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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.

 

Series: Medieval Christianity and the Rise of Modern Science (2 entries)

Historian of science James Hannam writes that the notion of inherent conflict between Christianity and science is a pernicious myth. In fact, by the middle ages, science already had a central place in Christian centers of learning. Indeed, it was a Christian worldview that proved especially compatible with—even necessary for—the rise of modern science. In this two-part essay, Hannam describes the conditions in the West in the medieval period that set the stage for the spectacular advance of science in the centuries to follow.

 

Series: Biblical and Scientific Shortcomings of Flood Geology (6 entries)

Gregg Davidson and Ken Wolgemuth seek to remove the stumbling block of the Genesis flood in this four part series. Though many believe in an ancient world-wide flood, the evidence given does not hold up to geological scrutiny, but points rather to something regional instead. It is their hope that Christians will not walk away from faith in Christ simply because a global flood is not supported by science. Looking at natural phenomena like the Grand Canyon, salt beds, and fossil deposits, they reveal reasons for these deposits and structures while showing that their origin did not stem from a violent flood that covered the planet.

 

Christianity and the History of Science (Infographic)

The BioLogos Forum is pleased to present this infographic about the relationship of Christianity with science throughout history. It debunks the myth that they have always been in conflict, and it reveals numerous examples of Christians playing a leading role in the development of natural science.

 

David Lack and Darwin’s Finches

Considering the immense popularity of "Darwin's finches", it is quite surprising to learn that Charles Darwin himself had very little to say about them. In fact, it was actually David Lack, one century later, who conducted the critical research that immortalized the finches in biology textbooks and popular lore.

 

Series: Let's Not Surrender Science to the Secular World (7 entries)

In this series, Mark H. Mann rejects the polarization of science and faith, claiming that this separation actually causes elements of Gnosticism to rise up among Christian fundamentalists. In reality, secular knowledge is never purely objective, but has and continues to be influenced by particular world views. He calls Christians to reclaim the scientific endeavor as a means for revealing the “Book of Creation,” which ultimately will enable us to read God’s Word more accurately.

 

The Galileo Affair: Emblematic or Exceptional?

On the morning of June 22, 1633 in the hall of the convent of Santa Maria sopra Minvera in Rome, Galileo Galilei knelt before the Lord-Cardinal Inquisitors-General and publicly abjured his false opinion that the sun was the motionless center of the universe.

 

In the Middle of Things

During the medieval era, as we can see in examples from three different fields—science, theology, and literature—people were interested and engaged. They were not shrouded in darkness and anti-progression, yet for centuries the period was characterized in this way.

 

Series: A.D. White’s “Warfare between Science and Theology” (5 entries)

In this series, Mark Noll shows that the long-enduring metaphor of warfare between science and dogmatic theology as suggested by White is inaccurate. After introducing Andrew Dickinson White and his views on the science-faith interaction, Noll offers his own counter-argument for philosophical and historical reasons.

 

Series: The Flood: Not Global, Barely Local, Mostly Theological (4 entries)

The three part series, written by Paul Seely, explores the scientific validity of the Flood in Genesis. He offers the approximate date of the flood according to Scripture, and then looks at various lines of evidence that contradict the idea of a global flood at that time. In light of other Mesopotamian flood stories, scholars conclude that the flood was local at best. In the end, he suggests that this story primarily reveals theological truths from a limited scientific understanding of natural events.

 

Christian Faith and World Class Science

Watching the discussion surrounding Francis Collins's National Institutes of Health (NIH) appointment has been enlightening in so many ways. Especially interesting are the arguments by critics such as Sam Harris that someone with faith in God cannot be a good scientist.

 

A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins

What do today’s pastors think about science? What views do they hold on creation and evolution and how strongly do they hold them? How do origins issues impact their ministries? These were just a few of the questions that motivated us at BioLogos to commission a survey of pastors on origins

 

Series: The Church Fathers and Two Books Theology (8 entries)

In this series, Mark Mann explores what many of the great Christian theologians and saints of the Church have said about how God speaks in and through God’s other great book: Nature, or Creation. Listening to figures from the the 2nd to the 18th centuries,Mann proposes three main points: Christians should think of Scripture and Creation as two “books” that should be read together for understanding the fullness of God’s self-revelation; Science is a God-given tool for discerning the handiwork of God in Creation, and is fully compatible with God’s Word revealed in Scripture, and therefore, Christians have nothing to fear from science.

 

Rediscovering the Science of the Middle Ages

Most people still assume that the Middle Ages were a period entirely benighted by violence, superstition and stagnation. Echoing the enlightenment historian Edward Gibbon, some commentators today even blame Christianity for causing the "Dark Ages".

 

Series: Christianity and Science in Historical Perspective (3 entries)

In this series, Ted Davis reflects on the interaction of science and Christianity during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, a time when foundations for modern science were quickly developing. He dismisses the idea that the influential areas of theology and science hold opposing views about the world and also explains how the Church enthusiastically supported and encouraged the growth of the various scientific disciplines, especially during the pre-Copernican time. He goes on to elaborate on the Copernican and Galileo controversies as well as highlight the faith of well-known scientists such as Kepler, Boyle, and Polkinghorne.

 

Series: One World: Science and Christianity in Respectful Dialogue (2 entries)

In this short series, Loren Wilkinson respectfully disagrees with Denis Alexander’s proposition of a Homo divinus model of Adam and Eve, while maintaining that it is not futile to seek a model that integrates a Biblical and scientific worldview as Coyne and MacDonald suggest. This idea, he believes, improperly portrays these two areas as incompatible and “at war,” when in reality, they share “one world.”

 

Understanding Earth

When we read Genesis 1.1: "in the beginning God created the heavens and earth" we picture the origin of the atmosphere, space, solar systems, and galaxies. But in Genesis 1 "earth" does not mean the planet Earth.

 

Decent Swordfish

The label "accommodationist" is being applied as if it were a warning from the FDA that these ideas are not fit for human consumption. But accommodationism, like "decent swordfish," should not be sneered at.

 

An Obituary for the "Warfare" View of Science and Religion

As an historian of science, I belong to a small, somewhat esoteric club. But our collective anonymity may now be changing with the publication of a splendid new book from Harvard University Press, Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion.

 

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.

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