francis Collins book The Language of God because Francis did not present evolution as a rival theory to Christian faith, but as something that described God's method of creation.
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.
Did David Hume "Banish" Miracles?
“I flatter myself,” Hume triumphantly proclaimed, “that I have discovered an argument . . . which, if just, will, with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of superstitious delusion, and consequently, will be useful as long as the world endures.”
Series: Divine Action in the World
In this talk, Professor Plantinga addresses the fact that many contemporary thinkers—including many theologians—believe that God cannot perform miracles, providentially guide history, or interact in the lives of people, as these activities would be contrary to science. Plantinga, on the other hand, makes the case that this popular view is mistaken; excluding divine action in the world is not a central feature of natural science itself, but a philosophical or theological preference that has been added on to science (and can just as readily be removed). Plantinga concludes that it is completely logical to accept the miracles of the Bible and support contemporary science.
The Randomness Project
It is not uncommon to hear voices proclaiming that biology and physics have shown us that—at fundamental levels—nature is random, hence meaningless, purposeless, and without a creator. But how might God work providentially through indeterminate processes? The John Templeton Foundation has provided a generous grant of $1.69 million to support a new research initiative on the theme of Randomness and Divine providence.
David Lack: Evolutionary Biologist and Devout Christian
Charles Darwin’s personal struggles and ultimate rejection of Christianity are well documented, and people are eager to link his loss of faith to his evolutionary theory. David Lack, on the other hand, began his scientific career as an agnostic, but shortly after publishing his famous book on the evolution of "Darwin's finches", he converted to Christianity.
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.
Randomness and Evolution: Is There Room for God? (Videocast)
This BioLogos videocast addresses the idea of randomness as a part of natural selection, and whether it challenges the possibility of God using the evolutionary process as a means of creation.
For the Love of the World: John Stott and His Passion for Creation
Some criticized John for his theistic evolutionary position and even his appreciation for Darwin. But Stott saw no contradiction between his own commitment to the authority of Scripture and his openness to God’s use of evolution in His creative process.
Series: The God Who Acts: Robert John Russell on Divine Intervention and Divine Action
Does God need to supernaturally "intervene" in order to bring about the diversity of life that we observe today? Is that kind of action different from God’s ordinary action? We begin our three-part series with Robert John Russell’s description of how views of divine action have changed throughout history, excerpted from his book Cosmology: From Alpha to Omega. Part 2 addresses why “intervention” in the natural world is a problem philosophically, theologically, and scientifically; and Part 3 explains Russell’s own theory of divine action in the natural world.